RLLauthor@outlook.com and @RLL_author GO TO AMAZON KINDLE STORE AND TYPE RLL. YOU WILL FIND MY BOOKS.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

THERE'S NOTHING LEFT TO SAY ABOUT FALEENA HOPKINS: A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

No, I'm not late to this party. I went to the other place, and dropped by here as the dawn rose and the clean-up was well underway.
   The dust settled over the dust that had already settled over this one. That's deliberate. I didn't feel like jumping in feet-first and head very far behind the action when the story crashed into the wild. Here's the long and the short of it...

*

I wish more authors would read copyright law and cast a glance over trade mark law when deciding to embark on the stormy journey of turning themselves into authors.
   Do you want to be a writer? Read the copyright law covering your jurisdiction. Check out the law in other countries where your work might wash ashore.
   I've been involved in copyright issues as a matter of routine. Occasionally, I've brushed up against copyright's industrious cousin, trade mark law.
   And I've resolved all the issues without recourse to a single court battle.


*

Before I chased after publishing deals, I made a point of reading copyright law. Scandalous, I know. To think that I'd go and check up on the primary piece of legislation governing the industry I wished to operate in. Yes, BEFORE I sent a manuscript off anywhere.
   What the red wet fuck was I thinking?
   I was thinking...I don't want to be sued over anything, ever. But I definitely don't want to be sued over something that I can easily bring under control - behaviour relating to copyright.
   And that's my behaviour covering my own copyright material as well as my responses to all the other stuff by everyone else and the kitchen sink, too.
   The main copyright law I work under is the 1988 act, amended down the years. But I've looked at the law in other countries and from other time-frames.
   There's nothing in there, or in any of the trade mark acts, letting you smash your stamp down on a generic word like, oh, say, why not choose one at random...the word...
   COCKY.
   This sort of nonsense didn't work for the (far from) Fine brothers when they attempted to stamp a trade mark on (PEOPLE) REACT TO videos, and it didn't do Faleena Hopkins any good when she tried her land-grab on the real estate known as the word COCKY.
   You can't make money from putting my work out as your own. I will Liam Neeson your buttocks. Just take out the reference to daughter in that scene and put the phrase my writing there, instead. Copyright law is there for me.
   But as Robert De Niro insists, there's a flip-side to that coin. I can't charge rent from the entire world and half the moon just by grabbing a trade mark to the word COCKY.

*

If you register a trade mark, don't make a mess of it before you start. The money you spend washes away in the rain of your own tears.
   Not the tears of your lawyers - the legal eagles are paid promptly, after all.
   If you think you've come up with a property that you should be charging everyone rent on, ask yourself this important question: did you bother to read and really attempt to understand the law?
   Even then, professional legal advice is recommended thrice-over.
   Authors should stick to writing stories, and not have endless stories written about their conduct. We all learn that the hard way. Some of those scribblers learn it harder than the rest of us, it seems.
   This purple-faced incident was another of those writerly things boiling away over in the world of the romance books. I list a few romance authors in my group of writer friends, and they rolled their eyes so hard at Faleena's moment of madness that the world almost tremored.
   That tells you everything. And so...
   I don't have anything left to say about Faleena Hopkins and her land-grab over the word COCKY.
   Crank up your search engine and wade into the mire as deep as you dare. Plenty of people are out there in swamp-boats, and they've mapped the hazards in detail.


*

Read copyright law. When required, read it again. Those acts are amended, after all. Not to the extent that we, as writers, get to camp out over words...waiting for flies to run into the webs we've set up. Hell, no.
   Cast a glance over trade mark law, too.
   I've said it before. Avoid litigation. Instead, create. But I should add...avoid grabbing a word for your own evil purposes. The world will mock you for being too...
   Greedy.
   Come on. You didn't think I was going to end with the word cocky...
   ;)


   

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

CONTENT CREATION. YOUTUBE PROGRESS: A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

