Wednesday, 17 October 2018 18:15

Dear Senator Kamala Harris, RE: Election 2020

Dear Senator Harris, I suspect that you are planning to run for President in 2020. I hope that I am correct, as I believe that you are the candidate who stands the greatest chance of beating Trump and saving America – provided you are willing to embrace an innovative electoral strategy that runs against the conventional wisdom that will inevitably be pushed on you by the Democratic party establishment. The Democratic party has a terrible track record of nominating effective candidates for the Presidency. Al Gore, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton were all too easily portrayed as out of touch…
Bringing Ragnarok: Book 2, is written! I don't usually give myself, you know, 'kudos' or whatever. But I will state my pride in having written a 140,000 word book in 15 weeks. Although I had hoped to have the draft complete by September 30, the extra length took it two weeks into October. Still, that's not a bad weekly average, especially considering that there have been other life matters to attend to during these months, as 2018 is the year that just won't stop giving when it comes to major life-changing events. Now, as I write in an earlier Developer…
Sunday, 30 September 2018 18:36

Bringing Ragnarok, Dev Diary 4

Well, the end of September has arrived, and with it, my target deadline for finishing the initial draft of Bringing Ragnarok Book 2. While I'm not quite there yet, I actually came within a half-day's worth of writing of reaching the 120k word budget I'd set for the draft. Which I call a win, given that it will take at least another ~15,000 words to finish out Book 2, as I've gone (again) over my word budget on several chapters. I'll aim to trim the total during editing, but as often as not I find my wordcount increasing post-edits, because…
Sunday, 16 September 2018 18:36

Bringing Ragnarok, Dev Diary 3.5

Well, got my first drive-by review on Amazon this week. Even better: it's probably by some dude on the alt-right! (read, Nazi sympathizer.) Amazon has serious problems with its review system. Deep in the underbelly of the indie author world, there's widespread recognition that there exists a subset of internet trolldom that actively looks for stuff to slander. Some of it is the usual gamergate nonsense: men mad that popular books feature female leads. Some of it is political: MAGA-types and other neo-Nazis think their moment has come, and are looking to attack anyone and anything that doesn't fit into…
It probably seems like a dumb thing for an author to ask, after publishing a book. Especially when he intends the book to be first in a series, and hopes to actually earn a living as a professional, independent author. But the question has been much on my mind, of late (yeah, I often slip into Middle-Earth English/pseudo-formalism): Who are my readers? Part of me (the more autistic part) says that's a dumb question because, in time, it effectively answers itself. As N grows, a cluster will form (so goes the theory, anyway). And it'll be similar enough to other clusters…
Saturday, 08 September 2018 18:09

Bringing Ragnarok Dev Diary 2.5

So Labor Day 2018 hit, and American politics emerged from the August slumber. I find it amusing how media across the ideological spectrum perceives its own internal organizational metabolism as synonymous with the rest of the world's. August is often referred to as a quiet month in the world of news, but in truth August is just (like December in the West) when the staff of media companies goes on vacation, so big names aren't writing as many articles, and so... a quiet month. Never underestimate the illusory power of a cybernetic feeback loop, is all I'm saying. Anyway, once…
Friday, 07 September 2018 20:10

Bringing Ragnarok - Dev Diary 2

Woo, time for Developer Diary 2! This week, Bringing Ragnarok Book 2 hit the (approximate) 75% draft-complete stage. Now, that could mean a lot of things, so here's what it means for me: When I complete a draft, the story itself has been told to whatever checkpoint I've pre-established, and it is readable (but not good). I'm fortunate in that I've been writing and editing professionally for so long (that's what academia is, in reality) that my initial draft usually comes out pretty solid. At university, my general practice for writing an A paper was to bang out 12 pages…
Friday, 31 August 2018 18:57

Bringing Ragnarok - Dev. Diary 1

As an author, I take a lot of inspiration from the world of video games and computer programming. So I've decided to start writing short blurbs every week, pretty much about whatever comes to mind with respect to what I've been working on the past week. In the gaming world, this kind of thing is often called a 'developer diary' (here's one I've been keeping an eye on, for Hearts of Iron 4.) Confession: I'm terrible at regular blogging. While I am currently writing Bringing Ragnarok 2 at a pace of about 10,000 words per week (give or take a…
Saturday, 25 August 2018 17:29

Bringing Ragnarok is Live on Amazon!

This about two months overdue, but finally I'm getting around to posting the announcement on my own website: Bringing Ragnarok, Book 1, is live on Amazon! It is currently available only as an e-book, but I hope once I've a proven track record of sales that I can secure a publisher to handle print publication in the US and abroad. I've been working to set up a product page on the various Amazon sites that does a credible job of communicating what the Saga is about, how it is unique, and who might be interested in reading it, which at…
Friday, 18 May 2018 20:55

Another Day, Another School Shooting

"What's the point?" I wonder, as I sit down to write this. What's the point indeed. Another day, another school shooting in America. I start to wonder if, at every newspaper and magazine in English speaking world (and beyond), now has an established set of procedures to follow when news of another mass school shooting takes place. Liveblog the 'news', minute-by-minute. Rush reporters to interview terrified students and teachers. Record the stale, banal, cynical "thoughts and prayers" rhetoric of our elected officials, who know full well that they have no solutions. And then, of course, there's the analysis: always neatly…
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