Good day, everyone. It’s that morning for which you all pine each week: Thursday morning, the morning on which I (usually) release my weekly blog post. Rejoice! You can breathe again.
Okay, well, anyway…I hope everyone in America had a good Memorial Day on Monday. I always try to avoid saying “a happy Memorial Day,” since the point behind the holiday is to remember with gratitude the many military personnel who’ve fought and died in wars, etc., especially in World War II, and that’s not really a happy thought.
Of course, in a certain sense, we should be happy that these people did what they did—it’s good that the Axis powers didn’t win World War II, even despite the many missteps and mistakes the Allies and former Allies have made in the years since. On the other hand, though, we can surely all agree that it’s lamentable that such destruction and loss of life was ever necessary. If you stop and think about it, we should all hope for (and whenever possible, strive toward) a world in which neither heroism nor leadership are necessary, since leadership and heroism are generally required only when things are not going well. At least, it would be nice to work toward a world in which conflict, leadership, and heroism exist in sports, in books, in movies, and in video games, but not in day to day life.
Is such a world possible? In principle, I think it is. In practice, who knows if it will ever happen? I wouldn’t lay heavy money on it, more’s the pity.
On to lighter, or at least more personal, matters. I’ve been fiddling around with sound editing/recording/mixing software, and it has continued to distract me a bit from my writing tasks, but not completely. Though I haven’t written any new pages of Neko/Neneko for over a week, I have been editing away at Unanimity, and I’ve been pleased to find that there are some moving moments in it. One would hope this was the case in a long novel, of course, but I’ve read a few books in which there are no such experiences. It’s nice that, at least for the author, the book has some poignant, and goose-bumpy, and thrilling passages. Hopefully, future readers will agree with my assessment.
I continue to entertain the plan of releasing the three short stories from Welcome to Paradox City as individual Kindle editions, and—in sort of a parallel opposite act—of releasing a collection of my more recent short stories, and possibly doing all of these before Unanimity comes out. And, of course, before any of that, I’m going to be releasing Free Range Meat, my latest short story. That should happen fairly soon, as the editing on it is going well, even though it’s only one day a week.
Amidst all these processes, one thing that I’ve fallen off on a bit—and which I was never terribly good about in the first place—is promotion. Though I’ve never found it natural to advertise myself, I at least periodically used to boost some Facebook ads and the like, and I haven’t done any of that in quite a while. It’s just contrary to my nature, at least as I am now, to shout out for attention, even when it’s perfectly reasonable, and even necessary, to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I can certainly be pompous and arrogant in my own right (no, really!), but I’m not very good at talking myself up. I usually feel that it’s rude to try to push myself into other people’s awareness. This is not good, of course, for someone who’s trying to get other people to notice and read his books (or listen to his songs, or whatever). And I myself often lament how much it’s the case that the assholes of the world make far more noise than the benign and positive people.
Of course, one ongoing way in which I do promote myself is by writing this blog (and Iterations of Zero, though that’s more esoteric). But doing more than that is rather awkward for me.
I often envy the attitude expressed by a moment in “The Simpsons” when Marge flashes back to a two-year-old Bart walking down the hall, banging on a kitchen pot with a spoon and singing, “I am so great! I am so great! Everybody loves me, I am so great!” And, of course, I’m well aware that a key principle of advertising is repetition, even to the point of irritation. After all, if people are thinking and talking about how much of a pain you are, they’re talking about you. But it feels like it’s all in such poor taste.
Then again, I write fantasy/sci-fi/horror, and in the latter genre, many things happen which quite a few people would say are in poor taste, or they would be if they really occurred. Certainly, the fate that befalls the very well-intentioned and positively behaved main character of Free Range Meat could hardly be called a Capra-esque outcome. Maybe Kafka-esque, but definitely not Capra, and definitely not tasteful.
There, that’s a little teaser for you to whet your appetite. I can do this promotion thing. Sure, I can.
Well, I could ramble on and on for much longer than I have, but I’ll save that for another time. Always leave them wanting more, they say. I wish for each of you the best of all possible outcomes from your point of view, with only the proviso that it not interfere with the best of all possible outcomes for others from their points of view.
And isn’t that the big problem of crafting a society even of thoroughly well-meaning people?