Deadline approaches

May 31st is the deadline for submissions for the first Underdog Anthology. I have begun the editing and formatting process but can easily fit in another story or two.

I haven’t set a deadline for the poetry book. Some have arrived already, I’ll wait and see how many arrive before fixing a date – but it won’t be too far away because the Christmas book will need to be done in early November. That will give me time for editing and formatting so it’s out in early December.

At the moment I have my mother visiting so keep having to ‘do conversation’ which is not something I’m particularly good at. Normality resumes tomorrow.

You need to consider whether you want to use your own name or a writing alias. If you write in different genres you can use a different alias for each – I use H K Hillman for fiction and Romulus Crowe for the ghosthunting books.

I can get back to this in earnest tomorrow, once I’m done with all this socialising stuff.

Russia: Land of hope and opportunity?

Surely even the dimmest of our politicians can see there’s something wrong with the country when people jump at the chance to move to Russia? More than just Russia – it’s Siberia!

(Thanks to M J McFadden for the email tip)

Worried about living under a dictatorship? Wake up, UK. You already are.

This country is run by people none of us voted for, who live in another country and the rules they set for us don’t apply to them. Have you seen how fat some of those politicians are? These are the same ones who want to impose a sugar tax on us because they claim we’re too fat.

Our Prime Monster, the Cameroid, wants the UK to remain subservient to Brussels. That’s his aim, and he states it quite clearly every day. Can you imagine Russia putting up with being ruled by a little clique of pompous asses in Brussels? I think Putin would have a very short answer to such a suggestion and he’d likely have 100% of the backing of the Russian people.

Yet the UK wants to remain in bondage to a superstate that imposes ever more ridiculous and restrictive laws on us. Really?

We’ll find out in June. Hopefully the feeling among the ‘no’ side is sufficiently strong that they’ll all turn out to vote. This is the big one, folks. It’s not just voting for the government this time. This time, you are deciding whether we are a country or just an occupied territory.

Voting for the government really doesn’t matter because few of them have any intelligence and they all do as the EU tells them anyway. They are just figureheads.

Many of them, especially their leaders, have become complacent and lazy. It’s an easy job when someone else does the thinking and tells you what to do and say. What, actually run the country? Actually have to do some real work? Nah, stay in the EU and they’ll make the decisions. Our government is feeble and pretty much powerless at a national level. All they can do is pick on little people as directed by the EU and the corporations.

So we have all those lifestyle Nazis getting the ear of the politicians because the politicians really have nothing else to do. They impose the idiotic restrictions the Righteous control freaks want because that makes it look as if they are actually doing something. Really, they should be far too busy with running a country to have time for the lunatic fringe. As it used to be, in the not-so-long-ago days.

Want to change that? Voting day is coming. This is your chance to change it. We are only ever going to get one chance.

Don’t miss it!

 

Book progress

The majority view seems to be – put the author’s ‘about me’ page at the start of a set of that author’s stories. I concur. It would be like having a lot of small collections bound together in one larger book, thereby making the small collections economically viable.

I once experimented with individual short stories in print. It works in eBook because you can price them at 99 cents (US) but there is a minimum base cost of about £2.50 (currently $3.65) per book for printing and binding. That holds true up to around 100 pages before it climbs any higher. So a book of 20 pages will cost the same as a book of 100 pages. I know which one I’d take off the shelf.

Therefore, I need a minimum 100-page book to get people interested in it. I think I have that now but it can still get bigger. I’m sticking to that May 31st deadline for getting stories in but remember, by May 31st I need your About the Author page (250 words or less, please, I want it to fit on one page, and if it just says ‘No’ that’s fine with me :)) and the name you want to use as a writer.

You can call yourself anything in the writing world. I’ve written as H. K. Hillman, as Dr. Dume and as Romulus Crowe – although the Dume book was ‘edited by’ the H. K. Hillman name so that it shows up with the others on Amazon searches.

You don’t even have to stick with the same name. If you write different kinds of stories, you can use a different name for each genre. It’s up to you.

I won’t tell anyone who you really are, and since all I have is an email name I can’t be sure I really know anyway. One contributor is going in by his online name and that’s all I know of him and that’s not a problem.

