Well that escalated quickly

colored-pencilsSo now I’m researching sketching pencils and I’m in a Facebook group designed specifically to encourage people to create every day.  I actually did buy some new pencils today but, as ridiculous as this sounds, I feel like I need to know more about what the letters and numbers mean beyond the obvious “hey, this one has a lighter line!” and “hey, this one broke instantly when I tried to draw with it!”

So, yeah, the draw every day project is still going and is gradually absorbing more of my mindspace.  In case you were wondering.


Nobody is really crying out for my opinion on this, but there is a deeply stupid little kerfluffle going on on Twitter right now (TwitterTM: The Place for Kerfluffles) about politics and science fiction.  A batch of yahoos calling themselves the Science Fiction & Fantasy Creators Guild was dumb enough to insert themselves into the mentions of N.K. Jemisin, of all the goddamn people they could have chosen, to ask her to join them in their search for… wait for it…

…politics-free science fiction.   Which… come the fuck on.  Witness this dumbshittery:

The backlash and dumpster fire that has followed has been positively breathtaking to behold.

Let’s be real clear here: this notion of “politics-free” science fiction is code for science fiction what doesn’t have those brown people and those gays in it.  The phrase “social justice” is the tell here, if that’s not perfectly obvious.  To these idiots, science fiction is free of “politics” if it only has manly white dudes doing manly white dude things in it.

Which, speaking as a manly white dude: fuck that.  And fuck these guys for trying to set themselves up as some sort of baseline of “non-political” SFF by which everything else must be judged.

I hate these assholes, in all their forms– the Sad Puppies, Gamergate, most of the idiots downrating THE LAST JEDI right now– and I’m going to keep writing, reading, and most importantly promoting science fiction and fantasy that makes them sad, every chance I get.

I have a lot to talk about

d5e81d8f642ce63634e689903d613712I mean, just off the top of my head:

  • The escape room I went to in Indianapolis on Saturday, which was insanely awesome even though we didn’t get out;
  • The pants-shitting terror that ensued while dropping my son off at my parents’ for the day and happening to check Twitter at the exact minute everyone in Hawai’i got the “You’re about to die!” message on their phones;
  • The subsequent boneshaking rage at the discovery that the thing supposedly in charge of the country did not even bother to interrupt its round of golf while that was happening;
  • The ongoing success of the “draw each day” initiative, which is only four days old but, hey, I haven’t quit yet!;
  • The outstanding stupidity of my day at work today, which featured three different sales that were closed and then cancelled within half an hour;
  • The economy’s about to crash, by the way– ask how I know;
  • The fact that I’ve begun two different writing projects this week and am pretty happy with the development of both so far;
  • My annual “Shut the fuck up about Martin Luther King, white people; you’d have hated him” post;
  • Begging for reviews from the person using Kindle Unlimited to work through a couple of my books this week;
  • Whatever the hell else happened to cross my mind.

Instead of doing any of those things, I’m going to go to bed early, because I feel like hell.  This is about all I can manage in terms of coherent thought right now.  So pretend I wrote as many of those posts as you like and feel free to respond to whatever you think they might have said below.

STATION IDENTIFICATION: Infinitefreetime.com

I’m Luther Siler.  I’m a writer and an editor.  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’s the important ones:

  • You can follow me on Twitter, @nfinitefreetime, here or just click the “follow” button on the right side of the page.  Warning: Twitter is where Politics Luther hangs out.  I generally follow back if I can tell you’re a human being.
  • Sign up for my mailing list here.
  • My author page on Goodreads is here. I accept any and all friend requests.
  • My official Author page on Amazon is located here.
  • Feel free to Like the (sadly underutilized) Luther Siler Facebook page here.  It’s mostly used as a reblogger for posts.
  • And, of course, you’re already at infinitefreetime.com, my blog.  You can click here to be taken to a random post.

Thanks for reading!

