UPDATES

2021

Next up is the first movement of the A Major Piano Sonatina. It’s okay, not great, not bad, just okay. Still don’t have a lot to blather on about here, which just goes to show how mind-numbingly exhausting the day job remains. I suppose I could copy/paste what I wrote over behind the Patreon power wall or whatever it is called, but then I wouldn’t have a reason to tease people they should go check out what’s behind the paywall. Not that anybody should care what’s behind the curtain, but then I wouldn’t have a reason to tease the tale of how I accidentally created a Patreon creator account. It was an accident, I swear.
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So that’s it for the posting of the Sonatina in F minor as separate movements. All three are up now, and I will be removing the all-in-one file. At some point, I really should start updating the YouTube Videos, but that might have to wait until work-related stress levels decrease and rest levels increase. I mean just look at home boring this update is. If I can’t even write random weirdness here, then I’m nowhere near ready to tackle anything more interesting.
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And now the second movement of my F minor piano sonatina has been uploaded as a separate file to my website. It's a little on the dumb side, I guess, but that was hardly the point. This was exactly the kind of music that should have been required to write in composition workshop as part of learning the craft, but of course not. Doing so would have been regressive or something dumb like that. It’s not like you learn through doing or anything. You have to know how to create basic stuff and understand the building blocks in order to exceed those basic forms, but I digress.
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I was just comparing the Sibelius and NotePerformer audio files of the first movement of the F minor piano sonatina, and this just might be one case where Sibelius sounds better than NotePerformer. Sibelius’ fake piano just sounds warmer than NotePerformer’s fake piano. Otherwise, I can’t really tell a difference between them, so I have half a mind to just go with the old Sibelius version.
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It’s the end of an era, a very dumb and pointless era. The last of the old college-days music has been re-posted to my website. After this, it is back and forward to the piano sonatinas, backward because I already posted the Sonatina in D minor, forward because there’s no more student-days music. Everything after the fugue is all post-college stuff, the crap I composed on nights and weekends while holding down a day job. I would use Charles Ives as a point of comparison, but—you know—he was actually good.
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And now the NotePerformer version of the Outgrabe for Solo Flute has been uploaded to my website, which means we are almost done with the re-posting of the old college stuff. There’s just the fugue, and then the slow march of the piano sonatinas will begin.
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So I’m pretty sure the Outgrabe for Horn, Violin, Viola & Violoncello was the last real-live-actual-musician recording still posted on my website. Well it’s gone now. I have replaced it with the all new, all updated electric performance. Biggest difference I've noticed—and this is a very dumb thing to notice—is that NotePerformer chugged through the score much faster than the real, live musicians. Go figure.
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The NotePerformer version of Somewhere has been uploaded to my website, and I’m getting tired of the “remastered” joke. It’s fine. I’ll think of something knew to write about someday.
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If there is one piece I’ve done that I absolutely hate, it is the Outgrabe for Violin & Double Bass. It’s awful. It’s just awful, and I really should stop saying that. It’s not that bad. I think a lot of the issue comes from the fact it was the first piece I did for graduate-level composition workshop and I was trying to show the faculty that I could play along. I could do their out-of-date version of avant-garde or a close proximity of same.
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The “remastered” electric performance of the Outgrabe for Clarinet and Piano has finally been uploaded to my website. This was far and away my favorite piece to come out of the old college years, and I held on to the original recording for the longest time. The sound quality wasn't great, but it was actual musicians performing at an actual concert.
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The “remastered” Outgrabe for Piano, No. 1, audio has finally been posted to my website. I wish I had more to say about it beyond being happy that one more little thing is done, and I hope that one of these days I actually do something interesting again. These are the plague years, after all, and they have not been kind to creativity. More specifically, the plague years have been exhausting, and I simply do not have the strength or energy to do more. Well, that’s enough whining for one day. Enjoy the music.
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As much as I might wish otherwise, things are not happening on a schedule. It’s a good thing I’m the only person in the universe who cares about this or else people might actually be cross with me.
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And the entire—ahem—remastered Red King Outgrabe has now been posted to my website. I thought I was going to lose another week. I was kept just busy enough that I didn’t think I was going to fit it in and was considering just waiting until I would hopefully have time next weekend, but I didn’t really want to let that happen. Sure, nobody cares, but I don’t want to keep letting things slide. That’s a very dangerous slope, which ends with me scratching my head wondering whatever happened and why I never got anything done. So yeah, Sunday night and I’m working on this when I really should be resting and getting ready for the dreaded day job in the morning. Oh well.
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Well, I suppose the good thing about wholly self-imposed deadlines that absolutely nobody in the known universe cares about other than myself is that it is not a terribly big deal when I miss those deadlines. It remains a thing that I care rather a lot about the self-imposed deadlines. In fact, I probably care too much about the self-imposed deadlines, and I should do something about that.
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The Red King Outgrabe really benefited from NotePerformer. It sounds so much better. The—ahem—remastered audio was posted over on Patreon six months ago and is finally making its debut here. If you want to read a short rant about how things had deteriorated at university, go look over there. I'm pretty sure The Red King is in front of the paywall.
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2020

