It begins, pt. 18

Because capitalism, let me begin by reminding you of two things: that I have a new book out and that my YouTube channel is going strong and could use some more subscribers. The game we’re in now, A Plague Tale: Innocence, is particularly narratively strong and I think would probably be quite a bit of fun to watch. It’s a game where you’re occasionally called upon to feed Inquisition soldiers to rats! You’ll love it.

(Why “Pt. 18,” in the headline there? This is year eighteen of teaching. Eighteen fucking years. Madness.)

School has not started yet, and won’t for nearly two weeks (two weeks from yesterday, I think, is the kids’ first day) but my rosters showed up today when I went looking for them, and I was greeted with smaller classes than I thought I was going to have (alarmingly small, honestly; I can imagine a world where if some of these kids don’t show up they collapse a section on us) and an organizational change that will make grading and record-keeping a lot easier, at least once I get done redoing the planning that was predicated on things working like they did last year. I am fighting off the urge to go to Target tonight to do a touch of supply shopping for stuff I know I’m going to need, and I will be in my classroom for the first time this school year tomorrow. I likely won’t be there much longer than an hour or so– long enough to take a quick inventory of what I want to do with the classroom now that I’m actually decorating it (remember, I’m in the same room I was in last year, but I never really decorated last year) and figure out what I might need to buy over the weekend.

I will be in my classroom Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week doing setup, Thursday and Friday are all-day meetings downtown, Monday the week after I’ll be in my room, then Tuesday is the first day for the teachers and the kids are back Wednesday. So this is the last weekday of summer, basically, since I’ll have Job Stuff every weekday from here on out.

So, yeah: here we go.


Let’s see, what else? I have a Family Thing this weekend; not one as extensive as last time, just for a day– but it’s for my wife’s side of the family, and I don’t know any of them especially well. Unlike my own family, I’m also not a hundred percent sure I can trust the vaccine status of everyone who will be there, a lot of whom I won’t know at all, and while I like my wife’s cousin and her kids, her cousin’s husband is still … I’ll say a potential danger spot in terms of his and my mutual ability to get along with each other. I have, as of yet, no concrete reason to distrust the guy beyond vibes, but we haven’t seen each other in a couple of years for obvious reasons and in general the people I might be interested in staying away from seem to have gotten worse at hiding their bullshit since this all started. I will do my damnedest to be a good guest– or, at the very least, I will make damned sure that while we’re driving home angry after leaving early, it won’t be because I was the asshole.

This is where my life would be easier if I was capable of talking about sports, by the way. Sports is a great thing for men to talk about when they don’t want to talk about other things. That said, talking about sports right now is pretty much talking about politics anyway, so even that refuge may be gone. Hopefully what happened last time will happen again– that the teenagers will decide to hang out with me, and I will thus immunize myself (heh) of any accusations of refusing to socialize while still insulating myself against stumbling into a Don’t Want None Won’t Be None situation with anyone else.

It’ll be fine, but cross your fingers for me anyway.

On the current state of my social media

I don’t know how necessary this post really is, but it’s been knocking around in my head for a week or two now and I haven’t written it yet, so screw it, let’s go. Here’s where I am across the Web and how those accounts are doing:

  • The blog, infinitefreetime.com itself. I’ve been here almost ten years and I’m going nowhere. Traffic is way down from last year but still getting about 100 hits a day. WordPress also tells me it sends out about 10,000 emails every time I post, but I don’t know if it actually counts if those people read the post in their browsers (I kinda doubt it) and I don’t know how many of those accounts are actually alive; I feel like that should turn into way more than 100 hits per day if they’re real. I will keep yammering into this space until the internet itself shuts down.
  • Twitter, @nfinitefreetime. 10,597 followers, a number that drops by a few every day for no clear reason but who appear to be actual live accounts. Twitter has all sorts of problems but I love it, and it provides an outlet for Politics Luther, which keeps him away from the blog most of the time and (much more importantly) keeps him from ranting at my wife all the Goddamned time. All of my old tricks for gaining followers stopped working right after I hit 10K on this account and nothing I’ve been able to do since then (and that was a couple of years ago now) has really moved the needle much.
  • TikTok, @lutherteachesmath. As of this exact second, 7,744 followers, a number that continues to creep upward slowly despite the fact that I’m not posting too often. I keep almost killing this account, because I don’t trust TikTok as an entity at all– I’ve known too many creators who had their accounts suddenly permabanned for no fucking reason at all to be willing to think of this site as anything more than a flash in the pan that’ll be gone in a few years. This is, for those of you who care about such things, the first time I’ve linked to my TikTok from the blog since I took my real name out of it. I figure the issue isn’t people going from here to there isn’t an issue; what I don’t want is people going from there to here, which is why the word “Siler” appears nowhere on the TikTok.
  • Goodreads, right here. I have 722 “friends” and 110 “followers” on the site, but to be honest I really don’t use Goodreads as a social media site at all; I use it as an online database to keep track of my various reading projects. I approve every friend request I’m sent and don’t interact with other people there at all unless I know them from somewhere else. That said, if you want to see what I’m reading and the other half-dozen ways I have available to do it don’t work for you, I’m probably not going anywhere anytime soon from here either.
  • YouTube, lutherplaysgames.com. Currently 22 subscribers and also currently absorbing more of my mental energy than any other site I use. I am going to have to dial back how often I’m posting once school starts but I’m having a hell of a lot of fun with it right now. I know I’ve been yammering about it a lot lately but you really should come say hello.
  • Patreon, right here. Currently sixteen very patient Patrons; this site is all but defunct and I haven’t charged my Patrons in forever. I should probably just shut it down but I feel like everyone who is still supporting me deserves a free book if I ever write another one (Click doesn’t count, because that’s a reward for the $2 level and everyone got one when I made it available anyway) and I’m just trying to remember to cancel billing every month until that actually happens.

