The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Some News of Minor Importance

Posted by BigWords on February 4, 2019

Having kinda, sorta, almost got the computer working, for the moment at least, there’s a few things which can’t be put off any longer. Having already lost a great deal of the technology I was counting on coaxing through until overcoming events, it looks as if I’m going to have to replace more than anticipated. This is problematic given my circumstances…

It has become apparent that no matter how many hours I put in, there’s simply no way I can make enough money to keep everything going, so – although I am loathe to do so – the only recourse left is to consider additional income. Things need to change. No matter how many hours I put in, and despite stretching myself across various jobs, money is an ever-present problem. Regardless of any attempts to improve matters already made, there is always another bill, another unexpected expenditure, another emergency.

For the past few weeks I have actually had stomach pains because of the stress, which (added to other lingering problems) is as distracting as all hell. This is a new thing. New things are meant to be nice – new things should be treats, not torments. The hours are killing me, and there’s little time left to think at the end of each day, never mind carry on with insane non-profit-making ventures such as the Database.

So I’m going to do something radical to rectify the situation.

Those of you who have read my thoughts here (and elseweb) will be aware that I am entirely disparaging of advertising. I really dislike the intrusion of irrelevant content alongside information, which is the essential definition of advertising. There are, admittedly, instances where the inclusion of such material adds something intangible to a work – such as in Victorian novels – though modern advertising is so often ugly and lacking in nuance as to completely turn me against its intrusive nature.

I’ll be cracking open the files and notebooks, and presenting a bunch of writing which really deserve their time in the sun. Better still, there will be complete explanations of how I work things out. All the secret tips and tricks I’ve accumulated over the years, with which I have made my writing appear slightly smarter than it actually is. There will also be a few new things which I’ve had bubbling away at the back of my brain for a very long time.

All manner of creations will be covered, and – as soon as there is enough money to purchase a fully-working computer, scanner, and hard drive – start to get some of the artwork uploaded as well as the writing. If things go really well, I’m planning on expanding to cover videos and other goodies.

The subject of income has always been a problem. As much as there are things I want to do, there needs to be some additional income otherwise I’m going to perpetually be in the situation I find myself in at the moment, struggling to keep afloat week by week (which is, I have to admit, my own fault for following what I deem to be interesting ideas rather than seeking lucrative assignments), and of the ways to bridge the two is Patreon.

While it isn’t a perfect solution, it is a way to (hopefully) stem the amount of money I am hemorrhaging.

On that subject, I’ll also add that I’m not taking any more “helpful advice” from family and friends, as every time I listen to suggestions on how I should be doing things, my life merely gets more difficult and expensive – as much as such “assistance” is appreciated, for the thought if nothing else, it isn’t doing me any good. While I’m not going to go into specifics, I am, at this point, too tired – and in too much pain – to keep going in this manner.

There was a while there when it seemed like everything was going wrong, but a few jobs going I’m *almost* making enough to cover expenses. “Almost” being the pertinent word in that sentence. It doesn’t leave me any time to write, or – if I am brutally honest – time to consider anything save for getting through another week. It isn’t the best place to be, and I’m really, really missing the time to do interesting things.

Which brings me back to what I am beginning:

Gary James Presents

Egotism much? Well… Yeah. Deal with it.

You’ll probably be wondering why I didn’t merely use this blog, and that’s a good question – I don’t want people to be frustrated by the posts being locked to non-Patreon subscribers, which might be seen as an annoyance, and I don’t want to force people to subscribe to something which is going to cost them money. It is rude to presume that people will want to have another commitment, and regardless, I’ve plans to eventually cover some things here that wouldn’t sit well with the purpose of the new blog.

That purpose, in case the name didn’t give it away, being to present all of the material I have written.

It may take a lot time to get through everything…

That I intensely dislike the notion of asking people to pay for blog content should be obvious from comments I have made. This isn’t a decision which I have made easily, and it isn’t one which I particularly care for, but I’m at a loss as to how I can break away from endless hours of toiling. The worst thing about the way things are, beyond a general lack of working equipment, is that there is nothing to show for the weeks as they pass. I’m getting no closer to any goals.

