So after thinking it over for a while I decided to create a new primary site for myself (yes, I love wordpress.com. but I wanted something that would give me both a bit more freedom in terms of plugins and customization, and the ability to monetize my site). Anyway, you can find the new site here: http://witha2ist.com
Oh yes, and as if that weren’t enough I also have a new book out. It is Of Shards and Shadows, the revised version/ sequel of The Shadow Walker.
Hi guys. Okay, so it’s been ages since I last updated this site, and yes, I’m still around, and I’m still writing. It’s just that I had little to say about my writing. There were no new releases, and I was afraid this blog was getting a little too disorganized.
Anyway right now I’m putting the finishing touches on a book that’s having a bit of an identity crisis. What happened was that I decided to write a sequel to The Shadow Walker, only writing a 16,000 word sequel to what was a 24,000 word novella to begin with felt wrong. In fact it felt almost like a scam, so in the end I decided to rewrite The Shadow Walker outright, and incorporate the sequel into that one. Unfortunately that has caused a bit of an issue when it comes to the new book’s title, and I’m not sure whether I will stick with The Shadow Walker -a title I actually like- or come up with an alternative that combines both that title and the one I had originally intended for the sequel, even if that title feels kind of off. Oh yes, and as if that weren’t enough there is also the fact that while I will be taking the original version off the market once the new one is released, the Spanish translation is not being revised, a fact that may lead to some confusion.
As I said, I’m currently struggling with the whole naming thing. I also have a couple of additional projects in the work, but more about those in a future post (who knows? maybe that way I won’t go so long between updates).
Sorry about the silence. This is just a quick note to let you know that I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. It’s just that the past couple of months have been kind of rough. Shadow, my dog (and our covergirl for this post) died in January. Yes, she was sixteen, the vet had told me to start saying my goodbyes over two years prior because her kidneys were failing, and so on, but it still hit me, and hit me hard. I’m getting back in the rhythm of things, but it’s been a struggle.
Okay, so this is about a rather silly encounter I had yesterday. In the grand scheme of things it didn’t even rate as ‘minor’, but it still bothered me: I was walking my dog when a woman approached me to ask for directions. I pointed her in the direction, but rather than leaving me alone, she told me she was an evangelist and started following me around. I tried to tell her that I really wasn’t interested, but no matter what I said I couldn’t shake her. From the outside I have to admit that the whole encounter was probably funny as hell, as I was basically going around in circles, but the last thing I wanted to do was to bring her home with me (a puppy would probably have had better luck). Anyway, in the end I told her that I respected her beliefs, but that I asked her to respect mine, and walked away (taking a rather long detour I could ill afford, as by then I really, really had to pee).
As I said, it was a trivial incident, but the thing is that the next time someone asks for directions I will probably be more inclined to keep going than to lend a hand. That was that woman’s ‘good deed’ for the day, her way of making the world a better place.
I admit I sometimes enjoy reading fanfiction. In fact that’s where I first got the writing bug, and while I agree that some (most?) of it can be pretty awful, there are some hidden gems that are well worth taking the time to actually find them. Anyway, this post is about one thing that’s driving me crazy. No, it’s not restricted to fandom, but that’s one place in which it is particularly noticeable. I’m talking about the proliferation of trigger warnings.
Yes, I understand that there are things some people might find disturbing, and there are some instances in which a heads up can come in handy, but lately these have been taken to the extreme. What some authors don’t seem to realize is that there is a very fine line between a trigger warning and a spoiler… and the same goes for author’s notes. If you want to apologize for not updating in a couple of years, fair enough, but if you want to go into detail about the intricacies of your writing process, or something else related to the story in question please, please, please put your author’s note at the end of the chapter, where it’s easier for your readers to skip it (and where chances are that they’ve already read the chapter in question and they’ll know what you are talking about) not at the beginning… and also, call me old-fashioned, but while there are a few warnings that are customary (major character death, rape/non-con, slash [i.e. same-sex pairing], and maybe explicit violence and child abuse), I believe that anything beyond that is bound to do more harm than good.
Okay, getting down from my soapbox now, it’s just that trigger warnings are a great way to trigger my rage. Just a warning.
