Welcome, one and all! It’s Thursday, which means that it’s time for my weekly blog post…as you already know, since you’re reading it.
I hereby remind you all about my book giveaway, which continues until the end of the month, the end of the year, and—by some measures—the end of the decade. If you contact me and let me know your choice(s)—or have me make the choice(s) for you—and give me an email address, I will send you one novel or three short stories, in Kindle format. I’d love to be able to send you out hard copies, of course, but I can’t really afford to do that right now, and currently, most of my short stories are available in electronic format only.
Don’t wait! Time is ticking, as it always does, unless you travel at the speed of light (which you can’t, since you’re made of particles that interact with the Higgs field). Next Thursday will be “Boxing Day”, as the day after Christmas is called in the UK and related places*. By the following Thursday, the giveaway will be over, its metaphorical carriage having turned back into a pumpkin at midnight on December 31st. So, give yourself a free holiday gift. You have nothing to lose but a tiny portion of your time and a tiny bit of storage space on whatever electronic device you might use for e-books. And you would gain…well, in my biased but humble opinion, I think you’ll gain some enjoyable stories.
Speaking of which, this week I finished another round of editing on Unanimity, and I’ve begun the next one. I mean to find ways to tighten up my schedule so that I can go more quickly from now on. The whole project is taking sooooooooooo long, and I really can’t wait—or I don’t want to wait—for the book to be out so you can all read it.
I did a minor experiment on Iterations of Zero recently, with some conflicting results. Near the end of last week, some thoughts occurred to me that I wanted to get down quickly, and I didn’t have the time to write them, since that would have interfered more with my editing schedule. So, I just recorded the thoughts aloud on my voice recorder app, and later in the day, I edited and published them on IoZ, here. The response was decent, both on the site and on my social media pages. Pleased, I did a second, more formally prepared but no more formally spoken recording earlier this week (it was about eight minutes long and the previous had been about five, but I don’t think that makes a huge difference). That second recording has gotten no response at all on WordPress, as of this writing. I’m not sure why.
Arguably, the first topic—depression, a subject near and dear to my heart, so to speak—was drearier than the second, which was political philosophy. Maybe right now, with all that’s been happening, people are fed up with politics, at least in the US and the UK. If so, I can hardly blame them. Maybe the second title was a little too cryptic. Or maybe the recording was simply missed because I posted it early in the week, and I’ve been recently publishing my IoZ entries toward the end of the week; maybe people who would have been interested simply didn’t notice it because of the erratic timing. Or maybe people are just too caught up in the rapidly approaching holidays to take time out to listen to an eight-minute ramble. Maybe audio is just not a good format for me.
I’ll continue the experiment a little bit longer (your suggestions are welcome on that score) to give it a fair day in court…or in Congress, or in Parliament, or whatever. The audio format has advantages and disadvantages. In first draft at least, it’s quicker and easier to get audio out (though I do type fast). Audio, however, doesn’t tend to be as well-organized as a typed and edited blog post. It’s easy to skip ideas accidentally and realize the fact too late to make corrections (without a lot of trouble doing the sound editing, anyway, which is not complicated in principle, but which can be tedious).
But audio can feel more personable sometimes, I think. I know people like to watch videos of people talking about ideas at least partially for that personal touch, but I’m not quite able to get over that hurdle of anti-narcissism. Also, videos are so data intensive that I find them wasteful, unless adding the visual portion really improves the conveyance of ideas.
In my case, video just gives people the option to look at my ugly mug while I’m talking, which is only going to put them off their lunches. I suppose I could consider it my contribution to fighting the western epidemic of obesity and diabetes, but at this time of year, with so many celebratory meals being enjoyed, I’d just as soon not be accused of ruining someone’s holiday dinner.
And with that, I’ll wrap things up for this week**. For those of you who celebrate it, I wish you a very merry and happy Christmas, which will have passed by the time you read my next weekly blog post. For those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, I wish you the happiest of that holiday, which will be well underway by next Thursday.
And of course, all of you please enjoy any and every other of the many celebratory holidays that come at this time of year, having evolved from older celebrations of the Winter Solstice (which is in three days). I wish all those in the northern hemisphere the happy anticipation of the lengthening daylight to come. Those of us who are Seasonally Affected can at least look forward to our spiritual weight beginning to lighten in the days and months to come.
To all potential readers (and anyone else), all around the world, I wish you all the best.
*I have no honest idea what the name of the day means. I doubt that it has anything to do with pugilism. If it refers to Christmas presents, it’s strange to think of boxing them after they’ve been given and received. If anyone reading knows the etymology of this term, I’d be delighted to learn it.