Prostetnic hi-res cropped

 

Odds and ends/proof of life post

polar-vortex-nasa-670-1I woke up the other day and consulted my watch to discover that it was thirteen degrees below zero outside.  I feel like we were largely spared polar vortex horror last year, for the most part, but this year has definitely picked back up on the trend of the last several years, which is that the weather at the end of Winter Break is horrifying enough that school being cancelled and the break being extended is at least plausible if not guaranteed.  The boy goes back on Monday, finally, and I think the weather will be back to winter-normal by then, mostly, but holy fuck has it been cold around here lately.  There’s maybe, I dunno, fifteen inches of snow on top of the house, too, which means that we probably got eighteen to twenty since it tends to compress under its own weight after a while.  On the plus side, the new car appears to handle pretty damn well on ice and snow, or at least the new tires I put on it not too long ago appear to have done their job.


IMG_6692.jpgIN OTHER NEWS: the Lumberjack Beard is dead; long live the Lumberjack Beard.  I don’t normally shed my winter beard this early in the year, winter having just barely started, but apparently the answer to this year’s beard question, i.e. “How long can I let this fucker get before it starts to drive me insane?” is about nine weeks.  Granted, I brushed it backward to make it easier to shave off for that picture, but this was easily the bushiest I’d ever let my beard get, and unexpected side effects were starting to crop up– like eating getting much messier and– and this one really surprised me– all that hair on my face actually making it harder to sleep.  I think if I groomed it a bit better it wouldn’t have been as much of a thing, but I’m a novice at this and wasn’t super interested in putting in the research time.  I’d intended to just dial it back but ended up going completely back to the vandyke that I keep on my face for the other eight months of the year.  I may grow it back right away or I may not, but I won’t be doing Full Lumberjack again anytime soon.


IMG_6678.JPGMy phone is starting to slowly fill up with pictures like this, and I’m starting to see grid shapes with arcane symbols and glowing lines on them every time I close my eyes.  My buddy James Wylder posted a shot to Instagram of a bunch of notes and diagrams he was working with as he was playing through The Witness, and upon discovering that the PlayStation store had it for $15 and deciding I could use a more cerebral break from Horizon: Zero Dawn and Nioh, I was in.  Two days later I’m hooked as fuck.  I’d compare the game to Myst, but Myst had a genuine story to it and this really doesn’t; the reward for solving puzzles is more puzzles and occasional frustration and headaches.  There have been a couple of puzzles where I’ve had to cheat to get through them and at least one where even when the answer is on the screen in front of me I’ve been unable to figure out why the right answer was the right answer, but for the most part it’s hitting a nice sweet spot for me– challenging enough that solving the puzzles isn’t automatic, but not so challenging that my rapidly-becoming-legendary lack of patience with video game bullshit kicks in.  If noticing that some vines near you are a different color from the other vines and then figuring out how to get outside and line your screen up perfectly so that the vines trace the right path on the grid in front of you, and then taking a picture of it with your phone because fuck that, you don’t seriously expect me to memorize this, do you? sounds up your alley, check it out.


I had plans to write fiction this week, but they were burned to the ground once I realized that I’d have the boy with me all day yesterday and today for the last two non-weekend days of his break.  I’ve been lazy as hell on hiatus since Tales came out but it’s time to get back on the horse.  Next Thursday, then, I will either officially begin work on the latest version of the sequel to Skylights or start working on my entry for this anthology or both.  Because battle poets.  

Book sales have had a nice little spike lately too.  After most of a year where if I was selling a book or two a month I was pretty happy with it, I’ve sold five books today, two yesterday, and twelve since Christmas Eve– and that absent any sales or any particular promotion on my part other than a few surprisingly well-received Tweets.   In an absolute sense that doesn’t seem like much to brag about but I’m still in holy shit people are sending me money for stories mode, and I kinda hope I never break out of that.

That said, if anybody else wants to keep the ride going, that would be awesome.  Reviews would be cool, too, especially of the three that aren’t even at 10 yet.  Wanna help me out?

#2017 blogwanking

It’s that time of year again, where I pretend that people care about my site metrics even the teeniest little bit and waste time posting about them anyway!  You’re excited, right?

Okay, there’s a reason I’m posting this on Christmas Eve, nobody’s on the blog today anyway.  🙂 Onward!

