Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Dogpaddling Along

All righty-o. The absolute final version of The Ghosts of St. Grimald Priory has been uploaded to Draft2Digital, and the book is now in the lap of the gods. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it. It was a great experience on the whole, and I'm thrilled to be doing it again with Agnes of Haywood Hall. I'm no longer doing blog tours, reviews, or even giveaways, sadly. The promo route has gotten harder and harder for me over the years with review blogs shuttering and the remaining sites getting bogged down with an overflow of requests. I'm not even going to try from this point onward.

So this blog (and, by extension, Goodreads, Amazon, and Twitter for the time being) will be the place to go for updates, but most of you pretty much know that by now. Anyhoo...

I've been trawling the web for alternate social media spots for me to settle in because my Twitter account's pretty much on life support at the moment, and I'm tempted to shut it down sooner than later. I still feel pressure to maintain an active online presence not just on this blog but through other means as well. Sadly, with the pandemic wreaking havoc everywhere, Twitter's now deluged with even more people with too much time on their hands, trolling and ranting and being obnoxious up, down, and sideways.

I actually started - and then deleted - a Tumblr account and then opened an Instagram account, which is currently disabled until I figure out if I really want to go there in the end. Truth be told, I'm not into visuals as much as I am into text. Hence my super basic, super plain blog (note that my Book Page doesn't even have book covers anywhere - just a list of my published stuff) and my preference for places like Twitter, where you can microblog without needing the aid of photos all the time to get your point across.

I also only recently learned about Litsy, and I opened an account there. I'm still trying to figure my way around that place and am a bit hampered by the difficulty of finding people to follow and engage with. That said, what I do love about it is that - ayup - ain't nuthin' goin' on there but tons of book talk and no politics. Heck, I can practically smell all those weathered books sitting on the shelves (god, I miss my university library).

In the end, I'm pretty much stuck with Twitter for a little while longer, though it's hardly updated, and I only go there to read and not interact (rather discouraged from doing so by accounts that don't respond), which defeats the purpose of being on social media, yes? If things don't pan out with Litsy or Instagram, I'll just keep my Twitter account and maybe try to follow more folks who're more inclined to engage even if only in bits of random conversation. It's going to be extremely hard keeping my timeline free of occasional bouts of outrage by one or more people, though, but that's social media for you.

In other news, I'm back at work, having been called in by my boss as we're finally given the clearance for full-on curbside pickup service. I was told this will likely go on through July, which is perfectly fine with me because there's no way I'm going to be dealing with customers wandering around the store, face masks on or otherwise. Not with the virus still messing with everyone. No way.

The experience has been eye-opening so far, though. It's like experiencing a dam exploding and getting swept away in a flood. People have been placing orders through our site at all hours of the day, and we (employees currently at minimum staff levels) start each day with at least fifty different customers needing long lists of items for whatever. We're still not open during the weekends, but that might change eventually, so everything's pretty much crammed into five days. Phones ring every X number of seconds with folks wondering if we're open for customer traffic or curbside pickup.

Oof. That said, I'm glad we're finally moving forward despite the brutally frenzied pace of each shift. I'm fortunate to still have a job, and I'm well aware of that. Too many people are out of a job and are struggling, and I was also reaching a point where I was beginning to wonder where my job was headed. The future is still uncertain right now, but for the time being, we're cautiously creeping forward. With any luck, other people will also be working soon.

Oh, and how's this for a random video:



I've been checking out videos on automata while taking a break from what I call residual edits of Automata, and it's like being a kid in the proverbial candy store. Just look at the engine driving the movements. The fact that the puppet can draw and write with so many small, fine details just blows my mind. I can only imagine just how long the person (people) who originally designed and then built this specific automaton. It's crazy. And amazing.

Update: Looks like the video will have to be viewed directly from Youtube as CBS News isn't allowing embedding for it. It's well worth a look, though.

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