Because I’m planning on posting every day it doesn’t make sense to ask for money on a per-post basis – for as little as a dollar you can follow along as I disassemble storytelling techniques, slam genres together, arrive at strange and unsettling conclusions, and point out where things come from. While I’m doing that, I’ll also update the material which has appeared elsewhere (including here) to include some insights I’ve had in my time away.

If that doesn’t work, I’m going to be wearing a sign reading “Will write for food.”

Posted in writing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

And There’s More…

Posted by BigWords on April 12, 2016

The one thing I am missing more than anything is real-time interaction. These posts are going to be appearing, and I have no way of gauging the reaction to any of the surprises I am throwing out there. Viewing indie publishing as the seventh of the Big Six, which is not as revolutionary a notion as you might think, probably comes closest to a game-breaker, but I am already ahead of the curve in considering this.

There is a chance, for those reading yesterday’s post, that some people are already working out ways to game the system – to get links to their books with the least possible effort so they can get as much out of it as possible. Here’s where I step in with a little thing called Balancing (Wikia) – if you are considering what I have already put forth, I suggest learning about balancing and (please, I’m begging you) take into account the way it works.

Somewhere online there used to be a fantastic quote about balancing – I think it was about MechWarrior or a similar game. It basically laid out the fact that it was possible to have an immensely overpowered playable character while keeping the entire game from revolving around the acquisition of more firepower. You don’t have to understand any of that to get a good understanding though. I’ll break down the principle as it applies here.

Reciprocal links between titles are a bad thing. It shunts the reader back and forth between a tightly-centered community of writers, limiting the opportunity for a reader to discover new, exciting works, and isolates those outside of the community which is heavily promoting their material. It is, if you like, a part of the balancing process. Links are not something to be traded, but something to be offered (without the expectation of same) because a title is worth promoting.

And where, the cries undoubtedly come, do these links go? Ah, that’s the best part. After the text of course. You have the standard “other titles by this author” bit, where people who have enjoyed the title can go find more books, then you have “by this publisher” for titles that are from the same publisher. Right after these, there needs to be a “Recommended Reading” section, where the good stuff you love and want to highlight goes. This is the special little section which guaranteed you a place in the hearts and minds of authors and readers.

But wait – what if someone does all this, then starts acting like a dick? There’s a solution for every problem, and this one is especially simple. You don’t simply start removing links to an author who is using fake reviews, or slamming others on their blog, or… Whatever the flavor of the day for bad behavior is. We need to cultivate the respect of our audiences, and that comes with a cost. The cost, in this case, isn’t financial. We need patience with those who are, perhaps, a little looser in their concept of respect and wisdom.

We need a naughty step.

A reference, I am certain, which needs no explaining to a large number of people reading this. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it is a “time out” for people behaving badly.

Which brings us to another problem – who determines what is bad behavior? I, certainly, have neither the time nor the patience to go through thousands of authors’ blogs and websites to vet the ideas which might be considered inappropriate, and I wouldn’t want to even if I had the time. That ain’t my job. It’s something the writing community needs to have a long discussion about.

Okay, so that’s two serious posts in a row.

For the moment, while this is still something on paper rather than an all-out attack on the stability of the overwhelming forces at play in publishing, lets decompress – here are three cool things everyone can undertake in the next week.

  1. A Recommended Reading page on your blog or website, highlighting at least ten indie books you feel deserve wider recognition. Leave links in the comments – when I get back online I’ll okay any which have been held up in the spam filter.
  2. Reach out to your fellow authors and talk. No ‘buy my book’ nonsense – just normal interaction. I know you can all do this, because I was reading your blogs before my ‘vacation.’
  3. Start writing up your lists of books for the back matter of your forthcoming books. As you go forward you should hopefully see how this brings readers to minor works, and as it costs nothing to do it ain’t exactly a stress factor on your schedule.