Yesterday I was doing a bit of housecleaning in my bookmarks, and in addition to a million dead links I found a few old favorites that predate the advent of social media. Most of these have long since been abandoned (and in their pages too broken links are legion), but one thing that struck me was the care that went into putting them together, the depth of knowledge they contained… and the fact that they are ad free. Granted, many of these were/are maintained by universities, but the thing is that back when maintaining a site meant learning html, and an update was a major undertaking. It was something to be proud of, and it showed. That gave rise to sites such as:
Bibliotheca Augustana (world literature in the original language)
Visualizing Chaucer (one of a number of Robbins Library Digital Projects)
The Camden House (Sherlock Holmes)
The thing is that visiting those sites reminded me of what the web was like in the early days, and while there is no denying that social media has some advantages, the fact that pretty much anyone can post anything without giving it much thought hasn’t come cheaply. In fact my little trip down memory lane was a rather painful reminder of the web we lost as a result… and of the fact that easier isn’t always better.
So December is upon us, and with it comes the specter of the impending family gatherings, so I have a question: how do you deal with sticky people? No, I don’t mean the ones that stick to you like glue (though tips on how to deal with those would also be appreciated), but rather those that annoy you to the point that you want desperately to say something, only you know opening your mouth is bound to backfire (besides, it’s not like they ever listen), so you are reduced to replaying an imaginary conversation in your head time and time again.
Any tips on how to evict them from your mind, preferably before they drive you absolutely crazy?
Hi guys, just a quick note to let you know that I’m back. I took a couple of weeks off, and that was the reason behind the recent recent silence. Anyway I’m back to writing -or trying to- but one of the souvenirs I brought back with me is a rather nasty cold, and that one’s driving me nuts (in a nutshell, I’m not sick enough to stay in my hammock doing nothing, but I still feel too crummy to do much of anything. Yes, it’s better than being seriously ill, but colds have a tendency to get annoying after a while… after a very short while).
I know, I know, I said I was going to keep my pets out of this blog, and for the most part I’m going to try to stick to that promise (I may love cats, but I’ve just about had it with their attempts at taking over the internet), but the truth is that right now I’m scared. The girl you see in the featured image is Shadow. She has been my constant companion for well over fourteen years, and seeing how she wasn’t exactly a puppy when we first met, she is at least fifteen years old. That makes her a grand old lady by dog standards, and right now she has an abscessed tooth that needs to come out. The surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. Now, I realize that a tooth extraction is a fairly straight forward proposition, and my vet tells me that she’s in about as good a shape as a fifteen-year-old dog can be, but the whole thing does call for general anesthesia, and I am almost painfully aware of the fact that at her age there’s no such thing as a minor surgery.
What can I say? I may know that no matter what I do, our time together is running out, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Continue reading I’m scared
Okay, so my last post was an anti-facebook rant. Now let’s turn to the brighter side of technology… at least from where I stand. To begin with let me get one personal detail out of the way: I am dyslexic, and that means that I basically owe my life to my computer… or at least my lifestyle, why?
Well, to begin there’s the fact that without a keyboard I can’t write, full stop, and yet I’ve been able to become a writer. That’s about as big a shift as there can be, and the very notion of being unable to get the words out is one that fills me with a sense of dread. I realize that to an outsider that may sound like I’m exaggerating, but I’m not, and I am almost painfully aware of the fact that I was only a generation away from finding myself in exactly that position.
When it comes to reading I was lucky to overcome most of the challenges at a fairly early age (politically incorrect, and cringe worthy as it may sound, I have to give Enid Blyton a lot of credit for that one, as her books made reading fun) but even there I have to admit that I find reading on a screen, where I can actually modify the layout to suit my needs, so much easier. In fact my favorite device in that regard is an iPod touch. Yes, I realize that it’s an odd choice, and that most people cringe at the thought of reading on such a tiny screen, but from my perspective that’s by far its best feature (and I’m still grumbling about the fact that some moron saw it fit to increase the size of the display some three years ago)… and from a more general perspective there is the internet. We can’t forget about that one.
No, I’m not a digital native, and I suspect that that gives me both a better perspective to appreciate the benefits the internet has brought about, and a greater awareness of what the price we’ve had to pay has been, but that’s a subject for another post.