Friday, March 30, 2018

We, the Occupied, last part on Patreon

Last post of the month up on Patreon. Whew, I made it. Forty pages of pure mayhem. Are you still missing out on this? As little as five bucks a month for early access to three projects and more.

Too much writing already today, my brain is failing at this words thing, so I'll keep it short.

#Patreon #Dystopian #serialnovel #support #amwriting

Thursday, March 1, 2018

First Post on Patreon

First post on Patreon is up, it's a Billion Dollar Fairytale. So, now you're missing out. Run over and check it out. Support me to get more content.

Next week I'll be posting again, the first story from Winter Knights in the Age of Carbon. Through the rest of the month I'll be posting early access to a serial novel. We, the Occupied. Tons of good stuff. My brain is full and I'm trying to empty it.

I'm also working on a novel, but for that you have to wait. You can't have it all in early access.

#author #amwriting #Patreon #shortstory #fairytale #shamelessselfpromotion

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

It's Time

Okay, so about a month ago I lost my grandmother, the last living one. Two weeks after her funeral, I lost my job. They decided to go in a different direction. I feel like it is four and a half years ago, when I started focusing on my writing hard core in the first place. Time for some life changes.

I am once again focusing on my writing. Maybe this was a blessing. The job ate so much time I haven't published anything in forever. I barely write anymore. Hardly have time to read. I can't do this alone though.

So, here I am, asking for your support. Let's change the world together.

Start off by supporting me on Patreon. If I'm a bit too dark for you (what are you doing here?) then spread the word to your friends and family who have tastes for darkness and/or satire for me. Better yet, do both.

Here's my main Patreon page. It's a per post pledge, launching in March, and will have lots of stories. It is up now, just no new posts until March. You need a direct link to reach it.

This is a monthly Patreon page. It will have limited, exclusive content. It exists to be searchable, because if you write dark things you have to mark yourself adult, and then people can't find you in the general search. So, on the one above, put the kids to bed first. This one if for the tamer audiences.

While you're at it. Go by a book. I have five published. Do you have them all? Why not?

If you have a Kindle, a Nook, or a Google device, my books are on those too. Just search for my name, or check out the links over on the right side of the page, except for Google Books. For that one you'll need to actually do the legwork.

Now, go support me, you won't regret it.

#amwriting #writer #author #writing #indies #aboutme #writinglife #shamelessselfpromotion

Sunday, January 14, 2018

What They Understand

I hear a lot of complaining, and I don't see a lot of action. I guess I should say, I don't see a lot of real action. People are willing to do the easy things. We're less willing to take the difficult steps. We're even less likely to do the things that inconvenience us. I'm not a saint, I'm not perfect. So I'm not excluding myself from this, but I have taken some of these steps. The first ones are hard. They get easier the more often you do them. It really comes down to making informed decisions. I find it funny that corporations, those with less to lose seem more willing to take a stand for what they believe in than we, as people, are these days. Especially when they, so often, believe in almost nothing.

We'll get back to what we don't understand. Most of us don't have the courage of our convictions. Like I said, we'll get to that though. Recently, some pretty big companies, at least in the online world, have proven that they do. It's funny that they're showing us how to live. Let's look at some of the examples. I preface this by saying, I disagree with pretty much all of these decisions, but they are examples we need to see.

Facebook decided to play thought police. Realizing they had a "moral obligation" to the two party system, and theoretically their users, they started limiting the reach of what they considered fake news. This hampered a large number of alternative media outlets that relied on the social media giant to get the word out for them. Never mind that many of the people they were keeping from seeing these posts and announcements were those following these outlets, Facebook stuck to their guns. I mean, we can't have another Bernie Sanders fiasco, right? People were blaming Facebook for his popularity and the fact that people are so sure the primary was stolen from him. Have to make sure that can't happen again. So, never mind that this limit is likely to cost them money, they made that decision anyway. They took the hit and stuck to their principles, as warped as some of us might consider them.

Twitter, oh bastion of free speech. Have decided, in a strangely pseudo-Orwellian moment that they can no longer protect all speech. Pretty strange for a platform that started out as just that, but, okay. In doing so they enforced their new rules in a way that makes no differentiation between satire and the forms of speech they have decided to ban. So, they started banning their supporters. Sure, they have gone back and corrected some of the bans, but have they apologized? Have they stopped the assault? Have they fixed the problem? Give you a guess, bet you know the answer. Additionally, their actions have given rise to one of the darkest places on the internet, where those banned and their supporters now gather. It's pretty similar to Twitter, except through a very dark mirror. So now we have a very liberal, I won't call Twitter progressive (because it's not,) and a very conservative place. They fester and boil. They hate each other, and there is no communication, so there can be no peace, and no coming together for them. Twitter is also losing money, and losing users through these actions. Still, they stand by these new morals of theirs. Unapologetically they stand their ground.

