23 November 2017


Photo montage includes a photo by Kai Oberhauser from Unsplash

An inciting incident occurred recently that has re-kindled my energy with regards to posting audio content. I have always loved audio content of all sorts. For a start, audio content is the only way I get to read books, filling in the time I drive to and from work.

Audio content is what helped train me to fall asleep promptly. Audio content is great when you're too ill to get out of bed. Audio content is exciting, vibrant and, when well produced engages the imagination because you're having to supply the visual content using your mind's eye.

There's a curious alchemy between book readings and radio plays. I don't prefer either* but I love them both to be what they are for different reasons. I love to listen to the Hitch Hikers Guide radio serials and I recently took in The Complete Sherlock Holmes read by Stephen Fry. This is what ears were made for.

So, in short, expect audio content in 2018, some you can probably guess at, but I am hoping to surprise you too.

*but I'm not a big fan of audiobooks with an identity crisis who hire in any more than one actor beyond the narrator to voice "characters", make up your goddamn mind.

19 November 2017

I'm Not A Blogger

Photo montage includes a photo by Glen Noble from Unsplash

No, seriously, I'm not, however much this particular internet artefact may attempt to convince you otherwise. I have a blog, sure, conceded and admitted. But I am not a blogger. Bloggers, to my mind, are people who devote their time and attention to producing blog content of a quality where that content stands alone. The blog, as Hamlet would probably say if he knew about blogs, is the thing*.

My blog is not the thing. If I'm honest I don't think novels are the thing either. I love writing novels but, of late, I like writing them in order to have material to turn into audio books. Audio content, ah, well, that might very well be the thing... more on that to follow.

All of this is a roundabout way to lead up to me saying that the days of "three massive content pieces every week" are going on hold now. However, dear reader, you should not presume a return to the days of "one post a year" because that's no good either.

I think where we want to be is regular check-ins and progress updates and maybe two serious content pieces every month, tangentially riffing off the content I have going on at the time.

So, I hear nobody clamouring to know, whither Discordianism? Is that last year's news. No, not at all. I credit my recent good fortunes in the well-spring of chaotic creativity entirely to my renewed interest in the Erisian principle and the Holy Chao. Since re-discovering Discordianism I have got Starfall done and published, pulled some eyeballs into this blog, which, at the end of the day is a blog, in the original sense of the word.

For those now puzzled, what I mean to say is, the early days of blogging allowed the blog producer the liberty to be as random as they wished to be in the content. It's only in later times that you have "food bloggers" or "tech bloggers" or "society bloggers". The idea in the early days was that a blog was an ongoing public journal that would go from cabbages to kings.

I am still running this joint on that basis, people are queuing up to tell me I'm doing my marketing wrong, but I've come to realise this misses the point. If I wanted to "market" with the objective of selling as much as possible indiscriminately then I guess I could. But that's not the kind of doodad I make.

I have never made a secret that the things I cherish most are things like my copy of Over The Edge which I bought after the system had lived it's short beautiful life and passed, long since, out of print. I love it because it speaks right to the core of me. So it took me 15 years from first publication to find it and embrace it, so what. I am the message in a bottle guy. I don't want a thousand bottles to reach a bunch of randoms, I want one bottle to reach the right person.

That's not a way to get rich but it's the way to connect nodes in the great global chaosphere. And that's what I am looking to do. I am a mystic, not a magician. It's all about understanding, it's not at all about power. For which reason, I realise I need to devote the little power I have carefully and, currently, the blog is sucking up too much resource. So, expect less carefully crafted content bombs but I am here, and I do check this and you can reach me, not that anyone has.

Now I'm off to start cooking some audio, it'll be ready in 2018 so you have plenty of time to clear your ears.

Sri Syadasti,

The Monkey

*Which has sent my mind off onto a tangent where I imagine proto-emo grandaddy of all emo kids Hamlet writing long screeds into his LiveJournal about how Claudius is a bastard and Gertrude just doesn't get him. "Oh, God," he would write, "my soul is a cavern of inky despair. Ophelia caught my eye in the courtyard earlier. Doesn't she know she's a popular girl? She and I could never have a meaningful relationship because all she cares about is lipstick and flowers. Going to hang out with Laertes later and listen to some My Chemical Romance. Mood: Contemplating The Void."

3 November 2017

Review Copies

Starfall's been out now for ~2 weeks and very rapidly I've found out that I don't want to give people the option of getting a copy free. Actually, that's not quite true, free as in beer I can handle as long as I know who wants a copy.

I worked a long time on Starfall, over a decade, in fact. Over the last two weeks "people" have stopped by my Smashwords page and chosen to "Pay What They Want" for a copy and none of them wanted to pay anything.

Here's what I think about those people who don't pay anything for the book. First, I suspect they're screen scrapers, procedural bots who hoover up anything that's not nailed down, digitally speaking. Second, I think that if they're not, they're worse.

I take free books when those books are marked "free". If I were to release a free book, and I have, I would say, this is free, enjoy it. Pay what you want, on the other hand, means "not nothing". Or at least it does to me. There are many albums on indie music site Bandcamp that are marked "Pay what you want". If an artist wants you not to pay for their music then they add **FREE DOWNLOAD** to the album title. Then you can take the music for free.

No doubt there are some people who take Pay What You Want music from Bandcamp for nothing. I am not one of those people. Even a nominal fee for the music is a way of saying that the work was worth something to you, the listener. Taking Pay What You Want stuff for a sum of zero just makes you look like a giant, unthinking content hoover.

I am not saying that those people - if they are people - who took my book for free are not going to read Starfall. What I am saying is that I don't believe they are. I find this to be like baking a bunch of delicious cookies and taking them out into the street to offer them to people. If the people believed that I was trying to poison them fine. But this is more like people are taking the cookies but they just snatch them on the way past, no eye contact, no greeting, no sense that they are aware that the human being that baked the cookie is standing, you know, right there at all.

Then, it's like those people throw those cookies away, after taking them, without even looking at them or smelling them or detecting that I threw a dash of vanilla in. Like the cookie was good enough to take but not good enough to eat afterward.

That's what I don't like. Take my book for free, or, at least for a like on my Facebook page and a message that says "Hi, I would like a free copy of your book because it looks interesting and I am happy to go on your mail list about future releases." If you want to not pay money for the book on that basis I am totally fine with that.

But I am not fine with you taking the book for literally nothing as if I am just a book writing machine that needs no more acknowledgement than a kettle. Sometimes I write things for a bit of fun, with a "take it or leave it" kind of attitude, then I will say, hey, just take a copy, that's fine. Starfall, in particular, is not one of those projects. I worked too damn hard on that book to have people not even say "Hi" when they have a copy gratis. So that is no longer an option.

If you don't want to engage with me but you want to read the book now the price is $4. A $0 copy is for people who are happy to like my facebook page and go on my mailing list.

Grump over. Have a nice day.