What, gone without a word? Ay, so true blog should do; it cannot speak, For truth hath better deeds than words to grace it.

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Hello, good morning, and good Thursday to all my friends, comrades, fellow travelers, and anyone who doesn’t consider themselves adequately described by any of the preceding terms.  It’s time for my weekly blog post, something without which I know many people’s Thursdays would not be the same.

I’ve been fiddling around with some things related to Iterations of Zero on and off lately.  I posted another “audio blog”, this one about the need for people to justify their statements, particularly if they’re saying something derogatory.  If they can’t, then you should just ignore them or tell them to take a number, get in line, and kiss your ass.  I don’t recall precisely what set me off at the time, but such things do get on my nerves, especially in the era of rampant social media-based epithet hurling.  In that bit of grumbling, I also deal with the difference between words and the proverbial “sticks and stones”, and mention, obviously, the Cheese Shop Sketch from Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

I’m still not sure whether these audible meanderings are beneficial, as compared to writing articles out.  I don’t know which form of thinking in public people prefer to consume, at least from me, and I haven’t received much specific feedback on the question, or if I have, I haven’t noticed it yet (and I apologize for that, if so).

I’ve already recorded a short subsequent audio burst, or whatever one would call it—they don’t really merit the term “podcast”—but haven’t edited it much, because I’m frankly not sure people like these things from me*.  They are, I must rather guiltily admit, much easier to produce than written posts, at least in first draft.  They’re just me thinking out loud into either my laptop or my smartphone.  Since I’ve been known to think aloud even when I’m not recording, this engenders a big advantage in the low activation energy needed to initiate a posting.  Still, the writer in me feels guilty.  He also feels cramped.

I had a peculiar burst of “creativity” the other night and morning that I rather quickly acted on, which is unusual enough.  I took the recent audio of my “karaoke” version of No Surprises, by Radiohead, and I decided to make a simple video—but not as simple as my usual “videos”, which generally contain just one fixed image.  Instead, I got a bunch of old drawings of mine that I’d scanned into the computer, sometimes decades ago, and picked out several that fit the mood I was in when I sang the song**.  I tried to make the video with the simple Microsoft video editor, but I didn’t think much of the outcome, so I did a trial installation of the latest version of CyberLink PowerDirector, a program I’d used in the past, so I could do crossfading between pictures and whatnot.  I also used a graphic manipulation program (GIMP) to distort a picture of me from the one true video post I have on YouTube (it’s not pretty) so that it vaguely resembled Thom Yorke’s face in the video version of the song (see above).

This all happened with surprising speed; when I get into something, I often become somewhat monomaniacal.  I skipped editing Unanimity yesterday, and even skipped practicing guitar (which anyone who’s heard me knows I cannot readily afford to do), and I produced a satisfactory video.  It was nothing special, but I thought it evocative.  I uploaded the final product onto YouTube, shared it through Facebook and Twitter…

…and within minutes got the notification that the video had been blocked for copyright reasons.

You might think this would irritate me, but you would be mistaken.  I was mildly surprised—ironically, I suppose—but within seconds I thought, “Well, fair enough.”  It’s their song, the copyright belongs to them or to whomever they assigned it, and the enforcement of that copyright is entirely their decision.  I certainly never meant to try to make any money off the video—I’ve never monetized YouTube in any way—but again, it’s their decision.  Thom, Jonny, Colin, Ed, and Phil wrote the song, it belongs to them…or to whomever they’ve given the rights to it.  As an arguably creative artist myself, I certainly don’t want anyone using my stuff without permission.  I want people to pay for my books (though you can listen to some of my stories and the first nine chapters of The Chasm and the Collision for free on YouTube ad libitum, read by the author).

I may upload my video onto IoZ in place of the simple audio of the song, but I’m not sure.  I’d like to have some of you see it, but I don’t want to go against any literal desires of Radiohead.  Of course, the block was clearly an automated response, without any specific human consideration; it happened too fast.  I don’t think the fellows from Radiohead are following my work closely enough to have responded so quickly.

With all that happening, I’ve gotten a little less editing done on Unanimity this week, but at least it’s shorter than half a million words now.  I’ll try to trim the fat enough so that it’s not just a heart attack waiting to happen…though I do hope it will be the kind of meal that makes you have nightmares.

