Today I’m working on figuring out my computer. After a ten minute call with AppleCare, I learned how to change my Photos Library back from my external hard drive to my internal on the new computer. From there it should synch up with the iCloud and things should be easier to use.

RMNP 2017? Lawn Lake Trail

So I’m getting the hang of importing photos from my iMac into WordPress, so that should snazz things up. In the past, I’ve had problems with pics coming in rotated or freakishly large, so please let me know in the comments if things don’t look right.

This is a double cheeseburger.
Lotaburger, Las Vegas, NM. 2019.

Now I’m trying to figure out justification with Block type website building. This is pretty much counter-intuitive to anything that I’ve ever worked with before, and a general pain in my ass. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. I honestly can’t see the advantage of using block formatting over the old way it was done.

But here we are.

For the most part, the iPhotos library is useless when it comes to WordPress. I have to select my pics from the albums and then upload them into WordPress. So it’s an additional step. Something that makes it pretty clean for the Mac to work is once again a multiple step process for everything else. But the good news is that I don’t have to upload pics to my Media Files gallery in Word Press every time, and I can just upload the images directly into the blog posts from my Mac. The Media Files can be used for frequently used pics, or if I am using other computers to post blogs.

Either way, I’ll have to be mindful when it comes to which pics I choose, which can actually be a good thing. ANyway, these are all just experiments for when I get my travel blog/writing/podcasting blog up and running again. I hope you have enjoyed me fumbling around with this as much as I have!

I think I am getting this figured out. Maybe…


Frustration and Staying Frosty

So, I moved my travel blog (not that it will be getting any mileage in the foreseeable future, for obvious reasons) to WordPress. It was supposed to be a little cheaper, and the domain host that I had been using was not that great. All customer service was done by automated responses to keywords which directed me to a Tech Info Library.

So, I moved the domain.

Only to discover that none of the content moved with it. But because it never made it to Google, I can’t even use the wayback machine to copy and paste a year’s worth of content to the new site. It’s gone. All of it.

When life throws those kinds of things at you, all you can do is find the lesson in it. You see, I have a LiveJournal blog that I wrote on from 2007 all the way until pretty much the end of last year. All of that content is still there. Unlike the blog site I paid for, which is gone, never showed up on a Google search in spite of all the add ons and bullshit I paid for, and now it is so much pixelated dust.

The lesson here is write locally, upload globally.

Kinda the same with my book. You see, people are buying and potentially reading my book, but they are getting copies of it from sites on Amazon that aren’t my account because I never get paid for them. The Chinese are notorious for this. Copyright? What’s that? I’ve had many friends who find their works printed off from China and they never see a red cent.

The only bummer is that I probably no longer have a PDF of the finished copy of my book the way Createspace had it, because I could just go to Createspace and run off copies for cost and give them or sell them to people. I could buy three or sometimes four copies of my book for what Amazon wanted for just one. I did this a lot. Because I feel like it’s better to be read than it is to get rich.

I know I’m not going to get rich. Money-wise anyway. There are other kinds of wealth. Granted, I wouldn’t mind selling some writing to help pay the rent, which is why I write SEO content for companies. It is usually joyless work, but it is more fulfilling than changing the same classes over and over and over again for professors who don’t feel that working five days a week is for them. No, they do everything they can to shore up their teaching schedule into maybe three days so they get four day weekends.

This is why I’m going to be writing about the underbelly of the Ivory Tower soon enough. I have 18 years experience in this kind of fuckery. It’s time to share it with the world. There’s a good reason Higher Ed is failing right now. Why one of the biggest crises to hit the US is the student loan bubble. That’s why the Feds are looking to bail out loan holders right now. They painted themselves into a corner by not allowing bankruptcies, and rather than bring back debtors prison, they have to do something. Might as well winnow out the small remaining loans so they can continue to milk the big bulls.

This, my friends, is how you get the Great Depression II. Inflate loans people can’t pay (but keep issuing them) and then the bottom drops out of the economy. Boom. You now how an impoverished class. Or at least an economic crisis.

And this stimulus package to just pay everyone $1000 to $3000 dollars? It reminds me a lot of the German state in the 1920s. Lets just print off more money. What color deutchmarks would you like to plaster the bathroom with? I guess if they run inflation up, that toilet paper crisis in the US will be solved. Just go to the ATM machine!

Anyway, that is my dispatch today. Stay safe. Be patient. And be kind.

