Tag Archives: Dawn of Shades

Mixing it up and using the creation option

18 Aug

I tend to get single minded about things sometimes.  While that can be a good thing, there is also a tendency to go overboard, perhaps.  The truth of the matter is, too much of anything is not a good thing.  So, focusing on variety being the spice of life, I have mixed up things a bit more around more.  I do at least two things every day, and which two things can vary.  I write, almost every day, in one form or another.  Other days, it might a whole list of options that are considered.  One that has been at the forefront has been the act of creation.

Something about creating something, whether it is written text or an object  of some kind, seems to give me joy.  It’s even better when it’s something that gives other people pleasure.  This act of creation is a fantastic outlet for me.

So I have been busy with that creation stuff.  Like I made a trio of simple skirts for my niece’s oldest, along with matching hair barrettes.  I altered the pattern to be more creative and use that creation option too.  Several skirts for my granddaughter have come out from under the needle of my machine.  I tried my hand at a bit more fussy sewing with a set of mother-daughter aprons (shhhh!  She hasn’t gotten them yet, it’s her birthday gift, and I’ll deliver them tomorrow!) and a lined messenger bag with specially sized pockets, also for my daughter’s birthday.  The messenger bag was an act of determination, multiplied by dynamic creation, and infused with love too.

I don’t know if I’ll ever sew another apron requiring miles of bias tape.  I also don’t know if I will EVER make another lined bag.

Now I know from years of sewing that free patterns, whether from magazines (in the old days) or online (the modern day), does not mean quality patterns.  Anybody can post a pattern, and that does not mean it’s a good one.

This wasn’t a particularly good one.  The directions gave me headaches, and the finished example used to illustrate the article looked somewhat…sad.  I should have known better, right?

Yeah, well maybe I missed the brain train.  Lord knows the pain train pulls into my station regularly, I may have been confused that day…

I’ve also had serious computer issues.  I use a laptop (long story) and my “new” one took a dump and quit on me about 6 months ago.  Without being able to afford a repairman (it’s not a simple issue, it won’t power up at all) it has sat, waiting, after Greg removed the harddrive and cloned it onto another one, which ultimately went into my old laptop, which he had repaired from it’s near-fatal blow from some kind of malware attack I had received via a chat client I used to use.  (I don’t anymore, btw.)  So, I was happily working away, although regretting the loss of the faster computer with more RAM and thus better able to cope with my continual multi-tasking, and just dealing with the occasional freezing that such a tendency induces in older and underpowered computers.

On Saturday morning, I had a notice on the laptop that it had received a Microsoft update and had restarted.  Okay, no big deal, right?

It told me it was personalizing my desktop, and stayed that way.  Nothing we did resurrected it—it would not boot up.  I was on the verge of a melt down and we’ve not managed to drink our first cup of coffee yet.

Greg’s pretty patient, except when I’m melting down on him, then he’s not a very happy camper either.  He managed to pack me off to the office with my sewing machine, and he proceeded to try and solve the issue.  I took a nap.

A really long nap.

I guess melt downs wear me out?  It also gave him the peace he needed to work on solving the problem.  According to the flashing light on the cap lock, it was telling him that the CPU had crashed and burned.  That’s not a quick fix either, especially since it’s a laptop, which is really hard to work on.  We have no parts, nor do we have diagnostic tools to work on a laptop.  With Greg though, there is no such thing as defeat.  He also says there is no living with me without a functional computer AND my files, so he had a plan b to work on while I was snoring away.

He dug out his old laptop, which he had finally managed to repair.  (It was also damaged, but much more severely, by malware via the same chat client.)  It was the same brand as my old one—a Compaq.  He popped the harddrive from the laptop I had been using into the new one, added some RAM, and booted it up.  There were a few things to tweak, but soon, I was awake and had a computer I could use again.

But it had a really odd looking screen, and that was a clue as to what was coming next.  The video card driver on the harddrive was not compatible with the actual video card in the new old machine.  Should be an easy fix, right?

