Of course, it's also probable that my being super crazy UNproductive makes the contrast that much clearer.

That wasn't meant as a put down. At least not one aimed at all of you.

On the plus side, your posts about writing and productivity are very motivating. I need to be making more. I need to be completing more.

At the end of the day, I think that's the biggest problem for me. I finish so very few of my projects. I pick nits endlessly, lose my motivation somewhere along the way because I've grown bored with the project in question (and because I have ideas for three new projects), and then I drop it in favor of the project du jour.

It's a bad cycle, and I do it ALL the time.

The only reason that I'm still clinging to my book idea with bloody fingertips is because I've got so much invested in the character over so many years.

Frustration point: I know what the solution is. I've heard it countless times on countless podcasts about writing: Just make slow and steady progress to spit out that first version of the book. If that's one sentence a day, that's fine. It's progress, and it's measurable. And you need to know, in advance, that it's going to suck. Writing is REwriting and all that.

What's more, I've learned that I actually enjoy revising old writing. I never finished my one attempt at NaNoWriMo, but I find myself dropping into the book and editing a chapter here and there occasionally. For no real reason - it's not like I'm planning to ever let it see the light of day.

And Inktober? Yeah, I'm way behind there too.

I have no excuse. All of you have WAY more going on in your lives and you're making progress while I do the equivalent of clicking through cable channels.

Okay, that's enough self flagellation. It doesn't accomplish much. I have to get to work while there's still daylight, but tonight, I need to get some work done.

10/16 '17 4 Comments
I dare you to draw a bunch of fat naked middle aged ladies frolicking on a beach.

Starting with lots of circles.

Heh. I could do that. In fact, I just might. I think that I just decided (just prior to opening my browser and reading your response) that I'm going to do a bunch of 1/2 hour or 15 minute limited images. That should help me catch up since I'm so far behind.

Probably my favorite one so far this year. It started when I was thinking about the cliche' image of the masculine hero carrying the Damsel in Distress. I was thinking specifically about how over done it is. Then I thought about reversing the roles.

I started roughing in the forms, and the idea that the male would be Patch (who, if I'm honest, is about as cliche as that original image idea) struck me as a good idea.

So who would the heroine be? Perhaps a valkyrie or angel? I dunno. I was focussed on the forms, and when I realized I was smudging the pencil a lot, I decided to erase the wings. I thought it might be neat to create something by its absence.

In case you're interested, I'm posting all of my Inktober sketches over on my Instagram - even the ones that I'm not a fan of...

10/5 '17

I'm doing Inktober again this year. Planning to do NaNoWriMo too. I've never finished either. Let's hope this is the year for both.

Here's the tl;dr rules for Inktober:

1) Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want).
2) Post it online
3) Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2017
4) Repeat

Honestly, I'm not off to a great start for Inktober. I bought a new Moleskine 'sketchbook' (Cahiers series 'Plain Journals'). I selected this one because it has 45 pages. I wanted a stand alone book for just Inktober 2017.

The pages are pretty thin to the point of near transparency. The pen I grabbed to do initial sketchwork with on this one is a standard ballpoint pen I garnered from one of my hotel stays. While I want that - to keep things simple and not worry about 'fancy equipment' - the ink really bled into other areas when I used my Prismacolor markers to throw in some tones.

Anyway. Not awesome, but Day 1 is in the can. Yay?

Subject matter is one that's been on my mind quite a bit for a while. Young Patch from the (theoretically) forthcoming book.

I'll also likely give myself a time limit every day like I did today. ~30 minutes from soup to nuts. It makes me dislike the results a bit, but it forces me to put things down and move on. In the bigger picture, that's better. Like writing the first draft and revising later. If I don't get that first draft done because I'm picking nits...

In unrelated news (and primarilly for my tech folks), I'm using Synergy to bounce between three separate work computers with a single keyboard and mouse. Have any of you used recent versions? I'm getting some lag pretty regularly and it's quite frustrating. I've tried stopping/restarting services and I've checked and rechecked settings. I have yet to uninstall / reinstall, but I just figured I would be lazy and ask if any of you have tried it and run into the same thing or not.

10/1 '17

Just a quick note to help me remember my dreams from last night. I'm back to not remembering them most of the time, and I want to start recalling them. Time to start writing them down again.

In the first portion of my dreams from last night that I recall, I was at a very large party filled with people. The setting was some large space - like a gymnasium or something similar. Very tall as well as wide.

The party was a sort of double masquerade. Everyone was role playing as a Batman villain, but the idea was not to be overt about it. Not to wear their costume outright. Then, through how they acted/talked, you tried to figure out who they were.

