I already have these books listed on My Book Shelf page, but most of you folks don’t visit that (the numbers don’t lie), so I figured I’d do something I rarely do these days, and actually post a link farm. I apologize for those hoping for a new, proper post from me, but I’m a little out of sorts and not feeling too chatty. Included with these links are the brief summaries I wrote for these books a week or two ago:
THE BACK ROADS OF LIMBO
A series of short stories and novellas about spies, sultans, genies, detectives, bad angels, a man’s best friend, the God of Squirrels, Christmas dinner for two, thieves, sorceresses, lost children, working while you sleep, writer’s block, soul-eating vampires, and a giant squid.
PRINT | KINDLE
TERMINAL MONDAY: a Dream of New York City
A man meets an old girlfriend who convinces him to return to novel writing, but not before his wife leaves him, he gets his old band back together, and suffers a nervous breakdown.
PRINT | KINDLE | KOBO | NOOK | SONY | APPLE | SMASHWORDS
ASHES: Infinite Redress
A scientist becomes infected by a space-borne virus that contains the soul of an alien missionary who bonds with her and draws her into solving the mystery of how the aliens all died.
KOBO | NOOK | SONY | APPLE | SMASHWORDS
The BRIDE of WAR
A knight falls in love with a young woman designated to be sacrificed to a mystical dragon, and undertakes a quest to learn how to defeat the dragon and break the centuries-old pact.
PRINT | KINDLE | KOBO | NOOK | SONY | APPLE | SMASHWORDS
LINKTALES volume one
(excerpts from The Dark Guild) A series of mysterious events lead to the old city of Londonis being invaded by soul-eating vampires.
KINDLE | KOBO | NOOK | SONY | APPLE | SMASHWORDS
You know what I’m asking you to do. Please. Thank you.
CHEST MUCK PLAGUE 2015
Been sick with a chest cold for just over a week now. *sigh*
So, I’ve been pretty focussed on artwork lately. For those of you NOT following my art page, it’s HERE.
I’ve also been working on music again. I recorded a tiny piece of music that had originally come from my buddy Gary Falkins quite a long time ago, and that I had gussied up a bit, also a very long time ago. You and listen to it here:
But today, I think I’m going to focus on some writing. I haven’t published anything brand new in a few months, and it’s starting to get on my nerves (especially because nobody actually read the last two books I wrote). The current volume is another collection of short stories, which is only about a third done. I may take some of the more questionable stories out of the volume before I publish it, even though the focus of the book, if you can call it focus, is personal stories interspersed with fictional tales of taboo and transgression. I once had a slim volume of original erotica planned, and nearly got it done, but just haven’t had the nerve to put it out. The naughtier stuff in this volume may wind up in there as well. We’ll see.
[click to embiggen]
I think that’s all of the Show & Tell I’ve got for today. Thank you for reading.
Something I’ve been working on.
Originally posted on CLEAR Art Gallery: Lee Edward McIlmoyle paintings:
I may give each position a name of its own, to denote the significance of the configuration. I may not. There are a lot of ways to look at this piece. The explanations going through my head right now are taking a while to boil down and articulate.
It’s about achieving against adversity. The significance of the white piece is personal, but you may be forgiven for thinking it’s a reference to the obvious cis male white dominated society we live in. And that would be one good interpretation of the struggle and sacrifice needed to achieve against adversity, as well. The positioning of the white piece becomes symbolic under such circumstances. I invite the owner to draw their own conclusion.
Acrylic on canvas board, mounted to wooden panel; 12″x12″.
My agent says it’s valued at $200.00 CAD (+s&h). Better hurry before I change my mind.
View original 6 more words
Okay, so a few of you may have noticed that I wasn’t posting anything for a few weeks there. Money problems. Website was down. thanks for asking. But the point is, I’ve been having problems with money lately, and that is largely down to the fact that my career of choice, writing, is not paying the bills. There might be a reason for that. It occurs to me that I don’t publicize my books in a way that everyone can get into. So, I’m going to look into rebranding my books and rewriting the book synopses and such, to hopefully make the books easier to get into. My attempts to be clever and artsy have met with failure. I’m thinking the whole thing needs to be redone with less frills, no vector artwork, no photography (I’m anti-photo covers; they bore me to tears), and only a brief but very clear synopsis on the back. It’s probably the wrong way to go about it, but trusting my instincts hasn’t paid off so far, so maybe just sticking with the KISS principle will do the trick.
