Today is kind of a big day. It is the launch of my first published work since 2017, The Storyteller’s Heaven. It’s about a future where we start exploring interstellar space, where we push the boundaries between life, love, and death.
I am even more pleased to say that I have set up a promotion for the launch; the book is set to zero dollars for this weekend only. This means that all of you can cruise over and pick up a copy for absolutely nothing.
This has been timed to coincide with a convention I’m attending this weekend, my first since the rotten plague descended upon us.
Guys, this was a real hump to climb this past year. No, years. I lost my publisher, wrote a ton with no idea how to set it free, endured the plague, witnessed the undoing of my work in Afghanistan, and descended into madness in Ukraine.
Somehow I managed, with a big assist from John Birmingham, to produce this book.
Now it’s out there, waiting for a good home. The five-year drought has ended. I have the tools in the box to produce more novels; at least five unpublished bits are waiting for release. Of course, my Patreon crowd has the first crack, but I haven’t forgotten my crew of lurkers over here, either.
So here you go. The Storyteller’s Heaven; available right now. It is set to free until Sunday, the last day of the ‘con.
As always, I welcome your feedback here and at other sites. If you like the book, it would also be cool to leave a review on Amazon.
Thanks for tuning in. This should be a pretty productive year!
So, I have a visitor from overseas named Dirk. He’s a bit of an IT guy. Well, he pushed me over the edge to do a few upgrades around here.
It started with a lamp. I have this annoying light in my living room with a broken switch. You can only turn it on and off by unplugging/plugging it in. A problem. Well, Dirk talked me into buying a smart plug for the crazy thing and hooking it into Google Home. It was an easy job. Now, if I want the lights on, I simply say “Hey Google, lights on” to the Google Home Mini that he brought as a housewarming present.
Pretty cool. Plus I can ask Google all kinds of other stuff.
But that was just the start, even though I thought it was pretty cool.
Turns out he had been researching my internet situation, too. In short, I was being ripped off by my old provider with seriously inferior DSL internet.
The best solution was T-Mobile wireless internet. He did his homework; in theory, I could pick up the cool black internet modem shown above to replace the old, crappy internet at considerable monthly savings. Plus there was supposed to be a performance upgrade, as well.
With some trepidation, we went to the T-Mobile store. I picked up the modem and signed on for an internet plan. We got it home, followed the instructions, and fired it up.
Holy cow, what a difference! On average, the wireless internet was SIX times faster than my old DSL, for less money and hassle!
However, we soon found out that my old router was weak and would need to be replaced.
Enter the Google Nest Wifi mesh network, available on Amazon for less than two hundred bucks. For complete WiFi coverage of the entire house, it was a must. Within two days, the hockey-puck-looking things showed up in the mail, and we wasted no time setting the network up.
It was easier than it sounded. First, the master router had to be plugged into the T-Mobile modem via an ethernet cable and electricity. Not a problem. Each mesh component had to be carefully placed and then entered into Google Home in turn and each had to be registered to the new house network.
After a few minor hiccups and three-quarters of an hour, the household mesh was up and running.
Each mini modem covers about 1500 square feet, and we had three. This was more than adequate coverage for my house. However, you can add up to twelve mini modems for truly large applications.
Three will do most houses just fine.
To summarize, this old house now has a pretty darn good internet system for a minimum output in money and time. T-Mobile and Google Home components come together to make for a pretty user-friendly and modern experience.
You should try it yourself, especially if your current provider thinks they own the market and can charge you exorbitant prices for inferior service. You should convince them otherwise.
This past week has been the pits. A busy period while I was sick with stupid COVID again. I must say I’ve become a connoisseur of strains of the disease, Omicron wasn’t as bad as Delta. But it still sucked.
In between bouts of fever and coughing fits I managed to do the final edit of my latest manuscript, The Storyteller’s Heaven. The book is a space opera with a twist, set in the late twenty-first century. It was a lot of fun to write, and I look forward to the official launch fairly soon. Of course, any of you can read the serialized rough draft version over on my other website, patreon.com/jasonlambright.
It must be said that if you are so kind as to drop three bucks a month, you will also get another book in serial form and the opening chapters of two more novels. That’s a fair bit for three bucks. There are tiers for five and ten dollars as well, with increasing levels of rewards.
OK, enough with the sales pitch.
In addition to the edits, I was finally strong enough yesterday to mow the grass. Yes, the disease laid me that low. Weak to the point that riding around on a lawn mower seemed too much to ask. It was a terrible week for physical fitness activities; my pedometer app on my phone had been nothing but solid red bars for a while. Red is bad.
Today I get to play catch-up. Clean the house some, recover. It’s been a rough patch; I felt like Mr. Moore’s sculpture, see above. Heavy as a darn rock and sprawled out on the couch.
You cannot pick and choose amongst the twenty-seven ratified Amendments to the US Constitution. Each one is the law of the land. If people have heartburn with a given Amendment, a mechanism exists to change the Constitution via democracy. It is the Constitutional Convention, whereby the states come together and make or undo existing law.
An excellent example is the Eighteenth Amendment, which was undone by the Twenty-First. These Amendments concerned the manufacture and sale of alcohol. Prohibition, as it was known, was an experiment that took a disastrous turn. The failed Eighteenth Amendment was recognized as such, and via democracy, it was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment.
This is how the American system works. If enough voters decide they need or don’t need a right, they put pressure on their local politicians via legal means. This can be escalated in time to the stage of the Constitutional Convention, where elected representatives can vote on a proposed Amendment.
For a further understanding of the US Constitution, look here.
This is how women gained the right to vote. This is how slavery was abolished. This is how we got term limits on the Presidency.
This is America, and this is how democracy is supposed to work.
Not with high explosives and violence.
To see where this leads, look below.
This was once where an ancient statue of Buddha stood in Bamian, Afghanistan. An intolerant regime decided there could be no symbols of opposing beliefs or cultures. Therefore, they blew it up with lots of TNT.
Do you want to see this in America? Are you cool with book burning and freezing out friends and family you don’t agree with? Can you find no middle ground where you can respectfully agree to disagree? Do you cheer when objects you find disagreeable are destroyed? Can you not leave people alone, to believe as they see fit?
I try to practice what I preach. My friends and family hold a wide range of views, some of which I strongly disagree with. However, I see them for what they and I are. Fallible humans. Imperfect. At times rambunctious or contrary, but still worth viewing as people. I try to extend this courtesy to everyone I know, and if they say something that I find unacceptable or disagreeable, I let them know.
There is a line, of course. It is when others try to force you to agree with some belief or opinion that is contrary to one’s firmly held beliefs. This is at best discourteous. At worst, it is rude and disrespectful. In some egregious cases, I can only conclude that their Mama didn’t raise them right, and maybe I should look elsewhere for companionship.
What I do know is that in America we are supposed to respect each other’s differences and resolve issues at the ballot box.
We don’t resolve problems with bombs in the middle of the night.
This is deeply contrary to the spirit of the US Constitution. There was NOTHING that prohibited the bombers from erecting their own monument close by, enshrining their opposing beliefs, whatever those may have been.
No, they chose TNT or C-4.
Therefore, they have deservedly opened themselves to prosecution and sanction under the law.