Except I was Batman. I remember feeling VERY tall as I walked around the room. I was talking to people in a very 'Bruce' fashion. Curt, polite, but no frivolity. It was confusing the hell out of people.

It just goes to show the weirdness of dreams. If Batman was an option? Pretty sure I wouldn't be the only person playing him.

As the dream went on, I found things getting a bit more 'real'. Which is to say that people were sorta taking on their roles more realistically. Less a masquerade. They weren't the characters they were playing, but instead simply behaved more like them and it was less 'acting'.

I found myself talking to Jerry Springer. Yup. Jerry Springer.

Pretty sure I've never watched a full episode of his show, but somehow he gets a guest spot in this awesome dream.

Anyway, Jerry was stuck up on this tiny stand. It was enough to stand on, but not much more. Maybe 3'x2'. He was crouched and his fingers were wrapped around the edges of the platform in the way that they would be if he was holding it to the bottom of his feet. I have no idea how/why he was stuck this way, but he was.

Someone tried to lower the platform, which would have pinched/severed Jerry's fingers, so I moved beneith it and held it up with my shoulder. I wasn't Batman anymore - just me - a decent human being. The unknown villain kept trying. They were trying to hurt Jerry - it wasn't any kind of an accident.

When they grew frustrated because I wouldn't let the platform come down on his fingers, they reversed the direction, and sent the platform up into the air. I, of course, wrapped my arms around the platform in an attempt to hold the platform down.

It didn't work, and Jerry and I lifted really high into the air. As some of you may know, I have a terrible fear of manmade heights, and I was hanging on with just my arms, which were growing terribly tired. It was really terrifying.

We were eventually lowered again, when our assailant grew tired of us not falling/dying/screaming/whatever.

I immediately launched myself at them. They danced away from the controls to the platform and played innocent.

While I was confronting them, someone else went over near the platform and smashed my Wacom or iPad (not sure which it was - in the dream it was my 'digital tablet') in an effort to hurt me for interfering. It worked. With all the artwork and effort I've put into these devices, I was was really upset as I tried to play it off as 'no big deal' and cleaned up the shards of the device.

And that's about where it ended.

Weird dreams ftw.

7/18 '17 7 Comments
Dude, I want your dream life.
Thomas Boutell 7/18 '17
Right? It was pretty solidly stressful (I couldn't seem to 'gain traction' fighting the folks who were trying to Do Wrong.) but at least it was really damn interesting.
I want Matt's dream life too.
Would have been better if I had been able to get a leg up on those attacking, but I'm not going to lie - I remember feeling like a complete badass for just accomplishing what I did.
I can't wait to read what the Dream Analyzer People of OPW have to say about this.

I'm sorry people were being mean to you, even if it was just a dream. That's not gud.
I dunno. In last night's dream it was me who did a *really terrible holy shit* thing. That wigs me out way more than people being mean to me in a dream.
Thomas Boutell 7/18 '17
So, here's my armchair analysis.

You're aware that everyone casts themselves as the hero in their own story, even when they're supposed to be casual about the whole thing. You're aware that you do it too. You feel like you get called into service to help others, and you're willing to do it. Unfortunately, the reward doesn't match the risk you take, and sometimes it comes back to bite you in the ass when others don't respect your values (as evidenced by the broken tablet), But you play it off like it's no big deal because you want to be the good guy, even if it's an infringement on your needs and values.


Attractive woman about my age and covered in tattoos smacks on my window a couple of times and is shouting something. (I'm parked at a gas station after a bathroom break.)

The following probably all happened in less than 10 seconds time:
1. Woman tells me - "Help! My Mother is choking"
2. I note the very large woman choking and leaning into her open shotgun door to the SUV next to me. I know I already mentioned it, but I'm going to again - she is VERY large.
3. I note the motley assortment of folks in the group - a wide range of folks (3 or more) with different styles and appearances. And none of them are doing anything to help.
4. I immediately suspect I'm about to be mugged.
5. I back myself into the jam of my car door to provide myself some cover and scan the area.
6. When none of their body languages change (and I've scanned behind and around me and there is no one else in immediate activity distance) I check back on the large woman.
7. I'm immediately relieved on almost all levels when she chokes out something to the effect of "I got it... all out..."
8. I wait and watch.

Once the woman recovers a bit, and we are all breathing a sigh of relief, we all start doing that nervous chatter thing people do when something like this winds up a bunch of strangers.

The daughter explains that she doesn't know the Heimlich.