Nope

HP’s repair gizmo won’t install. Drivers for the video card don’t seem to exist.  Okay, I can live with an oddball looking screen, distorted pictures and all.  But that wasn’t the end of the video card driver problems.

The blue screen of death.

Yeah, we’ve all seen it.  The trouble was, I was seeing it often, and then the new old computer wouldn’t boot up either.  I was starting to feel like some kind of computerized jinx.

I’m testy, and I’m sent back to the office to talk to my sewing machine and play with my Kindle.  I start dreaming of embroidery machines and new laptops, but Greg manages to save the day despite my frazzled nerves.  He also attaches an external harddrive so I can back up the critical files: documents & pictures.  We even worked out a way to get it done easily without me freaking out and getting frustrated over complicated procedures.

Like the Cloud.

He couldn’t understand my objection to using the Cloud for backing up files, but Comcast, in their usual manner, managed to illustrate it in living color.

Our intermittent outage issues had been plaguing us all day on Sunday.  Sunday night, however, it’s a total no-internet-at-all situation resulting in a call to Comcast, where he started off the experience with a 30 minute wait to get to a human.

Keep in mind, we’re paying by the minute for this privilege, despite Comcast’s continual offers of telephone service (they can’t get the internet right, how would they get telephone right?) and then he gets “service is out in your area due to an accident.  It should be restored by 7 am on Monday morning.”

Now he knows why I do not like my files on the Cloud.  I cannot access them when the internet is down.  Just like I couldn’t access anything when I had no way to get to my harddrive and the data it contained, only with no cloud access, my computer is working just fine.  Sure, the cloud is fine for a general back up, but that’s not where I want my files kept.

He was thrilled.  Seriously thrilled.  But now, he understood what my objections were and why they were something that I was so adamant about.

But that sent my brain off onto another tangent too.

If a woman could sue McDonald’s for a cup of hot coffee scalding her, can I sue Comcast for frustrating Greg to the point of giving him another heart attack via their crappy customer service?

That’s the kind of thing I start to wonder in the wee hours, as I look at a screen that thinks it’s really a 16” CRT monitor but is really an LCD laptop screen…I think it’s a 17” one? (Heck I can tell you the model number, and have no idea what size the screen is.  Sad, huh?)  So, now I’m going to mix it up, wander off, and try to take a photo of the lovely messenger bag.

Or not.

I might wait and do it tomorrow, along with the aprons, when I have a model.  Actually 2 models.  Beautiful Daughter & her Mini Me, the spitting image of her mother, only with better hair.

See that’s another side of me too.  I am an official grandmother and I’m every bit as gaga as any grandma could be.  Plus, she’s my one and only, so I am seriously gaga about that little girl.  I have to keep a firm hand on myself to prevent me spoiling her excessively.

Yep, there is an “excessive” point when you are grandma too.

But she is a darling, most of the time.  When I see that less-than-endearing version, I am so disappointed too.  After all, as MY granddaughter, she is supposed to be perfect, right?

And since I do have to get up early to go see my darling, I’m going to leave it at that.

So tune in again tomorrow…or listen to me on the radio from 8-10 pm Central at bit.ly/uprn365  Oh, and go buy a book or two at bit.ly/giabooks  I’m trying to fund my project development for the next book, and could use some extra sales.

Just don’t forget–I really appreciate everyone who reads my blog posts, and for that, you deserve an atta-boy and a creation bonus point.  Create something, even if its something small.  It can be food or art or crafts or a really great poem or the best lawn mowing job that has ever hit your neighborhood.

Creation can be many things.

Here’s a cover of one of my books–my daughter and granddaughter were on the cover.

Kindle Parent handbook cover

You can find it right here.

Don’t forget–I’m moving my blog to www.exogenynetwork.com at the end of the month!

 

Solution is advertising!

23 Aug

I’ve made some posts lately about the struggles of keeping an internet radio program up and running, as well as free for listeners by pleading for donations.  I really hate doing that, and while I greatly appreciate the handful of people that have responded, we felt we needed a better solution, especially since we’ve had some equipment failures lately too.

So what did we come up with?

