Big Changes Coming Up!

So over the recent week I’ve decided to make some decisions. The worst one was saying “I’ve decided to make some decisions.” But for reals, I’m gonna be changing how I do things. I’m not going to go into too much detail right now because I have not even begun work on these changes.

I will note right now that my first novel, Slubes, will be removed from sale on Amazon at the end of the month. I’ll be looking into moving to a different self-publishing place (as you may know, isn’t exactly the most friendly and not-using-bullying-tactics-to-steal-a-deal-and-eat-its-competitors place), but it won’t be made available again immediately. Things will change. They’ll change in the physical form, on this blog, and in my wallet (though I am not yet sure in what direction that last one will be changing). Slubes will still be available on Smashwords, though, and there probably won’t be a break in availability on there.

I hope to be ready to explain further by the end of the month. I’ve got 18 days to prepare, and there’s quite a bit of preparing to do, so as usual, *sits down and plays video games for several hours*

What I’ve Been Reading In: April (plus a look at an angry suitcase)

That’s right, it’s time for another look at what I’ve been rea- What? You want to know what I’ve been recently writing?

Yyyeah, I’ve been working on stuff, but for my next novel, I’ve still got people looking it over for me. I want it to be the best it can be, and I definitely want it read beforehand–I do some weird things in it and want to make sure it’s not too out there. Rest assured, though, I am always working on things; none of these things will ever directly make me any money, but you will be able to see them someday when they’re ready.

*sits down and plays video games for several hours*

Oh, right, the stuff I’ve read. Well, April was a time for Discworld, as I finally read the next book in the series, Eric. But not just Eric, the illustrated Eric. The illustrations are all very nice (a great deal nicer than the rather mundane covers the Harper Collins versions use), but I’m a writer so let’s get to the story. It was all right, maybe a little disjointed, but was fun. I’d actually read the play Doctor Faustus for a class in college, so I had some background in it that. And in going over it in my head, I seem to remember one small part in particular, a sort of inversion to the grandfather paradox wherein Rincewind remarks that time travel only seemed appealing in order to kill your own grandfather.

Anyway, while on the subject of a Rincewind story, which means The Luggage can’t be too far behind, something occurred to me about The Luggage while reading this story: it’s an overpowered character. But the kicker here is, The Luggage just doesn’t care. Not in a “life is meaningless” sense, but in a “i don’t care if this IS a physical impossibility, I’M GONNA DO IT” sense.

Most of the time badly-written overpowered characters–you know, like Mary Sues–make a point to show this power, and beats everybody with grace and style and- bu- ju- ih- gh- just, The Luggage just doesn’t care. It’ll just mow over people like they’re ants. Most people in online role plays (oh boy, time to confuse a bunch of people!), if they are called out for god-modding, would stop and complain that they aren’t god-modding. The Luggage would basically just shrug (despite having no shoulders) and then eat them, with no regard for “rules” or “common decency” or “code of conduct” or “logic”.

And that’s why it’s amazing. Because it just doesn’t care. It’s just angry.

Also why it can turn a chimera into pudding (see: Sourcery)

Moving on, the next Discworld book is Moving Pictures, which I would probably rank actually as one of my favorites. The story was interesting, though the backstory may have been a little hazy (yet at the same time a little obvious), and characters were fun. I always like good characters, and Victor’s carefree-until-he’s-at-risk-of-getting-a-care-at-which-point-he-cares-vastly-about-getting-back-to-being-carefree attitude was interesting. I also liked Gaspode’s rough snark contrasted with reluctant loyalty. Clearly he is a diamond in the rough. Or quartz in the alley. I dunno.

And finally, we come to Reaper Man. I like the character of Death. He’s strangely spontaneous, though I suppose death can happen at any time, so spontaneity wouldn’t be too far out of character. The thing about Reaper Man though is, I would say it’s an okay story, but really it’s an okay two stories. There are two different stories going on here. Both of them have the same root cause, but they don’t really cross at any point. One story seemed to have a rather abrupt climax with a hazy conclusion, the most of it before and the ending was pretty good, while the other sort of comes out of left field with no prior suggestion of it. So it was a little confusing there. Can’t say it’s one I particularly like, but I guess you win some, you lose some.