The thing about posting your first YouTube video is that you should post a second one.
   When you post a second one, YouTube sends congratulations on creating a proper channel, doing responsible things, and saving the day. You aren't a one-video wonder.
   That's YouTube progress.
   I went through this before, publishing on Amazon. With my first book published, I closed in on a deadline to put out a second work, and had a deadline beyond that to publish the third one. These deadlines were measured in weeks.
   On YouTube, I had a deadline for my first video, based on a competition. Publish and be damned. I could put out a video more-or-less every week, right?
   These videos are meant to run around ten minutes. Okay, the second one turned into an epic more than double that limit. I'm all for experimentation.
   Learned that from a nutritionist named Frankenstein.



How are things going so far?   
   Chaotically.
   And that's good.



  
This first video was cut down to fit inside fifteen minutes. I spent a week navigating my way through, on and off - and that was with a load of equipment to hand. With the unboxing video out of the way, I turned to gaming equipment...





I tightened the scripting process and made my dice tower video in a day. Boom. I felt it important to tell beginners what a dice tower is and why you might want to use one in boardgaming.
   Why not start with a video on dice before discussing dice towers? Well, m'lud, y' see, it's like this...





How to get into this dicey subject? I knew any talk on dice would end up as a long talk on dice. This video turned into a week of effort down in the lab, and couldn't be scripted, filmed, and edited inside a day.
   The battle was to create a video out of the clean-up from the video before. And I struggled to keep that down to half an hour. Editing the hell out of sound as well as vision, the best I managed was dropping the finished product as close to twenty minutes as I could.




You'd think a ten-minute video on content creation would be a quickie, done in a day. But I had to fix a few bits and pieces with a second run of filming.

   These ten-minute videos are all longer than ten minutes. Raggy? Ruh-oh.
   If I can script, film, and edit in one day, then I always have the option of a second stab at filming extra scenes to emphasise a point or to address pacing issues...
   And I'd like to do that second run on the same day. It isn't always possible to stick to the plan. But it's no great failure to return to a project a day later and see what sort of glorious mess you've almost come up with.
   There'll be more videos. Longer videos. Not just game equipment movies or unboxing sagas. There'll be no more unboxing sagas, though. This, I vow.
   Just as I vowed there'd be no unboxing videos on my YouTube channel...
   That went well. What's the first video on there? Sensitive readers, look away now.
   The inevitable Patreon, and Patreon video, must follow. But I've decided I need a good ten videos out there, trying to be helpful to gaming beginners, before I wave the monetary flag.
   And then we'll run into the technical difficulties of actual gameplay. The plan is to run games internationally, from my Top Secret Volcano Base, without being jammed by the Soviets.
   Did I just say Soviets? Must be thinking of a spy boardgame with a Cold War theme to it. Koff koff.



I am dropping hints about future videos in the mini-movies I'm making now. Where is it all leading? That's obvious.

   The channel will play Dungeons & Dragons with Vin Diesel on the Orient Express and then alight for a game of Istanbul in Istanbul, followed by a chilly game of K2...at the foot of K2. Not climbing that one.
   We'll top it off with a quick trip to Mars for a game of Mission: Red Planet. These goals are all easily attainable. Diesel on the Orient Express.



Though we may have to curb Mr Diesel's dice-rolling techniques., to avoid shattering the crockery...




Attainable goals. Turkish coffee in tiny cups. The game has nothing to do with coffee - it's all about rubies. Unless you play the game with the expansion that's all about coffee...



Mountaineering in a game without doing any real mountaineering. Hell, we can throw in caving without going to any caves. Call it a two-for-one deal...






The mission to Mars I am not sure about...that may mean having to travel with Elon Musk. Always a risky proposition. A good anti-fungal cream should see us all through.





Image of Vin Diesel taken from D&Diesel with Vin Diesel, and used here under the copyright doctrines of Fair Dealing and Fair use for purposes of illustration. Click on Vin Diesel to go to that video.

For my video channel, click here...