The poor choking woman is embarrassed as hell.

Everyone piles back into the SUV and they leave.

My take away? Jesus, I'm fucking paranoid.

(X-posted to Facebook, but wanted this here for my own record.)

7/6 '17 4 Comments
You did the right thing. I'd be shocked if someone is gonna choose a 6'3" guy to jump, but you do have a fancy vehicle.

Very happy it worked out and everyone's OK!
And I was seated inside the vehicle, so my size wouldn't have played a part.

But yeah. In the end, I guess it's not a bad thing that I was cautious. Just feels a little goofy looking back on it. Like overkill.
Sometimes you have a chance to trust the moment and save the day. Sometimes not so much. The former totally makes up for the latter.
You speak the Truth sir. Well said.

*The Fourth

Had a great Fourth of July. I'm staying with some life long friends in Olympia, WA. Helped Margaret build a trellace structure out in front of the house. We got the hard part done, and I'll come back for another visit to finish the cross pieces. Felt like a solid victory, and they're delighted. Check that box for "I kicked ass today."

Their kid continues to be about as adorable as they come, and she loves her Uncle Matt. It's pretty fantastic. We've reached that state where her parents can ask her to do something, she'll say no (she's 3) and I'll say "Well, _I'm_ going to do [the thing the parents are asking her to do]..." and she will suddenly change her mind and proclaim that SHE is going to do [the thing that the parents want her to do]. Hey - I'm using my powers for Good. So far.

We grilled out - corn on the cob and veggie burger patties. Maybe my first time doing something like that for the 4th, and it was just fine by me.

Now I'm sitting and writing this while sipping some Jack Daniel's. There's a beautiful pup next to me. She's wearing her thunder shirt, and her doggy Xanax has worn off (she's a bit of an extreme case of high anxiety). She pressed herself up against me once the fireworks started, and any time I get up to drink, pee, or whatever, she's right at my side. Poor thing. She seems to be a micro dot more relaxed beside me, but I wish I could do something more for her.

* Work

I'm supposed to be finding a place to live. For $1500. For 3-6 months. In Seattle. With 30mb UPstream internet access.

I feel like this isn't very realistic. I'm looking into AirBnBs. I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll find someone I can convince to work with me since I will be there for a _long_ stay by hotel standards. Please keep your fingers crossed for me. This won't be easy.

* Break

So I'm going on break next week (starting July 11th). I'm not sure yet if I'm headed to Maine (to visit my Grandfather) or 'home'. I'll keep you guys posted. I'm actually looking forward to the break. I _love_ it out here, but I miss my people too.

If you're reading this, and you have some event planned that you think I might be into that week, please let me know!

* Relics

Remember Relics? Well, my partner and I reinvested ourselves on Monday. I'm _really_ excited about it. We're having bi weekly meetings to review our progress. Which means there will either be progress or there will be awkwardness. I'm looking forward to the progress. I've been kicking ass on the art side of things, and I just saw tonight that he's done a bunch of works on the last faction for the initial trio of factions. We're getting close to something I can pass around to the beta testers. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. We just figured it out - it's been over 4 years since we started.

Please let me know if you're interested in being a beta tester. The game will be  given out as a free downloadable PDF for printing on print at home business cards for this first version. Based on responses and feedback, we're hoping to move on to a Kickstarter to get a full color larger card version printed professionally. But that's down the road. One of the focal points for this first meeting was MVP - Minimal Viable Product. Or, said another way: Keep It Simple Stupid. I've been a part of too many projects where people got really excited, then there was scope creap, and then things fell apart because everyone was daydreaming about "one day..." First step first.

My biggest problem is that I've improved dramatically in an artistic sense over the past 4 years. That doesn't SOUND like it should be a problem, but it is. I look at the original artwork for the first faction (Goblins) and I kinda feel sick. I do NOT want that being presented to the world as an example of my artistic skills. But I'm going to. Reworking all of the art would take way too long. I may touch up some stuff, but the idea here is MVP. As I said to Chad - "Until other people start playing - even just beta testers - this is just you and I talking. It's not a 'real thing in the world'."

So yeah. Most of what's there will have to stay there. For now.

Okay, I should probably get to bed. It's nearly midnight and while I love my friends' daughter, I'm pretty sure I recognize the tickle in the back of my throat because she's come down with something while I'm here. *grumblebitchmoan*

ETA: Can't believe I forgot to mention this, but I got a chance to hang out / catch up with J Riley! He came to town, and we grabbed breakfast at one of my favorite haunts (Hart's Mesa). We talked about his #vanlife adventures and his project. He's traveling the US for a number of reasons, but chief among them is a desire to understand other people who think differently than he does. How can you not love somebody with a head on their shoulders like that?!