Tomorrow I promise there will be less serious, though none the less interesting, thoughts on something which has been bothering me since I caught up on happenings in the world.

Posted in Misc., publishing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Being “not dead” and all…

Posted by BigWords on April 1, 2016

Man, has the last couple of years sucked. I won’t go into all the detail, because–well, it would depress everyone, and I would have to explain so much that it would make me depressed. Anyway, the time spent thinking wasn’t a complete wash. There’s an announcement that is likely going to make no sense whatsoever set for the end of the month, though my involvement will initially be minimal. Which is, in a roundabout way, the prompt for me busting my ass to get back online, even in a marginal form.

While I was thinking, and there are weeks when all I did was ponder questions, the good graces of Polyhymnia, Calliope and Melpomene shone upon me. So many weird thoughts. The following few posts may skew towards more heavy lifting than would ordinarily appear on this blog, but there are things in the Really Intelligent Notions which aren’t entirely my own.

What do you have to look forward to? Well, there’s a possible answer to a physics question that people have been pondering for years, though I doubt I have all of the pieces to do it justice, there’s some linguistic things that have cropped up, and there’s other… IDK. Stuff. It has all been percolating in my brain, and getting it out here may help others – but if anyone gets a Nobel Prize or anything, I want a name-check. ‘Kay.

For the reasons in the first paragraph, commenting is off.

The following posts are scheduled to run daily, so check back for the thoughts that have kept me (mostly) sane for the past couple of years.

Posted in Misc., Over The Line | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Being “not dead” and all…

Random Thoughts

Posted by BigWords on April 7, 2012

Both Scalzi and Cat Valente have written, of late, about the trend for female writers to get more abuse online than male writers (for women in general to get more hate mail and death threats, if everything is taken into consideration) – but why is this? I’ll level with you here… I’ve never been able to understand the automatic and extreme comments based solely on gender. It isn’t that I refuse to understand the rampant sexism, nor is it that I am intentionally being obstinate when it comes to sexual politics in the digital era, it is that threatening someone with rape and murder is something which is abhorrent and unjustifiable no matter the means by which the comment is made – in person it would be considered a death threat, on the internet it is considered business as usual.

And people wonder why my fiction is filled with horrible characters doing nasty things?

So my view of humanity may, on the whole, be less optimistic than Thomas Hobbes. Don’t all rush to point out the brief hope spots the acts of individuals have given us, as that is missing the big picture. Individuals can be good, but groups (seen explicitly in riots) are rather moronic. Get a large enough gathering of people in one place (comic conventions being, by and large, the exception to the rule – though even there…) and sooner or later there will be some kind of incident. I’m probably jaded by years of reading about the various acts of unimaginable horror humanity has committed, but the feeling that it is encoded in our genes somewhere refuses to shake off.

The most enlightening part of this whole debate isn’t the fact that women are being openly persecuted by men (with, presumably, very small penises, a mother fixation, and a collection of small shoes in their basement), but the incident which kicked off this exceptional openness – Christopher Priest’s reaction to an awards nomination list.


I mean… Seriously?

Awards are only important for a very brief time. That time is not when the nominees are announced. Nor is it important after the award has been given. Any awards ceremony has a lifespan of importance which spans hours, sometimes much shorter spans of time. On an individual level, that may increase exponentially in relation to achievement, but I really don’t care. I’m not going to rush out to buy a book just because it has been placed on something which roughly equates to a “best of” list, and I don’t tend to get titles which have “winner of” strap lines above the title. Note, please, that I have bought books which display such markings, though they were on my list of books to read regardless of irrelevancies such as awards and prizes. Merely being named a good read isn’t enough to convince me to buy a title, and Christopher Priest – a writer who has many excellent titles under his belt – shouldn’t be worrying too much about the absence of his favorite writers from any nominee list.