I will need real signatures on the contract forms, but fear not, I am well aware of the Data Protection Act and nobody else will see those forms. I think I can make a form, send it by Email, you can print and sign it, scan it and send it back. It’ll have my signature on it already.

If you have a printer but no scanner, the form will have my address so you can post it back. There will be a space for your address but if you don’t want to give that, it’s okay. Considering modern transport costs and time limitations, the chances of me randomly turning up at your door and demanding booze is pretty much zero but if you aren’t comfortable with putting your address, don’t. People move house anyway. It’s the signature I need.

For collections I am only buying the right to put it in one book. Copyright remains always with the author and the stories/poems are still yours to do with as you will. All I ask – and it’s a request, not a demand – is that if you put them anywhere else later, you say they are in the book, and give the title.

I really don’t have the time or resources to trawl the internet or check so as I said, it’s a request only.

Novels etc will be different. I’ll devise a contract that gives me sole publishing rights for a set number of years (say, five) and at the end of that contract, either party can say ‘nah’ and the author gets all rights back again. Except cover art – unless it’s the author’s own. Those books will be paid on royalties and royalties per book won’t be huge. I have to compete with Tesco and others who sell books so damn cheap these days. We have to sell cheap and fast if we’re going to get anywhere.

So, by 31st May, I need to have the first book ready to roll, all the contracts in, the book formatted for print and for all the different eBook formats, cover art (sized to the really strict rules of every different eBook format as well as print), an intro and maybe also an outro and a back cover blurb. It’s going to be fast work. Late entries will be accepted so realistically I’m expecting to be very busy for most of June and to have it out before 30th June.

Naturally, this is the time my mother has chosen to visit. She arrives Saturday and will be here until Wednesday. Might not be around much for those few days.

If your story has a Christmas link, hold back. Once this is done I’ll start on the Christmas anthology. It’ll have a deadline of October 31st and that book will be out at the end of November.

The poetry book will go when I have enough poems to make a decent sized book. It’ll be paid differently too. So far, most poetry folk seem happy to be paid in copies of the book. We’ll see how that pans out.

I’m thinking of starting the back cover with ‘Sex, violence, blood, gore and smoking, this book has it all’. Might as well brag about our collective non-PC-ness:)

It’s happening, folks. It’s happening fast. Hold on, it’s going to be quite a ride.

 

 

Fat boy slimming

In this modern world, we all have to fit a standard size, shape and lifestyle because, idiots believe, that will mean we never get sick and the NHS can spend all day drinking tea while the cleaners sit around playing Call of Dirty.

Slim people get sick too you know, and nonsmokers can get cancer. Making everyone the same won’t change that. Yet the Righteous insist on demanding we live as they direct. Length of life is all that matters. Whether you enjoy it or not is irrelevant. You are not men, you are economic units and you will do as your owners decree.

“Harder hitting campaigns, similar to those for anti-smoking, are required.”

Well, the smokers can tell you where that one is going.

‘You can’t be fat in here, matey, go and be fat outside.’

‘This employer operates a strict no-fatness policy.’

It will be illegal to sell or give sweets or cakes to a child under 18.

If the till operator suspects you are overweight, you will have to be weighed before they decide whether or not to sell you that chocolate bar.

Fantasy? Really? Go back just 15 years in time and tell everyone that soon, smoking will not be allowed in pubs or any business common room. Tell them there will be no smoking on railway and bus stations or at bus stops.

They will laugh at you the same way you are now laughing at me.

The National Obesity Forum is just following the template. The usual control freaks are involved. I think we should abbreviate the National Obesity part of the name and call them NObs.

I was going to suggest making them look ridiculous but they are doing a fine job of that on their own.

Obesity will cause 700,000 new cancer cases by 2035‘. Not ‘could’ or ‘might’. ‘Will’. It’s a definite and precise amount. They Have Seen Your Future, and it’s not only wobbly, it’s lumpy too. Science? Hahahaha! When have these people ever bothered about science?

Hey, fat boy, step away from cancer. That all belongs to smokers now. It’s ours. We are the only ones who get tested for it. The slim nonsmoker can never get cancer. It’s medically impossible so no doctor will test for it. If they wanted to cull the population, they are going the right way about it in my book 😉

By 2025, 20% of the human race will be obese. Of course they will. The Righteous have been steadily reducing the threshold for obesity so there need be no change at all in real body weight. You can stay the same weight, they’ll lower the obesity bar until they get you over it.

