My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Best Stand Alone Sci Fi Book (that is technically part of a series)

What is the best Science Fiction Book that COULD stand alone, but is part of a series?

We're not doing polls anymore, but we are doing extensive lists of book recommendations (and hopefully some good commentary on why those books are so beloved.)

I had to babysit my Facebook page yesterday, and I'm still healing the "psychic damage" from all that today (and a serious week of nanny hours is about to start). So today I'm going to just remind everyone that we have a book rec conversation going on RIGHT NOW.

If you haven't already, please don't forget to pop over to the original page to drop that nomination, see what else has been nominated already, second (all) those you agree with, and check up on the rules (there are a FEW after all). 

Keep in mind, as there have been some charming A/V media adaptations (and a few terrible ones), that this is a poll about BOOKS. If you loved one or more film or TV adaptations of Dune, but found Frank Herbert's original novel to be like chewing cardboard, you should nominate something else. 

Again, please remember to go to the original page to drop your nomination (and familiarize yourself with the rules if you haven't yet). If you put it anywhere else (including a Facebook comment on this post) it will not be counted.

Thank you all for joining in our Book Rec Conversation. I've really loved reading all your comments about the books you treasure and why.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Cannibalized Post

It's going to be a wild week here. I've got more hours scheduled than most normal mid-pandemic weeks, to say nothing of the recent efforts to start phasing me out. I've still got some admin stuff and the middle of the week might afford me just enough time to drop a real article by Friday.

Today's regular post got cannibalized to work on the April newsletter. That's technically the APRIL newsletter, so there might be another lost Monday as I catch up and try to get MAY's newsletter out on time.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Facebook Compilation (Bottom of March)

Though it's going to be a few weeks—for reasons both emotional and logistical—until the new schedule has really "seeped in," I made it to May! We're here! Vaccines in the arm. Side effects weathered. Peeps starting to hit their efficacy date. Options opening up. A second nanny to tag in on some of the hours. Schedules relaxing their vise grip. 

For years, I didn't count all the bite-sized chunks of writing I was doing on Facebook as "writing." But it's a post here and a post there, and sometimes I spend hours a day working on that writing, so it's high time I acknowledge that fact that it "counts."

Here is a collection of the best statuses (and a few of the most popular memes) from my public Facebook page over the period of March-16th through March-31st. (You're welcome to follow me there but read up in the Facebook FAQ [last question] if you want to send me a friend request.) 

Y'all literally stopped in MID SENTENCE about the horrors of cancel culture to run and try to cancel Lil Nas X.

In case you're, like, wondering why NO ONE takes your fucking bullshit faux outrage seriously.

Righty roo. 

I'm not going to go on walkabout on a quest to shit in other people's sandcastles about their any-excuse-to-drink-to-excess holiday attached to sort of vague secular celebrations of Lotsa-things-that-aren't-actually-other-cultures-mixed-in-with-a-couple-that-are™. Maybe this is just Irish-culture appreciation day to you, and you want some corned beef and cabbage. 

You do you.

But here in my space, let me just remind you that it wasn't actually SNAKES that ol' "saint" Patrick removed from Ireland with a jaunty beat on his happy, harmless drum. Also, while Patrick lived at a time where he wouldn't have had the might to coerce or harm pagans, and may have mostly just done some slick-ass appropriation of pagan rituals in some proto-colonialism moves to make Catholicism easier to swallow, and was personally responsible for no terrible incident greater than "spreading Christianity," it's not like things stayed innocuous between those two groups. 

Animals in green hats are cute tho.

Dear cishet white Christian dudes,

You are confusing not being in hegemonic control of absolutely every possible narrative, space, conversation, perspective, social hierarchy, political outcome, economic fortune, and media representation with persecution. But trust me that some hurty-wurty fee-fees on Twitter, a movie or three starring people who don't look like you, a person who has a different truth that you can't silence, and you being down to like hegemonic control of only 90% of that stuff, isn't actually persecution.

Me watching some other content generator or artist take a day off: 

"Good! They deserve it."

Me watching some other content generator take a sick day:

"Absolutely understandable. Hope they feel better soon."