See, this is because I’m not a hobbyist. I’m serious about writing. I’m just not successful. And I’m not able to go back to factory work (bad back), and I can’t work for another bottom feeding print shop (I’m looking at you, Hamilton Copy Copy), and can’t seem to get work in the shops that look like they might have a clue how to treat their employees with respect. So, either I write my way out of debt, or sell more paintings, or record a new album of rock songs and hope I can promote that and sell lots of CDs and pay my debts off. Yeah, you see how this works, right?
I may be redesigning this site, as well. Might keep the sliding doors theme, but change out the graphics and go ultra simple and clean. Something that screams ‘professionally designed’. Because I am, or at least have been, a professional designer, too. Not so much lately, and not in the current market, it seems, but I’m competent.
So there you have it. Things are gonna change. And with any luck, you will be swayed, and will finally buy (and read) something I wrote. Because you know I’m talking to you specifically, right? Not the other readers. You. You’re the only one I’m interested in.
Now, if only you felt that way about me…
One more thing: I’m considering doing audio books. Any requests?
STRONG LANGUAGE ALERT: The following is a very colourful screed about the fallacy of debating sexism in video games while clutching your penis and thumping your chest while wearing a monkey suit. NSFW.
The problem with the debate about sexist tropes in video gaming is, the people arguing the loudest are invariably the least rational and the least capable of holding a civilized, productive debate.
The first logical fallacy is maintaining that there is nothing wrong with sexism in gaming because the people pointing it out are ‘FemiNazis’ who are just trying to take away our ‘male-safe space’. Your male-safe space is the problem. It’s a happy little bubble where you go to objectify women and circle jerk and act like an asshole. That’s all it is. Nothing sacred to it. A man who can’t live without this sort of behaviour isn’t really a man, because only abused, shell-shocked women will tolerate it, and if you can’t behave that way in front of a strong woman, chances are, you’re acting like a child, not a real man. Grow the fuck up.
You see, rather than debate the actual point of discussion (i.e. too many video games portray women as helpless sex objects, which teaches men to treat women not as people but as possessions to be treated and punished as we see fit), we clamp our hands to our heads screaming ‘La La La LA LA’ as loud as we can, and when she stops talking, we start bashing at her like an orangutan trying to open a can of peanuts. We’ll call her anything and everything under the sun to try to shut her up, whoever she is, and we don’t even really care who she is or what she says, so long as we can find an emotional chink in her armour to tear her apart with.
Make a video explaining why many video games make women feel like shit? We’ll mansplain why you’re wrong to feel that way, and then perhaps threaten to rape you in the comments section, to teach you a lesson about opening your sexy mouth out of turn. Start a kickstarter campaign to make videos talking about the systemic problems within Gamer Culture? We’ll baselessly accuse you of being a scam artist, merely wanting money to go buy frilly hats and shit. And maybe threaten to rape you as well, just for good measure.
See what just happened there?
You see, it’s all such bullshit, it doesn’t even deserve to be debated. If you can’t see the logical fallacy of protecting your sexist boy’s club mentality, then you have failed to grasp the problem entirely. And in the process, you are making all male gamers look like asses just for owning a penis and a penis substitute… err… I mean game controller.
ProTip #1: This is the 21st Century. Yes, I’m still waiting for my jetpack, too. But meanwhile, perhaps we could all as men try a little harder NOT to drag our fucking knuckles on the ground quite so much.
The second fallacy is that ‘she has no right to debate the issue if she isn’t a member of the club’ (i.e.: the Not a Gamer debate). Where did that bullshit come from? ‘You don’t know what it’s like to be a gamer, so shut up’? ‘I was a 98lb weakling in school, so let me have my digital titties; I’ve earned them’?
Bullshit. If more women don’t play certain games, there has to be a logical reason, and it’s not chromosomal. It’s not because women are predisposed to prefer Barbies and easy bake ovens. I know women who game. Game hard, even. MOST of the women I hold dearest to my heart are awesome gamers, and could kick your lily white ass, in or out of game. And even they have largely been driven out of gamer circles because of the toxic atmosphere of gamer culture these days. They don’t want to put up with our tirades and our snide remarks and our crude ‘jokes’ (which ARE actually attacks on their gender, you realize?) anymore. Who would have thunk it?
This is because we make women feel like shit for even trying to be part of the discussion, unless they promise to be good gamer girlfriends, serve the nacho chips and Mountain Dew, and give the occasional blow job during raid. All in all, not a solid position, guys.
I know. I’m making polemic arguments. You’re already pissed at my ‘baseless’ statements. Too bad. You can dish it out, but you clearly can’t take it. How’s that for a knuckle dragging argument?
And that’s what it all looks like from the outside, you know? Mainstream media is covering this ‘debate’, and the reviews are looking really bad for the boy’s team. We look like a bunch of fucking savages. Amateur Hour.