He's doing a project as well which I found rather interesting: both in a notebook and on video, he asks people to 1. Ask a question of the next person he encounters / asks to take part in the project and 2. Answer the question from the previous person. I sorta love that he removed himself from the experiment (aside from his role as facilitator).

The young lady who was in the spot before me is a life coach, and her question was what I would have a life coach ask if I was drawing one in a comic book. Something like "What is your Perfect Life? What would you have to do or achieve in order to live that life?"

I responded in a way that I thought was appropriate - something about not wanting to have kids, so I want to leave some form of art or literature behind that future generations can enjoy.

I asked "Aside from child birth, what's your greatest accomplishment in life?" I put in the 'aside from child birth because it's too much of a default for anyone with kids. The project seemed like it warranted more thought from respondents than that.

You have much to be proud of this day!

How close to Literal Seattle does this place have to be?
That's a bit 'up for debate'. The theory is '45 minutes from city center'. Which, on a bad day in Seattle seems like it could be 4 blocks. I'm thinking that I might stretch it a bit and try for Tacoma (some of my friends are in Seattle (E) and some are in Olympia (Margaret and Krishna) so it seems kinda perfect.
45 minutes from city center? Yeah, they are totally high.

What is the reason for that anyway? In-person meetings?
You should be able to get a reasonable studio or small 1-br within 45 min of downtown (we don't say "city center" here) for $1500 or less. The data thing might be a slightly tougher nut to make but probably not impossible.

Tacoma is 45 min from downtown if you're driving at 3 AM. More like 90+ on a normal weekday.

For the 3-6 month thing, your only option is going to be extended stay places or taking over a lease from someone who's moving. Or a shared house type of thing.

Oh hey - I just realized - I have a friend who's looking to sublet her room in a shared house for a month in August. If that's helpful. Nice housemates. They'd only want someone queer, trans, and poly positive. (They're not a sex cult...really.) anyway - lmk if you're interested.

Anyway. Good luck. I think there are options.

CM Adams 7/5 '17edited
Yeah. I found places on Zillo and the like in that range. Problem is that it doesn't include utilities, and often doesn't include parking. Parking isn't necessarily a deal breaker, except for maybe in the heart of downtown. Worse, some places have parking garages - which I most likely can't use. Or at least, without a 15-20 minute process to lower the camera mast every night. Presumably on a busy street curb.

I'm looking into Air BnB hosted spots. I've found some in the $60/day ($1800/mo.) range with a discount for 'longer stays'. I'm hoping that I can get someone to agree to a $40/day(ish) ($1200/mo.) price with me being there for 'so long' with the 3-6 months. That way the remaining $300 will go to cover the taxes etc. that come with each stay. It seems difficult, but not impossible.

The network speed may still be a problem.

There also may be legal issues with extended stays of that length where the Air BnB host would be considered a landlord instead of a hotelier. I don't know about these things, and I'm hoping it won't be an issue, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I have more immediate concerns...
Oh, and yeah - I'm starting to think that Northern Tacoma would be a good idea. K told me that there are 3 pinch points when it comes to traffic between Olympia and Seattle, and being at the top end of Tacoma would get me past 2 of the 3.
Well, most (read as: nearly all) the details are not forthcoming. Errr... that's being too gentle. It doesn't feel like I can drag any information at all out of anyone. Yeah. That feels a bit more on the nose.

Why near 'downtown'? (Thanks Adams - I feel like a local already. ;) ) I suspect that was decided early on, and for reasons which may or may not be valid when we actually 'go live'. Without going into the weeds (partly because I don't know how much I'm allowed to talk about) things are very much in flux - and not just with my team. That means that the demands on us are not fully understood, and (I suspect) the management wants us near a downtown for access to high speed networks. I also think that my immediate management is getting told A one day and B the very next then C the third day, wash, wince, repeat.
I'm so happy you got to see James! Did he tell you where he's blogging/posting his writings? I've been looking and can't find them, but I desperately want to keep up to date! (Now even more so.)
I asked, but he kinda... isn't. He expressed his regret that he just doesn't seem to have the gene that is required to have a desire to photo/ blog / post about his travels.

I think that he is hoping his question/answer project will take the place of that.