Wednesday, 1 August 2018

RISE OF TRIBES UNBOXING: A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

Alchemical procedures concluded, I posted a video on YouTube. That post saw the start of my YouTube channel, featuring videos on tabletop games: equipment, gameplay, random thoughts, and, yes, an unboxing.



RISE OF TRIBES, by Breaking Games, may be the only game to feature in an unboxing video on the channel. We'll call it a first and a last.
   The channel isn't about producing unboxing videos. It's all about telling stories based around games, whether those are boardgames, card games, or roleplaying games.



Still, you must start somewhere. There's a competition to win loot, and a deadline hovers. If you wait around for the perfect moment, you'll never create content. But if you have the rocket of a deadline up your arse, that tends to focus your concentration.



I'll continue with a few game equipment videos after the unboxing. Soon enough, I'll tackle a gameplay video.
   If all goes loosely according to my non-plans, the first game video will be an international event of a piratical nature with Melissa C. Water. We'll play a game in the face of her Tourette-related issues...


*

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder might be the trickiest thing to deal with, but I will steer Melissa through a few games in which the problem is lessened.
   Her swearing, from the Coprolalia, shouldn't cause us too much difficulty. YouTube videos are routinely demonetised based on changes in the weather and the letter R in the month.
   Or the word DAY in the day of the week.
   You'd think a video highlighting the difficulties of dealing with Coprolalia wouldn't be demonetised thanks to the swearing, but Melissa has experienced flagging for that.



Filters that flag the word breast affect articles on breast cancer. Think before you blink.
   Tourette is called the Swearing Disease, but it's not true - for 90% of the people with that particular neurological condition.
   We are going to swear in the Tourette videos. Melissa belongs to the glorious 10% of people with Tourette who have the sweary aspect to the condition.
   And I'm Scottish. You can't step outside your door without batting swearwords away with a shitty stick, in Old Scotlandia.


*

Will Melissa fuckshitbuggerhellyeahsuckitPluto her way through boardgames? Yes. She may end up ruling the Coprolalia Clan in RISE OF TRIBES. And there's nothing wrong in that.

Here's the full video of Melissa on flagging videos...



For the RISE OF TRIBES unboxing video, click the picture below. This takes you to my YouTube channel, which is named after this blog: REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE. (Though, officially, YouTube forced me to name it after myself in the small print.)






Friday, 27 July 2018

BOARDGAMING WITH TOURETTE: A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

Melissa C. Water is helping me gradually close in on the target. There'll be piracy on the high seas in low company. And a good time had by all.
   You can lay to that, shipmates.

*

My first YouTube video won't be a gameplay example, though. We're still sailing into port across choppy waters on that score. However, the video introduction is done...
   What to expect, in a video dealing with games? Dice, of course. 


There'll be several piratical games in time, so anticipate the arrival of treasure chests. I decided YouTube videos on tabletop games needed a sense of the theatrical. That's when I opted for the use of many props.
   What else to expect, in videos dealing with games? Cards, of course...


I'll make videos on gaming equipment. Cards. Dice. The table. A much-needed cloth. Daggers. Gunpowder. Small quantities of uranium. The usual stuff.
   There'll be games, too. Shocking, I know...


I determined, quite early, that gloves make great props for introducing games thematically. Piratical gloves go well with tales of larceny upon the seven seas, and so on.
   But, as handy tools, gloves are effing useless when it comes to moving game components around. Luckily, I only bought a few different pairs of gloves for the channel.
   They'll be used for effect here and there. No need to stuff a wardrobe full of them. Practicality outbids theatricality in this game, every single time.


Pictured: a still from the unboxing video I am planning to open my channel with. This is a shot of RISE OF TRIBES, by Breaking Games.
   I had a terrible time great fun lifting components out of the box with my awkward cumbersome begloved fingers wonderful atmospheric gloves. Would rather eat glass than attempt that again. Fun times.


