Wednesday, August 12, 2015



They say coffee shop ambiance is a sure way to increase your concentration and thus your productivity, so much so now that you can even stream the ambiance here.  Well we are here at the coffee shop and we are going to put this to the test, well somewhat, I just want to nail this blog in one shot, thus the double shot of espresso among my turtle flavoring.
Well here it is let’s knock it home.

For all the fuss that is raised about net neutrality, keeping the net FREE and open for the free distribution of information, the ability for everyone to have a voice and for those voices to either be subscribed to or ignored. We raise a lot of fuss, a lot of noise, about freedom of speech, and equal bandwidth for all, as rightly as we should but when we are confronted with some slight annoyances on a web page then the tables turn and voices fall silent.

The use of ad blocking software is on the rise and with the increase comes a decrease in revenue for those websites you choose to visit, while your plug in blocks the ads on that particular site. Can you guess where this argument is headed? I’m sure you probably can, but the hard cold truth of the matter is that you don’t want the free internet, the freedom of expression to be hampered in any way, but with your myriad of justifications fall to the ground when you consider how your action may truly hamper the freedom of expression of not only the web site you are visiting, but the web as a whole is hampered when your ad blocker is equipped, shame on you. It is your actions that is hampering freedom of speech, not some crazed dictator in a faraway place, but you sitting at the computer and blocking your ads. You are that dictator, you are that crazed man in a faraway land, and you are the one who is now in control of the regime that will silence the internet once and for all.

Now this is not empty threats as the far left would have you believe, but simply a matter of economics, nothing more nothing less.
Quickest way to silence a blogger? Run add blocking software.
Quickest way to silence a non-politically correct point of view? Run add blocking software.
This is some serious biz, not only for the content creators, because for some it is the only source of revenue, but in the processes it becomes detrimental to everything we profess to believe about freedom of speech, and free information. Put your money where your mouth is, and disable that add blocker.
Still you want to argue? The saddest part about the argument is simply this . . . You will be the one who cries the loudest when the information you want is not available because you get a whale fail (401 error) when you try to load a page, you will turn to disgust when they launch a subscription only service (gated content, so much for open and free). The only one you have to blame will be yourself, you and your equipped ad blocker single handedly destroyed the internet as we know it. I hope your happy with yourself, may your name be cursed for generations to come.

Is the system abused by some, most definitely, but as net savvy of an individual you claim to be, you should be able to steer safely away from the click bait sites.

Would you rather have communities gated where you can’t get in unless you click the ads first?  What is it that your actions accomplish in order to protect the freedom of freely exchanged ideas and information?

What if we simply stopped broadcasting the commercials during the super bowl, do you think the networks would continue to broadcast with no financial incentive? Production would cease, investors would dry up and so would the salaries of the best paid in the NFL. Let’s all block those ads and say goodbye to one of our favorite pastimes.

Well turtle mocha is gone, and rough draft is finished. I hope you will give this some food for thought. I believe this is a valid argument against ad blockers, what is your view? Please leave a comment below. 
Copyright 2015 Steven J. Bradley

Friday, July 31, 2015

All Grown Up Now

Did you catch the cliff hanger from the last post? (Actually a couple of posts back, I will not be silenced was the title). Well if you did congrats, if you didn’t maybe you should read it again. What? You didn’t even read it the first time, how dare you! Ok really now in all seriousness, the concept is kind of simple if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m already grown up, so to say that “when” kind of throws a ringer in there, but still the concept is simple, you must just dig a little deeper is all.
Growing up as a writer and growing up as an individual have some things in common, sometimes, actually most times. Those things in common are probably the most desired traits too:
Such as a mature perspective, which equates to an acceptance of knowledge that without the effort dreams, will not come true. That it will not be handed to you just because you want!!
Such as . . . The understanding that you have to keep focused on the goal at hand and not to get sidetracked. Easy to say not easy to do.
Such as. . . Perseverance will get you to the end while quitting can end in a not so good of place.

Such as . . . Talents and skills are not only a gift, but also something that needs to be worked at, to learn new devices, better ways of looking at things, better ways of saying things, in order to achieve the goal of being able to self-title yourself as a master of skills.
Such as . . . Courage is not an overcoming of fear, but an accomplishment, a mission in spite of being afraid. (Not only a sign of maturity but also wisdom) and that wisdom applied will get you farther than anything else, including the way we feel.
Such as the ability not only to recognize the difference between right and wrong, but also the difference between good and bad.
Such as the people in our lives who really mean well, I’m sure they do, but if you listen to them they might destroy you if you let them.
Such as the ability to keep things in an orderly fashion. Well at least at the important times :)

I’m sure you are confused now in trying to see the bigger picture, how does this relate to coming to fruition as a writer, or as an individual life? That’s ok because I may be a little bit confused here myself, but the ability to live as a grown up can be reached without being grown up in other aspects of life.
Much in the same way as the ability to write, and the ability to be a fully grown writer are two distinct points on a line, pretty much at opposite ends at that. 