The BMI nonsense does not distinguish between fat and muscle. Some years back, I weighed the same as a friend who had been weight training since he was 13. We’re about the same height. I looked like a version of him that had melted. Yet we would have had the same BMI even though he looked like the Hulk and I looked like the Blob.

Don’t get too muscled up. They only go by weight and height. If you look like The Terminator, you’re obese now.

The UK is being exhorted to start a full-on War on Chubbiness. It’ll be the same as the War on Smoking that soon became the War against the Smokers. Yeah, if you’re a bit curvy now, watch out. Smokers can hide when they aren’t actually smoking. You well rounded people don’t have that option.

They talk about ‘leadership from government’ but they don’t want leadership. They want what these scumbags always want. Money and control. Ideally, money they don’t have to work for. They want your tax money so they can tax you more and get even more money.

And they get a serious orgasm about telling people what to do and watching them do it. These people are deranged and dangerous. They are sick and perverted. And Government is still listening to them. Because our Government is full of fucking morons.

Sugar tax. France has one. Mexico has one. Do they work? Of course not. It’s not sugar that’s making you fat.

Avoiding sugar is making your babies fat. Yes, real science is starting to fight back. I’ve always avoided aspartame because it gives me the shits something fierce. I use real sugar and real butter – and I’m not fat because I don’t use too much of them. It’s not that difficult. Yet it now seems that avoiding sugar and going for artificial alternatives is causing you to put on weight – so the Righteous response is to tax sugar. I wonder how much funding they get from aspartame manufacturers?

Further, it seems that inhaling polluted air can lead to obesity, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. This one is somewhat compromised by the fact that the most polluted air is in cities, where more people lead sedentary lives and where food is more easily available. Even so, it is a link that should be considered before diving in there with a sugar tax.

But then, nobody cared about air pollution when lung cancer increased. That was all blamed on smoking so I expect this study will be quietly shelved too.

Soon we will have a nation of slim, muscle-free drones afraid to put on a gram of weight in case they get too much mass and gravity smears them into the ground. Afraid to touch a drop of alcohol in case they die of alcoholism within the hour. Afraid of steam.

These people will be ruled by fat smoky pissheads with the money to pay the taxes, even though they won’t have to pay the taxes because they will be subsidised by the taxes they take from the skinny zombies.

Don’t let it happen. Resistance is never futile.

It’s not science if it’s one observation

A long long time ago, in a galaxy far away…

Sorry, just been watching the latest Star Wars with a couple of whisky and smoke soused pals, and wondered if an opening of ‘Just the other day, in a house across the street…’ would be a fun opening for a story.

I digress but then I have been at a smoky-drinky and am somewhat tiddly. I was supposed to go into the big town to meet a regular commenter tonight but he was busy until 9:30, the last bus home was at 11 and the bus ride is an hour each way. Next time we’ll plan it better.

Anyway. A long time ago when I was active as Romulus Crowe online, I wondered about schizophrenia and its treatments. Did the treatments cure something or were ‘the voices’ real and the pills merely blocked the subject’s ability to hear them?

As far as medial science is concerned, you hear disembodied voices, you take the pills, you don’t hear the voices any more, you are cured. The possibility that the voices were real does not enter into Science’s calculations – but it should. Science should be open to every possibility.

Even the possibility of God.

I don’t believe in any God and I take no medication. I’m on neither side in the fight that is about to happen in the comments. I don’t take sides in fights. I just start them and watch😉

I’ve said before that science cannot prove the absence of a thing. It can prove presence but when reporting absence all it can say is ‘not found’. It cannot, ever, say ‘not there’. Science is not able to prove the non-existence of anything when applied correctly. Science cannot locate and define God but real science has to say ‘we didn’t find evidence of God’ and not ‘there is no God’.

Now science has plumbed embarrassing depths in this argument. A group has reported that experience of God is caused by epilepsy based on one – ONE – observation.

I haven’t known many epileptics in my time but the one I remember best had no religion either. And are we to believe that all those religious people out there – billions of them – are all epileptics? It just doesn’t work, does it?