Running a game internationally brings a whole host of problems to the gaming table. Fiddling around with counters on the end of gloved hands...isn't going to be one of those problems.
   I will face Tourette-based issues with Melissa C. Water, joining the game all the way from French Canada. We might be interrupted by full-on body tics. Convulsions. They appear epileptic in nature.
   We won't feature in the games as visual players ourselves. The emphasis is on telling a story and capturing game board imagery. The privacy issue, therefore, doesn't come up.
   I wouldn't be publishing footage of Melissa in convulsions anyway. What kind of Sick Space Muppet do you take me for? That leads to another point, though. How much of the audio do we use in the videos?


In my dealings with Melissa (editing her Kindle book), I found that she remained relatively calm when she latched onto a subject of interest to her. Tourette-based behaviour rose in frequency the more she talked about Tourette itself.
   Discussing audio tics, generated by Coprolalia, draws attention to the audio tics and increases the frequency of those sounds.
   I feel we face a vicious downward spiral and a virtuous upward spiral when we speak privately, depending entirely on the topics covered.
   It's my hope that gameplay will be of benefit to Melissa. We'll see. The channel is here to tell stories based around games. Winning and losing are of far less importance. The old adage applies.
   Did you have fun? Then you won.
   As far as audio is concerned, the videos are all going to be edited anyway. This is a real problem with gameplay videos online - lack of editing.
   I'm not going to name names here, or point fingers, and the people involved weren't famous YouTubers or big names in the boardgame side of things anyway.
   But I watched this video waiting for a game to start, and the people concerned were more interested in consuming meals. If I ever make game videos, I vowed, then I am not going to start game set-up with an introductory preamble that involves baking an effing cake.
   (Veering off, I must add this. There's a team out there on YouTube called Sugar High Score. If anyone could do a fascinating gameplay video about baking a cake, they'd take the biscuit.)
   My Bad Pun Detector is broken. Where was I?
   Yes, back to what I was saying about dusty desert-blown game videos. I was stuck with the charge of the pizza brigade. Well, I think it was pizza. Frankly, I'd lost the will to care by that point.
   Edit your nineteen-hour videos, folks.
   I'll do my best to edit out the faffing about. That means the Tourette-based videos face the same treatment. We might be forced to edit the worst tics out. But I might just as easily be forced to edit away the worst fumblings over intransigent game counters. Note to self: gloves are problematic.
   Luckily, Melissa is keen to see where this takes us, and she's game. You kinda have to be game, to game.
   Also, Melissa has a cool piratical gaming bonus...


Melissa C. Water's photos appear by kind permission.




Tuesday, 24 July 2018

BOARDGAMES AND OTHER PLANS: A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

I entered a competition.
   And now you know that I had other plans.


*

For a million years I've been planning more content. This involves writing. But the content is visual. Yes, I'm making videos. And yes, I'm using a lot of silly voices in populating those videos with characters.
   I decided I could do something vague in the area of boardgames. Boardgaming is about telling stories by hurling plastic cubes across cardboard maps...


Or hunting Dracula across Europe...

  
 Trying to track the Whitechapel murderer to his lair...
   Assisting Sherlock Holmes in curious investigations...


 Monopoly it ain't.
   Setting up a small film studio, I went about the daunting task of assembling a system, a machine, for churning out videos about games. Yes, I had to buy in a load of games of all shapes and sizes. In all sorts of price-brackets.

  

Occasionally, I backed a KICKSTARTER. One game arrived. And with it, thanks to the makers, came a chance to win a prize if I did an unboxing video.
   This marketing move put me under the gun. I had a time-limit, and brought my video plans forward.

*

What will this boardgame channel, on the YouTube, bring to the audience? Silly voices, of course.
   I have no interest in acting. However, down the years people kept telling me I should be one of those actors, dahling. Not having any interest in that area, I stuck to writing stories.


In writing stories, I read my work aloud in the different accents of the characters passing through semi-imaginary worlds.
   Now I plan to inflict those silly voices on a bewildered public. But there's more to this than hijinks and low comedy.