The uproar about the reaction to an award list is something which confuses me as much as the gender-based commenting policies of those knuckle-draggers Cat was describing in her blog. Because my view of awards is so low, there are only two I really pay the slightest bit of attention to any more – the Eagle Awards (which always highlights at least one title I should be reading), the Hugo Awards – though I don’t tend to read anything until two to three years after being brought to my attention. The main issue with literary prizes is that there are so damn many of the things that each new award is a dilution of the importance of all the rest, with the result that they are almost as important as the announcement of a new Uwe Boll film.

Maybe less important, as Uwe Boll films afford me the luxury of guilt-free mockery.

Actually, awards may serve the same function for some.

In any event, mark me down as unimpressed and rather bemused. There’s a stack of novels I’ve been diligently working my way through for the better part of a decade, and I am only a fraction of the way through the output of numerous important titles.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the only acceptable thing to say upon winning an award is this: “About bloody time.” The cloying, saccharine-sweet bullshit where people thank their parents, their agent, God, the voices in their head, and the plot-by-post service of their choice, is almost as bad as sending a Native American up to receive the award in a blatantly showboating move. Go check that debacle out on YouTube if you haven’t already seen it…

And because it bears repeating, here’s J. Michael Straczynski talking about women:

…I like really strong females in real life. I enjoy being challenged, one-upped and outsmarted by really clever, strong, independent women. I delight in it. I cherish it.

And another thing: A Song Of Ice And Fire isn’t half as good as people on the interwebs would have you believe…

Posted in Over The Line | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Scumbag Of The Week: Jason Peterson

Posted by BigWords on April 2, 2012

Just a quick heads-up for people who should be aware of things going on in the interwebs.


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I Haz BlogType AwardThing – End Of The World Imminent

Posted by BigWords on June 19, 2010

There are, apparently, “rules” I must follow (yes, the dreaded R-word popping up on my blog again) so I’ll put in bold the important stuff. I’m bending the format of this award-thing, but it won’t do any harm. 🙂

Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.

The excellent and entertaining Claire Gillian, who probably should have read all of the previous posts before highlighting the insanity which can be found here as award-worthy, has her post here. Massive thanks for this undeserving blog being mentioned alongside Amanda Plavich, Regan Leigh, Julie Loden, Damien Grintalis et al. Go look at the post in full, and follow Claire on Twitter here. Yes, that is an order.

Onto the next part of the award…

Share seven things about yourself.

Damn. I knew it wouldn’t be so easy… Okay. Seven things about me. For people who have been following this blog for a while, the “revelations” will be old news, so I’m expanding somewhat on each entry. Plus I’ll throw in a couple of things I can’t remember having written about here – I may have made reference to them elsewhere, but it’ll keep this post from being deathly dull.

# 1. I have OCD. Aside from the incessant collecting of books, computer games, DVDs, CDs, odd bits of hardware and other items, there is a running theme of the number four. Multiples of four, and references to the number, crop up everywhere, and even though a lot of the time I know I’m doing things in fours, it also appears unexpectedly in things when I don’t expect it to. It’s one of the reasons why lists show up so often, and why I obsess over the right way to do lists, and associated gathering and distribution of information.

This may be of importance later. Just saying…

# 2. I smoke. A lot. These days, admitting that you smoke is on a par with admitting that you like to eat human flesh, but for centuries it was positively encouraged. The fact that governments make billions of pounds (and probably trillions of dollars in the US) is conveniently overlooked when self-righteous politicians appear on television to say that smoking is bad. By my continued smoking, I am putting money back into the running of my country like a good little citizen. Yay for smoking.

# 3. I like bad movies. Not that films have to be bad for me to enjoy them (Godfather II is one of my all-time favorite films), but I can get as much enjoyment from RoboCop 3 as I can from Solaris or El Topo – I did grow up with a constant stream of Roger Corman, Charles Band and Lew Grade productions feeding my imagination, so the emphasis on plot and storytelling over FX probably enables me to overcome the horrific visuals of certain films.

# 4. I read a lot. Anything. Everything. The lack of distinction between genre and literary (and between genres) means I don’t really care about the barriers which some people manage to raise between books – it’s all good. It’s all equal. The Road, a novel hailed as a literary work, reminds me so much of the seventies Italian post-apocalyptic films that I can enjoy its schlocky elements – it’s a fine book, but it’s a brilliant meta-novelization of all those films. Hate me for that comment if you want, but the blatant inspiration for the novel remains evident.