I have permanently shut down my Facebook account and haven’t missed it, and along with that I also shut down my Instagram account, which I admit I do kind of miss. If anybody wants to recommend a photo-posting site other than Insta or Snapchat, feel free, especially anything Facebook doesn’t own. I’m pretty sure I haven’t missed anything I currently have an account on, or at least anything I’m paying attention to. Any fun communities out there I should be a part of? Go follow me on everything that exists!

Six days until Click!

Pre-orders are still available for my novel Click for another few days, until the official launch on July 26. You can use this link (see what I did there, avoiding using the name of the book?) to get in on the action early if you like. Remember, this is my wife’s favorite of my books, so you should absolutely be spending your money based on her preferences. 🙂

In other self-promotion news, lutherplaysgames.com is a thing now, and redirects to my YouTube channel, but if you’re going to click on one of the links in this post, do the first one. The YT is gonna be around for a minute, but the preorders are only available for another six days!

CLICK now available for pre-order!

And you can click– no pun intended– right here to make my latest book a part of your life. Release date is July 26, but why would you wait that long to buy it when you can make an impulse decision right now? This is my wife’s favorite of my books, so you should absolutely listen to her and go order it immediately.

I will be out of town all weekend, so updates are gonna be kinda sparse, but there’s already video content uploaded and waiting over at the yootoobz and nothing can keep me off of Twitter, so the dozens of you who plan your lives around my social media update schedule should be just fine. I will return Sunday, by which time I expect my body to be approximately 50% baklava and shawarma by weight. It’s gonna be a fine few days.

High-pressure sales tactics

I said it was happening, and yep, it’s happening: My novel Click is even as we speak being approved by Amazon’s fooferall machines and will be available for humans to buy in the very near future. Official release date is July 26, but it’ll be available for preorder soon, and as soon as the fooferall process concludes I will actually have a link you can click on to order it.

This isn’t even the official announcement post, really, because if it was there would be a link. This is like that card you get before a wedding announcement, that tells you there’s a wedding announcement coming and to hold a date, but somehow is not, itself, either the announcement or the invitation. This is just the announcement that there’s gonna be a book and that you should be prepared to buy it, if you like.

In other news, my YouTube channel is still out there and I’m still having fun with it, so you should go look at that and hit Subscribe as quickly as possible. Am I talking about it too much? Yes, absolutely– but if I don’t, no one will know about the great fun we’re having with Chicory: A Colorful Tale over there. And that one doesn’t even cost you any money! Go do it.

In other other news, the prophesied Second Child has entered the house, and I’m realizing as I’m typing this that I don’t currently hear any screaming, so either the children are both dead or they have gone somewhere without my knowledge, which seems like it could possibly be an alarming development. I don’t know where my wife is either, though, so maybe she’s with them.

(Thudding in the hallway)

Okay, I guess it’s fine now.

My sleep study has been canceled, because, I shit you not, my insurance company has deemed me “not sick enough” to require one, which … man, that’s a whole entire rant, right there, and I’m going to not bother writing the majority of it because the fact is I don’t think I have sleep apnea and not having to spend Thursday night in a hospital makes the rest of my week easier. Instead, at some as-yet-undetermined point in the future I have to do a home sleep study, and if you happen to know what the hell that might involve, let me know, because I haven’t gotten around to Googling it yet. Fact is I have got shit to do, and taking an entire night in a hospital bed hooked up to machines and pretending to sleep off my plate makes the chances that all the other stuff will actually get done a lot higher. Tomorrow’s tasks involve finding presents for my cousin’s two children, one of whom I’ve never met, and getting all of my video recording for the entire weekend done and out of the way. None of that can really start until the extra child is out of the house, and there may be a trip to the county fair in there sometime as well. I’m bringing my laptop to Michigan with me so I can keep up with bloggery, but if there’s anybody out there thinking hey, I would really love to write a piece to promote something for infinitefreetime on, like, no notice at all, let me know.