On seven years, and other stuff

I keep almost writing a post about cops, and about police departments, and about protests, but I’m not sure what else I could say that I didn’t say here. Ain’t a damn thing changed except it’s gotten worse, and six years after Ferguson (6!!) I am more than a bit less willing to grant the idea that cops can be good people now than I was before. We are at the point where the institution itself is so rotten that it’s impossible to participate in it without getting the stink on you.

Fuck the police, is what I’m saying.

Hm. Maybe this is why I can’t do WordAds:

I dunno if it’s something I can appeal or not, and I don’t really know if I want to, but after seven years of writing at this place and putting, at this point, a decent chunk over a million words into it, I’m not entirely averse to the idea of making a buck or two off of it here and there. I don’t know that I agree that I “serve mature content,” though. Sure, I don’t censor my language most of the time, but that’s just profanity. It’s not like I’m sharing porn around here.

Nut the fuck up, WordAds, is what I’m saying here.

So, yeah– we’re now two full years past the point where my first long-term blog died; the final post over at Xanga just happened to be on the site’s fifth birthday, and it had been months at that point since I’d been posting regularly. My slowest year on Infinitefreetime was 2017, which featured 247 posts and over 82,000 words. By comparison, this is 2020’s 150th post. It is also 2020’s 158th day. And at an average of 414 words per post, I’m writing longer this year than I have in any year since 2013. I don’t know if that will stick as the year drags on, of course, but who knows.

Still have not successfully ridden the bike, by the way. I’ll try again tonight. I went shoe shopping yesterday, and was in the mood to buy something lighter and brighter than the can-wear-them-to-work shoes that have been my primary pair for a while, and I took a long look at a pair that was a lovely burgundy red before realizing that they matched the bike. I liked the idea for all of a minute or two and then came to my senses and bought these, in navy blue. I only mention the specific pair because a day later they might be the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever purchased. I am lazy enough that I generally just try to shove my feet inside my shoes without unlacing them anyway, so buying a pair of laceless shoes seemed like a natural step to take. Right now, it definitely feels like the right move.

What’s going on in your neck of the woods, other than the world ending?


6:07 PM, Saturday, June 6th: 1,909,077 confirmed cases and 109,497 Americans dead.

In which I left the house!

… I didn’t go far, mind you. I literally went out the front door to go get the mail and then sat on the porch and read for a while because somehow all the snow that was out there the last time I looked outside was gone and it was like 62 degrees. But I literally don’t think I’d been outside for any longer than it took to snatch a package off my front porch in … well, many days. I don’t know how many days. I only barely know what day it is right now.

(That’s not true. It’s Wednesday, and I just recorded tomorrow’s instructional video and got tomorrow’s e-learning assignment ready, completing them early for the first time since we’ve been in this whole mess. I know what day it is, I just can’t relate that to anything else I’ve done on any other days.)

Also, WordPress appears to have “updated” again, which right now means that the image looks like it’s broken and is pushing up against the words up there. If that’s what’s going on once this posts it’s not my fault. The whole time I’ve been with WordPress every time they try to “improve” something it starts with breaking what they have, so here we go on a new cycle, I guess.

Anyway.

I did a thing earlier today that I really don’t like to do, which is bail on a book by an author, not only whose work I generally really like, but who has achieved a level of acclaim and accolades for his work that I can say with no fear of condemnation or argument that I will never, ever achieve.

(No, this isn’t me being down on myself. Dude has been knighted. I may have many accomplishments left in the time that is left to me, but I will never be a knight.)

Anyway, this particular example of his work wasn’t going to be something that was going to work right now for several reasons:

  1. It foregrounded several aspects of his writing that I have never been terribly fond of, while ignoring and/or leaving out the themes that I really like about his work;
  2. It turns out that the shitgibbon is not only the inspiration for a major character, but will be at least indirectly playing a more direct role in the final third of the book, and, uh, no thank you; that motherfucker does not get to show up in my fiction that I read when I’m trying to escape from the hellscape he has transformed the actual world into;
  3. I am trying very hard to clear up a huge backlog while I’m home as much as I am, and that’s going to leave me less patient than I might be otherwise for things about a book that are annoying me.

Why am I being coy about the author? Because the last time I wrote a bad review about a book by an author I liked the post got way more popular than I wanted it to– more popular than any of the good pieces I’d written about that person’s work, and, well, my Goodreads is right there, and I am not about to have a post that becomes the This Is The One Where Luther Siler, Utterly Unknown Person, Shits on Famous Author XXX XXX again.

So, yeah, if you’re super curious, click the link, and look for recent books by people who can legally call themselves Sir, and … it won’t be hard to find.

Quick question for the WordPress people

… has anyone else been seeing a rash of single-word spam comments for the last couple of months? Any idea what that’s about?

Blogwanking, 2019

The short version of this entire post: basically everything is down slightly from last year, but not shockingly so; I’m still getting far more eyeballs on this site than actually makes any sense to me at all, so I can’t really complain about it, because Jesus, people are actually paying attention to my nonsense?

Yeah, turns out they are.

Posting frequency was up from last year, which was up from the year before it, but engagement is continuing to drop. I’d like to find a way to drive more comments, definitely, and more likes would always be nice, but I’m not sure what the best way to do that is. I keep hearing that blogs are dead; needless to say, this one ain’t going anywhere; while I’d like to more engagement, I’m not gonna shut up or anything if my numbers keep falling.

Geography’s always fun. This is 2019 specifically:

And this is the entire life of the blog:

Basically at this point I only have a few types of countries left: totalitarian dictatorships (North Korea), a few tiny islands, and places where there is either very little infrastructure or very few people or both. I keep hoping to get a hit from Svalbard Island and so far it hasn’t happened yet. That little hole in Europe is still Kosovo; I refuse to believe I have never had traffic from Kosovo in six years and am blaming something wonky about the way WordPress handles geography.

The overall top 10 posts are the same ones they always are, basically; I’m at the point where my “back catalogue,” so to speak, is definitely driving most of the site’s traffic. This is an image, and isn’t clickable:

The Snowpiercer post just refuses to die, although it did have one (1) day this year where it got zero hits, which very well might be the first time that has ever happened. Supposedly the TV show is launching soon, so this will never, ever end. I feel bad about the weird popularity of that Tana French post, too; it’s literally the only thing she ever wrote that I didn’t like and I reviewed a bunch of her other books, so it sort of feels unfair to me. I love you, Tana! I swear!

Top 10 posts written in 2019, and these are clickable if you like:

Most of those make some sense, I suppose; the “dress for success” post is a bit inexplicable but the rest of them are either all hashtagged, of inherent interest to a substantial group of other people, promoted by outside sources (the two book reviews were both posts where publicists sent me the book) or, well, kind of important (the last post).

How did your blog do last year? (If you don’t have one, start, dammit!)

STATION IDENTIFICATION: Infinitefreetime.com

I’m Luther Siler.  I’m an author.  Welcome to my blog, infinitefreetime.com.

I’ve written several books you might be interested in, ranging from short story collections to near-future science fiction to fantasy space opera to nonfiction, all available as ebooks or in print from Amazon.  Autographed books can be ordered straight from me as well.

I can be found in several different places on the Internet.  Here are the important ones:

  • Support me on Patreon!  Just a dollar a month gets you access to exclusive stories, early access to new books as they come out, and more!  $2 or more a month gets you access to CLICK, an entire exclusive book!
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  • My official Author page on Amazon is located here.
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Thanks for reading!

Prostetnic hi-res cropped