Well, this year has been a real horrorshow and not in the Clockwork Orange way where horrowshow actually means good, but nobody should be using horrorshow as good because that's just violently morbid and awful. Go read A Clockwork Orange if you want a better understanding of why nobody should use horrorshow to mean good.
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Thanks to that accidental Patreon creator account that absolutely nobody in the known universe cares about I've been uploading updated MP3 versions of my silly little nonsensical compositions there. NotePerformer has been good at kicking Sibelius in the asterisk and producing slightly better sounding performances.
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Revised Outgrabe for Horn, Violin, Viola & Violoncello score uploaded. This was a tricky one. On the one hand, I didn't want to get carried away making changes to the score. On the other, I was convinced I could make it better just by changing slurs. So there are parts with lots of little changes, and there are parts I ignored. End result is something you can listen to on Patreon in November for a price. Also I've been prattling on about my college years over there, so pay the price and learn things, I guess.
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Updated PDF scores for both the Outgrabe for Clarinet & Piano and the Outgrabe for Violin & Double Bass have been uploaded, and I don't think I could have picked a bigger contrast between two back-to-back pieces.
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Technically the scores for both The Red King Outgrabe and the first Outgrabe for Piano were updated and uploaded on Monday, and I fully intended to post a little update about it on Monday, but one thing pushes out another. Next thing I know, it is Thursday, and I haven't done it yet. So here we go. This is the official update that the scores have been updated and posted.
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I suppose we could just chalk it all up to the passing of the years, but at this point I simply do not recall blathering on about Vicarious Empowerment in this space of the occasionally evolving name. It's been a journal. It's been a rant. It's probably had other names. These days, it is simply called updates. Anyway, there was a time that I hit upon the idea of Vicarious Empowerment, which is just a self-important way of saying that I can afford to give other people in the neighborhood of five bucks every once in a while.
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Finally got around to uploading the ever so slightly revised score for Clarinet & Viola Vignette, No. 3.
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I'm not entire sure how I found out about it, but in the middle of all the nonsense going on this year, I finally heard about this thing called NotePerformer. Turns out it's an alternate music playback thing for your music notation software, and it is—well—turns out that it is good. Much better than the built-in music playback thing that comes with Sibelius. Best decision I've made this year was shelling out the money for NotePerformer. Sure, it's been forever and a day since I've managed any new music, but when I do, I am ready.
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2019

After giving this either way too much thought or not nearly enough, I'm regressing the electric versions of my books all the way back down to Kindle Unlimited. I know. I know. This should go the other way. You wait six months—more or less—and then you expand the electric books to include all the big names that will have you. You do not take all of your books across all electric media that'll have you and toss them to the curb.
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Well, it took bloody long enough, but Merriweather’s Guide to the English Language has finally gone live over at Amazon and is available in both dead-tree and Kindle versions. If you’re into that whole Kindle Unlimited thing, it’s available that way, too. The annoying thing about Kindle Unlimited is that the electric version of the book must be exclusive to Amazon. So that’ll last six months to a year depending on when I finally get around to preparing the files for Apple and Barns & Noble.

