A Few Simple Things

Cover to Simple Things, an anthologyLots going on the past couple of weeks and plenty to catch everyone up on, but first things first. The blog. No, not forgotten, but tried doing the trendy thing and using Facebook for updates. Can’t stand Facebook, though, the Replies function sucks, so, while I’ll keep sharing stuff there, back to blogging. That blogging is now considered ‘old school’? Well, that’s tech for you, eh?

On to this week’s good news. Couple months back, got a tip on a new horror anthology that was looking for subs. The book’s premise was, ordinary, everyday, simple things that had the potential to be forces of evil. The kinds of things you’d find in a secondhand store, thrift shop, you know the type of place I’m talking about. Well, the summer’s been crazy what with some family issues, some travel (planned & unplanned), things going on here at the house and life in general. I almost bailed out on the story twice. I started a couple of times, things went haywire outside of writing, and it got real iffy for a while.

The good thing was, I had a concept I felt was solid, had a decent idea of where I wanted to go with it, and figured unless I hit the wall deadline-wise, I’d find a way to carve out the time and make it happen, especially because the guy who tipped me is a great storyteller and was going to be running the show. Lo and behold, got on a roll a few days before relatives came to town, stayed up three nights straight to finish the first draft, went three days on 8 hours sleep to get a really good final done, and, even though Pam was out of town (she always sends out my attachments because my software is so out of date), it got there.

I was sent the contract for Simple Things, by Lycan Valley Press, last Friday. Cover appears.well, somewhere in here. Damned if I know. Release date is – you guessed it – October, just in time for Halloween. I’m not gonna spoil anything, so click thru to see who I’m lucky enough to be sharing the table of contents with – it’s an impressive list of fellow sickos. Also have subs out at a couple of other new places, and will update on that as I hear those tales’ fates. In the meantime,  working on two new stories, one that’s likely to go into my next anthology because I’m not sure there’s a mag or publisher out there looking for material this unspeakable, but if any fellow scribes or avid readers are aware of an outlet looking for a story you’d describe in a word as: reprehensible, let me know. Hope all you guys out there are doing well, and enjoying the summer as much as I am.

Currently listening to: “Let the Day Begin” by The Call

Here you go, Facebook, my reaction

Being a blind computer user, there are hassles. Unless they’re significant, though, I don’t usually call attention to them. I just live with it, find workarounds, etc. So, when Facebook rolled out their new Reaction buttons, I didn’t much care. Meant nothing to me. Why? Well, because I’m not so lazy that my attention span needs to be limited to 6 goofy icons.

Facebook's Reaction Buttons: Like, Love, HaHa, Wow, Sad, Angry

Last night, I commented on my feed about this, and in short order, my sister-in-law replied with an emoji. Sure enough, the programmers at Facebook hadn’t coded in any sort of descriptive tags. Meaning, it shows I have a new message. But when I click the Comments button, all that’s there under my sister-in-law’s name is a field of utter silence. Nice, huh? Way to go, Facebook! Why not just create a bird-flipper emoji for all your blind & visually impaired users?

The other thing that gets me about this whole ‘Reaction button’ thing is: has social media really made us this lazy? Is the effort required to type out “Wow” so onerous? If it is, boy, society really is going straight down the toilet.

I’ve made people angry with my posts before. In fact, I’ve outright pissed off some folks. Know what, though? No one, ever, has posted “Angry” over something I’ve written. Now, though, regardless of a position I put forward, which might include several different points, I can expect to occasionally get “Angry” as a response, sans context?

I want the ability to turn this function off on my timeline. If people want to use it, great, good for them. But I want the ability to make sure I don’t throw away my time when it shows I have comments only to find out that unless I call in my wife, I can’t tell what anyone’s ‘reaction’ to my post is. I don’t spend much time on Facebook as it is, but I’ll be spending even less if I start seeing nothing on my TL but spots where someone posted something–but I’m prevented from knowing what it is. I mean, it’s called “Comments” for a reason, right?


Currently listening to: “Who Was In My Room Last Night” by the Butthole

Why I Loathe Facebook

Got so pissed off after my Facebook settings were wiped out for the umpteenth time that I decided to write a two line post about it. But the more I wanted to address the issue, the longer it got, and so… (Clearly I am not alone.)

[Exlpicit Content]

I was going to post that, if FB were forced to pony up attractive female employees of my choice to blow me every time they ignored my preferences, reset them, and showed me posts from several days ago simply because I’d interacted with somebody, that maybe, just maybe, my settings would stay put. But then it struck me — no, that wouldn’t happen. You know what would change? FB employees would be dragging my corpse out a back door. Know why? Because I’d be dead…of dehydration — and they’d be giving a couple dozen attractive female employees time off to recover from lockjaw, because I’d take my goddamned time.

That’s what would happen, because damned if FB would actually honor my settings for more than a couple of days rather than override them at every turn in order to bow down to some algorithm that suggests it might garner more Shares or Likes (or, finally, succeed in chalking up a single banner-ad click—which they’ve never gotten and never will unless I accidentally hit a keystroke during a sneeze.)

No, Facebook doesn’t give a damn about my settings, they don’t care that I don’t want to share my cell phone number with them, they don’t care that I’m blind and don’t use my phone to “connect with friends!” on Facebook via my mobile device.

Nope, if I were to become the master of all time, space and dimension tomorrow and by decree force Mark Zuckerberg into a position where he himself had to choose between FB leaving my settings alone or losing sexy employee femalehours to knee-pad time with yours truly? He’d shrug his shoulders and say, “Sorry, nameless-busty-girl-of-Joe’s-choice, take one for the team. You know it’s better in the long run if his settings are sacrificed rather than your oral skills.”

Ugh. I never post like this, and not just because I have plenty of family on here who may/might/probably will be forced to see this post if they’ve interacted with me in the past month (rather than their own settings be honored). Me? I want to see Most Recent… posts from my friends, FB, not my wife’s post from Wednesday. I know, for a fact, my friend Mario posted today. And yesterday. Because I checked his feed. But I don’t ever see his posts, despite their newness, because you don’t give a rat’s ass about my desires in sorting what shows up in my timeline.

Thanks, FB, for feeding my festering hatred of your social network. If not for Pam championing me having a presence here, I would be gone. Adios. Sayonara. If you could find a way to make a fraction of a cent on my personal data, you’d do it rather than actually provide a service.

In the world of Karma? Yeah, I might go down shooting blanks, every last vestige of fluid wrung from my core, but at least I’d be able to flip you guys the bird with a myriad of ladies suing you for workperson’s comp and overtime, forced to talk in sign language. So there. (Rant over)