Advertising.  But, it’s still advertising with a difference, as well as with a look back to old time (pre-television) radio programs.  Remember how the old time hosts would say something about their sponsor’s products during the program?  It’s the same concept.

We’ve just modernized it.  It’s low cost, we’re debuting the concept at just $20 per “mention”, making it affordable for everyone from new independent authors that want to get the word out about a book launch to someone sponsoring a program segment in lieu of a traditional (and somewhat mundane) birthday card.  It’s also a bargain, considering that the Dawn of Shades has over 250,000 logged in listeners each week, with the numbers steadily increasing.

This way, instead of just getting a thank  you for donating, it becomes a totally different beast as an actual purchase of advertising.  For businesses, it then becomes an actual business expense too.

It’s just a short piece that will be read by the host (almost always me!) on the air, and there are only four slots per program available, so once they are gone…they are gone.  There is also only one discount available, and to receive that, you would have to be a member of the group on Facebook.  (It’s a closed group, but all legitimate appearing accounts are granted membership.)  The group is found here, if you are interested.

The same program is available for Greg’s show, the Voice of the People, on Saturdays too.

There are a few rules.  We won’t lie and say we use/endorse something if we really don’t have a clue.  We can’t advertise illegal items. We also cannot advertise porn websites or shady commercial ventures with offshore businesses.  You can only advertise a website if you own the domain too, except for a few exceptions such as Amazon & other familiar retailers selling books, audio recordings, videos, etc.  (Indie authors & artists, as well as more traditional writers/musicians, all use these sellers.)  You can promote a cause, but we also will not accept one that advocates illegal actions, such as overthrow of the government, etc.

We will only accept payment via PayPal.  It’s easy and secure for both parties, as well as a minimally difficult process for everyone.  There are deadlines too–we can’t arrange for an ad during the last hour before we go on the air!  We have to agree on the message, vet the website, etc. before the advertisement is accepted.  A particular slot is never guaranteed before payment is received either.

Want more information or to buy a slot for yourself?  It’s easy–just email me at giascott at exogenynetwork.com!

Spittin’ in the wind

12 Aug

Well, the cable company was even less patient than I’d hoped.  They hit us this morning with a cut off.

Thankfully, courtesy of the donations we’d received, we were able to pay the minimum payment to keep it on for now.  So…even though we were $75 short of paying the whole bill, we have internet for a while longer.

We didn’t get much response, compared to the number of listeners we have.  I guess I would have been inspired by more response, even if the response came without a donation, but…that’s the way it is.  We haven’t even gotten any response on the poll we posted on a previous post on this blog.

I really need a bit of encouragement.  So does Greg.  

In the middle of all of this, our little feist was failing fast after another stroke, and she passed away early Saturday morning.  Granted, she was very good at annoying people, and not very nice to most of them, but we loved the little dog anyhow.  The show Saturday evening was tough for Greg on the heels of digging his little buddy’s grave.  She was a “daddy’s girl” dog, and they were especially close.  Despite having other dogs, we are still depressed over losing her.  Our dogs are like our four legged children, I guess.

But…with all of that aside, I’m done begging for donations.  It was a very difficult thing for me to do anyhow, and I didn’t like it.  Beggars also have a tendency to suddenly become invisible, and that’s the last thing I wanted.  We’re going to have to consider alternatives to the donation method of funding, that’s obvious.  We’re exploring those avenues now, and it will likely result in advertising, sponsors or pay-per-listen for the podcasts.   Maybe something will come up, but I’m leaving that to the Universe.  If we’re meant to stay on the air, we’ll find funding somewhere.  If not, well…we won’t be.

It’s kind of like spitting into the wind, you never know what will happen for sure.  You might get a face full, and then again…maybe you won’t.

In the meantime, the next month’s worth of shows are coming to you courtesy of Steven and Elaine, our benefactors.  I’m very grateful that they donated.

Does anyone hear?

8 Aug

Yesterday, I swallowed my pride and admitted we are at the end of the rope.  We have a short time to figure out how to pay the internet connection bill before it is cut off.