Now this is a wild example of faulty memory. I was re-watching season 3 of Fargo, which I wrote about quite passionately something like two years ago, and was dumbfounded to discover that I had remembered everything wrong.
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Well, it's been forever and a day, but I've finally updated the website with the current word count for Merriweather's Guide. There's not a lot else to say. It's the curse of getting old—well, older anyway. I simply don't have the time or energy to update the site more.
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2018

Well, it certainly took longer than I ever thought it would, but I've finally finished updating the website. We've upgraded to version six, people, and I'm still not entirely sure how I arrived at that number. I can't trace the version history back past number four, so I've only got my own file naming conventions to rely on for how we got to where we are today, but we're here at last. Version six has arrived.
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2017

I loved the last scene of the last episode of the third season of Fargo, and yes, I’m going to talk about that final scene. I don’t give a damn about spoilers. This has been your warning.
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Well, it's taken me long enough to get around to posting a blurb about it, but the complete String Finger Theatre is finally available again in dead-tree format. The last episode went up back in April, but I just couldn't find the time to post a blurb.
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2016

Stormtroopers are crack shots in Star Wars just like Obi-Wan Kenobi said. They wade through the rebels at the beginning of the movie, taking few losses. Obi-Wan points out specific shots to Luke at the Jawa massacre to prove it wasn’t Sand People. The Stormtroopers want to take everyone alive in Mos Eisley. Even the Star-destroyers could have easily blasted the Millennium Falcon out of the sky, but they don’t. They want those droids. They want to know who’s got those droids and if the data has already been lifted.
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Tourist Hunter has finally been unleashed on an uncaring and wholly unsuspecting public. You can find copies at Amazon.com, and theoretically, anywhere else fine dead-tree books can be sold. Of course, first you have to locate a bookstore. Good luck with that. The one-line summary of Tourist Hunter that doesn't actually tell you anything about the novel goes as follows: Humorous near-future Science Fiction working-glass day-in-the-life novel. I'll give one example of the type of humor we're dealing with. The smartphones everybody uses in the book are so sophisticated and advanced and have had so much functionality crammed into them that they can do everything except make phone calls. This is never directly pointed out. Once or twice, characters do talk about how weird it would be if their phones could handle simultaneous real-time audio communiciations, but that's as close as anybody gets to acknowledging why everybody just sends text messages.

Okay, yeah, it's been a really long time since I posted an update. Just haven't had the motivation. Other things to worry about. I could either work on Tourist Hunter or I could post crap on my website. That's what's known as an easy choice. Speaking of Tourist Hunter, it's done. Believe it or not, I'm just waiting on the cover image, which is taking a lot longer than I thought, but since other people are involved, there's really not much I can do beyond pull at my hair and hope I don't rip it all out.
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2015

So, yeah, the Tourist Hunter moratorium goes slowly with something resembling two months plus where I have to continue to pretend it doesn't exist, and as shouldn't be too hard to guess, this has left me at something of a loss as to what to do with myself. The plan to fill the interim was to dive headfirst back into music, and it was only after I took that leap into the musical deep end that I realized that the swimming pool was still filling with water. Just goes to show how much mental energy had gone into the writing of words. You reach the end, think okay, relax time, and the mind just goes cool, break time, done. And, you discover just how exhausted you were. Even just trying to think about music, sit at the piano, anything, is more taxing than you can possibly imagine.
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Okay, I've finished the first draft of Tourist Hunter, and it is a hell of a lot longer than I thought it would be. Seriously, when I first started, I figured I would be lucky to get fifty thousand words out of this turkey. Maybe, just maybe, it would be as long as Pyrrhic Kingdom, and that was if I was trying really hard. So, I don't know where the hundred thousand and change came from. I even spent the last couple of chapters asking myself why it wasn't over yet. Tourist Hunter had no business being so long even if it was just the first draft.
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So I finally realized that people put a lot of music on Youtube as if it was a music website like Soundcloud, and it occurred to me there's no reason I couldn't do the same thing. You don't need a music video. You just need something for people to look at like cover art or any old thing. You could even do what my old college friend, Dennis Amen, did and use the score. Since it's a video, you could even turn score pages to match. Well, hell, I could do that.

