Speaking Words of Wisdom

I stress out a lot. I get stressed over things I need to do, things I haven’t done, things I think I should be doing. And one of the things that’s been stressing me out lately is the infamous TBR pile.

TBR, if you don’t know, stands for To Be Read. And I have so many books To Be Read.

Some are physical copies, lurking on my bookshelf, glaring down at me as I watch something on television. Some are on the e-reader, the Daily Deals that only cost a dollar or two. Many—oh, so many—are audiobooks. And no matter how much time I devote to trying to hack away at this pile, it only seems to grow. I get books from the library. All the time. The pile builds and builds.

As I was sitting down tonight, I was ruminating on this. “Ah jeez tomorrow’s Halloween, I gotta finish my Halloween listening, it’s gonna take six hours to finish Frankenstein, not to mention all those Halloween-themed podcasts, plus I gotta—”

And then, I heard the voice of an angel. My better angel, if you will. And he spake unto me:

Who gives a fuck?”

I nodded. Yes. You are correct, my better if foul-mouthed angel. Who does give a fuck? This never used to worry me. Reading isn’t a performance art. I can read what I want, when I want, and at what pace I want, and I don’t owe anybody an explanation. They’ll get read eventually. Or they won’t.

(I blame Goodreads for all of this.)

Whether or not I will still feel this way tomorrow remains to be seen. I’m known for having sudden breakthroughs of thought only for the tide of anxiety to sweep over them. But until then, read what you want, when you want.

And if one of those things you want is an audiobook of Murder on the Brewster Flats as read by me, hey, that’s your choice and I support you.

Apparently A Title Is Required

So Twitter, in its infinite wisdom, is considering getting rid of the like button.  Why? Something something “the quality of debate.”

Right, except Twitter isn’t supposed to be a tool for debate. It’s supposed to be fun,  fcryinoutloud. If I wanted to debate someone, I’d go back to message boards and argue about why the last few Die Hard movies aren’t canon.

This nonsense has once again reminded me that I do have this blog that I never use, and maybe it’s time to spend more time here. And less time at Twitter. 

No guarantees, no promises. We’ll see how it goes.

More Like Suckusitis, Amirite

 [Warning: What follows is a collection of bellyaching. I’m posting it here because I didn’t feel like making a long Twitter thread out of it, and because I’m growing weary of Twitter in general. Enjoy. Or not.]

 

The past few days, I have been dealing with pain. 

This happens to me every year, it feels like. I will be moseying along, minding my business, when I will experience an agony in most of the teeth on the right side of my head. It feels like wads of steel wool have been shoved inside my teeth and set on fire.

It is particularly bad at the moment, however. All day long, I have been performing the following cycle.

1. Feel the first tingles of pain. 

2. Swish ice water over my teeth. This causes a momentary sharp pain, followed by a few minutes of painlessness. 

3. Curse my birth. 

The best part is, the pain becomes worse when I lie down. This is less than optimal, as lying down is my favored sleeping position. 

The problem is not with my teeth, unless they have all gone to shit en masse. The problem is my sinuses. Yesterday, I went to urgent care. A doctor looked at me very briefly and sent me home with two bottles of pills, two different nasal sprays, and a tube of gel. The gel was for the tooth pain.

It came as something of a surprise when I rubbed the gel on my teeth and found that it doesn’t work. At all. Oh, it numbed the inside of my mouth. It numbed my teeth. It did not numb the inside of the teeth, which were filled with an absolutely molten pain that seemed to be so much worse for all the numbness surrounding it.

So that's great.

I shall now go and attempt to sleep sitting up. I wish myself good luck with that, I do.

The Process

"So."

"Mmm."

"Sooo."

"Mmmmmm."

"Soooooooooo--"

"Shut up."

"This thing you're writing. Been writing. For some time now."

"Yes."

"It's... I don't want to put words in your mouth."

"Sure."

"That's not me, that's not what I'm about."

"I know."

"It's just that this thing..."

"I hate it."

"...that seems harsh."

"I just, I hate it so much."

"Right, but--"

"I can't look at it anymore."

"Are you crying?"

"No, I've just got my face in my hands because I am trying to hide from the fact that I am no longer any good at writing, and if we're honest, I probably never was in the first place."

"You're overreacting."

"Your face is overreacting."

"What does that even--"

"I DON'T KNOW."

"...so what are your plans?"

"I dunno, write a couple of blog posts, maybe sit down with a notebook and see what I can rattle loose. I just know I've had Scrivener open for like two hours now and I keep looking at what's there and what do I even do with it?"

"This is surprisingly personal for a blog where you generally talk about things you have to sell."

"Yes, I'm very brave."

"You recognize that you're hyperbolizing how bad this thing is, right? Like, this is what all writers go through."

"Oh, yeah, of course, it's just that right now all I feel capable of is complaining about it. Which is useful. In its own way."

...

"So."

"Hmmm."

Commerce In The Hour Of Chaos

It's been difficult for me to try and sell folks on my humble wares ever since The Late Unpleasantness began. It feels a little mercenary to say "Hey, I know we're in the middle of a Constitutional crisis and the President just said anyone who disagreed with him was lying, but do you wanna buy an audiobook?" 

On the other hand, as a wise man once said, "Money talks, bullshit runs a marathon."

...it was actually Nino Brown from New Jack City, but you see his point. 

So! Let me fill you in on the latest additions to my ouevre. First up is The New Adventures of Richard Knight, Vol. 1, written by half a dozen New Pulp luminaries.  Richard Knight is a high-flying pilot, spy, and general international man of mystery, and he faces a collection of sinister and dangerous foes. Fun stuff to record.

The next is Sentinels: A Distant Star by Van Allen Plexico, the second in a saga of nine novels starring the titular superhero team. In this adventure, armored smartass Esro Brachis accidentally takes a trip to deep space while Ultraa and Pulsar face a gathering force courtesy of The Field Marshall. Book one, Sentinels: When Strikes The Warlord, is also available, although Van and I are attempting to rerelease it.

Finally, I'm currently working on (among other things) the audiobook for Matthew Rossi's Nameless. Matt has written two very good, well received and well reviewed novels, Nameless  and Heartless.  He's started a Patreon to create the third book in the series, Faceless. One of the perks is free audios of the first two books; Chapters 1 & 2 of Nameless are available now.

So give yourself a break from the madness of the outside world and buy our stuff whydoncha. Cheers.

 

Procrastinator 2: Judgment Day

On January 1, I went out and bought a Moleskine journal. I did this because I had been reading about bullet journaling, and I wanted to get myself good and organized as the new year began. 

Today is January 6 and I have not yet opened the notebook. 

I feel like that says something fundamental about who I am.