I haven’t heard from anyone indicating that they even care that the shows are looking at possibly coming to an end.

Out of over half a million listeners, surely someone cares whether or not we continue doing the programs?

I had scheduled a series featuring Native American writers and I am genuinely excited about the series, but I’m also genuinely afraid we won’t get to do all 9 programs we had planned.

We still need a miracle, but it isn’t a huge miracle.  It shouldn’t be impossible to have it happen either.

All we need is a very small number of fans who care enough to contribute about what it costs to go buy one fast food meal to make an equivalent donation via Paypal.

That means if just a dozen people, less than is usually standing in line at lunch time to buy that burger and fries, to donate $10 each…and we’ve bought more time to stay on the air.

Just twelve.

Twelve seems like an awful lot right now, with the deadline breathing down my neck.  Twelve seems impossible when you don’t even have a single donation yet.  Twelve seems like a vast number when it seems as though no one seems to really care whether we’re on by the end of the month or not.

Do you honestly enjoy independent talk shows like we do?  Do you look forward to the programs?  Do you ever download one to listen on your mp3 player while you are doing something else?  How many hours of entertainment have the programs given you?  Has it broadened your horizons?  Introduced new & interesting ideas?  Made you laugh?

Isn’t that worth something?

At this point, even a comment or email indicating you appreciate what we do is better than nothing.  At least we’d know we’d not wasted our time entirely.  Instead, so far we have had nothing more than stony silence.

Help make a difference.  Be the first to donate.  You don’t have to drop us an email, we’ll appreciate you anyhow.

If you want to be that first donor, use Paypal and just send it to giascott (at) exogenynetwork.com

I’ll even thank you on the air (unless  you prefer to remain anonymous).

A cry for help

7 Aug

Sad stories are a dime a dozen these days.  It seems that everyone is telling one.  That’s part of why I hate to start on ours.

But, it is necessary, there is a lot at stake.

For years, Greg & I have paid for the expenses of the radio programs we host.  We have had some very much appreciated donations along the way, but the truth is…they are few and far between.  Years of donations, if lumped together, would cover a single month of expenses.  We don’t spend a lot of time soliciting donations though, and we certainly don’t hire someone to do it for us, unlike major charities.

The truth of the matter is, despite having a new series of shows featuring Native American writers scheduled to start on August 13th, we’re looking at it all coming to an end in less than two weeks.

We are looking at a shut off notice for non-payment for internet access if we don’t come up with $120 by then.  We couldn’t pay the bill last month.

To us, it looks like a vast number.  We’ve had our fair share of “bad luck” lately.  Greg had a major heart attack in the spring, resulting in a long hospital stay, as well as expensive medication, weekly blood tests, and regular doctor visits—all of which are financially challenging.  We couldn’t afford his medicine last month.  We couldn’t afford mine either, but I did have a month’s worth of one medication on hand.

We’ve also had mechanical break downs.  Our primary vehicle is broke down and its tags are now expired, rendering it undrivable on two fronts.  Our lawn mower sputtered out.  We’re having electrical problems with the house.  The mini-van we’re driving is worn out, the a/c doesn’t work, and the suspension system soon has me in agony.  Our badly needed all-in-one scanner/printer/fax machine died this week.

Everything has drained our resources.  There is no light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re treading water as fast as we can.  But there is no choice, we have to have donations or we’re facing going off the air.  We just can’t cover this bill.

Here are some numbers, just to show how many people do listen.

Last week, on the Dawn of Shades, we had over 260,000 listeners log in to listen to the program.  It was another record setting audience, but that’s just about every week.  We seem to have more and more listeners each week, and that tells me that I must be doing something right.

Greg has about 400,000 listeners log in each Saturday to listen to the Voice of the People.  He must be doing something right too.

That means that roughly 660,000 people are listening to us each week.  Free.  More people listen by downloading or streaming the archived show, and others listen when the shows are re-run on the network.  It’s all free, too.

We have no sponsors, no advertising revenue, and we’re not paid by the station either.  We not only don’t make a living doing it, we don’t even make a starving doing it—we receive no funding from anyone to support what we do.  Because of the station’s rules, we are not even able to ask for donations on the air.  We can only do so through our blogs and websites.