Yeah, I really wish I had something interesting or exciting to put here. I look back at the archive, and there were journal entries all over the place. They carried on for miles, too. I mean, looking back, how the hell did that happen?
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The complete String Finger Theatre is now available in Kindle format. Next on the ridicously time-consuming agenda is to put the works into dead-tree format. Havene't started on that little project yet because I want to time to do something vaguely useful. After all, why in the world would anyone want to pay for a Kindle or dead-tree copy of something they can read for free online?
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2014

There's not a lot I want to say about the season finale of Doctor Who. It's a children's show, I understand that. It's like my one big guilty-pleasure show. I remember loving the hell out of Doctor Who when I was a kid, but trying to watch some of those old episodes now can be downright painful. I do try to check it out occasionally and have discovered that the best way to watch old Doctor Who is in very small doses of no more than one episode per day on non-consecutive days. So, sometimes it surprises me that I still follow the modern Doctor Who. I think it is as much nostalgia as anything else. Also, it can be entertaining. It can be amusing, and the modern show has done a good job of picking actors for the role.
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The Rhapsody for clarinet, viola & piano has been uploaded to the music page. I'm not even going to get into the mixed feelings I have about this one. A good example of my ambivalence is the fact it's been months since the previous rhapsody was posted. These vignettes and rhapsodies are all starting to sound the same to me, and that's a fact that worries me greatly. I did keep busy while ignoring the new rhapsody. It was just with stuff I'm not interested in discussing at this time.

The Rhapsody for violin, oboe & piano has been uploaded to the music page. Once again I've got very mixed feelings about this pieces. It's a good experiment. The entire piece was composed at the computer. I didn't work at the piano once on it. In fact, the whole thing was unplanned. It was supposed to be a simple experiment to test the instrument combination, and I just kept going. The final rhapsody feels very rampling and episodic to me, and there doesn't seem much depth. All of which I figure is pretty much a by-product of how I went about writing it. So, I don't know. Bits I like. Bits I don't like. Good experiment all around.

Violin Vignette, No. 1, has been uploaded to the music page, and I have very mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, I've been meaning to do something a little more experimental, and these vignettes are meant to be experiments. I've been meaning to do something more dissonant and atonal, and those voices have been nagging. They just nag and nag that I haven't been doing enough modern atonally dissonant stuff. On the other hand, bleep and blurb just aren't doing it for me right now. They have their place, and atonal dissonance certainly conveys specific moods, which seems to me something that a lot of modern stuff just doesn't get. Dissonant atonality influences emotion and mood just like anything else in music. So, there's no reason to use atonality for absolutely everything. It has its place just like tonality has its place. I hear the term post-tonal thrown around a lot, and while working on this vignette, being annoyed at it most of the time, I've been teasing myself with the term post-atonal. Yeah, post-atonal just tickles me. I like it.

The Rhapsody for Flute & Cello, No. 1, has been posted to the music page. Finally something just a little longer than the vignettes, which I still love dearly, but there is a time and a place to try different things. This one went through a lot of false starts and ideas that simply sounded terrible, leaving me rather depressed after each failure, before finally hitting upon just the right combination. The second hardest part was coming up with the name. Well, I didn't want to use vignette for something more than two minutes long. So, I needed something, and I went through rather a long list of possibilities before finally settling upon rhapsody. Well, I didn't want to use outgrabe because that has gotten tangled up in a bunch of stylistic requirements. Much more dissonant blah blah. Rhapsody leaves itself open for more possibilities in my head for some reason.

