Saturday, May 28, 2016

Year half over and I have accomplished all of nothing

Egads! The year is half over, and I feel like I have accomplished nothing so far this year.

But if I am being fair to myself, and not being super-critical of myself, I must admit that at least, I am making progress---it is just none of it is actually visible.

The project that I am currently working on is a rather nonsensical one that was inspired by a comment from Nick Farrell back in October. He complained that Necronomicon rip-offs sell better than regular occult books. And being curious, I went and looked. He might be right.

So when Novemeber rolled around, and I thought about doing National Novel Writing Month for the millionth time, I decided that a Necronomicon rip-off was a suitable project...because I am poor, and would love to get my hands on some of that sweet, sweet Necro-RipOff money.

Unfortunately, the project was more complicated than I thought it would be (something to do with being an actual occultist who decided that a dollop of actual occult lore would be just the secret ingredient needed), and I had a problem with my meds.

And by problem with my meds, I mean that the insurance decided that some of my meds were not covered and they needed an act of Congress to get them approved. So I ended up spending two months without the anti-drepressant...which, well, just turned me back into the constantly blocked and panicky writer that gets nothing done because they would make more money working in fast food, but so does not want to. The quickest way for me to be blocked is for me to look for big money projects; it causes me to second guess everything that I do (and hello writer's block!).

Once I got back on the pills, it took time for them to re-stabilize me. So I lost about a four month block of time. I managed to do some work on the first Harmic Barrows story, but I ran into some plot problems, and the sneaky fear that perhaps I was copying too much stuff from other people. There is nothing like watching movies and realizing how much they inspired your current work to make one question one's ability to write.

So doubt over whether I should even bother to finish the first Harmic story was killing me.

Fortunately, I read an article about how someone gamed the Amazon best-seller system by picking super niche of niche categories, and had the urge to do the same myself. (One of the categories was Secret Societies--Freemasonry...hey, that could be one of mine!) And my mind stabilized, thanks to the yummy drugs.

So the last couple of months have been chewed up by a project designed solely to allow me to try to create a Amazon best-seller in a super niche category where three whole sales will make me a best-selling auther (hey, it could happen). In all fairness to myself, the project should have only taken a month at most, but I keep adding stuff to it (and I have notes for several other related projects--egads!).

Now, before anyone whines and says that I am cheating, I would like to point out that I am doing this little project (it is only going to be ten thousand words when finished) under a completely brand new pen-name, so it is not like it is going to help me sell books under my regular pen-name (that should make my critics happy).

So anyways, the year is half over, and I have accomplished nothing. Or something, depending upon whether or not, working on a nonsensical project is actually an accomplishment.

Yay me!!!

A hint of things to come!
As for the second half of this year, well, one knows that one's career path is a strange one when one starts reading tentacle erotica and calls it market research. Oh yeah! Tentacle erotica is coming!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Support classics and boycott Harry Potter pleads British schoolmaster

Today, in a scathing broadside, Graeme Whiting, headmaster and creator of the British boarding school, the Acorn, blamed mental illness and bad behavior in kids in part on sensational books, such as Harry Potter.

Here are the highlights:

After pointing out that we have a conscious and subconscious mind, and that stuff is stored in the deep recesses of our brain, and ragging on therapists (which he has never seen despite being a child of the War, being bullied by fellow students, and beaten by teachers), he gets to his point that classical literature is good and modern young adult literature and modern technology is the spawn of the devil.

"Imagination is so rich and important that I cannot understand why any parent would not actively prevent exposure to modern-world electronic gadgets, screens, films and literature that will encumber the minds and especially the imagination of their children. Let beauty reign within the subconscious minds of our children, not fear and disturbing images cultivated by their amazing brains."

"Children are innocent and pure at the same time, and don’t need to be mistreated by cramming their imagination that lies deep within them, with inappropriate things."

"Parents walking around a modern shopping centre with their children are magnetised by the colourful and graphic attraction of the new book cover, and often, very little of the text is reflected in the beautiful and attractive cover. Such colourful covers attract children to the point of mesmerising them, and they make demands of their parents stating that they want one because every other child at school has one!"

"Sensationalism is the key for marketing literature in today’s world. Publishers and authors don’t really care who reads what, as long as they achieve high sales figures, and they go to great lengths to create those pictorial covers that hide the sometimes demonic, influential and unacceptable words that may lie within the text. Gone are the classics..." which are hard to find in bookstores yet, can be brought cheaply on Amazon "for less than the cost of postage! Indeed, sets of classical literature, the stories that I read as a young buy, [sic] could be purchased and delivered to my door for less than the cost of driving to a bookshop."

"This is the age of the mentally ill child, the obsessive age, the age where celebrities affect the lives of those who have been encouraged to adore them and who wish to be like them, but never can."

