Tag Archives: personal

Moving day

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.

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What’s in a name

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).

Still alive

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.

Religious fanatics making the world less friendly one encounter at a time

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.

Easier isn’t always better

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.

Sticky people

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?

Barking mad ‘science’ (in defense of homeopathy)

This post has been buzzing inside my head for a while. I has to do with a video I came across a couple of weeks ago that really bothered me, but with the attacks in France, and everything else that’s been going on in the real world lately, it just felt too trivial to write about. Anyway, now that some time has gone by the time has come for me to try to get back in the rhythm of things, so here it goes.

This one has to do with homeopathy, or rather with the way in which its detractors go totally insane as soon as the h-word is mentioned (they basically react as if it were a particularly nasty, and an unusually long, four-letter word). Now, before we go any further, a bit of a disclaimer:

My relationship with homeopathy is a complicated one. My father’s a doctor, as are a number of other members of my family, so I grew up in a world in which the notion that ‘homeopathy is nonsense’ was a given, then two years ago something I had a problem a medical professional that caused me to reexamine some of my beliefs (okay, she was a vet, my thirteen-year-old dog was having a number of age-related issues, and I was not to sure about how she was approaching the whole thing). There was one aspect in particular that, while not terribly serious from a medical perspective, I found particularly annoying: my girl had become incontinent due to an estrogen deficiency. Seeing how she can usually be found curled up on the couch behind me as I write, it was beginning to look like my choices were to evict her from what had always been her spot (i.e. to punish her for being sick), or to resign myself to spend my days sitting in a pool of urine. As you can probably imagine, neither one of these options sounded particularly appealing. The vet suggested hormone replacement therapy, but I wasn’t quite ready to walk down that path, not without a second opinion anyway. The way I saw it, her incontinence was a condition that presented a number of characteristics that called for a different approach. In a nutshell, it was  a chronic problem that was likely to stay with my girl for the rest of her life, but at the same time it was not a degenerative condition where an aggressive intervention was a must. That gave me an unexpected bit of leeway, so I decided to try everything, beginning with the least aggressive option, and moving up from there… and even if it went against a lifetime of indoctrination, I decided to give homeopathy a fair shot (it was, after all, the least aggressive option). No, I didn’t go to Petco, and grab the first product off the shelves, what I did -knowing that I was dealing with something I knew absolutely nothing about- was to get in touch with a homeopathic vet, and set up an appointment. The outcome? Forty-eight hours later the problem was gone, and I was flabbergasted. So where do I stand? Well, my common sense is still telling me that homeopathy shouldn’t work, the evidence of my own eyes tells me that maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it, and two years later I’m still trying to figure out how exactly does the placebo effect work on a dog. Continue reading Barking mad ‘science’ (in defense of homeopathy)