Oboe Vignette, No. 2, has been posted on the music page. This one took a little longer to finish and felt a little more like pulling teeth, but I really like how it turned out. Still debating what to do next.

I'm fond of stories that basically take the world around us and twist it in some way. There's just something really cool about it or maybe it just feeds into the whole notion of more things in heaven and earth than dreamed of in philosophy. Sure, we've got a pretty good idea of the shape of things what with science and all of that. Yay, science. But, wouldn't it just be cool if. So, yeah, there's something very escapist and exciting about imagining things being other than what they are in some way or other. Just to pick at one example, the X-Files was a hit for more than one reason, and it's really hard to escape from vampire shows, superhero movies and assorted whatnot these days.
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Finished Oboe Vignette, No. 1, a couple of days ago. Finally have a few minutes to upload it to my website. I can feel the two forces waring in my head. More so for the new vignette I'm working on than this one I just finished. On the one hand, I want to keep experimenting, and I want the music to take the shape it needs. On the other hand, I've got the outrageous forces of acceptable contemporary composition screaming in my head that there simply isn't enough dissonance in these vignettes. Well, I'm not going to add sour notes just for the sake of making it more acceptable, am I? If the texture doesn't fit chromaticism for chromaticism's sake, then I'm simply not going to do it. Simple as that. Still, the voices rage. Oh, well.

2013

Finally broke down and signed up for Sound Cloud, which appears to be a social networking website for sharing music and sounds and noise and stuff. The current plan is to upload the musical vignettes. We shall see if I get around to adding anything else.

These piano vignettes seem to do a really good job of just touching upon the idea. Nothing much to it. Hit the idea and get out. This second piano vignette is also really simple, and I hope I haven't subconsciously just copied something I heard somewhere or other. Anyway, I think this vignette is really cool.

The third vignette for clarinet and viola has actually been done for a few days, but I've been tied up with really stressful stuff at my day job so I just hadn't gotten around to uploading until today. This third vignette is probably the most conventional one that I've done, which nags at me just a tad since I really wanted more of a touch of the experimental, but then I just try to tell myself that experimenting with conventional is perfectly okay. Things are going to stay hyper-stressful at work for at least the next two weeks so I don't expect to make any progress on another vignette for awhile. I'm also trying to psych myself up to do something longer than a vignette, but recent time consuming events have me backing away from that notion. We shall see how things unfold.

The Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary show, The Day of the Doctor, was good. Entertaining. Oh, spoilers, d'uh. And, I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before how the term spoilers just grates against my skin, but that is neither here nor there so I'll get on with it already.
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Okay, this is downright spooky. It was only about two weeks ago that I finished the last vignette. I'm going to burn out or something, I'm sure. If nothing else, it's only a matter of time before I become overly self-conscious about how traditional these vignettes are. I mean, they are practically in major and minor keys and everything. Oh, well.

I always remember being told the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as being about split personalities to the point that Dr. Jekyll wouldn't even know what Mr. Hyde had been up to. Even if there was a certain amount of awareness, it always still involved losing control. Mr. Hyde would take over, and there was nothing Dr. Jekyll could do about it. Even when he liked it, he had no control. Kind-of like a drug induced rush, I guess. Dr. Jekyll had to have his fix and damn the consequences. Now, I suppose a lot of these slight differences simply come out of the fact that lots of different people have played with the story and the idea. There have lots of different essays and adaptations and whatnot. The consistently important detail was that Dr Jekyll gave up control to this other person living in his head called Mr. Hyde.
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My most ambitious vignette yet—ambitious in the sense that it actually involves three whole musical instruments—has been uploaded to the music page of my website. It also rivals all previous vignettes in the sense that it is very nearly two minutes long, which to my way of thinking almost but not quite takes it out of vignette territory. I also happen to be feeling particularly pleased and smug about this one so I'm going to let any knocks against it slide.