So what’s next? Well, it turns out the next Discworld novel is not one my library has. Whoops. They have the ebook version, but my stance on that stands at that being the cheap version. But that’s okay; I was wanting to try and read some books by independent authors; you know, people basically in the same circumstance I am, except maybe a little more well-known because let’s face it no one is less-known than I am. So I might look into that. Also maybe read Machine of Death, whiiich my library does have. I came up with my own idea regarding the machine of death recently, actually, so clearly I must read the two collections involving it to make sure the idea hasn’t been used.

That’s it for now, see you in another month probably!

Recent Readings: Whenever I Get to it Edition?

I’m bad at doing things like this. I actually made a Goodreads profile some time ago, added some books I’d read (mostly the ones I wrote about in my last Recent Readings), and then couldn’t get myself to add all the other stuff sitting on my mini-bookcase. I might get around to it eventually, who knows? Regardless, this is even more work. It involves writing about other writing. Writing!

There’s not a whole lot to report on, actually, though. I guess first I’ll mention Fox’s Bride by A.E. Marling; I mentioned his first book, Brood of Bones, in the previous RailRoad, and since then I bought and read what I’m going to assume works as a sequel, since it features the same protagonist. Once again it has the sort of mystery feel to it, but less so than the first.

I have to say, though, a character who starts out seeming important ends up dwindling in importance until he’s almost forgotten… almost. Inannis the thief has a rather important role in the first half but then appears in something like one scene in the second half. It just seems like a weird shift in this character’s role, and he just sort of disappears from events. I guess it makes sense, but it’s still seems jarring, and I’m still not entirely sure what his whole deal was. Plus that one scene in the second half doesn’t give any insight on what happens after and seems kind of out of place. Apparently there’s a bonus epilogue scene with him you can get online, but leaving something like that available outside of the book? Who would do that? What’s that? A message from my future self saying I do that all the time with minor characters? Well then.

The other books I’ve been reading lately–aside from some rereading–is finishing A Series of Unfortunate Events, after having read the first four in the last Rest&Relaxation. The series certainly picks up; the first, about, six or so books could be seen to all follow a very similar structure, but then it starts to change as mysteries open up and then fold over themselves. And, of course, throughout the dark themes and confusing puzzles, the writing is always very silly, though in a serious manner. It’s all treated seriously, no matter how silly it is. Repeating yourself in a looping sentence only to end it by revealing it as a distraction to hide a letter in the narration? Amazing, I say!

Funnily enough, the series also leaves a lot of open-ended stuff, to make note back to Inannis, from Fox’s Bride, but in the case of this series the things left behind are given attention. The unexplained details are left in a shroud. (I read that the last book had some criticism in leaving so many unsolved mysteries. If you want mysteries solved, then never ever read The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster. NEVER.

That’s what I’ve been reading lately. As for what I’ve been writing, still working on that… lots of planning…

To Be or Not To Be: That Is still a book by Ryan North

Okay, before I go through my impressions of TBONTB, which I’m just gonna call To Be because I always be, I want to mention how it’s kind of difficult to read a lot at once, largely because going through it multiple times inevitably leads to rereading portions, which leads to skipping already-read stuff. Which leads to flipping through pages to get to new stuff. I could use bookmarks but pfft, whatever. Thus I’m planning to just go through 2 or 3 times a day. So, hey, it should last some time for me!

Anyway, of COURSE I started by reading acknowledgements. What’s wrong with reading about cool people first?? After that, it was time to BE RYAN NORTH YEEAH


AND THEN I WAS HAMLET SR. AND died. then ghost died. I’m terrible at being Hamlet Sr.

Later, I decided to try making the Conservative options. Or, as the book put them, the stupid options. It’s, um. This part oddly enough worked as a pretty good metaphor for a lot of male US politicians making rulings on women’s health issues. That’s right, Shakespeare is relevant to the politics of today, especially when it’s in a chooseable-path adventure format!