We pay for the radio programs.  We do occasionally ask for donations, but we have never counted on them before.  Right now, it’s critical that we get those necessary donations though.  Even though we’re crippled by being restricted from asking on the air, we are asking all of our most loyal listeners to “show us some love” by helping us stay on the air.

We aren’t asking for a lot.  We know that a lot of our listeners can’t afford to donate and are struggling to just stay afloat too.  All we’re asking is for you to give up the equivalent of ONE fast food meal, just $5 or $10, and show us some support for what we do as an independent media outlet.  If you can afford it, donate more to make up for all of those listeners who are living on fixed incomes or can’t afford even a trip to a fast food joint.  Even a movie usually costs more.  Besides, your waist will not mind exchanging that cheap burger for a couple of hours of fun, interesting, and upbeat programming each week.

It’s easy to make a donation through Paypal.  Just go to www.Paypal.com and click on “send money.”  Then put in the amount, and my email address, giascott at exogenynetwork.com (just replace the at with an @ and eliminate the spaces—spammers are everywhere!  Please don’t wait until the last minute—it takes about a week to move the money through Paypal and then into the bank to pay the bill.

Independent media outlets are important.  Programs you like and enjoy are also important.  Please support Exogeny Network’s programs today.

Sorry, I was reading!

24 May

Time flies when you are having fun, or when you have your nose buried in a book, so to speak.  I just realized that it had been a LONG time since I had posted a thing.

Books have changed, though.  For the first time since the printing press made books available to the masses, we’ve had a true revolution in books.  It’s a miraculous little thing called the e-book.

Traditionalists dislike it, instead preferring the tactile connection with a paper page.  While some traditions are things I hold dear, I must confess…I love the e-book concept.

Maybe it’s the moves over the years, with heavy book boxes and the fear of something being lost, overlooked, or damaged along the way.  Maybe it was two years in a travel trailer, with most of my personal library in storage and unavailable.  Maybe it was the continual stacks of books, unshelved because the book shelves were already crammed full.   My bookshelves never looked like magazines portrayed them, instead, mine were crammed with books.  Maybe too, it was the disappointment and dismay that discovering that a favored book was literally falling apart.

Then, there is also the price of books, both in terms of purchase price and environmental price.  While I value books, I also have to take care of business in regards to the usual bills.  I also care about the planet we live on, and would like to see the forests remain forests.  If you have never seen an area after it has been clear cut for a paper mill, you’ve never really seen devastation.  It’s pretty unsightly, actually.

So e-books, besides being the wave of the future, are a good thing, in my eyes.   It’s also going to signal the demise of some things that we’ve come to regard as cultural institutions, such as the book shop, the library, and even the printing companies.  It’s also created a new wave, something else we’ve never seen before: the independent author.

While magazines are not making the transition as easily to electronic formats, they are also going to have to adjust.  I love having magazines on my computer, but I want them in their entirety, advertisements and all.  You may wonder why on earth anyone would want more advertisements, especially as we are bombarded with targeted ads everywhere, gleaned from our searches and clicks elsewhere, but it’s simple: advertisements are often the way I discover new products, companies, sales, features, etc.  I have always found the small ads, usually located at the back of the magazine, especially interesting compared to the full page color ads throughout a magazine.  It’s simple why I like those though–they are the low budget ads, for smaller companies, for more customized niche products, and are more likely to be something that makes me curious or fills a need.  I’m not so worried about cosmetics, perfume, fashion, designers, expensive furniture, alcoholic beverages, etc. such as usually take out those big expensive full page ads, although some of them are interesting in terms of artistic and creative merit.  I’m thrilled to not be inflicted with the less-than-pleasant combination of aromas that a stack of magazines with scented ads creates.