I don't know if it had any impact or not, but I explained why I wish I had written a good deal more about my motorcycle tour in 2002. He clearly understood, but I didn't get a "Holy crap - that makes sense! I'll start TODAY!" vibe from him. Part of me is okay with that because individuality is something I've always appreciated about both of the brothers Riley.
Tired... want to respond more thoroughly later. But, if you come here (and I selfishly hope you do) let's please 🥓 and 🥃?
Leela 7/5 '17
Absolutely! (Though I can't tell what those emoticons are.)
They're bacon and scotch emojis, lol
Leela 7/6 '17
I kinda love how you said "absolutely" without even knowing what I want <3
Leela 7/6 '17

So a long time ago I was talking to a friend about doing the art for a webcomic that a he wanted to develop. When we first started out, I did some concept work while he worked on world building. All of this makes sense to a certain degree.

The problem was that this went on for a very long time. Many months, in fact, passed without our having written / illustrated a single comic panel.

We discussed it, and he wanted to keep going as we were. I wanted to get cracking on a product that people could enjoy.

We agreed to a compromise: I said "Why don't we try a 'minimum viable product'? Write up a five page comic, I'll illustrate it, and we'll put it online. That way we can see if anyone other than us gives a shit."

When it took many months more for those five pages worth of text to come my way, I bowed out.

Now that I'm working on my little project, I'm writing a lot in a lexicon of sorts. Worldbuilding. Not nearly on the level that he did, but I find myself wondering if I'm distracting myself a bit too much with unnecessary things. I find myself doing searches on late 70's and early 80's fashion. Digging up news clippings from 1979 Detroit. At best, these would be 'stage dressing'. None of it will be strictly speaking necessary for the book.

So I guess my question is this: Do you have some rule that you keep yourselves to in order to keep from spending too much time on extraneous elements of your storytelling? To keep yourselves from doing too much homework and not enough actual writing?


5/23 '17 7 Comments
nope. I go deep on worldbuilding. I just try not to let that stop me from releasing things if someone is depending on me. Really cool stuff can always be backformed.
Rabbit 5/23 '17
Interesting. I hope this post doesn't come across as my not understanding the value of worldbuilding (I absolutely do) I just fear allowing it to become the limiting factor in moving forward.

Has that ever been an issue for you? Feeling like it slowed you down? (Even if you felt it remained necessary.)
It's the part I like best, so not really- it may be why I'm not good at doing stuff on my own, but the other time I'm doing it is for a LARP, which has built in hard deadlines. Which help.
Rabbit 5/23 '17
Yeah. That might be the best takeaway for me - to set hard deadlines for myself.

(Thanks for the info!)
Yeah. That might be the best takeaway for me - to set hard deadlines for myself.

(Thanks for the info!)
I love this image. Really really.

I'm working on a friend / fellow squatter / love interest for Patch in the book. She's the one who is smart enough to keep their little band of homeless kids from getting scooped up. She's not exactly a leader per se, but she's alpha enough to draw Patch's eye.

Ouch. Sorry. Didn't mean for that awful pun to sneak out.

So a friend recently said "I'd like to feel a burning need for the next experience more often."

That really got me thinking about things in my own life. I've often thought about myself as a passionate guy. I feel things very strongly. There has been laughter and tears - both in abundance.

But here's the thing: it always seems to come after the fact. Leading up to and even generally during a moment / decision / experience in my life, I feel very, very 'meh'.

This, in turn, got me wondering: "How many other folks are like me in this regard? Do my friends feel strongly about concepts leading into their decisions? Before their experiences?"

Obviously no one can feel strongly about something they have zero experience with or information about. One can't feel super strongly about the quality of the sand on Pluto over the sand on their local beach.

But I wonder.

5/11 '17 6 Comments
Great question.

I think I'm doing well at "being here now," but I'm not especially feeling "being there next" at the moment, in part because I'm kind of at a local maximum. Or maybe simply where I belong.
Thomas Boutell 5/11 '17edited
Yeah. I hear you. If presence was a test, I would ace the 'here and now'. It would be accurate to say that I feel like this is one of my super powers. That is, until (like Adams) I'm just done. All at once.
as a fellow AD(H)Dude, I suspect you'll understand what I mean when I say that my usual arc is diddle-farting around getting started with new experience, followed by a massive burst of enthusiasm and energy once it gets started, followed by a bit of a lower plateau, then a precipitous drop where I have like zero focus or finish-a-shit left.

I find that the initial diddle-fart period has gotten more difficult to push past as I've gotten older - but the mostly-functional plateau also lasts longer - so that's not a bad trade-off.
CM Adams 5/11 '17edited
Yeah. That's me too. Just all at once there's a drop off to Zero Giveafrack.