Here’s overall traffic for the blog, organized by year:

Screen Shot 2017-12-24 at 1.50.03 PM

That’s… not super encouraging, obviously, and I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t written a monster post at the end of 2015 (more on that later) we’d be seeing a steady decline since 2014.  Now, a lot of this year is my fault– I’ve not been engaging with other bloggers and I haven’t been posting as often, so traffic was bound to be down.  That 575 comments number is definitely something I’d like to see go up in the future; that’s not even two a day.  But hey!  Sixty-one thousand pageviews ain’t bad.  It’s not like I’m a celebrity or anything; I’m an idiot with a website.

The top ten posts written in 2017 were:

  1. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: MINI FORCE, 6,413 pageviews.
  2. #REVIEW: SLEEPING BEAUTIES, by Stephen King & Owen King, 276 pageviews.
  3. Betsy DeVos is a fucking worthless hack and so is her scumbag boss, 249 pageviews.
  4. KOKOMO-CON: The Cosplay, 236 pageviews, plus hundreds on the pictures.
  5. RIP, Sonya Craig, 186 pageviews.
  6. On refugees and Christianity, again, 174 pageviews.
  7. On “assassination porn” and stupid, stupid people, 169 pageviews.
  8. #metoo and me, 149 pageviews.
  9. May as well tell the whole world, 123 pageviews.
  10. On letting idiots make decisions for me, 118 pageviews.

…so, yeah.  Nothing that really set the world on fire, other than that MINI FORCE piece, and… well, prepare for a pattern on that.  I have no idea who the hell is reading the Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews series, but holy shit are those posts popular, except when they’re not.  The one on Pokémon that I wrote this year got nowhere, the one on Mini Force got six thousand pageviews.  Hell if I know.

The top ten posts of the year, regardless of when they were written, are:

  1. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: MINI FORCE, 6,413 pageviews, 6,413 pageviews overall.
  2. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: BOB ZOOM, 5,262 pageviews, 15,799 pageviews overall.
  3. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: OCTONAUTS, 3,045 pageviews, 9,068 pageviews overall.
  4. SNOWPIERCER: I hated, hated, hated, hated, HATED this movie.,  3,013 pageviews, 27,152 pageviews overall.
  5. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: SARAH & DUCK, 2,791 pageviews, 3,206 pageviews overall.
  6. In which I tell you how your religion works, 2,118 pageviews, 109,692 pageviews overall.
  7. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: COLOR CREW, 1,958 pageviews, 6,977 pageviews overall.
  8. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: CURIOUS GEORGE, 1,423 pageviews, 5,781 pageviews overall.
  9. In which I am still a bad student (pt. 2 of 3), 1,243 pageviews, 2,014 pageviews overall.
  10. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: Peg + Cat, 958 pageviews, 3,694 pageviews overall.

…I assume you may have noticed a theme.  Be aware that the next six highest posts for the year are also CCPR posts.  I don’t understand any of this, really; that Goddamn Snowpiercer post should not be still getting views but still does every single day (and remains the #1 Google result for the words “Snowpiercer stupid,”) and I’ve never understood the popularity of specifically #2 in that “Bad Student” series.  For comparative purposes, part one got 59 views this year, and part 3 got 67.  I think it has something to do with being a high Google result for searches that include the image at the top of the page, but why the hell that led to twelve hundred pageviews?  I dunno.

Clearly I need to just review kids’ shows all the time.  That’s obviously my niche.

OH I ALMOST FORGOT EDIT:  Geography!  Geography is fun.  Here are countries that have visited my blog this year:

Screen Shot 2017-12-24 at 5.09.52 PM

And here is the lifetime-of-the-blog chart.  Both are clickable to make ’em a bit bigger if you care to do so:

Screen Shot 2017-12-24 at 5.10.34 PM

Still missing: North Korea, Cuba, Turkmenistan, Western Sahara, Guinea, Liberia, Niger, Chad, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Gabon, Svalbard Island, and… Kosovo.  I have always suspected that for some unclear technological reason whatever software WordPress is using interprets hits from Kosovo as being from the neighboring countries, as they’re fairly well-represented, and none of the rest are especially surprising, as they’re either Communist dictatorships, tremendously poor, have essentially no people, or some combination of the three.

It is very cool to say that my stupid little blog has had visits from damn near every country on Earth, guys.