That spot on opposite sides of a line then has to move, and it is through growth that it will move closer to where you would like it to be, and as it gets closer and closer to its final destination the closer maturity is, but the journey really never does end not only for writers but life in general. So this sentiment leads me to say . . . that in all honesty I’m not really grown up, at least not fully achieving the guidelines of a mature writer, but I tell you this I am well on my way, and really no longer doubt that I will be making the final trip.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Touché Niche (Ok maybe not quite like that)

I am a very stubborn person, I get that from my family, thank you very much! (Yes that’s a tinge of sarcasm there.)
Sometimes stubbornness gets a bad rap, it doesn’t necessarily have to always be expressed in a negative connotation, does it? Can’t we just label stubbornness as persistence and be done with it? So there are times because of my stubbornness that I may be more wrong than right but don’t ever expect me to admit to it, and I mean never!!!!!! So I find myself in a state of shock in admitting some writerly advice hundreds and hundreds of times over not only write what you know (which is pretty good advice by the way, but sometimes you can’t learn something new if you don’t ignore that advise some times), but there’s that one other piece of writerly advise that is uttered just as often as the other which is simply this . . .
     “Find your niche” and I would literally cringe every time I would hear that muttered, I kid you not, every time, the concept to me made sense but not for me, I was better than that I wouldn’t have to specialize in anything. I always felt that finding your niche would become too limiting of an approach to writing considering the broad level of interest that I share among varied disciplines, besides wouldn’t it become excessively boring not to write about something you continually are exposed to instead of something new. I’m sure I had more than just that one reason to ignore the advice, stubbornness can produce ill logic quite easily.  
But I have been bombarded with change lately, some of mine own doing, and some of others doing or better described as outside sources, and in the midst of those changes while doing research I once again came across the nugget of advice and this time I didn’t argue, I didn’t cringe or even begin to tense up. For whatever reason I just accepted it as being fact, how or why I can’t say for sure, perhaps it was the context that the statement was made in, perhaps it was the dire reexamination of goals I’ve been faced with, or maybe just maybe I was just finally ready to truly hear it.
I find this teaches me two things:

The first which seems to be still unfolding, after all to learn something is a process, and at times not always an easy one. Adaptability, the ability to change your own personal stance on a matter or approach that is applied to become more focused can be a good thing, how to apply it more consistently in the midst of a stubborn life I’m not so sure how to do, I believe that is part of the learning process involved. So I feel that not only has this concept will benefit me in my writing life, I know that it will benefit me in my personal life too in that it will allow me to live a more focused life.

The second is that a niche  may not be quite as limiting as I would think, but more importantly is that it doesn’t have to be a single niche, it could be two or three but no more than four . . . So I have chosen four and a half specialties to focus my writing, my research, and my life around. I truly believe that this will set me down a road of success, not only giving me more success, but also more focus which is nothing but a positive. After all a focused writer is what I need to be right now.

If you’re a writer you might want to consider that advice once again, especially if you are like I was and cringe at the thought, how bad can a specialization in your writing really be? Think about it, learn it, apply it, and you will make leap and bounds in progression on becoming the writer you were intended to be, that is what I hope this has done for me . 

Monday, June 15, 2015

I Will Not Be Silenced

flickr / Andy Wright 
Looking back over the life I have lived I have always been forced to make judgment calls on why this happened or why this hasn’t happened yet (usually a big one) and not so much in a way of regret (although there’s plenty of that too) but more in an analytical way a form of self-discovery of why things haven’t always panned out. Some of those issues are for lack of a better word “horrific events” Sometimes those horrific events weren’t so horrific, and they were just a very bad reaction on my part to events that did not call for such a strong response, others of those horrific events were just plain bad luck as they say. Then there are those horrific events that were brought upon me by others, out of some form of ill intent. It is those horrific events I would like to discuss here.

It almost appears that the horrific events in my life up to this point have been aiming towards several goals, to keep me down and to keep me quiet. Not the quiet that most parents desire by offering a crying child a pacifier, but more of a quiet of not speaking out, not speaking up, of not writing, of not letting my voice be heard through the written word.

I have a piece in the works entitled Full Circle Syndrome, I don’t know what will ever become of it, maybe one day you can read it, but for today we just need to know it exists, not even it in its entirety but just that it is.  You may have not seen it yet but it does exit for today’s purpose all we need is the title, because it is appropriate after finding a three year old note of a project that is still in the works.

 It seems I have gone full circle in the past three years, then I was working on my blog, writing articles and launching a website and well that’s pretty much where I am today, but it’s different this time around. A sense of urgency has befallen me, a sense of setting priorities, a sense of caring again, although there was some of that around in the past it is hitting me harder now than it has in the past and hopefully for good reason. I think I’m just really fed up not only with others with their judgments, there participation in the gossip and rumor spreading, but I’m also fed up with myself, with the excuses, with the regrets.

To the excuses and regrets I would just like to say that “I’m tired of dancing with you and I’m looking for a new partner, maybe that partner could be called contentment, or fulfilled, or maybe even successful”.              