It's kinda a problem since now I'm completely 'on my own' and not in any kind of a standard 'must live in accordance with everyone around you' scenereo.
I'm the opposite. I tend to give up in the middle of what I'm doing coz I am thinking too much about the next thing. I don't care for it.
Rabbit 5/12 '17
Yup. I get that. (He said, mourning all of his LONG list of started and never finished creative projects.)

On the way to breakfast, I found myself thinking about the concept of Loyalty. I've been called (more than once) 'loyal to a fault'. It's accurate. I stick with people, places, and things well past the point that it's healthy for me.

Then I found myself thinking about it from a logical standpoint. I feel that this is one of my greatest strengths in life - taking emotion out of a situation and reviewing it. Sadly, I don't always ACT on those reviews, but it helps.

So the logical perspective of the concept of loyalty: I get it. Once upon a time, we needed loyalty as a species. Tribalism allowed us to survive. But haven't we evolved past that need? I mean shouldn't I love everyone equally? (He asked, cringing at how hippy-dippy it sounds.) Or, perhaps more accurately, shouldn't I review people in a more unbiased by past interactions?

If I have a friend who has taken to burglary to support a crack addiction, shouldn't I look at him in the same light that I do a stranger with the same issues?

Or is there some value to past interactions that creates a benefit to taking the bad with the good in the present and/or future? It's not really occurring to me at the moment, but then I haven't had any coffee yet.

What do you think?

ETA: I should point out that I wasn't bitter or upset when I posted this. I was just trying to think things through without emotion tied to it. I also was not thinking specifically of people (though that is certainly an element) and even less any specific person or people. Again - just the concept and whether or not it has value in our modern society.

4/26 '17 22 Comments
I don't think we should ever evolve bayond loyalty, although I think in a lot of ways we already have. I am also very loyal and I also see it as a great strength. Look at the state of the world? Look at how people fuck each other left and right, look how folks treat marriages, and friends, and business partners as disposable? To me, our disposable culture is part of what is destroying humanity. (Yes there are good reasons to discontinue relationships too, but that's not what we're talking about here).

The older I get, the more I'm realizing that what I value most in my friends... is the fact that they show up. To take that a step further, the friends I value most are the ones who show up. I am beginning to prioritize those friends who show up consistently more than those who don't. Mind you, that has little do to with love, and everything to do with me having limited energy to expend as a human. Life is scary, and lonely. What makes it worthwhile, for me, has everything to do with human connection, and a great deal to do with those loyal folks who keep showing up, through everything. What good is human connection that is fleeting to the point where it only exists out of convenience?

If your loyalty is holding you back, then maybe it's a problem. (I know other people have told you your loyalty is getting in your way, but is that YOUR experience of it as well?) But if you don't think it is stopping you from living your life, I think it's an increasingly and wonderful quality that is to be honored.

As for regarding strangers the same way you'd regard friends... you're human. It's impossible to separate our past experiences with people from our assessments of them. That's just a human fact I think. And if our pst actions had no bearing on our friendships well, then there is almost no point? I mean... hats how I see it.

That's my two cents about the matter!
Leela 4/26 '17edited
You make some interesting points, but (forgive me - this isn't any kind of 'attack' - I just want to know if I missed anything) you don't seem to make any arguement for the "why loyalty is good". I appreciate that you value it and I think most of us do to one extent or another, but that's different than being able to say "It has an innate value because it allows us to... X, Y, Z."
Matt Lichtenwalner 4/26 '17edited
Loyal shows us we aren't alone. Loyalty shoes is we are worth more than our mistakes. My most loyal friends are the ones who fortify me when I am scared in life, especially when it comes to taking risks. When I know I have people behind me no matter what, it allows me to feel less small and alone, and it helps combat my paralyzingly fear of what will happen should I "misstep" in any way. Loyalty stands in stark opposition to our ever-increasingly disposable society. Maybe some of why this is so important for me is that I have indeed been treated as disposable by more people than I would like to admit, and it has damaged me a great deal. So, I find it incredibly important and good to BE LOYAL myself, because I like to think I am paying forward the same gift that others have given me. Does that make sense?
Leela 4/26 '17
Now that's an interesting point. Being the narcissist that I am, I wasn't thinking of the loyalty of others and the way that it benefits me.

So (if I understand correctly) you could almost argue that loyalty is a form of altruism. Your being loyal to a person is a form of altruism which you stand behind because someone else was loyal to you. A way to 'generate goodness' for lack of a better turn of phrase?