Piano Vignette, No. 1, has been uploaded. More than the flute vignettes, I think this piano vignette is a better demonstration of the concept of touching upon the idea. This vignette really feels like it could have been longer. In fact, it could have been a lot longer or at least feels like it could have been longer. It just doesn't feel like it could have been longer without being a lot more complicated and involved, which is not what I was going for. It's complicated enough. The first draft was actually a lot more boring and ordinary. There was a serious danger of a boring and repetative accompaniment. I think I managed to avoid that.

I've uploaded a second Flute Vignette to my website. This one took a little longer. I think the first flute vignette was completed in about three days, which either means its not very good or I was just on fire when I composed it. Regardless, it set a bad precedent since the notion stuck in my head that these vignettes are easy. Wrong. This second flute vignette took somewhere between two and three weeks, including one evening where I just stared at the score for about two hours absolutely convinced that it was crap. Not doing anything with it. Just staring. And, occasionally burying my face in my hands. Oh, and groaning. Lots of grumbling and groaning. Anyway, I think it all worked out, and I'm currently rather pleased with myself about the final product.

Blade Runner is one of those movies I liked when I was younger. I mean I used to watch it all the time when it was on cable, and it seemed to be on all the time. Don't know how that happened. It was just on, and I would watch it. Found it fascinating or something. And, it was the old voice-over narration version. It was pan-and-scan, too, but everything was pan-and-scan back in those days. Didn't matter. It was on, and I would watch it. Alternate versions didn't exist yet. In fact, the first time I ever saw Blade Runner in a movie theater was when the first alternate version did the rounds. I used to love this movie. Can't stand it now. Blade Runner is long and boring and pretentious as hell. Don't know what I used to see in it. Don't understand what happened. Age makes fools of us all or something.
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The first new music composition in almost two years has been uploaded to the website. Sure, it's only a new vignette for flute and piano, but I've got to do something. Also, there is just something really appealing about the format. Short little bits of fluff that don't necessarily have to be anything more than what they are. Musical snippets. Musical ideas. Musical flotsam in the wild world.

I noticed something while working on my silly little adaptation of Macbeth. Something kind-of fundamental to the story. Well, the first thing I learned by looking at Wikipedia of all things was that Macbeth was not an original story to Shakespeare. The play itself was an adaptation. Quite possibly based on historical events. At the very least, it was based on well known stories about guys killing other guys for the purpose of becoming king or whatever. What fascinated me the most was that it wasn't always a secret. The guy killing the other guy said he did it because the other guy was crap as leader or something. I'm being vague on details for no good reason. Not the point of this little writing jag.
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Yeah, I'm more than a little surprised that I haven't posted a news blurb or anything about the publication of my new novel Pyrrhic Kingdom. Officially published June 27, 2013; although, I think the Amazon Kindle version is convinced it was published on June 26th, but I think I've got that fixed. I've been slow with the annoucements because the day-job has been busy, and then my computer decided to die a slow and agonizing death. It's still in the middle of its death spiral, and I just hope it holds out until I can purchase a new one next weekend. Didn't really want to do so suddenly, and it's not exactly as if I can afford a new one. But, I must have a computer. Anyway, if you had to describe Pyrrhic Kingdom in two words or less, you could describe it as Cthulhu Macbeth with the understanding that the plot will really kind-of sort-of remind you of Macbeth and with conspiracies, secret societies and ancient horrors from beyond time and space instead of ghosts and a rebellion. Macbeth starts out with a rebellion, remember?

