About Me

My photo
Everything you've heard is true. I write books and other things for children and adults.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Soundbite #1

"We have met Big Brother and he is us."
-Commodore Perry
-George Orwell

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Second Amendment Thoughts

As a writer, I like to examine issues from a holistic human perspective, as opposed to taking a stand on one side or the other. It’s fun, and sometimes everyone gets mad at me. For example…

 The interesting thing about the Second Amendment is the moral weight it gives to gun ownership.  By listing it alongside freedom of speech and religion, security against abuse of power by the government, and other protections for the individual, guns are elevated from being a simple tool to being a representative agent for those protections.  It therefore has the same moral weight as religion or speech, and is embedded the same way in people’s personal sense of identity, both as individuals, and as Americans.

Some interesting questions: what if the Second Amendment instead protected a person’s right to protect himself and his home by not unreasonably restricting his actions or methods?  That is, what if the need for a militia and for personal security was guaranteed without specific mention of firearms?  The first amendment ensures freedom of “the press” and we assume this means the institution of journalism, not the physical ownership of a printing press.  Freedom of speech has not suffered from this.  Would gun ownership culture have evolved differently?

Guns are tools; physical devices designed to perform a function when operated by the user.  Some are designed for killing animals.  Most are designed for injuring or killing people.  By stating one’s right to own a gun, one is essentially asserting one’s right to have the ability to injure or kill a person.

It is worth examining this at both a collective and individual level.  Collectively, why do we acknowledge and defend that right?  Because the right to kill is as inalienable as the right to the pursuit of happiness. We are never far from the law of the jungle. A well-ordered society offers institutional protections for the weak against the powerful, but societies face threats to order from within and from without. The demonstrated support of the right to kill is in place partly as a deterrent against these threats, and partly as a defense against society’s collapse, whether at a local or global scale.

Individually, the question is much more subtle, and there can be no one answer.  Each person - gun owner or no - should carefully examine his or her position, and reasons for their choice to own or not to own.  But hardly anyone will.  People don’t.  The gun is such a potent symbol of individual and collective power in America that most people on all sides of the question cling to their position on the issue as a proxy for the gun itself, which is in turn a fetish for the phallic power they crave.  That is to say, “My identity as a gun-owner/non-owner is my badge of power that represents my connection to the symbol of power with which I have aligned myself.”

But where is the real power in this dynamic?  To find the power, follow the path of who gets what they want.  Does your individual gun-ownership status get you what you want?  If so, then the power is yours.  Do you perceive threats to your power? From where do those threats come?

We can discuss the gun as the symbol of American phallic power at another time.  If the gun is that symbol in America, what fills that niche in other places?

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Dormancy...and Post-Dormancy


One may regard everything prior to this post as an experiment and a warm-up for all that is to follow. I learned how to use the platform, and discovered that I had little to say. Other than providing a central point for links to the things I've published, this site has lain dormant and without a clear purpose.

Being a writer, it seems having a blog is a necessity, but I never quite found the groove. Writing is hard enough as it is, and having to write a blog on top of it - especially a self-reflexive blog about writing - just adds to the snarl. So I worked on other stuff and this blog languished.

But all that changed some short months ago when I had the great good fortune to have a novel picked up by Lanternfish Press, a wonderful small publisher in Philadelphia. You should check them out - their books are beautiful and strange. My novel, working title One Bronze Knuckle, is tentatively scheduled for spring 2019.

 So here I am, reanimating the withered corpse of my blog, because I finally have something to talk about! Imagine that!


Sunday, May 22, 2016

To Microsoft Compliance and Ethics
I am dismayed today to find that Windows 10 has decided to install itself on my computer.  No doubt I have fallen victim to Microsoft's tactic of configuring the [x] on the Wondows 10 promotional pop-up to function as an affirmative selection rather than a simple close command.  This is a tactic I expect from penile enhancement products and Russian girls hot for western men, not from a highly respected and well established global corporation.  I can hardly have missed the media blitz or the persistent pop-ups that distract me from my work; does Microsoft not think that, should I have chosen to switch to Windows 10, I would have done so when I was damn good and ready?  Has Microsoft such a low opinion of my decision making abilities?
Further, upon completion of this action (dubiously termed an "upgrade"), I find that Office now believed I have exceeded the number of allowable downloads, although I am accessing the program from the very computer (the very one!) from which the program was originally purchased.  For Microsoft, whether through intent or oversight, to block my access to a legitimately purchased product by way of imposing upon me an unwanted product indicates a sketchy regard for its customers at the very best.  At worst, it betrays Microsoft's view of its customers as mere nodes in its global super-mind, with which It may do as It pleases.
Surely, you are aware that Microsoft faces real and growing competition from a wide array of providers whose products provide all the desired functionality without putting their hands up their users' skirts.  How, I ask you, is behavior such as that described above intended to retain my interest in remaining a customer of your products?
Hoping you are well,
Loyal Node

Friday, May 20, 2016

Reading Camus, and then -

Greetings from the center of the universe! 
There is nothing to report but this:  A certain black and white cat of my acquaintance has left a gift this morning for us - the back half of a small rodent.  It may be a mouse, or a pocket gopher.  Without the front half it's hard to tell.  The cat - who is orca-colored - informs us by this means that the seasons are progressing as planned, that the world, against all other evidence, remains upon its axis, and that he will take his breakfast on the veranda.  M. LeChat strolls obliquely into the room as we write and regards us with affectionate disdain before announcing his desire for immediate egress.  He will go out at this time, and will remain out through the night.  We needn't wait up.  These things, these and the little snails that terrorize the roses, are the only signs of spring we need.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

After a lengthy silence, a feeble rustle...

Having decided that nothing is more boring than a blog about a writing trying to write something, I stopped posting until I had something interesting to say.

However, if I gave you my card at LTUE this weekend, I thought you deserved something more than that, so here you go>>>

Greetings!  Had a great time at LTUE 2016, and I hope you did, too!  Thanks for stopping by!  I still don't have anything interesting to say!  But exclamation points always help, right?  I said, am it RIGHT?!?!?

Anyway, if you stopped by for some other reason and you don't know what LTUE is, you should go here >>>  ltue.net >>> and check it out.

Should I pretend that someone is really reading this and promise to post more frequently?  Hmmm...
I don't know, what do you think?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Armoire Pirate Update

I have pulled The Armoire Pirate down from Smashwords and Amazon temporarily to revise the manuscript (and also to prepare for launching the next three books in the series).
I have tried to take down all the links for it, but if you accidentally found your way there and it didn't work, and then you found your way here, I apologize.

So, so sorry...