Thursday, July 17, 2014

Random Observations and Another Panga Sighting


Too many black-and-white graphics in a row. That’s what the blog was looking like. It still looks like that. I was going to take down one of these offending posts, then I figured, nah, it’s better than dead air.

It’s a violation of Law 30 of Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power, but I think it’s not a bad thing to show that I have to bang my head against the wall from time to time to make things happen. From time to time, that is.

Time’s up.



The jacket copy for Grace Among the Dead turned out mighty fine. So fine, that when the editor cut off the bottom grafs for the logline, he had a decent logline. Somehow, I had built my three-graf jacket copy in a classic journalism story pyramid. I don’t think I wrote that well when I worked city desk for the Imperial Beach Times.

I’m still waiting on the final read-through. Sometimes I wonder if we’re going to do that, or if Severed Press says, never mind, we’ve waited too long already, and just puts it out there. Any minute now....


While I’m checking my Gmail, I decided to follow up on notifications for the various authors’ groups I made the mistake of joining in LinkedIn. 

Joining LinkedIn itself wasn’t something I wanted to do again. I’d joined years ago when I naively believed I had a chance a getting a normal person’s job. All it got me was abuse from temp agencies. It turns out I’m too old, and have too little “experience” in a job market in which entry level jobs now require two years of experience. (No, I’m trying to be funny. HR departments put this forehead-slapping-stupid stuff up in their notices and dare us poor desperate peasants to laugh.) So I quit LinkedIn.

Except you never quite quit LinkedIn. That is to say, you can take your profile down, but you’re still getting requests by e-mail via LinkedIn from people wanting to join your network. Attempts to resolve this proved futile.

So I made a new profile. Look up Lawrence Roy Aiken and if you don’t creep me out too hard, we’ll connect.

This time around, I made the mistake of joining some author’s groups. God, all these poor, supplicating little things. Watch the language! Be positive, keep it upbeat, you’re not desperate, you’re Searching for Opportunities!

Let me tell you something, boys and girls. If you play by those rules, you’re playing like a slave. And slaves deserve every bit of the abuse they allow themselves to suffer.

So, if you’re one of those poor, cringing souls from one of the many authors and book marketing groups, and you’re horrified by what you read here — I’ve earned this attitude. I came into my dream job because my back was against the wall. Moving from one “opportunity” to another, head down, pretending pride in the most abject obsequiousness, was just inviting insults upon very real injury.

I will write the way I want to write. I will talk how I want to talk. I’m in my 50s. I could drop of a heart attack at any time. Or cancer. I decided a few years back that if I’m going to live, if I’m bothering getting up in the morning, I’m doing it for me. Not to please some empty-headed little HR manager. Not to live live a chump, changing this and that and acting such-and-such a way for people who have already made up their minds about my “place;” they just get off on watching a grown man squirm. 

I have half a mind to ditch these weak little groups and pages. All this timid talk, not one nugget of useful information. Not one soul I have anything in common with, except we’ve all written books. Of course, I’m the only zombie author I know on LinkedIn. Maybe I’ll figure a way to leverage that.

I’ll give it another two weeks. Grace Among the Dead will be out by then, and we’ll see what these and those just-as-bad Facebook groups do for me. One way or another, I expect some changes to be made in my social media profiles. It’s the natural order of things.


Meanwhile, thanks once again to the good people at Pulp Covers, we have another panga sighting:

Man, bad luck gripping the edge of the blade like that! This does not look like it will end well.