Musings from the basement...

Justin Tailor, the annoying spammer from Smacfire who just won’t give up

For various reasons, this website draws me a fairly good amount of spam. Not a big deal, really. It’s the cost of being online in this way. These days, most spam and junk mail filters are pretty good, and most spammers disappear pretty quick. The ones who really tickle me, however, are the ones who just won’t give up.Take Justin Tailor, for instance, from a website I won’t link here because I’m certainly not going to boost the guy. He first contacted me back in October with a pretty generic sales pitch for pretty generic services that anyone with a website probably gets in their junk box all the time. Justin Tailor is from Smacfire, and Smacfire sends SPAM: Dear Business Owner, We are in…
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How Ursula K. Le Guin helped inspire me to see people in a different way

As I write this, the news is breaking that Ursula Le Guin, one of the 20th Century’s great novelists, has passed away at 88. She was a giant, known for her work in science fiction yet crafting works that transcended the genre. Whenever I’ve thought of the authors who have inspired me, awed me, impressed me, humbled me, shaped my tastes, molded my views, and made me see the power of the genre, she was always on the short list. It wasn’t the awards that made Le Guin great, though she got gobs of them. It wasn’t even that her stories were entertaining, though they were. It’s that she reinterpreted the world, showing us both how it truly is (even when we didn’t acknowledge it)…
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Unplugged 3: Insanely excited about the next two m2 projects, so that’s great

Sat down for my first purposeful recording session in a long while a few weeks ago. Recorded for four or five hours straight, just a mic in a room (an attic, actually) a few feet in front of my amp. Really cold up there. My fingers were numb. Laid down ten tracks of material, lots of layered guitar work weaving in and out of one another rather than the dense sound assault I’ve done in recent years. Tried a new approach to playing and just attempted various iterations on it. The interplay of the guitars excited me. Had about an hour and a half of material when it was wrapped up. Got super focused on working that material over the other day and started mixing….
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Unplugged 2: snow daze are no ways

My whole life, staying focused has always been a challenge. As long as I’m doing new things, exploring new ideas, doing new tasks, and pursuing creative projects I can keep that in check (usually by multitasking so I’m bouncing back and forth from one thing to another), but it takes work to, you know, work. So to suddenly get slammed with a fairly big snowstorm that keeps the family home, thereby extending their winter vacation home by another four days, isn’t exactly a boon to focus. Love them, but it’s a small house, and no, I don’t have a dedicated, private office space. Still, managed to take three or four rough chapter drafts from my next book and chisel them into finished initial drafts yesterday,…
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Trying to unplug in a plugged-in world, day one

On January 1, I decided to unplug from social media for January (aside from the social media work I do). No more checking in on Facebook or Twitter or anywhere else. Just use the Internet as a tool rather than as a distraction. On the first day, I put together a rough mix for a lengthy music recording session I did over the holidays that may or may not turn into an m2 project, cobbled together rough but quite serviceable fan “movies” pieced together from Star Wars Rebels episodes, among other odds and ends. And obviously, I worked that whole time as well. It wasn’t groundbreaking stuff, but it was exactly what I had been missing: a chance to just sit down and be creative…
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