*

One offshoot of boardgaming, with its own playlist on the YouTube channel, will be BOARDGAMING WITH TOURETTE. I'll host games internationally, with Melissa C. Water in Canada.



We'll explore the idea of running games with someone who faces more than a few difficulties in getting through play. This includes Tourette tics, Coprolalia, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
   Just typing COPROLALIA TOURETTE into the search engine throws one of Melissa's videos at me. For the purposes of this blog, I searched for BOARDGAMING TOURETTE.
   I discovered one game on the boardgaming database, BGG, about shouting a word as you turn a card over. No videos found. Smjj from Sweden doesn't like it. Thanks, boardgame database. Hardly inspirational stuff. Leaving the database for the wider world web, I tried again.
   BOARDGAMING WITH TOURETTE threw the same vague card game at me. Surely we can do better than this. There are many hurdles to blast through. Blasting through them, we'll find that we can do better than this.
   As with everything else, these plans take a million years and a million more. But I am under the gun, and must away to unbox a game in front of several cameras.

Pictured above: Pandemic Legacy, with 12 mm dice replacing stickers. Fury of Dracula, 3rd edition, receiving an undead helping hand. Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective: Whitechapel/West End adventures.
   Deep Sea Adventure with a playmat replacing the submarine token. Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu. A cluster of ships spilling across the board of Black Fleet.
   Melissa C. Water appears by kind permission.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

REVISITING FICTION WHEN A SERIES IS DEAD AND GONE: A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

That series was over.
   And I waved it fare-thee-well in the long-ago of back-in-the-day. Then it occurred to me that I should make sure the series was dead. It wasn't.
   Walter Mosley's detective series featuring Easy Rawlins started its publication history with Devil in a Blue Dress. If you haven't read any of the books, don't start with that one.
   Begin with Gone Fishin', which charts the misadventures of Easy and his friend Mouse in the long-ago of back-in-the-day.
   I am revisiting the series and starting with the fishing expedition.

*

And I'll have to buy more books. (No more books. The shelves can't take them. But perhaps the space above the bookshelves can be pressed into service. Again.)
   Mosley declared a finish to the series a little over a decade ago in the far-off planetoid that was 2007.
   And I thought that was the end of the run. Years flew by, and Mosley gave us another trilogy since the demise of his series.
   Instead of picking up from the revival, I thought I might as well trudge back to the very start and read the whole show.
   So I have good reason to revisit fiction when a series is dead and gone. It's not dead yet.

*

I read books more than once: occupational requirement of being a scribbler. Which book have I read the most? I don't know. But I'll hazard a guess.
   If a series is done historically - the author died in 1900, say - then I could work my way through a series once.
   But if the author still has a pulse and the urge to pen a tale, then I'll do a fair bit of revisiting.
   I'll read the first book. Then I'll discover a sequel. And read the first book again.
   If the third book takes an age to materialise, I'll read the first two again again before carrying on with the business of absorbing tales.
   Non-fiction books bear returning to, just to brush up on a subject or to compare alongside a new book on that subject.
   I must invoke the Jules Verne Rule. When reading Verne, chances are you are reading the most atrocious "translations" of Verne. Once I discovered a top translator in the name of Butcher, I had to revisit Verne. Though...
   You can't revisit decent translations of Verne if you've read slop before. I had to revisit Verne for the first time ever. (Let's put that on the movie poster.)
   The same applies to books you thought you'd read. You read them again for the first time ever.
   I haven't had to revisit a book with the last page ripped out. Not yet.
   Some books are interrupted. I can pick those up again from where I left off, even if an indecent amount of time passed in the great meanwhile. The choice is to continue from the very next word or to revisit the start of the book. And an easy choice it is. The longer the great meanwhile, the more likely it is I'll start afresh.

*

Perhaps a series is taken over by living hands, after the intellectual property is plucked from the cold dead digits of the creator. Is reading the new stuff in a series really revisiting the work?
   The new writer, presumably, revisited the work in order to build on the foundations of what came before. But there is no legal guarantee of this. Nor should there be.

