Glitch in the Matrix

Blog Post No. 536

200wSomething happened at the end of February that lasted until about a week ago. I don’t want to say it’s unexplainable because I’m sure there is an explanation, just not one I’m capable or willing to explore. During those three weeks I had a huge increase in views and visitors to this website. In one week I got more views than I usually do in some months. Most of those folks were American and most of them here came from Facebook. It was as if I paid for one of those Facebook ads, but as far as I know, I didn’t.

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Artificial Intelligence

Blog Post No. 535

26tn8z559z9b9ssjoEvery artist is being told to fear the coming onslaught of artificial intelligence. It’s already an issue with visual artists, especially digital artists. Even with the looming threat, the biggest issue I have is that people are calling these amazing programs artificial intelligence when they are more like really sophisticated machine learning. (The difference being an artificial intelligence can make their own decisions and machine learning just follows complicated if, than instructions). What these programs can do seems like magic and it’s really scary as a person who’s dedicated a lot of his adult life to a creative, artistic endeavor like writing, but thankfully, for now, these AI are more of a nuisance for writers than doom and gloom.

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I haven’t been Sick for Three Years

Blog Post No. 534

giphyAs you can read in the title, my epic run is over. Thankfully (as far as I know from home testing) I haven’t gotten the dreaded COVID, but late last week, I succumbed to the common cold. Having not been sick for so long (I have to admit) I was a bit of a baby about it. Thankfully, I had a rare weekend off, so I was able to do what had to be done to kick the butt of any cold or flu. Nothing.

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Fast Food

Blog Post No. 533

z0v4bt2e64x31In the coming weeks, I’ll hit a really weird milestone. I don’t remember the exact day (because who would) but it will be three years since I’ve had fast food. Initially I stopped getting fast food because of the lock down and not necessarily for the obvious health benefits. Even without the extra fat and sodium, I can’t say I’m eating especially healthy at home. I actually can’t stand when people spout nonsense about fast food being toxic or not real food. At least in Canada, there are enough regulations to ensure that the burger and fries are meat and potato. They’re just full of fats, carbs, salt, and sugar which in excess are terrible for you. The biggest takeaway for me has been how much money I’ve saved.

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My Youth on a Cassette

Blog Post No. 532

220px-mix_tape_sleeve_notesIn an attempt to avoid editing, I was cleaning up my desk the other day and came across an old cassette tape. It was marked “three” in my teenage chicken scratch and had no other information on it. I popped it into my player (which needs to have its belts changed since the speed consistency was all over the place) and on the tape were snippets recorded off the radio from the summer of 1997. I had to deduce the date based on the songs that were in the top charts for the day and the advertisement for the station’s summer music festival that was supposed to be happening in a matter of weeks.

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Small Town Vibe

Blog Post No. 531

img_20160702_111353At the end of the 2000s, I spent some time in another city for school. The city in question is a bit larger than the one I’m from, but it’s also fairly close. It takes less than two hours to get there on the highway. Personally, I like to take the back roads, which makes the trip a little closer to three hours. I did that drive a good dozen times that year, driving past small towns with a couple of stop signs (or sometimes the highway went right through them). Since the drive was leisurely and my mind wanders, I liked to imagine what my life would be like if I moved to one of those towns.

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Keeping in Touch

Blog Post No. 530

Johnston, Alexander, 1815-1891; The Pillar BoxThere’s value in keeping in touch with the people who matter in your life. (Value beyond relieving guilt, I mean, though alleviating guilt is a personal win for me every time). I wouldn’t say that I’m the worst at keeping in touch, but only because so many other people I know say that they are. That doesn’t mean I’m great at it , though. I just happen to be fine with being alone for so much of the time.

While I enjoy the company of my friends and family while in the moment, I’m also content when I’m just doing my own thing. (It also takes energy to engage, so sometimes there’s too much of a good thing with other people). It’s almost the same issue I have with starting any kind of work. Once I get going, I tend to do better than I had expected. I struggle with that first push.

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At the Risk of Repeating Myself – Music and Writing

Blog Post No. 530

tumblr_mx3fn3i9z01sei5ozo1_500I’ve written about music a lot on this website. Some of the earliest posts are about music. After ten years of posts, some ideas come around again (hopefully with a new perspective or at least expressed in a better way).

Music is a big part of my life and of my writing. Not only is my brother a musician (and a good one at that) but I grew up in a house (and car, and etc.) filled with music. My father played guitar and my mother played records. With two older brothers, I was constantly introduced to cool, new music, usually on CD with a little booklet with liner notes, pictures, and sometimes lyrics. Over the last few years, I’ve really gotten back into collecting physical media. Partly because I want to be able to reliably listen to (or watch) the things I like, but also because it’s neat to have those cases with liner notes and images.

This week’s post will be a little about music and writing in my life and a little about a few new albums I’ve physically purchased last year. In reverse order, the latest CD I’ve purchased is Expert in a Dying Field by The Beths. Continue reading “At the Risk of Repeating Myself – Music and Writing”

Early in the Year Update

Blog Post No. 529

giphy-3Before I sat down to write this week’s post, I wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to write about. I had a few half-thought-out ideas, but nothing that felt strong enough for a post. Then, I went through some old posts to determine exactly when I started the Invasion Novel (because I’m not done talking about that thing, yet and won’t be for some time). Turns out, the first post where I talk about actually starting the novel was in November of 2018. I remember having a false start on the book. I had written a couple of chapters with a strong narrator, but right away, I knew that wasn’t the story I wanted to tell. Even still, if I take November 2018 as the starting date, that’s nearly five years of working on this book.

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The 2023 Release Schedule

Blog Post No. 528

153a670d-7d7f-4642-b35f-1d87bfb8e3f3_textI’m not going to lie. The title of this post is a bit of a bait-and-switch. To be completely upfront, there is only one book planned for this year and even it’s only in the planning stages. I’ve started writing my part of it, though, so I want to talk a little about it. I briefly mentioned a potential anthology in a couple of recent posts. At that point, it was just a rough idea, but now, the participants have had a meeting to discuss ideas and plot themes. After that meeting, my brain does what it does and I was buzzing with ideas. It’s hard to not start on a new project with that excitement brewing, so I wrapped up what I had on my plate and started with an opening chapter.

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