Smashwords update

Hello! I’ve updated my Smashwords profile, and my updated interview is here.

I have a variety of works for sale on the site, including a fantasy romance, some silly stories involving my characters Agent Diamond and Charming Guy, a science fiction story about romance gone wrong, and a story based on a character from my recently finished novel Infinity. All of these stories are, to a degree, intended to be humorous. You can download excerpts for free, and I’ve set the price of each story to $1.99 USD, which is less than the price of a cup of coffee. I formatted these works myself, so I apologize if there are imperfections in the resultant ebooks, and if I’m made aware of them I’ll try to fix these.

I’m currently editing the final drafts of Anagama and Infinity, but once I am finished with this I will probably start posting a few more works for sale on Smashwords.

Some shows somebody should make

It occurs to me that TV is a great medium for reaching a lot of people, including people who don’t really want to enroll in classes or take online courses, or do a lot of their own research. This is, I think, most people. They may lack skills, time, inclination, or all these things, when it comes to seeking information- but TV can bring it right into their homes.

As such, I am embarking on a difficult task- I have ideas for two nonfiction series which I think would be of great public benefit and might actually help change minds. The first is a sequel to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos- I am not Carl Sagan and I do not have his stature, and I have not written an amazing book like Cosmos which explains a lot of scientific phenomena. I am, however, a scientist and a biologist in particular, and I have thought of a string of topics related to my specialities which would encompass discussion of not just neat things like astrobiology, but topics that people actually need to know about, like basic molecular biology (how DNA and RNA work and what they are, and what genetic modification is and means), basic immunology (how vaccines work), risk assessment (is this technology risky? What common sense approaches do we use to assess this?), and some psychology (resistance to climate change information). I’d like to put all these important topics into perspective, especially for people afraid of vaccines and GMOs, or who are skeptical of climate change being a man-made phenomenon.

The second series is less well-defined for me- I’d like to focus specifically on critical thinking, logic, media literacy, and discussion of a variety of topics, starting with innocuous ones (is a hot dog a sandwich?) and going on to discuss more controversial ones. I want to put all this in context of Russian disinformation campaigns, which the USA is still woefully vulnerable to, and I want to do this as soon as possible- preferably before the 2020 election, though since I have no contacts in TV or entertainment this seems unlikely.

I have tried reaching out to people who might be interested in and able to do these shows, with predictably no result.

I’m putting the concepts here because I know I lack the required skills to do this quickly and I’m hoping someone picks up these ideas. I don’t even care that they are “stolen”, I have plenty of other ideas and I simply care about someone making and releasing these shows before November 2020.

I hope somebody, somewhere, reads this and decides yes, this sounds like a good idea.

On the mass shooting in Dayton, OH

I’m contemplating a mass shooting in Dayton, OH, a place I visit often.

I think that part of the reason people are so angry at strangers and lashing out is lack of support- lack of friends and a social circle, which could be alleviated by mental health support services, lack of those services for the mentally ill, lack of health care and money for things like medication, lack of money- not being able to get a good education or find a good job, and the frustration that might envelop people who want to blame someone for why they are in such a predicament. I think people will lash out- at people they consider are to blame (like other ethnic groups or minorities) or they will lash out at anyone that seems to be better off or happier, which might have been the case with the Oregon District in Dayton.

It’s a sickness exacerbated by austere social program policies which stem from failing to tax the wealthy adequately to pay for those programs, and by President Trump and his hateful white nationalist rhetoric where he’s identifying “others” who are “responsible” for everyone’s apparent problems all the time. Liberals, journalists, immigrants, “elites”, etc. etc. etc.- all these groups have been demonized and it’s also possible that the shooter in Dayton was motivated by hate for liberals, as the Oregon District is know for kind of nicer, “hipster” places. It’s a toxic brew and the only thing that will change it are (a) making it more difficult to get and keep guns that are designed to carry out mass shootings, and (b) changing government policies to make life easier for people who don’t have strong social support networks, or the ability to find a good job- there are so many roadblocks, especially in red and “purple” states, to financial stability and mental health support and so many people really need help. The United States and each state in the union really needs to tax, and spend it on things that will alleviate suffering. It really has to happen, or this county will continue its slide into demagoguery, and despair.