Me watching some other content generator take a day off or cancel something because they're getting a vaccine or working on another project: 

"That makes total sense. They have more than just this one thing going on. They get to have lives."

Me cancelling a blog post for literally ANY reason at all:

"I am the worst sort of imposter, and my readers hate me."

"Millennials blew up this. Millennials killed that industry. Millennials needed trophies. Millennials are too soft. Millennials aren't buying enough of X. Millennials didn't have enough kids. Millennials are ruining everything."

~crickets chirping in the otherwise silent night~

"Boomers sure are hard on Millennials. Maybe they should think about their culpability in what their kids/grandkids are doing."


The Alt Right doesn't really believe the election was stolen, and you can tell that when you listen to them speak. (They make linguistic "slips" that someone with post-structuralist attention to language finds it piss easy to notice.)

What they are really doing is claiming to believe in whatever would need to be true in order to score points against the left. It's classic postmodern conservatism. It's basically an ongoing game of "Own the libs." They legitimately DO NOT CARE if this is true, but like most of their racist, sexist, homophobic, and transantagonistic opinions, it is simply useful to them not to really unpack their own beliefs about why they hate what they hate.

The Patriarchy Playbook (Page 2)

Step 1- Convert all negative emotions into anger. (Grief? Anger. Envy? Anger. Sadness? Anger.)

Step 2- Deny that men's anger even IS an emotion. (It's always "a justified response.") 

Step 3- Call women "hysterical" for having the slightest anger at their own mistreatment and "emotional" for acknowledging they have emotions at all.

Step 4- Now they can all be dismissed as overly emotional/hysterical/out of control. And you control the narrative!

Step 5 (Very important)- Use feminizing language on any man who threatens this hegemony by acknowledging emotions, processing, seeking therapy, etc… Call them cuck, simp, girls names, whatever it takes to try to emasculate them. They are a threat to your power.

Pro-Tip/Step 6- Repeat as necessary for other intersections (race, sexuality, gender identity beyond the binary, etc…)

In Billy Crystal's voice:

Turns out your bigotry is only MOSTLY hidden by your plausibly deniable "adjacent concerns," demonstrably false claims, and cognitive dissonance to facts.

And ~mostly~ hidden…..is slightly piss obvious. 

Switches to regular voice:

See, what I'm saying is, you aren't really fooling anyone. If we blew you up with a bellow and pushed on your chest, you would tell us the part you know you're not supposed to say out loud.

Can Shrimp-in-my-cereal guy be a milkshake duck AND General Mills is probably pushing any story (ANY story) to get the national focus off of what was—even if it wasn’t a true story—a gaslighting, abysmal response?

Can the world have enough nuance for TWO assholes?

Chris's Pass/Agg theater of the day:

Oh, Sweetpea……I'm not talking about THIS mass shooting. I'm talking about the one that is juuuuuuuuuust on the other side of whatever imaginary "How-can-you-talk-about-this-so-SOON?" Rubicon that is in your head. Is it a day? A week? A month? It doesn't matter! Whatever the time table is, there was a mass shooting just before the most recent one. 

THAT'S the one I'm talking about. 


I'm a theoretically-radical leftist. I don't have a problem with "guns." But maybe the best day to have the conversation about how easy they are to procure and where might be an actually reasonable line between colonial era muskets and civilian-owned rocket launchers was actually last week.

When someone says, "Sharks attacked me so now I'm profoundly hydrophobic," you seem to understand that you don't need to jump up and say, "not ALL water!"

You don't interrupt someone telling you about how the birds at the beach stole their fries with "Not ALL birds act like that!" 

If I say, "I love ice cream," you don't feel a need to point out that because I've never tried pickle garlic nutmeg licorice horseradish flavor, and would likely hate it that ~clearly~ "Not ALL ice cream!" 

Perhaps most telling, when I say, "Men can be wonderful parents," you do not jump up and say "Not ALL men!" Though that would certainly be an actually appropriate place to do so. But in this moment, you seem already to understand that ALL men everywhere are not what’s being discussed.