Now, look over at Youtube, and how it is demonetizing certain videos. Do you agree with that? Do you not? Does it matter? For the case of this argument, it doesn't. What does matter, is they are, theoretically, losing themselves money by doing this. When ads don't play, they don't get money either, but they do it anyway.

Amazon does almost nothing to help out the independent author, despite the fact that they make more money off of our book sales than we do. Hell, they got rid of free give aways on Goodreads, you now have to pay for the privilege. So, now only the big boys can really afford it. Mind you, it really helps to get the word out, and most of my fellow indies can't afford this crap. But they did it, despite, again, the fact that getting more sales helps them. Why? Because it is not a part of their model.

Search engines suppress certain results.

And on, and on, and on...

Yet, you can't avoid going to Walmart, or Chick-Fil-A, or pick up something other than a Nestle bar? Come on? I'm not buying it. That's what they get that we don't. Sometimes you have to suffer a little bit, for your convictions, and in doing so, you can change the world.

A few years back, I went to a local butcher. Most of the time I do. Honestly, it costs about the same as going to a store, if you know what you're doing, and when you're getting quality meat, you can make it go further, in my experience. However, I had a friend with me who made a comment about how she wanted to shop more at places like that, but she didn't think the grocery store would be hurt by her dollars leaving. I had to explain to her that I didn't do it to hurt the grocery store.

I do it to keep the lights on at the butcher for another day.

The grocery store isn't going to miss my money, but the local place sure cares about it. And if we all did that the big places might just realize they aren't that big after all. We can also look at the fact that the local place buys mostly local, so the meat is fresher, it doesn't travel as far, reducing the fuel, and thus the carbon. Oh, hey that's a good thing. Most of the stuff is bought from family farms, not factory farms, another blow for the environment, right there. These are all good things. These are things we all need to start thinking about, because the corporations are.

I almost said our enemy is, but they aren't our enemy, are they? Maybe they are. It feels like it sometimes.

I'm not saying don't shop at Walmart if you want to. Maybe you do, but you should look into the political causes they support. For me, not giving them my money isn't about how they treat their workers, because every store like them treats their workers like shit. It's about inferior products, produced in slave conditions, exploiting underdeveloped nations, and the politics they fund. I can't support it.

I'm not saying don't get your chicken sandwich. But I can't support those politics. Maybe you can, in good conscience, I can't. Politics of death doesn't work for me.

Nestle, don't even get me started on them. They own the company that produces a water that I love, and bought my favorite hot chocolate company. Now I can't have either, because I love children, and yes, water is a human right. I can't eat my favorite fake pizza because their owner hates his employees and doesn't realize he's nothing without them. It goes on, and on, and on again.

Look, I get it. My life is drastically altered by the decision I made to live by my morals. Finding local places is hard. Finding places that don't commit human rights violations is even harder. Finding a place that honors life and holds dear to beliefs that are similar to yours might be hardest still. But we have to start doing it.

Because they are, and if entities whose only purpose is to make money can give some up, we can figure out a way to live our lives a little cleaner. I'm not saying to make the same decisions I have. Some of you don't care about the same things I do, but most of you do. Clean, sustainable planet. Your fellow human beings and their rights. It's not that hard. You might go the opposite way from me. So long as the decisions you make are informed ones, I'll be happy.

A little inconvenience is a small price to pay for a more complete life.

#freedom #justice #socialcommentary #thoughts #freespeech #commentary

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Obey My Nephew

I believe you should all obey my nephew and pick up some books. I mean, we all know that you resolved to read more this year anyway. Right?

How can you resist that face?


Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Different Social Media

For a while now I have been completely fed up with Facebook. I don't post here enough. I don't write enough. I don't do anything enough. Yet, when I'm not working, feeling sick, or sleeping, I stare at this electronic monster that eats my life, weakens my mind, and swallows my soul. I hate it, but I don't hate Social Media. I know there is a beauty behind it. I used to think Twitter was the way, until they started cracking down on the ideas of speech. I mean, when the platform founded on the ideas of free speech says they have grown past it (yes I'm over simplifying because I don't want to look up the quote) I lose faith in the platform. It still has its place and uses, but man, what a let down.

I started looking around at the alternatives, some of the new things coming out looked great. Some of them looked really great for artists! Then strangeness occurred. I was going to go into some details here, but I won't. Let's leave it at this. What I found is a few different places that aren't right. Places that don't live up to the hype, or places where those banned from Twitter congregate. In one case, I hope they evolve. In the other, I'm amazed that we now have two echo chambers fueling opposite sides. It is terrifying and counterproductive.

I didn't start this to bash what is out there though. Except maybe Facebook, because man am I miserable there. Aren't you? Never seeing the posts you want to see? Having ads for things you hate, don't want and don't need shoved down your throat, but not knowing what the people on your friends list are up to? I'm not saying I'm leaving it, not yet, but I'm spending less time there.

There has to be a better way.

And there is.