Does this change at all if we're not talking about a person that you're being loyal to? What if it's a business, or a favorite flavor of ice cream? (I know that sounds weird, but I'm really trying to get at all different angles.)
Matt Lichtenwalner 4/27 '17edited
I don't think it changes, interestingly. Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk has always been there for me, in good times and bad, and it always tastes just as fucking good as the last time I had it. It shows up when I need it (for lack of a better way to say it), so, so do I. Same goes for businesss. If a business has been good to me, I'll be good to it.
Leela 4/27 '17
Is it weird that I like the idea of an ice cream flavor 'being there' for you? :P
It's probably weird, but I like the idea of it too! In fact I've got some in the freezer right now...
Leela 4/27 '17
Evolving past loyalty? Please. We haven't evolved past tribalism or voting for Donald Trump.
Thomas Boutell 4/26 '17
I'm beyond sad that this is an accurate statement.
Seriously, loyalty is not a purely binary thing. We are more loyal to those in whom we are more invested. Or should be, anyway.

Sometimes it's OK to be loyal to a memory, to treat a comrade who is no longer kind and no longer reciprocating with a certain decency in recognition of the love they showed you once. Then again, you can also be loyal to the person they used to be, and what they'd think of their present behavior.
Thomas Boutell 4/26 '17edited
Interesting. It sounds like you're coming from a similar place to Leela above. An almost altruism-like stance. Loyalty as a 'repayment' for the kindness of the other (or the business, or the... noun.)
I used to have a friend who was a bit of a powder keg.

we had a lot of fun times together for several years and got to be very, very close, but he would frequently get monumentally pissed off at something I said or did (or failed to say or do).

being a bit more irascible myself in those days than I am now, I often gave as good as I got, but I think any objective comparison would have found that, on balance, my snits toward him were less frequent and a bit more reality-adjacent than his toward me.

in any case though, over time our friendship started becoming pretty asymmetrical - with me doing a lot of favors for him and frequently having to mollify his snits, and not getting a heck of a lot in return.
at a certain point, I noticed this and decided to stop trying to placate or otherwise go very far out of my way for him. this improved my life considerably and made me enjoy his company a lot more. I never announced this transition to him, however, because I didn't feel that I needed to - it was an adjustment in my own thinking and attitude, not something that required any action or input from him.

and I didn't want to fight about it.

I suspect most people have had at least one or two interpersonal relationships where one person changed their outlook on what type of relationship it was while the other person kept right on thinking it was the same as it always had been. this was surely such a case but since the two people involved in this one were real oddballs, it led to some (perhaps atypically) entertaining situations.

case in point - we took a trip to France together a year or two after my "not taking any more shit" decision. from my perspective, we had an awesome time - one of the best we ever had as friends, and one of the best travel experiences I'd ever had full stop. we saw some great cathedrals (he sketched each one, I wrote about each one), we ate some great stuff, we found a barely marked ruin of a roman amphitheater in the middle of a cow-pasture, we had an awesome 3 or 4 hour conversation about existentialism and nihilism (one that changed my overall approach to life and ethics in ways that have lasted to this day) in the car ending with a visit to the cathedral at Chartres at like 3 AM. and our next to last night there, I met a nice Catalan woman in a gay dance club, who decided to make out with me for a couple hours, despite my nearly unintelligible French, on a park bench in the rain. (ooo la la.)

so anyway - we get back to the states and I go on about my life. my friend goes on about his, but in a SEETHING RAGE over how insolent and insufferable I had been during our "argument" in the car on the way to Chartres. he doesn't tell me about this, though. he decides that the best way to communicate his displeasure is to refuse to speak to me until I ask him what's bothering him and (presumably) make amends.

...except the first I hear of this is 8 months later when I invite him to Thanksgiving dinner at my house...at which point he explains that he hasn't been speaking to me and is by then pretty much apoplectic because of my failure to notice.

it only made him angrier that I found the situation hilarious.

we made up, of course, but were never really close friends again and have gradually drifted further apart over the years. nowadays, we exchange an email or a text every few months when one of us spots something relevant to the other's interests, or we run into each other on the street and chat for a few minutes, or we meet up for an hour of pinball every year or so. I think that suits us both fine.

I guess where this comes together with your inquiry about loyalty is that I think there's often a lack of willingness to acknowledge that interpersonal relationships have life cycles. they're born, they live, and then they die. occasionally that death is a catastrophic heart attack, but much more often it's a long, slow, quiet fade to a golden-hued tail.

and that's all ok.
CM Adams 4/27 '17
Beautifully well put sir. Arguably, my little analysis of loyalty could be said to be a "should I allow relationships to grow old and die?"