What I'm saying is that your sudden inability to tell the difference between metonymy and synecdoche when talking about ubiquitous and cultural problems caused by gender inequality versus an actual hasty generalization that gets applied to marginalized groups to villainize them isn't nearly as slick as you think it is.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Best Stand Alone Sci-Fi Book That is Technically Part of a Series (Book Reccomendations)

What is the best Science Fiction Book that COULD stand alone, but is part of a series.

Maybe it's part of a trilogy, but the other books are absolutely lackluster. Maybe there are companion novels written in the same world and with overlapping characters, but just were not up to the One Book™. Maybe the author wrote a sequel or a prequel years later but it is their foundational work that really gets attention. Maybe you've never even HEARD of the other books, but they do exist. 

We're going "off script" for our next book recommendation conversation since so many folks offered up books already (for our last conversation) that turned out to be part of a series or have a sequel or something.

Remember, we shifted things up about six months ago. Instead of trying to figure out what more people think is the BEST (which usually turns into which book has the coolest movie adaptation anyway), we're just going to have a nice chat about good books and all come away with some suggestions for our To Be Read Pile™. We'll still have the system of seconds (and "thirds" and "fourths"), but all that will really determine is which goes to the top of the list when I post the results. You can go HERE to see what the results will look like when all is said and done. And I'll link out the original nomination post for folks who want to go see what people are actually saying about the book. Eventually these posts listing the results will be compiled in a massive "book recommendation" post.

Today we're doing "stand alone" science fiction that isn't ACTUALLY stand alone. But to be clear, we're talking about books that COULD stand alone, not just "the exceptionally good first book in a trilogy" or something.

However this does mean we have a small list already ready to go! But do notice there's no copyright year limitation, so the book can have been published before 1980, unlike our last poll. 

The Sparrow by M. D. Russell
Emergence_ by David R. Palmer
This Alien Shore, C. S. Friedman 
Who Fears Death, N. Okorafor 
Oryx and Crake, M. Atwood 
Hyperion, D. Simmons 
Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas. 

The Rules

  1. Make two recommendations. Obviously, I can't stop anyone from making fifteen, but nothing beyond the first two will make it onto the master list. Because I am a meanie meanhead.
  2. TELL US ALL A LITTLE ABOUT WHY YOU LIKE THE BOOK (or short story) although obviously do so without spoilers! If you just drop a title name and it gets all the seconds, I'm still going to list it, of course, but the whole point of this is to have a "conversation" and gush a little about the books you think are great, exciting, well written, or unforgettable and a little (spoiler-free) squee about why.
  3. For each recommendation, let us know if you're nominating it more as a BEST book in the genre or an UNDERSUNG HERO in the genre. Basically "undersung hero" is for books you think are great, tragically overlooked, NEED to be read by everyone (like…yesterday), but are maybe not necessarily the besty bestest best. They'll all end up in the list I compile, but I'll put them in different places.
  4. As always, I leave the niggling over the definition of genres to your best judgement because I'd rather be inclusive. If you want to nominate The Many Colored Land as science fiction (even though it's probably better placed as fantasy), you should show your work if you desire those sweet, sweet seconds (or thirds....or fourths) and there might be a discussion thread after your comment with a lot of people writing out the "If I may…"
  5. Your book must be part of a series or more than tangentially related to a fictional universe. It must have a sequel, prequel, be part of a series, or be part of a massive world (like Discworld). If it makes little more a reference to another book like once or twice is clearly taking place in the world of another book without being a sequel, prequel, or a grand unified series, it wouldn't count for this poll. (Sometimes Stephen King books have a small allusion to one of his earlier works. This wouldn't count as there are only a few S.K. books that are really sequels.) 
  6. You get to mention two (2) books. That's it. Two. You can do one BEST and one UNDERSUNG HERO. Or you can do two BESTS. Or you can do two UNDERSUNG HEROES. But two is the total. If you nominate three or more, I will, with unimaginable cruelty, simply ignore the third and any subsequent books. I'm sorry that I'm a stickler on this, but it's just lil ol' me compiling this list by myself and it's a pain when people drop a spinosaurus list of every single book they can remember in the entire genre. However, you list more than two books and your third or later choice gets a second, I'll consider everything. (Even though that matters a lot less than it did when I was counting seconds to see which titles made the poll––see below.)
  7. Did I mention two?
  8. You may (and absolutely should) give a second shout out to AS MANY nominations of others as you wish. There is no more poll, so this will not be a cutthroat competition to see who makes it to the semifinals. It will simply dictate which titles I list first, and it may influence which books someone considers a good recommendation. ("This one got six seconds, and that one only got two, so I think I'll start with this one.")
  9. Put your nominations HERE. I will take nominations only as comments and only on this post. (No comments on FB posts or G+ will be considered nominations.) If you can't comment for some reason because of Blogger, send me an email (chris.brecheen@gmail.com) stating exactly that and what your nomination is, and I will personally put your comment up. I am not likely to see a comment on social media even if it says you were unable to leave a comment here. 
  10. You are nominating WRITTEN fiction, not their A/V portrayals. If you thought The Martian was a great movie, but never really could get through Weir's written version, please nominate something else. (I love film, but it's a different medium.) 
  11. Have a conversation, but check the typical internet assholery at the door. If someone likes something you think is terrible, it's okay to let them enjoy it. And if someone has one tight and polite bit of criticism about your recommendation ("I was not a fan of the X plot arc or the way that author writes women."), it's okay that they didn't care for it and there's no need to defend it like they have impugned you honor for seven generations.  I **WILL** delete shitty comments, and I absolutely know that's highly subjective, so better to err on the side of nice. 
  12. TWO!