And to those I am fed up with let me tell you, “I’m fed up and I’m not going to take it anymore, you don’t get to tell me anymore. Let me first state how vain I think it is of you to try and make decisions about things that really don’t affect you in any matter at all. You are an arrogant fool if you think you get to decide who gets to fail, and who gets to succeed. Stumble in your folly it doesn’t matter much too me anymore what happens to you, but know this: You don’t get to tell me I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I’m not capable of this, or I’m not capable of that. Mumble all you want, but your sounds only fall on deaf ears, try to knock me down just to lift yourself up? Really? Good luck with that! The truth of the matter is simple, the truth of the matter is this . . . I will not be silenced, try as you wish, but no more. I have a voice and my voice needs to be heard, no matter not if you agree or disagree. I am allowed to contribute to the great dialogue just as much as anyone of you, so that is what I chose to do, sit back and watch you might be surprised.”

I guess what they really want is for me to crawl under a rock till I'm dead, then they can hold my ashes in their hands and say look what I did I spited him to death. Ha good luck with that, you are no longer able to stop me, even on your best day!

I say this now because I know it’s true, When I grow Up I Want to be a Writer!!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Apple vs. Pandora

So Apple announced yesterday their new music service, it was to be expected. The killer part of this is that today everyone is predicting gloom and doom for Pandora, just because Apple has thrown its hat into the music streaming ring but I agree not with that theory and it’s for several reasons.

First and foremost I am a customer although of the free, ad supported model a customer still, and as a matter of fact I’m streaming Pandora as I write this. I only been with Pandora for a couple of years now, but they have been good years, well at least as far as me and Pandora are concerned anyways.

Apple may be out to crunch all competition, or maybe not. But regardless of what Apple does I don’t think it will affect my beloved Pandora, yes beloved I say and this is why They provide me with the music I want, when I want, how I want either it be my laptop, my desktop, my phone it doesn’t matter Pandora is there for me and I much likewise would like to return the favor someday maybe this is how I can, by writing this.
This is where Pandora will not lose to the Apple.

1. Some people like the underdogs
2. Availability and accessibility to music
3. They know me and my like’s better everyday
4. Pandora has survived a lot (history or founding) and it’s not run by amateurs.

The only thing that could hurt or kill Pandora is Pandora itself, but as long as they continue to do what they have been doing so well for years now I think they are safe. Although some people are staging this as a David and Goliath battle, they seem to forget that it was David, the little guy, who won the battle.

So Pandora here is a giant THUMBS UP to you.

So Apple thanks but no thanks, I’ll SKIP your new tune and stay with ole faithful. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Great Novel Debate

  The great debate rages on, and my poor novel is caught in the middle, what shall become of it?
            They say it’s all in the details, so here’s the details. In the early to mid-1990's yes a millennium ago, ok maybe closer to fifteen years or so, back in the heyday of my writing career (I say hay day, because there was more vision, more prolific, never at a loss for ideas, and never enough writing sessions to keep me happy,) I’ve lost a lot of that since then, but in an attempt to regain some of that I have decided to take a second look at a novel I was writing. Back to the hay day, I had a good start of a novel that I was working on, a dozen or so chapters, some only a few pages, some more lengthy. Any ways the point being that a second look at this old attempt, has revealed that some of it is actually pretty good. I have chosen to tackle it as my major writing project, to flesh it out, give it some consistency, and to finish it. When I do finish it, we could market it as “20 years in the making” (has a nice ring to it anyways).
            So the debate is this, I address certain issues that really date the story, one scene has a teenager carrying a boom box instead of an I-pod or mp3 player, in another scene a business man takes great pride in his cell phone use (yes there actually was a day when not everyone had a cell phone) and I also address how technology may change the future (wow who would have ever guessed) - - remember this is back in the day of dial up 56k connections, pre historic in comparison to today’s speed.

            So the debate comes to this, will people understand? A new book written about a time in the past? (Ok, maybe it is a silly question, but still one I’m wrestling with) So the pro’s and the con’s keep running through my mind but the pros’ are still winning, especially when the consideration of the changes that would have to be made to the story, it is those changes that would diminish meaning in the story, and if that meaning was diminished the original concept of the story would diminish, thus making the final product suffer. I don’t want the final product to suffer, ever. It is as if the final product would be a watered down version of the original, and thus would lose meaning.

            The debate still wages on, if I leave it as it is, the original meaning will have to be accurately communicated to the reader.  Can I accurately portray that vision to the reader without too much extra commentary? (I believe that will be that hardest part. Am I not giving the reader enough credit to figure out the quills and quirks of an earlier time past, and if not why not?)

            After writing this analysis or should I say putting my thoughts on paper and then reviewing them I have decided to let the professionals decide. Seriously, I will leave the novel as is, add to it and hope to keep it accurate to the time setting it was originally written in and allow the novel not only to speak for itself, but also allow it to stay true to itself, then follow the advice set forth by an unknown agent or book editor. It’s the only way the book can remain real, the only way for it to have its intended impact, and the only way I can show confidence in its readers to sort out meaning and understanding. This worked out pretty good maybe I’ll just have to blog all my future dilemmas!