# 5. I make sketches of all my characters. Even the ones who are never properly described get some form of illustrative work done for them, so I can keep straight in my head who each character is. I also do a lot more background material than anyone should ever contemplate, but it all helps solidify the worlds I try to bring to life. This has been covered in some length here before, but it bears repeating – the more I know about the characters and locations, the more I can deliver with the words I chose.

# 6. I used to smoke a lot of legally questionable stuff. When I say “a lot” I really mean shitloads, and when I say “legally questionable” I mean illegal. It is rare that I tell this story, but seeing as I have this special occasion I might as well tell you about this: Probably eight or nine years ago, with quite a nice buzz already, I thought I had run out of resin. The hopeful part of my brain said no, whilst the logical part decided otherwise. In my bedside drawer I found what I believed to be the remnants of my last bender, and promptly stuck it in the pipe. Big mistake. It was a piece of plastic, and it scratched my throat up for weeks. There’s a damn good reason why people aren’t meant to burn things made of plastic.

On a similar note, I have eaten bread with mold on it. You’ve seen when bread gets the blue stuff? Yeah. I scraped off the blue bits with a knife and coated it in a thick layer of butter and honey. It’s hard to describe the bitter, lingering taste of food which has gone off, but I can tell you this – the taste will stick with you for the better part of a week. Doesn’t matter how many times you brush your teeth, or rinse with mouthwash, the dry and clinging aroma of fouled bread will be with you.

# 7. I couldn’t use my hands for a couple of days as a teenager. Or maybe younger… The specifics are vague, but I got really, really annoyed with a friend, and as I was walking out of his house through the close (an external passageway through the house) I punched out with both my arms. Naturally, balled fists against bricks are no match, and my hands were quite badly bruised up. The lesson in there is probably something to do with not letting anger get the better of you, but I like to think that the lesson is really about using biotech to surpass the frailties we were born with.

Given half the chance, I would *so* opt in for the full Steve Majors upgrade. And, y’know, if anyone has a spare biomod canister lying around… Just saying…

Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason!

So I’m guessing I should at least try and keep to the spirit of the third rule. “Recently discovered” means that I ought to highlight the peeps whom I have only recently discovered. Yeah. So the definition of recently is perhaps being stretched to stretching point with my choices, but I’m playing this my way. To avoid favoritism, I’m not counting any blogs which were mentioned in Claire’s post. That isn’t to say I wouldn’t have picked anyone mentioned alongside me, because I would have. Just playing fair to the folks who haven’t been given a chance, or tormented with this, yet.

1. Benjamin Solah (follow on Twitter)
2. Beth Plus a quick mention of her other blog, because nothing in the rules says I can’t do so.
3. Blake M. Petit (follow on Twitter)
4. Justin Caynon (follow on Twitter)
5. Effie Collins (follow on Twitter)
6. Jamie DeBree (follow on Twitter)
7. Melanie Avila (follow on Twitter)
8. Emily Cross (follow on Twitter)
9. Christopher S. Daley (follow on Twitter)
10 Ralfast There’s also not one, but two other blogs you should check out. (follow on Twitter)
11 Daniel Sos (follow on Twitter)
12 ArachneJericho (follow on Twitter)
13 Scott Williams (follow on Twitter)
14 Nanda O (follow on Twitter)
15 Romi Moondi (follow on Twitter)

Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.

That’s more of a demand than a proper part of the rules. *sigh* Yeah. Fine. I’ll get right on it.