Friday, April 30, 2021

Best Stand Alone Modern Sci Fi (Book Recommendation Results)

The results are IN!

Our book rec conversation about stand alone science fiction (written after 1980) came up with a decent list for your TBR lists. From Brin and Russell to Asimov, these are the favorites of many. 

I'm just going to drop this list and run. I have to get all my tax documents to my accountant in the next two days (all my crowdfunding and side gigs make my taxes way too hard to do on my own). This is why my "heavy" posts were at the beginning of the week this week. I will get our Master List updated this weekend (but you can go look and see what the results will look like, as well as check out our previous Book Rec convos). Plus, don't forget to go back to the original conversation to see what people said about the books they loved.

One small note. A LOT of people recommended books that weren't stand alone. I didn't take those nominations, and they aren't on this list. I won't finger wag too much here about following directions except to say that if you submit your writing to a venue, you're going to want to follow THEIR submission guidelines to the letter. Here, I will simply say to hold on to these great book recommendations. I'll be coming back around in time to do the best single book in a series.


Earth, D. Brin (2)

Snow Crash, N. Stephenson

Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, S. R. Delany.

China Mountain Zhang, M. F. McHugh

House of the Scorpion, N. Farmer

Silently and Very Fast, C. M. Valente

Sudden, Broken, and Unexpected, S. Popkes

The Positronic Man, I. Asimov and R. Silverberg

Story of Your Life, T. Chiang


Six Wakes, M. Lafferty 

The Gone World, T. Sweterlitsch

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Help! I Need My Confidence Back (Mailbox)

I need my writing confidence back! What should I do? 

[Remember, keep sending in your questions to chris.brecheen@gmail.com with the subject line "W.A.W. Mailbox" and I will answer a couple each week.  I will use your first name ONLY unless you tell me explicitly that you'd like me to use your full name or you would prefer to remain anonymous. I will gladly try to deal with existential crises with a checklist.]  

B asks:

Hi Chris,

When I was a kid, I wrote so much. I even shared some of my stories with friends. I was so proud of my work. I longed for the day I’d be a published author. When I was in high school, I began writing what I hoped would be my first published novel.

However, I was never satisfied with any draft. I revised and revised and revised, but it never satisfied me. However, I couldn’t get myself to stop working on it. Cut to almost 8 years later (Yeah…I know…long time) and I decided to give it one more shot. Last summer I booked a motel room and spent a few days alone to write. But after that, I decided to stop trying for this one.

