Archives for January 2016


So here we are at last. I am posting this on Decembuary eleventeenth, after another round of consultations with ‘all sorts and conditions of famous physicians’, to see what is to be done about my excessive fatigue. The consensus is that I need vitamin D, activity, and a bit of sunshine when I can get it. I have been gobbling vitamin D tablets and making myself get outside more, and it is indeed beginning to have effects. Then, too, now that we are past the dark days of Decembuary (that infamous double month, relieved only by Christmas and Hogmanay), the light is visibly beginning to increase. We are having our usual mild patch in the middle of the winter, and I find that I am starting to improve.

I have yet to get any copy written, but I have tackled one related job. I have figured out how to get my ancient copy of Adobe Illustrator to play nice with the file system in a shiny new version of Mac OS X. The other day I spent considerable time drawing a map in Illustrator, and when I finally got to the point at which I thought I had better save my work, the machine went


and Illustrator crashed, leaving not a trace of my work except for a full screen of bug reports to be auto-sent to Apple. I went into a funk and stayed there until the smoke coming out of my ears turned from ominous green to a safely neutral white. Some of this language is figurative.

It turns out that it is the modern OS X dialogue boxes that are incompatible with Adobe CS3. If I check the option to ‘Use Adobe dialog’, it saves my file without complaint and does not crash. So I have been messing about with maps just for practice (and also for a spot of tabletop gaming that I have been doing on Saturdays). I should soon graduate to actual writing, D.V.

And to those of my Loyal Readers who dream dreams, a joyous St. John Bosco’s day.

Checking in again

Carbonel mentions that it’s been a while since my last post, and inquires after my well-being. (Thanks, Carbonel!)

The Loyal 3.6 may be relieved to hear that I am well enough in myself, though I’ve been plagued by unusual fatigue this past week. I am trying to get through a shortish (~25,000 word) writing project, but have not been able to concentrate very well. I can do odd little world-building jobs and that kind of thing, but when I actually sit down to write copy, I find that my brain has turned to tapioca pudding.

As soon as I get some decent headway on the current project, I hope to post a sample. It’s a novella with the working title The Stone Sword, a sort of prequel to The Eye of the Maker, which I am writing partly to work out some backstory that I will need to continue the said Octopus; and partly because it will make a good cheap (or free) ebook to scatter far and wide as a promotional gewgaw.

Arson, bigamy, and chess

What purpose is served by saying that men like Maxton are in Fascist pay? Only the purpose of making serious discussion impossible. It is as though in the middle of a chess tournament one competitor should suddenly begin screaming that the other is guilty of arson or bigamy. The point that is really at issue remains untouched. Libel settles nothing.

—George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

(James Maxton was a Scottish socialist politician and orator of the earlier twentieth century, and the leader of the Independent Labour Party. He was extensively libelled in the Communist press for publishing remarks critical of the Republican side’s conduct in the Spanish Civil War. It should not be necessary to add, but perhaps is, that he was never in Fascist pay.)

If you have followed a link to this page, it’s probably because I tangled with someone on the Internet trying to win an already-lost argument by escalating it to a flamewar, and calling his opponent a Fascist (or equivalent name). I am putting this here so I won’t have to repeat the point ad nauseam in other people’s comboxes.

My own combox, fortunately, is a place where I have never needed to resort to such measures. I thank you, my 3.6 Loyal Readers, for your civility even in disagreement and your warm-hearted support at the other times. You are, each of you, a joy to be prized, and I thank you. A very happy and prosperous New Year to you all!