Knowing my luck, I’ve probably screwed up one of the above links, so feel free to bitch and whine at me if you find any errors. I may fix them if you catch me in a good mood. No guarantees though…

Posted in Misc., Over The Line, writing | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Some Kind Of Update

Posted by BigWords on March 9, 2010

Thwock, thwock, thwock, thwock, thwock…

The sound reverberates around my head, a constant reminder that I’m too damn stubborn to relax. This is all my fault, and I can’t help feeling that I deserve the pain. Ah, but you’re wondering why I dropped off the face of the planet – or, at least, the internet, which these days is pretty much one and the same thing… I have managed to get online to check out some stuff, but anything requiring concentration has eluded my abilities, the worst moment being Sunday afternoon, when the browser seemed to be scrolling down in a constant movement. It wasn’t the browser, and it took me a couple of minutes to realize that the problem lay not within the bowels of the infernal machine, but within my eyes. It’s the strangest feeling to have something I rely on so much (my eyesight) betray me in such a way.
Inside my right eye, under the bottom lid, is some kind of a spot or something, a little white blemish against the bright pink flesh, which has been furiously scratching at my eyeball every time I blink. And there is the noise…

Thwock, thwock, thwock, thwock, thwock…

Damnable noise. The earache is back, and it sounds for all the world as if a Chinook is trying (unsuccessfully) to take off in my head. The inside of my ear feels like it has swollen to three times its normal size, and the entire left side of my head is throbbing in sympathy pains. Couture damnations, indeed. I knew that there would be a Karmic penalty for the constant activity which has driven me from everything I had lined up, but I didn’t realize it would be so blunt, so sudden and so terribly debilitating. Maybe it has something to do with the limited amount of sleep I have had over the past few weeks, ’cause the last time I felt this shitty was when I found it impossible to sleep.

So sleep, huh. yeah, the most I have had recently is two hours at a stretch, with the average being about an hour. I’ve tried all of the so-called remedies, but they are – more or less – a complete waste of time. The drugs which claim to give uninterrupted sleep used to work, but I was taking double the recommended dosage every time I used them, and even then I only hit about five hours of decent sleep. The damn earache has been waking me up as soon as I can get shut-eye, so that only exacerbates the problem. The thumping, ricocheting noise which threatens sanity and destroys the ability to develop any level of concentration continues, beyond the reach of painkillers and meditation techniques alike – the demon which will not be satisfied until something snaps.

Thwock, thwock, thwock, thwock, thwock…

I’ll share a little something here, just because there seems to be a misunderstanding amongst folks who can sleep normally, and I expect you to be paying attention – there is no fun to be had with this shit. Seriously, whenever there is a film or TV show where a main character has insomnia it rapidly flows into the realms of fantasy… I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to switch off a DVD or change channels because of the idiocy of the script. There are levels to insomnia, and there are different types (subtle differences to doctors, perhaps – the end effects are still the same), but never have I experienced the kinds of stuff you see in films. No hallucinations which feel real, and certainly no conversations with imaginary people. No fun aural hallucinations either. I do get time displacement, which is rarely given any consideration in media representations of the affliction.

Time displacement is weirdness squared. I generally manage pretty well, but on the odd occasion where I get hit hard… Not the best time to try and make sense of anything I say or do. When I arrived home on Sunday night I dropped my bag in the hall, made myself a coffee, then worked out a schedule which would be the best use of my time (hitting the right connections) for Monday’s travels. I then grabbed my bag, checked my watch, and discovered that I was late for the train – a full six hours before I actually needed to catch the train. This is typical of being awake for so long – days kinda bleed into one another, and only the darkening of the sky is any indication of days passing by. Lost time is similar to time displacement, but altogether more scary. I black out for short periods of time, less than a couple of minutes mostly, while I continue to perform whatever it was I was doing when I black out. When walking along a busy road this can be life-endangering. Still think insomnia is fun and games?

And my eyes… The rawness has (mostly) disappeared, but my eyes still hurt. I think I may be dehydrated, but I can never remember if I have drunk anything – or, for that matter, if I have had anything to eat. Trying to keep an eye on how much weight I may be losing isn’t really possible when I don’t know for sure which day it is, so the best I have managed to come up with is an alarm on my ‘phone which beeps every eight hours reminding me that it is a good idea to get some nourishment. Better than starving to death I guess. Is it unusual for a person not to feel hungry? Or thirsty? No idea. The times during which my sleep patterns have leveled off seem so distant now that it’s hard to recall exactly when the last time I felt ‘normal’ was.

