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Finally…

After much procrastination eBook number one is finally out. You can get it for USD $3.99 (that’s a bit over AUD $5) at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & NobleKobo and Scribd (plus some others like Baker & Taylor and Gardners if that’s your thing).

“Four bucks?” you say? C’mon, you’ve spent more on coffee made by someone who should’ve stuck to filling a glass of water from a tap. Save your tastebuds and show me some love instead. Or if you’re really not sure and you think you’d prefer to give your coin to that busker playing a version of Oasis’ “Wonderwall” that’s even worse than the original, download a sample. And then take your money back from that busker and give me some fiscal affection. Everybody’s happy! Huzzah!

Please note: Apparently the book has shipped to iBooks, but it’s not showing up in the store yet. I’ll update this post when it appears.

UPDATE: The book is now live in the iBooks store.

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eBooks

So, I’m working on a couple of eBooks of my writing (well, only one is actively in development at this stage). I still have a bit of work to do on the first, such as putting the final touches on formatting and designing a cover, but hopefully within a month it should be done. Most of that material has not previously been published on this website.

I’ll probably use Smashwords to take my publishing virginity since they target the major sellers, although I will have to do a separate Kindle version cos Smashwords doesn’t publish to Amazon. That will follow shortly after the Smashwords version and then I can concentrate on book two.

I’m also contemplating doing print-on-demand books which will only be available through Amazon, or maybe Lulu or something like that, but I’ll see how the eBooks do first. If anyone has useful experiences with POD to share, please let me know (Createspace and Lulu both have pros and cons to varying degrees, and I think I’ve ruled out Blurb. While IngramSpark seems pretty good, I think I’d be wasting my money at this stage. Let’s have another look once I’m rich and famous :-P)

Anyway, sidetracked… Back to book one. But first: a cigarette.

Untitled

It was about six or seven years ago that I decided to sponsor a child. I had two primary reasons for doing so. The first was because it would help give a family some hope for the future, that they might know that someone (albeit a faceless person they’d probably never meet) cared. I could afford to do it, so why not?

The second reason was decidedly more selfish. I had fallen for a woman, fallen hard, and she broke me. I pretty much knew it was coming, but it still fucking hurt. So, in an exercise of twisted logic, I reasoned that if I sponsored a child, something to which I would be expected to make long term commitment, I wouldn’t kill myself. Over the last couple of months I’ve started to question the wisdom of that decision.

Ever since that moment of heartache, I developed what I refer to as a ‘switch’. I like to think that I have control over it, that I can turn the switch to ‘off’ to save myself if I think I’m going to get hurt. It doesn’t always work. But as handy as that switch can be, I don’t want to be cold and heartless; I don’t particularly like that person. Pain can be beautiful, invigorating. Suicide will always be at the back of my mind, like an angry dog waiting to bite when my back is turned. It has been there for many, many years, and I have no doubt that I will give in one day. But not yet.

Women

“… he would have passed a pleasant life of it, in despite of the Devil and all his works, if his path had not been crossed by a being that causes more perplexity to mortal man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put together, and that was—a woman.”

Washington Irving, ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

Abilities

“All abilities are paid for with disabilities. Perfect health may entail the heavy toll of bovine stupidity. Insight in one area involves blind spots in another.”

William S. Burroughs, from ‘My Education’.

A dream

Last night I dreamed that it was raining and the house was leaking. Water was coming through the windows, and the carpet was sodden in places. My girlfriend’s ex-husband was there; he said it was always like that.

Principle of the Dangerous Precedent

“Every public action which is not customary either is wrong, or if it is right it is a dangerous precedent. It follows that nothing should ever be done for the first time.”

F. M. Cornford

Sometimes

Sometimes I wonder if I really did drive my car off the road 15 years ago and I’ve been in a coma all this time, with everything I’ve experienced being only a dream.

Like everyone, I’ve had good and bad experiences. And some fantastic ones, times when I’ve felt incredibly lucky. Most of those have revolved around love. At the risk of sounding hopelessly, pathetically soppy, loving someone and being loved is, for me, the greatest feeling in the world. Especially when, most of the time, I’ve thought that I haven’t deserved it.

Sometimes the intensity of that feeling is so overwhelming that I want to kill myself so that it can never fade away.

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No indigenous people in China?

I read a curious thing in the 2010 UN Human Development Report earlier this week – “According to official Chinese policy, there are no indigenous peoples in the country; the term used is “ethnic minorities.” (It’s on page 75 if you want to check for yourself.)

To say that something is indigenous to a location means that it is native to it. To me, the Chinese policy says that there are no native Chinese people living in China. Given that the majority ethnic group, the Han, makes up approximately 92% of the population and they took their name from the Han Dynasty that ruled China from 206BC to 220AD, this policy is illogical. Even more so when you consider that the Han were likely descended from the Qin, who were likely descended from the Zhou and, further back, from the Shang (all Dynasties, not necessarily discrete ethnicities). That’s several thousand years worth of an essentially native Chinese people (even taking into account the mixing of bloodlines from feudal states pre-unification and from areas that now make up modern day Korea, Mongolia, Tibet and so on).

The UN report, in part, discussed the status of countries’ indigenous people or, in China-talk, their ethnic minorities. So instead of saying there are no indigenous people in China, a completely non-sensical claim, couldn’t the Chinese government have just said, ‘Well, our indigenous people are the majority so the most disadvantaged are actually the ethnic minorities’? Much more accurate.

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter and I’m probably just arguing semantics. As I said, I just found it curious.

Morning Erections

What’s the go with morning erections? You’re lying there, minding your own business and sleeping, when next thing you know you’ve pitched a tent. What’s the point? Most of the time you’re not yet awake enough to do anything useful with it, and when the rest of your body has woken up your penis has gone back sleep. It’s like our penises are taunting us. And our unfortunate partners.

Morning erections, you suck.