Nowadays, I find it tough to write. I’ve started a few projects, but end up tiring of them quickly and hating my own work. I feel my characters are bland and one-dimensional, no matter how many “character charts” I consult or create. I feel my protagonists are too perfect no matter the flaws I give them, I feel like my antagonists are too “evil laugh while twirling mustache” no matter how relatable I try to make them. I feel my plots go nowhere. I worry about how descriptive I’m being; too descriptive or not descriptive enough. At the end, my passion for the project dies like a match burning out.

This all started after I called it quits on that 8-year struggle. Is there a way out of this slump, and to get my confidence back as a writer?

My reply: 

B, the only way out is through, but let's see if I can give you some suggestions that are worthy of a blog instead of a bumper sticker. I'm sure if you wanted that shit, you could have just found a webpage that generates a new random platitude every time you click. ("Be sure to measure twice and cut once.") 

If I had twenty minutes to talk to you about this, I could ask some follow-up questions, and probably drop some wisdom targeted better than a Facebook ad after you've been spent a week talking about a product you need near your smartphone. I have some suspicions based on the way you worded your question, but I'm going to lineup most the usual suspects nonetheless.

The only one I think you're getting to skip, B, is "are you trusting in the process of revision." A lot of folks wonder why their rough drafts don't feel ready for publication, and I'm often put in the position of saying "because you're not done; in a very real sense, you've handed me half a story." In your case it seems like you're doing the revision, but it isn't helping. There are some questions about the rigor of your revision I could get into (it's gotta be more than just pushing a few commas around) but that might be a better subject for another article.

The first thing I'm going to ask anyone in such a long and profound writer's block is if they really want to write. Don't just answer this off the cuff. I know you want to want to write, but you have to figure out if you really want to write. What would it feel like to just put down the pen (or computer) and go on with the rest of your life? Or what would it feel like to write for fun and pleasure and never again worry about being a published author? Take some time with this question. Ask yourself what it was about being a "published author" that you really wanted. Because I'll tell you, B: for a lot of folks there's some validation and affirmation and street cred (and maybe fame or money) that they think of when they imagine what being a published author is going to be, but they really don't like actually writing that much and it leads to some very acute frustrations and—if I may be so bold—hypocritical ambitions. And given how long it takes to reach those bellwethers and how long you'll work without them, it's easier to get them in other ways and forget the writing. Sometimes the worst thing we can do for our confidence is continue to grind our gears doing something we don't really like.

It's really okay not to write

Okay, that's not the issue. You really really wanna write. You did some soul searching—you looked deep within your very bowels—and it's not fame, money, or glory that you want but really the act of writing itself, and it's okay if this "published author" thing takes another five…ten….fifteen years. Or maybe NEVER. Because what is really important to you is writing for its own sake. Let's move on then. 

Okay. Okay. Let's move on.

he next thing I'm going to ask, B, based on the way you worded some of your difficulty with portraying heroes, villains, or describing things, is if you're reading. And I don't mean if you're reading at all. Some of it might be trying to overlay more sophisticated writing on the core of a character you thought was a great idea when you were a teenager, but it sounds like the principal frustration you're experiencing is a gap between what you want and what you're trying to describe, and that comes from not reading.

Most artists get that they need to live and breathe their art. Painters go look at other paintings. Musicians listen to music and can barely suffer silence. Filmmakers watch movies constantly. It is particular to would-be writers that you find this bizarre paradox of being reluctant to read. But you HAVE to read. You have to read constantly. You have to read voraciously. You have to read in sips and gulps and long pulls like you are dying of readingthirst. Trying to only write without reading is like trying to ONLY breathe out. It just can't be done. And those who try are doomed to struggle with why the concrete language doesn't ever seem up to the task of describing what is in their head. 

In your case, B, I would read the sorts of things that you are frustrated you can't write: complicated villains, nuanced protagonists, the perfect amount of description, and pay close attention to how the writer achieves this effect. Then go and see if you can emulate that process. Every book on your shelf is a personal writing lesson if you read with "How did they achieve this?" in mind. 

Just don't forget to read for pleasure too.

"Shelob totally ganked Frodo??? NO WAY!"