I’ll try to post more regularly, but at the moment it seems that there is too much to deal with. Thank Cthulhu for codeine (the best over-the-counter pain relief ) and Jack Daniels… If I can hold together enough of my limited attention span together I may be able to write something worth reading soon.

Posted in Misc., Over The Line | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Year Ain’t Over, So Stop Mourning It

Posted by BigWords on December 22, 2009

There’s a lot of posts being written at the moment which seem to lament the passing of another year. Somehow I’m not feeling the motion towards a new year yet, though I’m sure there are people who have been planning their December blog posts for a while now. It is, after all, the final chance to comment on all of the news stories, to bitch about the way we’re all a year older, to state defiantly that next year will be better (c’mon – it can’t be worse, right?) and to place their spin on the current state of the world. That is all fine and well, but there are still some days to go before I have to retrain myself to write the correct year on stuff. I hate the time at the start of a new year when I always get the date wrong.

When people write up their summations of the past year, and the past decade, they will try to confuse you with stories about personal growth – the need to show off and explain how they’re somehow a better person is one of the (many) things which still eludes me. If I had a personal growth I’d be making an appointment for my doctor to immediately get it removed, but that’s just my opinion. If you like your growths where they are, then by all means show them to the world. I’m not gonna pretend that I’ve mellowed any. Hell, if anything I’m even more bitter and twisted than ever (I watched Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen), still as impulsive… Maybe even less sociable than ever.

And why, now of all times, do people suddenly come over all sentimental – as if the year which has just kicked them in the ass never happened? I’m beginning to wonder if there is something I’m missing out on. Is it just me, alone here, mocking the frivolities of an arbitrary date we are held in thrall to? It isn’t as if there is a rule that we have to enjoy the “season of goodwill to all men” and be merry. Merry. Hmmm… Merrymerrymerry. After a while it isn’t even a word anymore, yet it is everywhere at the moment. It doesn’t really inspire goodwill in me rather than an uncontrollable urge to punch somebody. Anyone. The next person who says ‘Merry Christmas” perhaps.

One thing the last twelve months has taught me, in the particularly annoying way that only time can, was that I shouldn’t make plans. I really shouldn’t make plans. Three of my big ones were utterly ruined by unforseen events, so I can only surmise that there is some weird universal constant which determines that the making of plans is a Very Bad Thing. That sits just fine with me. I was planning on (maybe) sending out some Christmas cards this year, but haven’t. No biggie… The world hasn’t ended, there are no impending problems, and I doubt anyone will really notice.

I am, of course, going to use the fact that I’m not sending out cards as a way to appease the global warming nutters – never passing up an opportunity to make myself look good will remain a personal goal, though it hardly counts as a positive thing.

Oh, and if you, dear reader, happen to be one of those global warming nutters advocates, tell me this: Why am I freezing my balls off under a blanket of snow here in Scotland? If the planet is getting warmer, which I doubt, where have the sunny skies gone? I’ll concede that there isn’t as much of the white stuff (well, the other white stuff anyways) as there used to be, but it hardly constitutes proper scientific proof to the very, very debatable theory we’re screwing up the planet. Answer me, science bods.

2009 was the year we put war behind us and… Oh, wait. No, we’re still at war. How the hell are we still at war? Did anyone sign anything? I seem to remember some vague promises about decreased involvement in Iraq, but a promise from a politician is as good as supermarket credit- you’ll get screwed in the end, it’s only a question of how hard you want it. The endless reporting is one of the reasons I try not to watch BBC News 24 or Sky, because they seem to revel in the misery and human despair. With video footage. Lots of video footage. It’s a good thing nobody else seems to be watching, or they’ll wrangle a way to keep the war going longer for good ratings.