It's been about three months, more-or-less, since I finished the first-draft of my Shakespeare adaption, and I suppose I really should get around to actually calling it by its new name in this here journal. All part of the service, right? If I don't actually refer to it by name, then it's less real, which doesn't entirely make sense unless I do a little more to explain.
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The new website design is finally live. I'm sure there are lots of little bugs and things that still need to be worked out, but there you are. The biggest change and the reason I wanted to redesign the website in the first place is the page is now centered on the screen. I know. I know. Very silly reason for a redesign. I also wanted the text to scale so that you could actually read it on a portable device, but I couldn't quite get that part to work the way I wanted. Or happpy with. Or whatever. Whole process took much longer than planned because this is only one of about six things I try to do with my very precious and limited free time. But, it is done. Yay!

Long ago and far away, the plan was to work on a simple adaptation and on musical vignettes. The day-job was proving to be a serious pain in the ass, devouring far more time and energy than it had any right to be consuming. Needs of the world and all of that bullshit. Keep a roof over your head. Don't starve. Yeah, yeah. Bullshit, like I said.
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Okay, the heavy lifting is done. The first draft of my adaptation of a Shakespeare play is complete. Next stage is tricky, waiting three to six months before starting to edit. Don't think I'll manage six months. I'll be lucky if I can wait three. The thing is it's important to wait. I can't spot my own typos and mistakes if I don't take a break from the text. I'll just edit in my head. The break is important. Also, I'm more likely to notice poorly written bits with a break. Just look at The Etymology of Fire, for example. I think I deleted about a third of the text in the editing stage. Probably an exaggeration. Just felt like a third of the text because I was the one doing serious damage to my own writing. Murdering lots of babies and little darlings and all of that. It was worth it, my opinion. I think Etymology of Fire really flows. Best written of the three. I know. I know. Biased. What can I say?
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2012

Finished revising the xhtml formatting of all three ePub copies of my novels and finally got around to uploading the new versions to my website. Also, uploaded the new xhtml versions to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Shouldn't really notice a difference reading the books; however, under the hood, the code is completely different. InDesign always made things so complicated. The latest version of LibreOffice exports a much cleaner html file, and Sigil has evolved to the point where it is easy to build the .epub yourself. The Faire Folk of Gideon is the only one that should look noticably different with a more interactive table of contents. Of course, it also now includes an xthml table of contents that isn't interactive at all. Probably easy to confuse the two depending on the ePub reader.

Yeah, I really should write some kind-of update here. It is getting on toward the end of the year, and I don't think I've written many journal entries or news updates. I've been doing more micro-updates on Twitter and Facebook, which aren't really that interesting. Movies I've been watching. Books I've been reading. Word count updates. Oh, you have to go to Goodreads for the books I've been reading updates.
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Okay, I know it's been ages since I last wrote something here, which always makes my brain want to spontaneously combust, but I don't want to just write some utter tripe or nonsense just for the sake of having something to update, which is another item on the list of things I go on-and-on about without ever seeming to shut up. The complaining about wanting to write a new journal entry but not wanting to write filler or something or whatever. It's all regurgitated crap of one kind or another, isn't it?
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Very mixed feelings working on my Shakespeare project. Don't know how to describe. I was right about one thing. Very little time or energy to actually think about it. I know the basic idea. The shape of it. I've got the original Shakespeare play to rely on, after all. Of course, that doesn't really do me much good since I'm not exactly following the play. I've written—what?—approximately 30,000 words, and I'm still mucking about in act one. And, once I'm finally out of act one, I think the rest of the plot is just going to fly by. So, I think this is going to be very top-heavy, so to speak, which worries me for very stupid reasons. Oh, it can't be too short. Well, why not? Because the anticipated eBook price will seem unfair or something? Can't charge as much as for the others if it is only half the length? Seriously? Is that what's bugging me? That's just really stupid.
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Very mixed feelings working on my Shakespeare project. Don't know how to describe. I was right about one thing. Very little time or energy to actually think about it. I know the basic idea. The shape of it. I've got the original Shakespeare play to rely on, after all. Of course, that doesn't really do me much good since I'm not exactly following the play. I've written—what?—approximately 30,000 words, and I'm still mucking about in act one. And, once I'm finally out of act one, I think the rest of the plot is just going to fly by. So, I think this is going to be very top-heavy, so to speak, which worries me for very stupid reasons. Oh, it can't be too short. Well, why not? Because the anticipated eBook price will seem unfair or something? Can't charge as much as for the others if it is only half the length? Seriously? Is that what's bugging me? That's just really stupid.
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Discovered there was something wrong with the ePub versions of my short stories. Calibre was giving me an error message when I tried to convert to other formats. I think I figured out what was wrong. Removed one line from the content.opf file in the ePub file. If that makes any sense. It has to do with the fact that an ePub file is actually a .zip archive with the file extension changed from .zip to .epub. It's why you need a program like Sigil in order to edit the .epub file. Well, you can probably open the .epub yourself simply by changing the extension back to .zip and unzipping it, but that's more annoying even than I want to deal with. Sigil is an awersome program, by the way. Calibre is awesome, too, by the way. It's just not an ePub editor.