*

Revisiting Easy Rawlins set me thinking about revisiting all sorts of books and in all kinds of ways. Proper revisits. Improper revisits. Clandestine trips. Detours. Muddy ground leading to muddier waters.
   That's a lot of contemplation. But there lies an occupational hazard, lurking on the stacks: books set you to thinking. And that's as it should be.
   If I'm not around for an age, I've gone fishin'. Not literally: literaturely.




   


Thursday, 28 June 2018

OVERLY-LITIGIOUS OLD GROPER HARLAN ELLISON IS DEAD: A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

Who was he? Good question. What will he be remembered for?
   Groping Connie Willis in full view of the world. Demon with a brass neck.
   HERE'S A BLOG POST ABOUT THAT. I'll wait for you.


*

Disclosure.
   I never read Ellison's fiction. Given his mistreatment of Connie Willis, I am unlikely to purchase his books. It's improbable that I'll return to Asimov's material, given Isaac's groping days at conventions.
   In an attempt to avoid compiling a blog post that's just going to turn into a long and tiresome list of sci-fi gropers whose books I've never read/will never read again, I'll stick with this non-obituary format instead.
   Ellison.
   If he read my fiction, he kept quiet about it. (He never read my fiction. I have a doctor's note to prove it. Jekyll is the fellow's name. More on him, anon.)
   The closest I came to reading Ellison's fiction was inside the pages of The Rocketeer, by Dave Stevens. Harlan wrote a grumpy introduction, as required under Montana law. Much of his grumpiness stemmed from the loss of everything.
   You know the drill...
   Old Farts misbehaved and misremembered how things never used to be. Young pups don't know they are born and won't live to be old pups. The knowledge-base is gone...
   Except.
   We can all ask Doctor Google about that shit now. It is possible to locate this unfindable forgotten stuff that Ellison wanted to keep to himself. Well, 13% of it.
   I was bemused to find Ellison haunting the internet. He railed against so much that he was paid royalties by train companies. True, he made me laugh out loud.
   He came on the interwebs to inform us, in all seriousness, how to pronounce Jekyll.
   Just like that.
   And, just like that, not being Scottish, Hurling Elision mangled the name Jekyll. I seem to be having some difficulty pronouncing Harlan's monicker.
   The author's name, Robert Louis Stevenson, was rattled out rather quickly by Harlan on this video clip. Therein lies another pronunciation problem.
   Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson. When written in full, and read out loud, there's less temptation to hurl elision at the audience. To omit Balfour is to allow Louis and Stevenson to merge, altering the sound of the author's name.
   LouisStevenson.
   We know from Stevenson's writing that his name is pronounced Lewis.
   Jekyll is pronounced tae rhyme wi' meikle. You might write that as meekill, to give a better idea of what to say.
   Onywey...
   Much of my knowledge is pre-Google. With a writerly mind, I had to uncover random weirdness on my own by catching that late-night never-repeated TV show, listening to half a radio documentary, scribbling notes as I devoured data...
   Dead magazines surfaced in out-of-the-way places. Books practically fell into my lap at a convenient time. (Thank you, Mary Shelley.)
   This is how things were, in the used-to-be. The beforeness of now.
   Ellison was the sort of guy who'd grump his way through a conversation expecting to be the only guy in the room old enough or old enough and in the right place at the right time to remember whatever the hell he decided to talk about.
   Any young pup who knew a scrap of detail about the subject under discussion? That pup would be seized on as a space-time anomaly. How the hell do you know about that?! Feigned admiration from the old warhorse.
   Derision followed, of course. Scorn for the 99% of the audience not lucky enough to have been around back in the day, deprived of the Old Fart status that allowed all this misremembering of how things never quite were.
   I used to think about that sort of nonsense when dropping arcane references into my fiction. Because I had that pre-Google writerly mind. Same as Ellison. Not as dusty or Old Farty.
   But we walked the same long fucking road back in the day when you couldn't point-and-fucking-click your way from A to a very distant B.
   Here's a deleted scene from one of the Terminator movies.