We didn’t disappear into a giant black hole when the Super-Collider was plugged in, which disappointed and overjoyed an equal amount of people. I guess that the naysayers had a point about dangerous experiments, but their massive knee jerk overreactions were a personal highlight of the last year – one particularly good commentary claimed it might open up a hell dimension and plunge us into the game Doom for real. Seriously. That shit is hilarious, and I am really disappointed that it didn’t pan out as expected – man, I really, really want a FBG. More than I want peace on earth. More than I want to find an agent.

2009, huh? Bit of a let-down. At least we managed to move some ways into the future, with bionic limbs being advanced, a robotic eye that seems to hold promise, advances in robotics, tweaks to the way the internet works… Soon (prob’ly not in my lifetime) we’ll actually have spaceflight on a regular basis. No, wait a sec – Richard Branson is getting all hot and bothered about a plane/spaceship thingy which might, possibly, precluding problems, actually deliver on that promise from the pages of The Eagle comic. We’re still waiting on proof that it won’t develop a problem on its’ inaugural flight, requiring Superman to bring it back to earth safely (okay, so that reference is asking a bit much of you).

I should mention Obama somewhere here, as that was a highlight – as was the redneck KKK fuckers who were caught with guns, then were stupid enough to admit they were going to kill the president. Jeez, Darwinism in action. I bet their parents are proud. Politics… I really don’t think anyone comes here for insights into politics, but I have to say this – 2009 was the year we discovered just how low, underhand, scumbaggy (is that a word?) and compromised some leaders were. Gordon Brown betrayed the UK every few days, The Italian government flip-flopped like a dying fish, the Chinese and Aussie governments tried to choke the life out of the internet… Bad year for politicians.

Oooh, lookee – I made some political commentary and managed to conveniently neglect mentioning how badly British politicians have been working the system to line their own pockets. Or how one of their number was caught with an illegal immigrant working on their staff. Or how we had reports of the stupid lengths some MP’s were willing to go to screw over their constituents.

Somehow it doesn’t seem like anything ever changes, no matter which year we are in.

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A Quick Word Or Two…

Posted by BigWords on December 7, 2009

My television, however, is still FUBAR. Which means that I had to start my Secret Blog Project (down in the blogroll to the right) with a review of an old book I had lying around. There are enough reviews already written that I’m not too worried about the lack of a television at the moment, but if I need to re-watch some DVDs to freshen my memory of them… Well, I’m pretty much screwed.

Here’s another Transformers pic. I swear, this is the last of them for now.

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A Quick Word About New Projects

Posted by BigWords on December 1, 2009

There’s always something going on, and it can be hard to remain focused on what I’m meant to be doing, so I thought I would share some of the things which have been bubbling under the surface and are almost ready to begin work on properly. This does, of course, mean I am taking on yet more commitments, though I have enough material stashed away to prevent them overwhelming me. Hopefully. I can’t guarantee that things will go smoothly, but I can guarantee that there will be a wealth of information available from my archives very soon. Both of the not-quite-ready blogs I am getting ready to add to my blogroll are going to be based around reviews and associated material.

The first of the blogs will appear at some point in the next week or so, with the second added when I get the chance to dig out the reference work I have been gathering for the last few years. The addition of two new blogs doesn’t mean that I’ll be ignoring this slice of insanity on a regular basis, nor does it mean that the book blog will be pushed to one side. If anything, the addition of two new blogs will allow me to put more material online than at present. It will also allow me to cover material I haven’t yet taken the opportunity to spend any time thinking about, adding links throughout all of the blogs to tie everything together in one meta-blog. Did I just come up with a brand new term? Quite possibly…

I have considered adding a fifth blog to the weekly duties, specifically centered on artwork I like, though that might wait a while. Diluting my free time with things to do is part of my attempts to keep busy while everyone else is asleep, ’cause the insomnia is really beginning to affect the way I spend my time. It really isn’t healthy to spend so much time arguing with the radio and causing mayhem around the net. I need constructive work to keep my idle hands from giving the devil work to do – or something.

I’ll finish up here with another pic which I like.

I didn’t draw it, so the blame can’t be pinned on me.

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