October’s Ornery Sausage

(This post went to Patronizers at the beginning of October, and the public at the beginning of November.)

If you’re in a country that has Halloween, you need to read A Night In The Lonesome October. It has thirty-one chapters, one for each day of October, and that’s how you’re supposed to read it. If you’re starting late you can catch up, but after that? One chapter a day. This isn’t a recommendation, it’s full-on necessary.

Anyway. Writing.

Run Your Own Mail Server grinds on. I’m digging through decades of recommendations and worst practices disguised as wisdom and general daftness as people fought to keep email useful despite the spammers. The problem is, email runs as default permit. On the list of Dumbest Ideas In Computer Security from twenty years ago, default permit was number one. Stopping spam relies on enumerating badness, which is number two on that same list. Really, we need to educate our users on spam–no, wait, “educating users” is number three on the list.

Yet the world is built on email. Could we design better? Sure. Are we going to? No. Eventually the Email Empire will declare supremacy and lock everyone else out. Stray email servers will become like the Fediverse, cool but for a limited userbase.

But not today. Not in the next decade.

But I’ve progressed to writing about SPF, which will let me get on DKIM and DMARC, so that’s good.

In other news, the Writing Chariot has been surpassed. Posting the pictures led a couple folks to point out Arkon mounting brackets. These are ridiculously heavy-duty devices used in manufacturing and industrial environments, when your devices absolutely must not slip. I’ve wound up with this.

My hands don’t quite hang at my sides. They’re slightly forward. But it’s close to what I want. Writing this post, I realize that what I need are a couple of adapters to swing them a little further out from the desk and let me adjust the angle slightly. I ran off to order them and will post updated pics next month.

I got the Apocalypse Moi print proofs in the mail. Of all the stock art covers I have designed for my fiction, this is the first one I am pleased with. Cover design is a subtle art. The difference between “yeah okay” and “hell yes” is subtle, and I do not yet understand the subtlety. But every cover I design teaches me a little more.

I got an invite to submit to a couple of seasonal anthologies, which is cool. I’ll have at least two holiday stories out this year. If I had known twenty years ago that there was a market for grimdark Christmas my career would look very different, but whatever.

My experimental podcast, 60 Seconds of WIP, seems to be gathering traction. I’ve gotten it on Spotify and Apple. I’ve gotten it tweaked down to the point where recording each episode takes less than fifteen minutes. As should have been blatantly obvious but I completely failed to predict, the most common feedback I get is “where can I buy this?” I’m wondering if I should start a “60 Seconds of Book” podcast where I read a chunk of one of my books that folks can buy. Not sure if it’s worthwhile or if it’s mere arrogance. All marketing is arrogance, but not all arrogance is marketing. Figuring out where each arrogance fits in, now that’s the trick.

And that is why I loathe marketing. When you have even three or four people who keep telling they love your work, it’s easy to lose your humility. And I must always remember, I’m just a little shmuck writing little books that affect a tiny number of people, and that I’m lucky to have this gig.

Feeling overloaded these days. Opportunities are everywhere. My only limit is my ability to produce words, which is sadly limited by my 56-year-old meatsuit and the realities of living in a country whose guiding philosophies have grown disconnected from basic principles like gravity and the nitrogen cycle and the greenhouse effect. But I’ll keep plugging away as best I can.