And if a mother at the shopping mall can check out the temperature of her baby's milk, why will she not check out the books that her child reads in thirteen years. Because she is lazy, and just follows the masses. Sheeple! Sheeple!

"This is the age of the mentally ill child, the obsessive age, the age where celebrities affect the lives of those who have been encouraged to adore them and who wish to be like them, but never can. This is a trap of falsehood for children."

Again with the celeb-hate! and the Sheeple!

"I stand for the old-fashioned values of traditional literature, classical poetry, Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, Dickens, Shakespearean plays, and the great writers who will still be read in future years by those children whose parents adopt a protective attitude towards ensuring that dark, demonic literature, carefully sprinkled with ideas of magic, of control and of ghostly and frightening stories" are never read by their children.

And these bad books being read by children with bad parents "will cause the children who read them to seek for ever more sensational things to add to those they have already been exposed to. What then of their subconscious minds? What then of the minds of children whose parents couldn’t give the time to look closely at childhood; the sensitive period of the development of every human being? Where will this addiction to unacceptable literature lead?"

"I want children to read literature that is conducive to their age and leave those mystical and frightening texts for when they can discern reality, and when they have first learned to love beauty. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, and Terry Pratchett, to mention only a few of the modern world’s ‘must-haves’, contain deeply insensitive and addictive material which I am certain encourages difficult behaviour in children; yet they can be bought without a special licence, and can damage the sensitive subconscious brains of young children, many of whom may be added to the current statistics of mentally ill young children. For young adults, this literature, when it can be understood for what it is, is the choice of many!"

"Buying sensational books is like feeding your child with spoons of added sugar, heaps of it, and when the child becomes addicted it will seek more and more, which if related to books, fills the bank vaults of those who write un-sensitive books for young children!"

"It is the duty of parents to spend time to study such matters and form their own conclusions, not to think that because the world is filled with such sensational literature they have to have it for their children, because everyone else does! Beware the devil in the text! Choose beauty for your young children!"

You can read his whole tirade an the Acorn School blog. Or not, after all, I just copied and pasted the majority of it.

My f***ing response as a writer that wants to get some of that sweet, sweet sensational literature money:

Dear Graeme Whiting,

Screw you!

My need for therapy and meds has nothing to do with what I read as a child. My entire family needs therapy and fistful of pills, and I am one of the few who willing cracked open a book this week. Bad children literature does not drive someone to becoming an ax murderer---that is the job of your bad employer, your loud neighbors, and a little thing called a hormonal imbalance. In fact, I am not even sure that any ax murderer has ever cracked up a book, good or bad.

So you are saying that all the good stuff was written before the War. And contains no trace of magic. Fine, great. I see that you are good at justifying your curriculum which your students hate. I assume that you have removed, and never mention, the Little Scottish Play.

And by the way, Shakespeare was a hack who wrote for money, so you should just remove all of his writings from your syllabus. He wrote for the masses, was sensualist for his time, and once had someone chased off stage by a bear. And his witches had beards. So quit pretending that Shakespeare was somehow more noble than J.K. Rowling and Terry Pratchett. And hint, many of your other favorite writers were hacks who liked money and/or attention.

Just be grateful that today's kids want to read any book. And good luck at getting them to give up movies, TV, and the internet.

But no, you are a snob, who thinks that the 1950s was the best time in human history, or at least, one of its high notes. It is people like you that make literature students hate, nah, loathe literature.

And yes, I realize that I am prime example of the horrible person that reading such literature leads to. Yes, I read the Hardy Boys and Doc Savage, and Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a kid. And yes, my parent were horrible people who did not beat me enough and allowed me to do so. Well, my mom beat me, and forbade me from reading any science fiction or fantasy literature---and I did it anyways because it was a way to take my mind off of the fact that I was dirt poor and the oldest of eight kids in an abusive household.

And horror of horrors, I turned out to be a non-Christian writer who writes for money and the pleasure of writing satirical sensational stories. Oh, I imagine that I, and my parents, should be burned at the stake for this fate.

I am so sorry that your students do not enjoy the type of ennobling and enriching literature that you think that they should enjoy. Maybe you missed the whole point of teaching literature in school which is to ensure that people have actually read the classics---because quite honestly if a bunch of professors would not have gotten together and declared literature to be a noble discipline, most people would never crack open any of the books that you prefer people to read.

Your problem is not with people being sheep; it is with them not being sheeple who think that your course material is the greatest thing such sliced white bread. Let me guess--you have tried your hand at writing "literature" and have gotten nothing but rejection slips saying, "You are boring people to death; please, please, never write another word ever again."

Screw you!

Mad Uncle Morgan