In all other things, though, I wish you well.  I always enjoy any comments you might care to make, either here or on IoZ or anywhere else I lurk online.  But do remember, if you have a beef with me, you’ll need to back it up with evidence or argument, or I’ll just tell you to f*ck off.

I will, however, joyfully accept unjustified compliments.

TTFN


*Though, to be fair and honest, I did get actual, thoughtful feedback on my discussion of the wavefunction and many words.

**Not a happy one, but at least not apathetic.

What is it else? A madness most discreet, A choking blog, and a preserving sweet.

Hello and good morning, all.

I apologize for neither posting nor notifying anyone about my lack of posting last week.  My sister very kindly surprised me by coming in from out of town and visiting, and I spent much of last Thursday enjoying the Miami Zoo, which I’ve never visited before, though I live only a dozen or so miles away.  It was excellent, and there were so few guests at the zoo that day that it felt almost like our own personal menagerie.  At one point, we literally rode the monorail entirely by ourselves.

In some ways, it’s just as well that I didn’t post anything last week, because—as far as writing and editing goes—I’ve been taking a few weeks off.  As I may have mentioned before, I’m working on a new/old song, and the process of putting it together has taken up most of my spare time over the past few weeks, or at least the spare time I would have spent writing.  I say “new/old” because I wrote the original words (about a quarter of which have been changed) and the melody of this song when I was a junior or senior in college, sometime around 1990 or so, I’d guess, but I never did anything with it, and it’s just been floating around in my head ever since.  Of course, it’s entirely possible that, once anyone listens to it, they’ll think that it would have been just as well had it stayed there.

Still, the success (from my point of view) of my composition and recording of “Schrodinger’s Head” and the recording and mixing of a few of my “bad covers” on Iterations of Zero made me think it might be fun finally to make this thing into something actual rather than potential.  Of course, the things I’ve learned while working on this song make me want to go back and redo Schrodinger’s Head, and to make another song that I originally composed in college, and to write a new song about a unique manga character whom I particularly like…but I’ll try not to let all that get in the way of everything else.

We shall see.

In any case, it’s been good to have a little break from Unanimity.  My new song is a long one, but seven and a half minutes of song is quite a bit different from seven and a half hundred pages (and more than half a million words) of novel.  The delay on Free-Range Meat is perhaps less excusable, it being a literally short story, but it can handle the break.  And, of course, Neko/Neneko is a horizon-type project for the moment, in any case.

So, that’s about all the news I have to share today.  I’m juggling many projects that are in various stages of creation and completion, but at least that gives any readers of and/or listeners to my work—if such people exist—much to which to look forward.

In the meantime, I wish you well.

TTFN

I wasted time, and now doth time waste me; For now hath time made me his numbering blog

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Hello, all.  It’s Thursday again, despite our best efforts, and time for another blog post—the first of a new month.

I have now, officially, released my song, “Schrodinger’s Head” in mixed and recorded form—or whatever the proper terminology is—onto Iterations of Zero, as well as onto YouTube, and that’s good.  It’s been an interesting experience, but it took up a lot of my time for the last few weeks, compulsively, so I’ve done no new audio blogs or written postings on IoZ, nor have I done much in the way of editing on either Unanimity or on Free-range Meat.  Now that the music has…well, if not died, then has at least been released into the wild, I can get back to more usual things, and anyone who has been waiting for my stories eventually to come out can breathe a sigh of relief.  I doubt there is such a person, but just in case…

Work on my novella—for which I still don’t have a final title—has continued all along.  I wasn’t going to let anything take me away from that, since my new writing has to be always my primary commitment.  The story’s going well so far, all things considered.  I like the characters, which is a plus, but this usually means—given the way my stories tend to go—that they’re in for some hard times.  Oh, well.

I’m still struggling with the conundrum of whether to keep doing audio blogs for Iterations of Zero, or to try to switch back to doing written blogs (with the difficulties that presents) or just saying “to Hell with it” and not waste any more time on either one unless and until the mood strikes me.  This latter notion, though, tends to be a pipe dream.  For a writer, in my experience at least, waiting until the mood strikes is comparable to waiting for an asteroid impact.  It will happen eventually…but you’ll probably be waiting longer than any human lifetime.

Well, that’s about all I have to say about that this week.  I could harp on about some random, walk-in topic and try to be funny, but even I find that sort of thing unbearably stupid a lot of the time, so I can’t imagine how it must seem to all of you.  I wish you, and all manner of other sentient beings, well.

TTFN