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Rules absolutely.

I should say something about Twitter, since it's been my favorite MMO for several years now, part confessional, part screaming into your pillow, part stand-up open-mic-night. Only it's that for everyone else. It's also a battleground.

It's also a place that people think they can win. But maybe that's social media in general. 'Cause I see people asking "How do I succeed at [social media platform]?" And the answer is that you don't. You just exist, slip into a fictionsuit and let it go. That's asking for success advice and I'm pretty sure we all know where we stand on this. Besides, each user makes their own culture on social media. There isn't a single unified culture on any place, though sure it's fun to whine about Tumblr brain. But then you see people on a platform shrieking to "Not bring your stinking Twitter culture" to their new chosen space. Yeah, digital nativism is fun.

So it's weird to watch things being torn apart and attempted to be reshaped by one dude in particular. But you know, sooner or later, he'll probably get what he wants out of it. Just that he may nuke the entire site in the process.

Par for the course really. It's been a year. Lots of upheaval. Lots of changes. Lots of the same stuff still dragging into 2022 though I was pretty sure that it was gonna bleed out long before then. But then, I thought I'd have a new book being put out right around now. Something about plans and laughs. I'm hoping that the last chapter of that particular mess is closed, since I'm sending the final letter to that publisher. Done and dusted.

So let's see if we can really bury that. Maybe pretend to accept the fact that the way things are about as good as they're gonna be. Normal? Yeah, that's a condition of the past. We all get to play hurt now. Coach is putting us in the game, blood seeping out from under all that gauze. Go get 'em.

In service to that, I've begun re-reading the previous Hazeland novels to try and figure out what I was reaching for six years ago and then in the last couple of years when I was still drafting these thinking that they'd actually come out. They still will. Just most likely into the howling pit of self-published books. Oh yes, I know. They're just as valid as books put out by any other publisher. Only I know that's not true. You know it's true too. They don't get support. They don't get acknowledgement (by and large). They're not real. Some of that's marketing. Some of that's audience.

But, deserve's got nothing to do with any of this, right?

There's only the fight.

So, back to re-reading. There's parts of Queen of No Tomorrows that I sure want to work on. Only I'm not sure how to. Which means it'll probably be a couple of small surface level fixes of language and such. There isn't too much to fix in terms of it being the first book of a series. I had ideas but nothing sketched out. Now I've got several books planned out in this first, I don't know, drop. Five I think. Three of them organized more or less as novels (just one of 'em structured a bit oddly) and two collections of short stories and longer short stories to handle some setup and characters and situations that really didn't fit in the storylines of novels.

I always wanted to approach this like a bronze-age comic series, where there's narrative threads that more or less chunk out into a series of books, but there's also filaments that interweave and maybe don't pay off in a singular book bot over the series as a whole. That's probably overly albitious and maybe even foolhardy, but hell, I'm not on contract. I may as well get paid in doing what I want.

As for the rest of things, life is what it is. I've been bounced in and out of emergency rooms a couple times this year due to an ongoing issue that is hopefully being controlled by the third attempted medication. I'm transitioning from full-time dad to remote-work dad as my kids are moving out. Maybe they'll be back for the summer, maybe not. Watching my own parents grow older and know exactly where that leads, just the manner of getting there that's in question. It's grinding and humbling. It's beautiful and unexpected. Don't get to pull one thing from the other.

As for being present in the digital world? I just don't know. I'm not going to win. There's a lot more of everyone than there is of me, so dealing with that one-to-one simply can't happen. It's impossible to address every injustice or support every project that deserves it, buy into every substack or even read everyone's blog that they're going back to. And not having a single place to work from, having to deal with an atomized social media landscape engenders a special flavor of exhaustion if I think about it for any length of time. We're all diverting ourselves while we're at work. We're all desperate for an audience. We're all looking for a way to succeed.

We're all just trying to stay in the fight.

Talk to you later. Gotta get through Thanksgiving first.


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