I’m not saying God is real and I’m not saying there is no God. I don’t know and have zero evidence either way. Evolution does not disprove God. It can be explained as a creator who knew his creation would change over time and gave it the means to adapt. None of the animals in Eden were booted out when Adam, Eve and Serpent got the heave-ho so the animals we see now are not Eden’s. There is nothing for science to threaten religion with here. Nothing to do, with all our logic.

Likewise, religion has no effect on science. Religion requires belief without question, whereas science questions everything and believes nothing, not even its own current results. Well, that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Science and religion are separate things and should remain so. The fight between them is futile. They are based on entirely different starting premises. There can be no winner because each side fights by different rules.

But really, science, basing ‘proof’ on one observation? Come on now, that is not helping.

 

Another year older and deeper in debt

I had the Look of Death from small baker today. It was an innocent and sincere question I asked as she was printing labels instead of finishing off the baking so I could get in there and deal with cleaning it.

“Why aren’t you in the kitchen, woman?”

I mean come on, how could anyone take offence at such a simple question? Yet she did. Perhaps I should not have gone on to explain why women get married in white. It’s so that when you get them home, they match the other kitchen appliances. You even have to carry them in, like a fridge.

Now she thinks I’m some kind of misogynist. I have no idea how these rumours start.

Anyway. I’m old now and yet there are banks out there willing to give me a mortgage. Seriously? Well sure. The bank can’t lose. If I die or fail to pay, they get the house – which will have gone up in value since they loaned me the money so they’re quids in. Plus, they get to keep everything I would have already paid.

There are those who will give me an interest-only mortgage any time between now and the age of 95. Is anyone really likely to be able to pay off the capital by the time they get to 95? It’s unlikely, isn’t it? Unless you’re already rich when you start the mortgage, in which case why not just buy the house outright?

It only makes sense from the bank’s point of view. They convert ‘money’ which isn’t real into ‘house’ which is real and all they have to do is wait for you to die. Targeting the older house buyer means they have a much better chance of winning the game and won’t have to wait long in most cases. Really, not that many make it to 95 and those that do usually end up in a care home somewhere because their body has grown to 95 and their mind has reverted to about 8.

It’s horrible but it happens. No point glossing over it. Your earning potential is going to be affected when you think cassette tape players have just been invented and your son is your brother. You’re going to lose that house. Or have to sell it, in which case the bank gets their money back plus whatever early repayment penalty they wrote into the contract.

Put simply, getting a mortgage in later life is a bad idea. Unless you want your last will and testament full of bills rather than bequests.

I’m not a financial advisor and my past financial record is pretty dismal to say the least, but I wouldn’t touch this kind of mortgage with a bargepole.

I don’t mind dying broke. It’s how I lived most of my life anyway.

I won’t die leaving debts to my children.

Define a ‘portion’

First, a book note. I have multiple stories by some of you and if I go with my plan of putting the ‘About the Author’ part beside the stories, I’m stuck with putting all of each author’s stories together rather than mixing them around a bit.

I’m considering a set of ‘About the Author’ pages at the end of the book instead. Does that sound like a better idea? Opinions are always welcome.

We now return to our regular programming….

_______________________

Standardising food. Plain packaging has already been called for for food, and as with cigarettes, it’s not ‘plain packaging’ they really want. It’s standardised packaging. They want control of the size of the pack, not just the colour.  Junican pointed this out with cigarette packaging ages ago.

So the EU is being cajoled into standard portion sizes for ready meals. No matter if you want a snack or a full dinner, the meal will be the same size anyway. It’ll be snack size, not dinner size.

Some people have desk jobs and are sat down pretty much all day. Those people might need to watch their food intake, maybe use a gym or (much cheaper) go for a walk or ride a bike. Others work on building sites, farms etc and are engaged in burning calories at a high rate all day and every day. Some people need more calories per day than others. The Healthists impose the same ‘calorie intake requirement’ on everyone with no consideration of what they do all day and no allowance for metabolic variation.

To the point then. What is a ‘portion’. I don’t mean the Jethro version, I mean the food version.

For me, it’s as much as I feel like eating at one sitting. Sometimes a plateful. Sometimes a slice of cheese on a biscuit. It depends on what I did that day.

It does not depend on EU nor Healthist rules, and it never will.