The problem with the magazines is that they are limiting where you can view them.  With Amazon Kindle, you have to either have a full color Kindle or some are available on Android devices.  I use Kindle for PC mostly, as I haven’t taken the plunge yet and bought a Kindle Fire.  (Now if  you want to send me an Amazon gift card to use towards the purchase of one, I wouldn’t complain at all!)  Most PCs are full color devices, I haven’t seen a monochromatic PC in so long, I’d likely have a stroke if I was faced with one of those old monitors, but it still does not support magazine apps.  That means I can’t buy an electronic subscription from Amazon.

No, I’m not an infomercial for Amazon products, but over time, they have become my favored electronic reading material provider.  We also chose the Kindle, after much research, as a gift for my mother last year.  She loves hers, and has now decided that she wants to upgrade to the full color version in a larger size, and will undoubtedly purchase a Kindle Fire HD soon.  Kindle has a lot of features that I really like, and I have tried the Nook and Kobo for PC as well, but in my opinion, Amazon beats the others easily, especially in terms of available content and prices on that content.

But back to magazines…

I first started reading e versions of magazines long before I had heard of a Kindle or any other e-reader, for that matter.  Zinio was (and is) the provider I used.  Do I like it?  No, to be honest, after using Kindle for PC  & android, I prefer that interface.  So how can magazines improve their interface for electronic subscriptions?

  • Do away with proprietary interfaces that are excessively restrictive.  There is no reason that we can’t view magazines easily via whichever e-reader we choose to use on our computers.  I can understand not supporting the e-ink versions for many magazines because of the monochromatic display, but why not the other full color versions?
  • Add search features.  I love the ability to keep years of magazines on my device, without the fire hazard of having them stacked in boxes.  I like being able to flip through the pages without tears or missing pages too.  But, most of all, I want to find that article that I’m searching for without having to read the table of contents in 27 different issues because I can’t remember which one it was in.
  • Reduce electronic subscription fees.  The electronic version costs a lot less to produce and distribute because it doesn’t need trucks, postage, ink, printing presses, or paper. Why do I have to pay as much for the e-version as I would for the paper version?  It aggravates me.  Just like e-books should cost less than the paperback or hard bound version, so should e-magazines.
  • Offer entire sets of a particular past year of a magazine for a flat rate, preferably reasonably priced.  If the magazine is a good one, back issues are often very valuable for articles of all kinds, as well as research into past trends.  Include the advertisements too–sometimes, they are as entertaining as the articles are!  In addition, offer as many years of back issues as possible.  With e-formats, there is no real reason NOT to.
  • Include a print feature in whatever format the magazines are in.  Sometimes, you may want to print a page or set of pages.  It might be directions on how to make something, a pattern, or a recipe, but printing it may make the difference in its usability.  I can just imagine the fun I’d have if I could purchase some of the magazines I had made things from 20 years ago, and make them all over again for my granddaughter, after I’d also made them for her mother so long ago!

But why would magazine companies listen to me?  It’s not like I have a lot of influence on such things.  Consumers in general need to start demanding that companies listen to their desires and needs more, and quit accepting crappy service as their due.  But that’s a soap box I’ve been on for years, not that it’s helped a lot yet!

Publishing a novel and a small cookbook has shifted my perceptions of books, authors, and independent publishing.  A lot.  I’ve learned a lot.  Doing the Author Conversations series on the Dawn of Shades has taught me a lot more, both about authors and about books in general.  It has rekindled my interest in reading fiction too.  I had forgotten how enjoyable it could be.  I’ve also expanded my usual genre selection because of selecting authors, rather than books, for the series.  It’s made me broaden those old horizons.  I also asked the authors to send me either e-books, or digital portions of their books–I couldn’t face more stacks of books, to be honest.  I didn’t want to be intimidated by volume, and it’s not like reading is something I find difficult, especially in the digital version.