Then again, it _feels_ a little more like your description of the 'aha moment' that you had with your friend. That, in turn, I see as a kind of parallel to the way I described my thought that perhaps I should judge people, places, and thing more in the moment than based on our combined past.

Which, I guess, is basically just another way of saying: "I agree with you."

Unrelated: what's the inspiration behind your profile pic?
it's a Bobrick brand c fold paper towel dispenser!
comes in white or in silver!
CM Adams 4/29 '17
Well, clearly.
[Has one industrially powderpainted blue, installs it, waits for Chris to visit and flip out when he can't find it on the website]
Thomas Boutell 4/29 '17
what's not to like?
it's 3 rows of 8!
CM Adams 5/2 '17
I've been using the term "legacy friend". A person I would not likely be friends with if I met them now. I may even dislike a lot about them now. But at some point in the past we were friends, and now we have history.

I find it somehow easier to manage when I've categorized it as a legacy issue. And when current friends are like: sheez, why are you friends with that dude/dudette? I say "legacy friend" and everyone gets it.
Ursula Sadiq 5/8 '17
Technical debt.
That does seem like the perfect term / bucket. I think I'm going to steal that.
I may represent that remark!
CM Adams 5/10 '17
but seriously - good concept.
CM Adams 5/10 '17

One of the advantages to being ADHD is the random directions my head travels sometimes. Yeah, I actually see it as a perk, believe it or not. Sometimes, anyway.

I listen to a lot of "So you're a self published author? We'll help you market your book!" podcasts. Yeah yeah, I know. I haven't even finished A book, so listening to marketing podcasts about it does seem a little bit 'cart before the horse'. It's... just a thing with me.

Anyway. The single, solitary item that all of these podcasts seem to feel is the very base of any/all book (read as: any digital creative product) marketing systems is the almighty email list.

I won't bore you with the hows and whys. If you really want to know, feel free to ask. Bottom line: I believe them.

As noted above, I've long had a theory that it would be a good idea for me to start a list for my digital illustration stuff. That way, folks who are into the sort of stuff I do don't have to be lead to Dragonbones.net, but rather, could have my stuff show up in their inbox. Yes, it goes without saying that I would have to do this very carefully to avoid being seen as spam or sales-pitchy. (Which, for the record, I would genuinely not want to be 19 times out of 20.)

This thought train got me thinking. I should be doing some more short stories to lead up to the book. Generate some interest in a way that "So, I'm writing this book." can possibly manage.

So now, in my head, I'm thinking this email list receives short stories and art from me on a regular (though likely somewhat infrequent) basis.

That last part bugged me. While I certainly don't want to be sending folks an email every day, (that would bug me as a theoretical recipient of the email, so no) I would want to send out an email a minimum of once per month. Maybe a max of once per week. That really feels like it would be more satisfying to the recipients.

If we assume that the art/writing is good enough that folks actually look forward to the email, that feels like the right volume of emails to be pleasing without being overwhelming.

But it would take way too much from me on my own.

So what if I invited others to join in the content creation?

Well, that would help me, but what would it do for them? I don't really want to ever use the term 'exposure' when trying to attract content creators. As the old catch phrase goes: "People die from exposure."

So I ask you, my fellow writers and creators: "What would be a worthwhile benefit to you to get you to sign on to something like this? To send in your short stories, photos, or illustrations etc." Obviously there's the promise of cash, but obviously that would be very limited for me as a one man band, and the idea of 'contests' and the like feels a whole like like 'exposure'.

I'm asking here because I think most (all?) of you know me well enough to know that I'm not trying to run some kind of scam that just yields perks for me. I'm thinking that it genuinely could benefit other creators in the long run, but getting out of the gate...

For those who are familiar, I was kinda thinking of bookbub in the long term, but on a more diverse scale.

4/6 '17 6 Comments
"The single, solitary item that all of these podcasts seem to feel is the very base of any/all book (read as: any digital creative product) marketing systems is the almighty email list."

Provided that your product is an email list.
It seems like their argument is that the email list is how you do your "3 touches" (and then some) with your potential buyers - not that it's the product.
are you aware of https://www.patreon.com/
Ursula Sadiq 4/10 '17
Yup! I _just_ set up my creator page recently! (It still needs a lot of work - which is why I haven't been promoting it yet.)

Lena Dunham publishes the Lenny Letter, which is a blasto email that has interviews, an essay or two, maybe the very occasional web comic. All SJW/Feminist type stuff, but you get the idea. I'll forward you one if you like.
Yes, please!