Anyway, I really like the nonstandard writing techniques, which is something I’m interested in for my own writing! I mean, chopping up the story and throwing it everywhere and doing this with a bunch of versions with the story to make a story salad is as nonstandard as it can get, but even the little things like repeating a letter to signify it’s being extended: “Yayyyy.” THE AUTHOR IS NOT AFRAID TO DO THINGS THAT WOULD BE IMPROPER FOR MOST BOOKS AND WHATNOT

Adding to that, author participation (it may be a deus ex machina, but it was SHAKESPEARE’S FAULT) and narration that really gets off-track. It’s like, even at points the narrator admits that he is totally getting off-track. Basically, this is the best possible way to write this type of book: the narrator actively chastising you for making awful decisions. “You know what? No. Just no.” And at one point you can actually attempt to lie to the book.

All in all, amazing book, still a lot for me to read through, can’t wait for the sequel, this should become a new common type of book. It’s quite a feat, of course, even without the illustrated endings, but so what?? It’s amazing. I’m even considering what I would do if I wrote one.

That’s about it , I think. Just wanted to make a follow-up post after I’ve read some of the book. Most of this post was written as I was reading it, just jotting down thoughts, and then organized in a way that’s not just a smattering of thoughts like I usually do.

Recent Readings: and by Recent, I Mean…

First, I didn’t give up on having a new post every few days–I just realized it’s a stupid thing to hold myself too. Why force myself to come up with something that wouldn’t be very good and thus worth it? So I’ll just make a post when something comes up. Did I mention I got back to revising my next book? Anyway, I wrote all this… over a month ago, I think, and was just waiting to finish the last of the books I bought a month or two ago before I posted it.

So back in the days of my youth I didn’t read very much. Then I became a writer and realized “oh ,carp, I should start reading more!” So, I did. One summer I read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. I need to read them again, since I never read the one written after Douglas Adams’ death. So I won’t be saying anything on them. Instead, I’ll go back to last fall.

Bwobwobluwobwoblu time warp sounds

A Note from an Author

You may have read that last post, got to the end, and thought “what is going on, why did the font change, who is the narrator arguing with”. (And you may have read that sentence and thought “what does he mean ‘why did the font change’ I don’t remember that”, in which case you read an earlier version of the post.) Anyway, if you were reading Slubes, chances are you would have seen this first:


A Note from an Author

Good day, readers. My name is Wally Plotch. I suppose you could call me the writer of this work. Duth Olec prefers to call me the court stenographer, but even simply stenographer would not be wholly accurate. I guess I’m somewhere between a reporter and a writer. Duth is the creator and the presenter. It is our combined efforts that bring this story to you.

And any problems you have with it are Wally’s fault!

Hey! No! You said you wouldn’t interfere on this first outing!

Well we haven’t outed yet, have we? I just want everybody to know that it’s all Wally’s fault.

Stop that. Or I’ll make you do this on your own.

All right, all right. Go ahead; I’ll get things started…


In this novel, as in probably all my novels will be, the narrator is Wally Plotch; he’s not thrilled about the job, but at least I’m there to spur him along, or distract him, or whatever it is I do. To distinguish between his writing and my occasional input (It doesn’t happen very often, I only speak up when I’m needed, I do not abuse this power!), different fonts are used (not the ones you see here, this is just for the blog)… except in the e-book version, which uses a uniform font throughout. Instead they’re enclosed within {}.

Also, you may have noticed a footnote in yesterday’s excerpt. There’s footnotes! After all, this is a crazy new world that you’ve never seen, gaddfern it! You need to know what the hex is going on sometimes! Carp!

Now that I’ve told you about the semantics, or whatever, maybe next time I’ll post something that will make people interested! Well, tomorrow’s Mother’s Day, so I might take the day off, and I take every Monday off because I’m a jerk who likes to laugh at people who have jobs (STRESSLESS), so Tuesday might be more! Might be not! I’m not sure how much of the novel I will actually go and post up here, but we’ll see.