Pandemic lockdown bright sides? No.

So has my Muse fled the scene forever, or is she merely suffering pandemic burnout?

Psychologists are reporting a rise in “pandemic burnout” as many people find the current phase of lockdowns harder, with an increasing number feeling worn out and unable to cope.

The Guardian

So here I’ve parked, this past year, largely confined to home with computers and ideas for books on all sides, shielded from such distractions as a social life. Liberally supplied with food, water, tea … Read more

Altered states, alternate realities

This week’s post follows on from last Thursday’s look at the selfie culture found within coffee shops of a certain standard. 

Trying to account for what I witnessed, I was stuck by the notion that many of my fellow citizens seek refuge in new and improved realities. And these realities are socially and digitally engineered according to criteria that remain opaque to mere humans – including, arguably, the IT whiz kids responsible for the tech underlying these new cognitive dimensions. … Read more

Realities we inhabit: A bestiary

Alternate universe #1

Cutsie coffee shops: Where do they all come from?

After many years in the trendy Ari Samphan area, I’ve moved to quite another flavor of Bangkok neighborhood. Like Ari, however, this one comes replete with fashionable coffee shops, and, as with the Ari area, the trendier the physical plant the cuter it is – the more it’s garnished with flounces and flowers and filled with comely young ladies dressed to the nines and brandishing camera phones. … Read more

Pandemic STD

Digital social networking can sometimes resemble pandemic STD, harmful to individuals and groups everywhere. Digital echo chambers and the silo effect — too often products in part of deliberate manipulation — can divorce us from realities we might hold in common and, instead, set us at each other’s throat.

But while the relatively privileged classes allow themselves to be distracted, refracted and dangerously abstracted as they retreat into digital parallel universes, the truly disadvantaged of this world, denied the money … Read more

Fashion statement du jour: IoT wrist monitor

In line with much of the general population, I rarely get a full night’s sleep. Neither a world leader with many responsibilities nor a wild young lad, I’m merely an insomniac.

Recently – yielding to Sara’s incessant advice that I buy a smartwatch – I acquired an Apple Watch. I still wasn’t too sure why I’d done this, so Sara badgered me into loading it with an app called AutoSleep. Every morning, now, AI independently verifies my latest defeat in … Read more

Phobia or reasonable fear?

Thirteen days, one likes to think, till Trump vacates the White House.

Do we need a word to describe the irrational fear of Trump policy initiatives (otherwise described as ‘tweets’)? Maybe not. Many will argue that such a fear is in no way irrational, and hence may not be properly described as a phobia.

Whatever. I hereby present three phobias I’ve mentioned before on this blogsite. All three, I’ll suggest, will serve while we search for a more Trump-specific expression.… Read more

Serializing Kicking Dogs: Status report

Even among loyal fans, after only four or five Kicking Dogs chapters and a few SIDECARS, interest in this project has waned. Fizzled away to fuck all, in fact. 

The last bit is classic Leary alliteration, though he’d never say “fuck.”

Leary habitually seasoned his conversation with “gosh” and “darn.” Gosh was salt, and darn was pepper. Sometimes, if a communication required a bit of mustard, he might go so far as to say “frigging.” That’s how I knew the

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Pandemic books, pandemic reviews

Barbara Smaller, https://lithub.com/six-cartoonists-on-critical-failure-one-panel-at-a-time/

I’m posting a new Kicking Dogs chapter every Tuesday, and an independent item every Thursday.

Let’s kick off this week’s SIDECAR post with a seven-year-old item from Jack Shackaway, my collaborator and, incidentally, the hero of my novel Kicking Dogs.

Selling novels: What it takes
I’m probably over-reacting, but it’s already getting harder these days to take pride in thinking of yourself as a writer, since so can anybody with the price of a computer and

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The Great Cull

Looking back from some time in the future, assuming there’s still anyone to look back, will we interpret COVID-19 in part as a cull?  

If so, then exactly what was culled? Did the pandemic take mostly the old and weak, leaving the rest of the herd to carry on? Maybe it also culled the stupid and irresponsible to some extent, though those conditions may have been more a matter of nurture than genetic nature. (I’ll leave it to readers to … Read more

RANT

 

Scenario: I post ‘Three Strikes vs. Magic Circles’ (see my last post)  and no one notices. So I post a second, even more inflammatory diatribe, which no one remarks, and then another and another, each more hysterically indignant than the one before. No one reads any of them, much less reads my novels. Eventually they are all collected in a book I call RANT, which becomes a bestseller.

I die before that, and Sara lives happily … Read more