ProTip #2: Before you shoot your mouth off about racial or gender-based discrimination, Check Your Privilege and make sure you aren’t already already guilty of some or all of the accusations. No point in trying to argue your way out of a wet paper bag; wait long enough and it will fall apart around you. And before there is any confusion, that wet paper bag is made from the slender thread of lies you’ve been telling yourselves and each other to keep this whole charade of a ‘debate’ alive. You can’t win, because you already lost. You invalidated every good point you MAY have had by resorting to rape threats and shit slinging. And don’t tell me it wasn’t you. You may not have made the threats, but someone you know did, and you said shit to them about it. Well fuck that. I’m calling you out. Me too. It took this long for me to come to grips with my passive acceptance and complicity in the Boy’s Club mentality at work here.
We as Gamers are probably all geeks/nerds on some level, and probably have been most of our lives. As well, we’ve probably all been treated like shit at some point in our lives for not being alpha enough. I know I was, for years. I literally can’t tell you how many times I got beat up just for being the small, chubby kid with the glasses and the big vocabulary. I lost fucking count. But what do we take away from that experience? Did we learn to be more compassionate and accepting of others? Fuck, no. We learned how to treat those whom we perceive as being beneath us (Caste System, anyone?) with the same contempt and derision we get. And we justify it by saying we’re just keeping it real and making the weak stronger. Tough Love? Really? Bullshit!
One last thing before you go: I don’t hate men. I AM a man, and I love sexuality and the female form, in all of its shapes and sizes. But there’s a whole lotsa times I wish I could say I’m not a member of this club, and they usually happen when I find myself in a group of men bashing or otherwise baselessly demeaning women, especially when they’re not around to defend themselves in person. Most of these comments and arguments go on behind women’s backs, or down in the sleazy pit of some comment section with no moderation or Netiquette enforcement. There’s a word for what happens in there: Disinhibited. It’s when we slip and let down our guard, and start to behave in ways we wouldn’t normally condone in polite society. It’s when our monkey brains take over and we start defecating and flinging feces on everything in protest, rather than calm down and produce a reasonable argument as to why we disagree, even if we’re eventually proven wrong. And we seem to do it every time, the weak- and the strong-minded alike (just with slightly different language). We start off making logical argument noises, but it almost always seems to be rife with logical fallacies, until we run out of male rights activism points to parrot faithfully. Then we get pissed off and start lashing out.
And every time we do this, we lose the debate.
Let me put it to you another way: You Lose. Game Over. Now turn off the console and go do something fucking productive. Like your homework. Or your laundry. At least take a fucking shower.
Thank you for reading this far. And on behalf of the upright-walking members of the male gender, I apologize to any and all women who have felt maligned by the male-dominated cultures of the world. We really are a pathetic lot, but some of us are trying.
Okay, so I’ve been offline for the better part of the last three weeks, with a few exceptions, and currently, my main website is offline, until I get some money to our web server tomorrow or the day after.
My arm is not 100% healed yet, but it’s getting good again. I can type, and I can ALMOST feel my ring and pinky fingers on my left hand properly again. Still a bit tingly, and my hand and forearm ache if I overdo it. Like now. One hand typing time.
I’m a little burned out on my PB duties at the moment, and in need of a rethink as per strategy for getting our Councillor to commit to a 2015 budget. He wants and needs a PB process that works, but I suspect he doesn’t trust me and my team to pull it off. Shame, because there really isn’t anyone else who will do it effectively for the price.
Also furious with the suburban Councillors who refuse to back the LRT initiative. They’re holding the city’s future hostage, and I think they ought to give their collective heads a shake and get back to working for the common good, if that was ever their intent. Amalgamation has rarely been so divisive.
I’m trying to finish proofreading and formatting RETURN TRIP for self-publishing. I’d like to have it all done tonight, so I can submit it to KDP/Createspace and Smashwords tomorrow.
I’m starting to tinker with STEEP INCLINATIONS yet again. It’s slow going with one hand, but I think this will be the year.
Thank you to everyone who has been helping me along in the last while. You really are wonderful people. I couldn’t do it without you.
Thank you for reading.
So it’s me and a coffee and Thomas Dolby’s Map of the Floating City this morning. Soon it will probably be How To Destroy Angels. I’m thinking about maybe spending the next few days writing and recording an EP of solo keyboard music. I’ve never really done that before. It’s too late for Christmas, but hey, I usually am.
