(A long time ago, I started a religious work and didn’t know how to finish it. I am posting chunks of it this May.)Continue reading “May Meditations: Prologue”
Weird Wednesday: Here, Have Two Italian Versions of Pride and Prejudice
Officially out of ideas for Weird Wednesday, so here is a fansubbed copy of 1957 Italian TV version of Pride & Prejudice, complete with volcanic Wickham/Darcy feud and missing footage problems that keep us from seeing the first proposal scene and whatever/however Lizzie learned about Wickham’s checkered past. If you have already seen the first two episodes, which are easier to find online, click in the upper right hand corner to see the rest of the playlist.
And here is a fan reading of the Donald Duck/Paperino parody of Pride and Prejudice, as it appeared in Topolino magazine:
Weird Wednesday: Journalist Discovers Her Apps Are Spying on Her
This person doesn’t strike me as particularly clever or admirable – note the moment late in this article where she, a white woman, Has Opinions about what jokes black men ought to laugh at. But in this article she touches on legitimate concerns about the way internet advertisers seem to get access to everything a smart phone+social media can tell them about specific individuals. Her language is at times almost superstitious, but that too is interesting as an insight into how superstition arises, from attempts to create mental models explaining what one does not understand.
My own advice to anyone trying to outfox the advertisers is to go wide with the number of your interests and narrow with the focus of them. For instance, I’ve watched at least excerpts of every surviving Jane Austen adaptation not set in contemporary times, plus read all seven books (if Northanger Abbey counts, then so does Lady Susan) at least once and 80% of Georgette Heyer; but I’m not super interested in a). Downton Abbey, b). The Crown, c). steamy Regency romances, or d). Charles Dickens, so a lot of ads that are aimed at me because the advertisers think interest A means interest B ends up being way off target.
If this sound like the best way to confuse online advertisers is to be an annoying, finicky hipster, well, here’s some humbler advice. Avoid social media as much as possible and avoid clicking on internet ads at all costs. Watch foreign language programming as much as you stand, from as many cultures/languages as you can stand, because few things are funnier than being served Spanish language ads right after you were watching the Italian language series Don Matteo. Engage with real life people about things that don’t particularly interest you and bring your phone along; the resulting confusion in the ads is hilarious.
Weird Wednesday: State of the Author, April 2023
Here’s where I am at these days:
–Spider Star, aka Star Master Book 2: this has been released and is free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers right now. It will leave KU on June 3, so if you are a KU subscriber, I would advise you to download it before then and read at your leisure. When it leaves KU, I will be raising the price on Shadow Captain (the first book in the series), so keep that in mind as well. Later in June, I will work on putting Spider Star up on the other ebook vendors and setting up an AI-voiced audiobook at Google Play.
-Hunter Healer King, Book 1: Currently a shade under 10K words of a projected 70K, so I think it’s safe to call this an actual work in progress. If you frequent some of the other places I visit online, you may have seen me call this one “the Gothic Dunedain project” or “the Steampunk Dunedain project.” Basically this is a monster-hunting gothic fantasy with a steampunk angle and some Tolkienian tropes thrown in, like an ancient line of kingly monster-hunters who come from a lost civilization. No Elves or Dwarves so far. The plan is to serialize it on Vella, once completed, and then use any feedback to help in turning it into a conventional ebook.
-Regency Sleuth: At 4K of a projected 70K, this is still in the exploratory stages. Call it an “almost-WIP.” It’s not set in the actual Regency, just in a vaguely British Regency like place with minor fantasy elements (so far consisting of a single empath, whose abilities are not so far very useful in solving mysteries). I’m finding that writing a mystery calls for a very different approach so I’m kind of feeling my way through the process. I do like new challenges though, which is why I switch up genres when I finish with a particular setting. If completed, this one will possibly cycle through Vella as well.
-Ancestors of Jaiya: I may get some help stomping typos for these, and if so, I will set up AI-voiced audiobooks for them on Google Play.
Anyway, that’s where I’m at in the writing process. Feel free to share your opinions below.
Weird Wednesday: Chicken or the Egg
I used to think of myself as someone who starts writing with a protagonist (and a set of foils) and a situation, sometimes with an outline hitting the high points of where we needed to go. A recent conversation elsewhere made me realize that, by the time that happens, I’ve usually spent a lot of time daydreaming about different genres and world-building different settings, and I’m selecting the protagonist and the situation because they go with a setting/genre I was already playing with. *Shrug* not important, just interesting.
Weird Wednesday: Rings of Power Shoot Briefly Delayed by Fire at Bray Studios
Let’s move to Bray Studios, they said. That way if Sir Christopher Lee decides to lodge a protest from the afterlife, he’ll show up in Victorian evening wear instead of wizard’s robes, they said.
(On a related note, the idea that J.R.R.Tolkien “gave Lee permission” to play Gandalf is nonsense. Lee met Tolkien once, at a pub, having been introduced by some Oxford students who were friends of Lee’s and acquaintances of Tolkien’s. By the only account of this event I’ve ever seen attributed to Lee, greetings were exchanged, and it didn’t go further than that. The urban legend above seems to be based on an older, better attested story about Ian Fleming, Lee’s cousin-by-marriage, trying to recommend him for the role of Dr. No on the strength of Terror of the Tongs and Lee’s early Fu Manchu movies.)
Weird Wednesday: World’s Oldest Swords
Get Spider Star for Free!
Spider Star, the second and final book in my space opera series, is now live, and free for all Kindle readers until March 28, 2023. If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, it will be free until June 3, 2023, when it leaves Kindle enrollment.
You may know me from my clean fantasy romance novels in the Jaiya series and the Ancestors of Jaiya series. My new space operas, called the Star Master series, have less romance, but still combine adventure, mysticism and fun characters, while avoiding harsh language, graphic violence and sexuality. Shadow Captain was written with fans of Star Wars, Firefly, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda in mind.
If Spider Star sounds like it would interest you, feel free to check it out on Amazon now.
Weird Wednesday: Elon Musk Finds Creative New Use for Emojis
No dog in this fight, just amused.
Also grateful to Musk for doing this, because I was out of good ideas for Weird Wednesday and the next one was either going to be links to the two Italian adaptations of Pride and Prejudice or a review of the mind-numbingly boring Some May Live.