Oh, so of course I would find real electronic books for $2.99 right after going on a horribly profane rant about the cost of electric books. Say all kinds-of mean things about people I don't even know. Must be that poetic justice people are always going on about. Well, now I'm just more conflicted and confused. Brain explosion. Spontaneous combustion. All of that. Curse you, Jonathan Strange & Mister Norrell!

Okay, here's what I'm going to do. Ignore the issue for a couple of months and revisit after I've had plenty of time to sulk about it. Yeah, like that. It worked for Hamlet. Nothing bad ever happened to him. Sigh.

Electronic books are too freaking expensive. That's been my opinion for years, and I've had absolutely no reason to revise my estimation. In fact, if anything I've been too soft. This was seriously brought home to me recently when I started searching for electronic books to get and discovered that the vast majority of them are more expensive than the actual honest-to-god dead-tree paperback versions of the exact same books. What the fuck? I mean, really. What the fuck?
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Right, going to try for another short journal entry. Nothing fancy. Nothing much to say. I figure this will most closely resemble thinking out loud. Actually, that's probably pretty much what all of these journal entries resemble. I think one of the main reasons I manage to write them is that I don't actually believe anybody is reading them. Take any other social media site where I have, in fact, gotten feedback, demonstrating that someone was actually reading, and I have had this amazing habit of shutting up. So, yeah, if I actually thought anybody was reading this, I probably wouldn't be typing it. All very silly. All very strange.
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Right, short journal entry. See how that goes. Probably looking at an aberration here.

I was thinking about principles and how they can get you into trouble. In general, they are good to have. Good to believe in something. Stand by something. Have standards, will travel.
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It may have taken long enough that I had actually started to worry I had done something wrong, but all three paperbacks are finally available at Barnes & Noble again. Even better, The Faire Folk of Gideon and The Etymology of Fire are both on sale. I had nothing to do with this. My guess is that B&N is trying to undercut Amazon's price. Fortunately, I'll still get my dollar and change regardless of whatever B&N charges. Wonder how long it will last.

The best part of my little test of LibreOffice last week was that wasn't even close to what I had planned on writing about. I had actually had something on my mind. Sure, just one of those things that probably wouldn't interest anyone other than my own little self but that's hardly the point. I had actually had something I thought I could ramble on about, which doesn't happen as often as I might like. It's that whole dilemma I refuse to stop going on about.
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Trying out LibreOffice for the first time so this may not be the most spirited or interesting journal entry that I've ever posted, which is a good way to start these things off, by the way. Don't worry. Nothing to read here. Move along.
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All three books were revised and submitted to Createspace. The new proofs arrived in the mail this past week. They looked good so I clicked approve. Thought I was going to be charged a revision fee but that hasn't happened yet. Keep checking Barnes & Noble's website but the books are still only available for the Nook eBook reader there. I'm really hoping this is just one of those dissemination of updated information things. They are available at Amazon so I remain hopefully that I didn't screw things up too badly.
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