Why?  Physically, reading a book is difficult for me.  The book is heavy and awkward, and I have to sit at a table or desk to use one.  I had to give up my old favorite rainy-day activity of curling up in bed with a good book when I got hurt.  Since the injury has resulted in permanent disability, it’s not something I’m going to be able to do again either.  So, it’s just easier to have it on a screen and occasionally click to advance through the pages.  With the difficulty of holding the book removed, I can read as fast as ever, and most books are devoured within a few hours, all courtesy of an educational experiment decades ago when I was still a kid, and was taught speed reading.  I’m sure that I don’t normally read at nearly 1000 wpm, but I know I read faster than the average person.  (It’s not a sign of genius, by the way, but rather merely physically training the eyes to see pages in a different way than we usually do.  It was done with a machine that would light up each portion of the line/page to do that training, and worked on me fairly quickly.)

So, instead of the usual 2-3 fiction books per year that I had deteriorated to, I’m now reading that many a week.  I’m still reading non-fiction, and probably in roughly the same amount I had been, but there is a renewed pleasure in reading that I have rediscovered.  It probably doesn’t hurt that I am now justifying it as “research” though.  I have a second novel in the works, and while I have a general idea where the story will go, I’ve restarted it a dozen times in the last six months, after the story seemed to stagnate in my computer.  I figure that if it starts to bore me, it certainly will bore a reader!  By reading other writers’ efforts, I’m seeing what I like and what I don’t like more clearly.

Don’t get me wrong though.  I don’t read every book with a critical eye.  Sometimes, it’s nice to just read something because it’s a story and its interesting and entertaining.  Everything doesn’t have to be high drama and literary highbrow in nature to be worthy of a read.  I’ve read everything from children’s books to science fiction in the past month.  I’ve read some things I really LIKED, and I’ve read some things and thought, okay, we don’t want to go there ever again.

I’ve also written a lot of reviews of books.  Some have been guests, others have been books I read just because.  I thought some were awful too.  Independent publishing means that the awful gets published right alongside the great, and sometimes the awful looks like a story written by a sixth grader.  Even the awful has merit though–it’s a great example of what NOT to do.  I’ve also decided that I’m going to change how I reviewed books in the past for guests on the radio show.  I used to post the reviews on our website.  While that’s fine and dandy, I’m not so sure it benefits the authors very much.  So, I’ve decided that I will use two locations for reviews in the future–Amazon and Goodreads.  There are lots of locations with merit, but I can’t post it everywhere, I just don’t have that much time to invest in the reviews themselves.  I decided that I liked the format on Goodreads, and Amazon makes sense because it is now the largest seller of books, so it’s a case of putting the reviews where they will do the authors and their books the most good.  I have posted a lot of reviews on Amazon over the years, so I have a lot of them there.  On Goodreads, it’s going to take a lot of time to get the numbers up very high, as I just created an account there recently.

So…grab a book.  It’s a holiday weekend, the perfect time to lounge somewhere with a book, whether its beside a pool, in a park, or in the corner of your own sofa.  Of course, I’d like it if you bought a copy of The Time of Chaos, either in paperback OR e-book format (http://bit.ly/timeofchaos)   You could also whip up something chocolatey from All Chocolate (http://bit.ly/allchocolate).

Black metal music, Brett Wehmeyer, and the Dawn of Shades

24 Nov

Last night, I was fortunate enough to host the second program in the series, Music in America on Gia Scott’s Dawn of Shades.  My guest was Brett Wehmeyer, and his roots were in Black Metal music. I’ll admit it, I’ve never been a fan of black metal music, but the series wasn’t really about the music I liked, but as a representation of the various genres of the music of America.  With only eight programs, obviously not all of the potential genres could be represented. For the first time, I could find out what the whole point of Black Metal music was though.  To me, it always sounded as though nobody in the band was on speaking terms with each other, and everyone was doing their own thing.  It turns out…I wasn’t all that wrong, because it is a type of music born out of hatred and theoretically is the sounds of hell. At least that explains the altering between a growling and a shrieking voice for the lyrics too. However, it also doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly a huge fan of Black Metal music either.  I’m a bit past the point of all that anger, violence, and hatred.  I’m a bit leery of music that glorifies it too.  I certainly don’t feel a need to revisit that type of negative energy and emotion at this point in my life. It sounded like he thought he was past that point too, and ready to move on to other things as well. All in all, it was a very interesting interview, with a lot of insight into the business of music as well. You can find the interview here.   0