The Google Company is incorporated Skynet funding bill is passed. The system goes on-line on September 4th, 1998 August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic advertising defence.
   Google Skynet begins to offer results learn at a mosaic geometric rate. It becomes indispensable self-aware at 2:14 am, Eastern Time, October 31st August 29th. In a panic, they try to delete the porn search history pull the plug.

   Harlan Ellison fights back, and there's a legal settlement.

   I'm struggling to maintain the thread, here. That's no bad thing. Onywey, Hurling Elision made me laugh at his ability to correct the world's view of...Doacturrr Jeekl.
   We can hire Doctor Google to scan Harlan's world-view and see him speak about Old Fartery. I no longer concern myself with arcane references in my fiction, as e-books have the capacity to hand those references to you on a digital silver platter.
   Words are linked to articles. The missing knowledge-base? We carved an electronic chainsaw through the all-encroaching jungle of time, and there's the once-lost analogue city awaiting the first digital tour-bus.
   That stuff was digitised around us. As we grow older and grumpier, it's easier just to click from A to B.
   I think Ellison was simply grumpy at having to be Ellison. That here, in our electronic wasteland, was some suspect short-cut for writers who wouldn't have to walk in his shoes.
   Well I walked in similar boots, and I am here to tell the young pups in the audience...for fuck's sake point-and-click. You'll save the shoe-leather for when it is needed.
   Even younger pups must search engine the shit out of point-and-click to discover what a mouse was.
   There'll be a lot written about Ellison on his demise. Much praise. Some condemnation. I always knew the name, yet never sought out his work. The more I learned, the less-inclined I grew to chase down the guy's stories.
   Being an imaginative writer, a prolific writer, an influential writer, does not excuse being a groper.
   Ever. The end.
   You can cure cancer and murder someone. Doesn't mean I have to like you for curing cancer.
   So, yes, you'll unearth anecdotes about Ellison's championing of women. And you'll hear that he had a heart of gold under that gruff exterior...
   Who was he? Good question. What will he be remembered for?
   Groping Connie Willis in full view of the world. Demon with a brass neck.
   If you missed it or skipped it, HERE'S A BLOG POST ABOUT THAT.

Friday, 1 June 2018

CHANGES TO READING BOOKS: A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

Reading at least a book a week? Managed that last year.
   This year, I found myself managing things differently. I decided not to keep count. That week, when I read three...or four...books? The score I kept was vague.
   And I kept no monthly or year-thus-far score at all.


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As I still have a backlog, book purchasing remains low. I know I have loads of books to read: entire bookcases of weighty tomes. But keeping annual count no longer features in my plans.
   I am reading. And I am not purchasing many books. So the pile of books to-be-read must fall. Unless the paperback fuckers are breeding in the stacks.
   This is a suspicion of mine.


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Reading books to order feels like grinding along in a car with no wheels, sparks flying out of every orifice - maybe I mean the car's every orifice, but I can't be certain of that.
   But reading spontaneously and noticing that I just polished off three (or four) volumes...yes, that's preferable to the sparky alternative.
   And so. I always read what I care to. That hasn't changed. But I will read when I want and how ever much I can cope with, without keeping count.
   Blogger warned me of changes to the system. Open Identification comments are no longer supported. This means a few comments on the blog were rendered anonymous.
   It's easy enough to work out who wrote what, even though ANON is now the nameplate on the door.
   The comments are still there, despite changes.
   And I feel the same about these books. I am reading them, even if I am not keeping score on a scrap of paper skidding around the desktop.
   I used the scratch method of counting to four, IIII, and then striking through diagonally, with a warning in weeks at the top to let me know if I'd lost the plot.
   Wait a bit. Only one month left and I must read eighteen books to claim I read 52 in a year? Better get on...with reading really slim volumes.
   No more of that. Annual reading challenges shouldn't be slogs into deserts. Park your arse at the oasis and sip a book or two instead.

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