Category Archives: Site Maintenance

Changes


Having been contacted by another publisher via a third party for one of my quirkier brand of short story, I’m having to rethink my communications strategy. This means getting out of some aspects of social media entirely and getting new, paid, email services that have nothing to do with Silicon Valley.

Now I’ve had one of my novels disallowed by one Silicon Valley owned platform for being ‘against community guidelines’ whatever that means. To me a story is a story, and whatever happens from premise to conclusion is narrative-necessary. No-one asked me if I wanted to be part of any ‘community’, in which others set the rules to which I have no real say, apart clicking ‘accept’ to the constantly changing ‘terms of service’ one has to accept when using any given online platform. I’m not part of any ‘community’. I’m an individual who can stand on his own two feet.

So I’m starting a new non-google, non-silicon valley affiliated email provider account and shifting this site to a fully paid WordPress plan, which should give me more overall control and no adverts for anything else but my work. If conditions change, I may even forgo the assistance of their ‘Happiness Engineers’. There’s a satirical title for a story right there. Can you ‘Engineer’ happiness and what form do the perpetrators of that blessed state of mind intend it takes? I was wondering about what to submit to the editor of that horror eZine. Now I think I know. Something unexpectedly nightmarish for preference.

On the topic of publishing Transgenre Dreams, the latest from Leg Iron books containing my short story “A Coelacanth in the Bathroom” is now available via Amazon. It’s also available from Smashwords and Kindle A linked picture should shortly be available on the sidebar.

Here are some opening paragraphs from ‘Coelacanth’

Finding a four foot long fish occupying the bath was a bit of a surprise. Especially at six fifteen on a Monday morning and particularly before breakfast. “I know it’s an old bathtub.” Perry muttered to himself, blinking wearily at the large, strange looking fish peering dopily back at him through vaguely green tinted water. At this time of day his sleep fogged mind was still running far too slowly to register any shock. “But this is ridiculous.”

Maybe if he left the bathroom and came back it would maybe disappear. Maybe he was still dreaming. He pinched himself and blinked hard, twice. No. The fish with skin like Van Gogh’s starry night turned in the confined space of their claw footed cast iron antique with a sluggish sploshing and waved an amiable tail back at him.

Who had filled the bathtub anyway? Wouldn’t they have heard their flats notoriously eccentric pipework in the middle of the night? And greenish water? Their venerable plumbing occasionally dispensed liquid with a brown tinge, but never green. Perry sniffed. Was that the taint of old seaweed? Sea water? This far inland?

Updates on Authors Den


Having been working for six solid hours, My Authors Den page has been updated with eBook and paperback links for the following;
Cerberus Conspiracy
‘A Falling of Angels’ eBook Kindle edition
‘Head of the Beast’ paperback

Stars Trilogy
‘The Sky Full of Stars’ eBook
‘Falling through the Stars’ eBook

And an amusing four thousand word festive offering (It’s free!)
‘Happy Christmas Charles!’

My ‘Goodreads’ page will have to wait until this afternoon, as it’s a little more user-fiendish than Authors Den and I am in sore need of a walk and some coffee.

Comments and spam


Came back to the site having had the weekend off only to find the spam bin contained seventy one spam comments. Holy smoke, Batman. That’s more spam than proper visitors. Fortunately the spurious stuff was caught by the very useful Askimet feature of WordPress. So they’ve been binned.

To reiterate this blogs policy on comments. Semi nonsensical guff with headers containing links advertising Lois Vuitton Handbags, Russian or Chinese ladies of easy virtue, computer games, search engine optimization, chemical aids etcetera go straight to electronic oblivion. Too much writing time is being wasted trawling through the spam bin for legitimate comments so I’ve stopped. Apologies if your genuine comment doesn’t appear, only it’s probably been sucked into E-hell by a deluge of spam. Which is not a happy mental image. Especially if you’re trying to leave off processed foods.

If you’ve something to say, try again either using your WordPress login or OpenID. Failing that, leave off the link to your profile or web site and comment anonymously. More than one HTML link in a comment will automatically send it straight to the spam bin. Any personal messages can be sent using the ‘About‘ email page. I will get an email for every message.

Had a minor rethink on the introduction of “The Great Book of Everything” and have added a few scene setting paragraphs about infinity, real scientists, conspiracy theorists and why Trombones will not form part of the narrative. As always, legitimate comments are welcomed and engaged with. Just keep it on topic.

Progress on other major projects is painfully slow at present. Must stop reading the news, it’s far too depressing.

Site changes


The appearance and mapping of this site are undergoing a few changes while my head isn’t in story mode. My psyche has taken one too many shocks to the system to concentrate properly on stories of late, so I thought I’d have a tidy up of the blog. Produce some new headers to try and create a more consistent and workmanlike look than previous iterations. I’m also currently joining authors sites like crazy in order to up my commercial visibility and improved marketability; Not just Goodreads or Authors Den, but some of the others as well.

The five new header images which will appear on each page of this site are based on public domain Astronomical pictures, several of which started life as colour separation overlays and maps of Mars. I’ve played around with them to produce low to medium resolution images. There is also a new email contact form on the ‘About the Author’ page, and I hope to add my LinkedIn profile details to the sidebar as I expand my freelancing portfolio. There will also be a more professional ‘parent’ site, which will be more about our technical writing and educational business than my science fiction.