Little Conversations

Yes, another post about writing and life.  I’ll have one on the other blog tomorrow about packing for the trip for your amusement.

When I post these blogs, I usually only have the stats to go by to see if anyone read them, much less liked them.  You don’t always get feedback in the blogosphere.  The feedback I have gotten has been extremely positive, and is usually done off channel.  I appreciate all the encouragement and kind words I have gotten.  In a weird way, this has been shaping my content.

An interesting thing I found out on the travel blog was when I wrote about backyard chickens, I had over 200 hits from the UK.  I don’t know what to make of that, since there were no likes or comments made on the post.  Sometimes I wonder if these “hits” aren’t just bots that are poking around the corners of the internet, just mining content.  I get some really weird AI generated spam from time to time.

But last night, I had a good conversation with a friend who had been reading my book, Song of the Cinder.  I really enjoy talking about fiction with people because not a lot of people have read my book, and those who have don’t say a lot about it other than “This was good!”  So far I have yet to hear someone tell me it sucks, and for that I am grateful.

He had just finished the book last night and we were discussing characters, scenarios, plot and pieces that stuck out for him.  In a way, it was pretty surreal.  I mean, this was the way my friends and I used to talk about books we were reading at the same time.  Only I had written this stuff!

What this conversation really did was allow me to focus on what a reader thought was fun.  What stuck out in his mind.  When you write SF, action, adventure, etc. sometimes you get lost in the weeds of theme and narrative.  Characters.  You get so sucked up your own ass that you forget the parts that really had a blast writing.  Those big leaps you took where you wondered if they were going to work or not.

A lot of what is out there isn’t very fun to read.  Fiction gets mandated by what editors and publishers think is going to be new enough to be the next big thing, but safe enough not to alienate any readers of a typical genre.  It’s a balance beam they have to walk to make sure sales are steady and they can keep Starbucks on Madison Avenue in business.

I was happy to hear that a lot of my big leaps I took DID work.  The story is a fantasy adventure.  It isn’t War and Peace.  I didn’t write it to change the world.  I just wrote something I would want to read, because everything out there was just being so nauseatingly safe.

Oddly enough I was watching Ready Player One last night and this resonated with me upon reflection.  The 80s are this source of nostalgia for so many people these days.  They really got away with a lot of stuff back then which would never happen today.  That is why everything that is out there is a reboot or based on tried and true source material.

They took risks.  Lots of them.  That’s how you get cult followings for movies like Spacehunter or Ice Pirates.

Today, you will not see a Buckaroo Bonzai, Trancers, Robocop, the Lost Boys, the Goonies or most of what really made the 80s as tacky and amazing as we remember that decade to be.   They tried recently with movies like The Golden Compass, Mortal Engines, Mortal Instruments (so much mortality), Beautiful Creatures, Pacific Rim, and  and a few others that promised to deliver trilogies and just fizzled.  Series like Defying Gravity that were too expensive and people lost interest in after one season (the series was brilliant, and I wish Netflix had been buying series when it ran).

Taking risks is not rewarded when your movie costs $300 million to make.  Unless you are Avatar, which I still am mystified why that one took off.   Dances with Wolves in Space!!  

Pigs in Space!!! would have been a better movie.

Popular books get popular movies with big budgets because they have an existing fan base.  Lots of people read comic books, even if they don’t follow them, they at least know the basics, which was a big reason everyone has jumped on the Marvel Comics Universe for the last ten years.  It’s like getting to know characters everyone can recognize, without hundreds of issues of soap operatic writing and four color art to slog through.

Anyway, talking about my book not only reminded me of why I wrote it, but it made me happy that someone else enjoyed the trip.  I took a lot of risks.  Bits and pieces that editors of magazines wouldn’t touch.  The next book needs to be this fun to write!  It gave me a better focus hearing what really stuck out too, since those elements are in the current work in progress, but I have been holding back.  Because you don’t get big advances and three book deals from publishers for taking risks.

Time to cut that shit out.

Why should anyone live their life based on the anticipation of a paycheck, when the writing itself should be its own reward?  I don’t get paid for this blog, yet people enjoy it.  It gives me an excuse to write too.

In a perfect world I would wake up to a wheelbarrow full of money on my doorstep every day for what I write.  But that isn’t my life.  But hearing about how someone liked the story I wrote, well, I think that was pretty awesome too.