Just thinking I’d like to record some music before the surgery on my arm, just in case I don’t get it back. Could spell the end of my musical career before it ever really started. Maudlin thought for the holidays, but it’s been bothering me quite a bit in the last week, though I’ve been trying not to let on. My left hand aches off and on, and the ulnar nerve in my left elbow has been making all kinds of strange little perambulations that aren’t right. If the surgery works, it’ll be a few months before I can play music again. If not… my left hand slowly turns into a withered claw and I probably spend what remains of my musical career playing keys and programming mostly with my right hand. No tour. The end of a dream. I can’t accurately convey how depressing that thought is.
I’m going to turn 44 on Boxing Day. A lot of old plans and schemes, not quite broken dreams, a lot has happened to keep them from happening on time, but I still hold out hope. So losing the ability to practically deliver on those dreams is not an easy pill to swallow. I’m just beginning to really come to grips with the instruments for perhaps the first time in decades. Almost as good as when we were a band, and also better in many ways. It’s almost time. And Yet it may already be too late.
The hand thing will also affect my painting and writing. I touch type with both hands, a skill not a lot of writers actually possess. I also paint very kinetically, using both hands, so that could also suck.
Basically, the next few months are going to be hellish for me.
And I’m going to be doing PBW2 stuff during all of this. I haven’t really told my team mates what’s coming. This is probably going to be a miserable winter, whether I recover or not.
I think I may have to stop typing. My pinky is starting to ache a bit. I was going to do some writing… maybe I’ll get some work done. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, I’m practicing making a video game with a new program called BuildBox. Using their art assets for now. Here’s where I’m at:
The game is called ‘Stevie Is A Menace’.
The barely-started song lyric in the text window behind WinAmp is called ‘How to Build Your Audience (From Common Household Items)’
Today is my hero Anthony Phillips’ birthday. I haven’t chosen which piece to post on the FB fan page yet. Probably another collected suite. Just gotta decide which one.
I’m selling a calendar I made and posted on RedBubble.
I’m also selling WINTERLUDE, the short story I released from THE BACK ROADS OF LIMBO, because almost no one bought or read it.
There’s also NEVER APOLOGIZE, which is also a seasonal tale.
My best abstract paintings are still selling for half what they’re worth. No buyers. It’s been a rough year.
Baba O’Riley is playing in the headphones. Time to get back to writing that song. You folks have a great day, and if I miss you before then, Merry Christmas. Thanks for reading.
Wrote up a manifesto for creating a new process for PBW2 in 2015. It’s hald manifesto, half actual plan. I haven’t spelled out the timeline in absolute dates yet, but if the gang likes the basic structure, and we can get the Councillor’s approval and support, we’ll start setting things up and firming up details ahead of a January campaign launch.
That is, if there are no serious objections. This is a tough room I’ve brought together. I expect good ideas, but I also expect there to be strong criticisms of my ideas.
Not actively writing the novel I started this month. Wasn’t expecting opposition from my wife to starting it. Haven’t been able to look at it the same since. So I’ve gone back and tried to finish Act 2 of THE APPROXIMATE DISTANCE TO LIMBO (aka Return Trip). It’s coming so slowly, it hurts. No real time to write, and I’ve been reluctant to dig in. *sigh*
Steep Inclinations will have to wait until some time in the New Year, as far as I can tell. No band to speak of, so I really am treating this as the last Etcetera Thesis project. It’s not so much a determination to leave as a realisation that I’m the only one still here. Time to go.
Maybe form a new band some time in the new year. Or maybe 2016. We’ll see if I make it that far.
The StinZine (issue #005) is at the printers.
Started four newish paintings, but I’m already thinking I want to start a new series, using some canvases I’ve had laying around for another project I’ve elected to abandon, simply because n o one really wants or needs me to do that one, now. Thinking of picking up one or two more 12″x36″ canvases and doing either an upright polyptych or one continuous horizontal strip, featuring Zoe in ashcan style paintings a la Edward Hopper, but in her own world. I had been thinking of paying a more direct homage to Hopper, who has been a quiet influence of mine, but I don’t want to hue too close, as his legacy has become a little strip mined in recent years. I just want to capture the feel of his work using a teenaged Zoe doing her best impression of 40/50s starlets in interesting locations doing cool cinematic things. If that works out, I may try her out doing some Muchaesque things next year. those will be larger canvases. Something in four or five foot lengths. I’ve been keeping Zoe mostly to myself for too long.
Becky (aka Baby Cat) is extremely miserable, thanks to the introduction of Stevie (aka Little One), who is an irrepressible sweetheart with an all-consuming need for love and attention, and a refusal to accept no… for long.
And Lucky (aka Panther)… well, I still miss him. A lot. Dawn and I don’t talk about our boy too often, but we both miss him. He was utterly unique, and though Becky and Stevie have been working around the clock to fill his space, they’re not really anything like him.
Thank you for reading. I’ll try to have more for tomorrow.