Come join me on Minds. I'm not sure if this link will automatically follow me. If not, follow PatrickElliottWrites and boom. There are a lot of great things about this place. Most of them you can discover for yourself. Your posts reach all of your followers. You earn points that you can use to boosts your posts to others. You can follow things you like. You can monetize your channel, so if you're an artist you can make some of your posts pay to view, if you want. I haven't done that yet, but I will probably do it in the future, maybe I'll go with Patreon instead, maybe both. Oh, and if you're not a dinosaur like me. They are launching a cryptocurrency in the first quarter of next year. So, lots of good stuff. The best part? I'm there, and I'm a badass. So, join me.

#minds #artists #author #socialcommentary #socialmedia #revolution

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Change of Heart

Yes, I am about to get political. The muse still seems to be sleeping. If you want more writing posts, go buy my books so I can make that my way of supporting myself. Until then, you get mad rantings on things that annoy me. Well, occasionally things that make me happy. I'm a writer though, so how often is that going to happen?

So, I have been thinking about this a great deal recently. For me it is about freedom, and free speech. For many other people it is about so much more. I think it is sad that so many people have co-opted the narrative for their personal reasons and gains. So, let's ignore my personal pet cause for the moment shall we? Let's look past free speech and look to freedom and justice instead. I think those are really important things as well.

Last year, Colin Kaepernick was taking a knee during the National Anthem for a cause he believed in. I supported him, if for no other reason than because I love a good protest. Damn the man. Many fans hated him, and the NFL gave him the kiss of death. They ignored him, and then, when he was cut, they silently let his career die. For what crime? For protesting police violence and racial injustice in the United States.

Now, whether you agree with what he was saying or not, the fact is he has the right to protest. It's right there in the first amendment of the damn Constitution. Yeah, rule one has taken a beating over the last couple of years, and maybe I'll rant about that later, but let's just say it's there. There are people who say, but it's at work, so that doesn't apply. Okay, I might agree with you if it weren't for one thing. The NFL has a monopoly, so they don't get to pull the same shit that other companies do. Other companies can do that. But since they are breaking a big rule, and the government is ignoring it, like they shouldn't, they don't get to suppress the rights of their employees. But, not the point. Big point? He wasn't protesting for free speech. He was saying, hey cops! Stop killing people. Stop killing my people. Got it? That's what it was.

So, fast forward a year. Dear old Colin can't find a team, and the President is hurling insults at football, and everyone is surprised. Now all of a sudden everyone is taking a knee, or a lot of them. The NFL is suddenly okay with it, and it's all about free speech. As one commentator mentioned, only one team seems to remember what this protest was actually about. A couple of the players do, but only one team does. There is still an argument, but the league is suddenly okay with the protests. Nobody is being fired or fined. Now it's okay.

Why the reversal?

Good question.

Because they are following an old rule.

If you don't like what they are saying, change the conversation.

That's what they did. See, the NFL is okay with division, but they want to pretend that they are unified with the people and the players, against Trump. They aren't. They want you, they want us, divided.

The NFL is okay with this controversy over free speech. They don't mind being on the wrong side of that. They are okay with an argument of black versus white. They don't even mind being on the wrong side of that. They have conned you. Even though they don't care about a race argument, they turned this into the safest argument for them. They made this about the National Anthem. Which it never was! So now they are okay with the protests.

So, why weren't they okay with Kaepernick's original protests? Because it was a half step from an argument that was dangerous for them. He was talking about the police brutalizing and killing people. He was talking about a certain group of people. So that argument was divisive, yes, but a lot of white folks were getting on board. Okay, they might have been able to tolerate that. But if that gained steam, how long before the conversation became this.

You know, it's funny. There seem to be a lot of militarized police running around that are hurting average citizens, a lot of whom aren't white, all of them seem to be of moderate to low income. While there are a large number of good cops out there, the ones that are doing the bad stuff all seem to have really heavy grade hardware and are serving the interests of the corporate elite rather than the common people. It's almost like there is a connection between the tanks at Standing Rock, the dead man in New York who was selling product that big tobacco has a monopoly on, and all of this other stuff going on.

The current protests are about something that has nothing to do with them. Kaepernick's protest was one step or less from drawing attention to an issue they are a huge part of. They are rich, so the militarization of the police does nothing but benefit them. They love that they are allowed a monopoly that goes against the laws of this country. They love that as a corporation they are allowed to dump money into politics unchecked. Kaepernick, as one man, threatened them. His protest was real. This current slew of protests distracts you from them. They are bullshit. I love free speech. I love the First Amendment. They are things I stand for, above all else. Because of that, it offends me that they are being used to distract you from a different cause.

Whether you believe in that cause or not, start paying attention to it. Argue about it. Decide what needs to be done about that. We can argue free speech another time. You are being herded and it is time to break out of the pen, my friends. We have to stop falling for this. Because this division is killing us. We are not each other's enemy.

Get united.

#politics #commentary #taketheknee