My next bit of advice is to forget attempting to publish something for a while. In fact, make sure you know that, whatever happens, you will NOT be publishing what you write. (You can go back much much MUCH later if you happen to write the great American novel.) Literally…write with NOT publishing in mind. Fuggedaboutit. 

Fall in love with writing again. Go back and find the magic that first attracted you. Forget about that book you just can't get write or being a "published author" or whatever. Leave behind the sunken cost and the sense of obligation. Just write for fun again. See what happens. Enjoy the sheer pleasure of creating characters and worlds.

Look, I'm the first person to arch an eyebrow when someone who wants to be a professional writer (as in someone who wants writing to be their JOB) says, "I can't write if it feels like a chore." Of course your job feels like a chore sometimes. (If they want to write only ever when it feels good, that's awesome, but then accept that it's more of a HOBBY.)  But there's also something to that. If you aren't enjoying it, it'll just beat you down. Try starting small, and write a little every day without any sense that it has to "go somewhere," and see if you can't find some of those reasons you fell in love with writing in the first place.

I know this sounds like "rekindle your marriage" advice…I do. But it's kind of true. Just take writing out on some fun dates again. Let writing pick the position. Order writing something from Zanzibar. And then fuck it gently in…oh wait, this is a Tenacious D song. 

If you're still struggling, my next bit of advice would be to finish something. It doesn't have to be this novel. In fact, it would probably be a lot easier on you if it weren't. A short story. An article. A vignette. Whatever. Write something and feel what it's like to say "that's done," and let it go. It won't be flawless. But it will be done. And you will get a sense of what it means to be done and let something go into the world covered in artistic imperfections. (Letting it go can mean sending it off for publication, putting it online, letting some friends look at it, or just letting yourself preen in the glory of a job well done if you're not ready to be read yet.) The usual way writers bend is to not do ENOUGH revision, but sometimes it goes the other way, and for you, it may be that the act of revision is becoming a sort of "crutch" to never have to put your work out there. If there's always one more thing you hate that needs retooling, then you can just endlessly be not ready. And that is its own pitfall. Learning what it feels like to get something as perfect as it can be and then put it out there and move on will build confidence in your ability to do that more. Maybe even enough to know what you have to do to get that old manuscript to "done."

Lastly, I want to make sure someone besides you is reading your work (and maybe even those old revisions of your manuscript, B). Most writers think their shit doesn't stink. They don't even want to be EDITED, nevermind have to do a serious revision or—GOD FORBID—a rewrite. But that overconfidence is typical, not universal, and sometimes the pendulum swings the other way. We can be our own worst critics. And I'd like you to find out if this is really awful writing, or if you—who have probably read your story fifty times and know everything that happens and are bored by things that would delight a first-time reader and critical of things a first-time reader wouldn't even notice—are really being fair to it. 

Could be that someone saying to you "Holy shit! This is really good. Why isn't this published??" might be exactly the confidence boost you need. Just make sure it's not your mom, BFF, or someone who wants to bang you.

I think it was a good idea to put your high school idea away in a drawer for at least a good long foreseeable future. I would absolutely make sure that was higher priority advice to a broader audience. (You hear that, broader audience? B's got the right idea.) But I also mention it because—and I might be wrong with this—it feels to me a little like maybe you've "stopped fighting" more than "let go." But it's actually really good not to get too deep into the sunk-cost fallacy with our older works, and sometimes the things we thought were a good idea when we were teenagers are…not so hot. There may be NO way to retool a scene so that it works or redeem a character that was badass when you were 15, and part of the tension and frustration you may be having is that unconscious realization that it's going to take more than tweaking a few knobs here and there, and you haven't yet come to the conscious realization that this can't be "retooled" into something workable.

If your protagonist goes around unabashedly kicking the ass of your Cobra-caliber, evil-laugh nemesis all the time, you can't just give them a flaw (or a single redeeming characteristic respectively) and call it a day, or let them get punched in the face a couple of times and suddenly the outcome is uncertain and you have dramatic tension. 

If you're going to revisit this work, you're going to have to restart from the ground up. And probably you need as much emotional distance from that manuscript as you can get. Maybe someday, a much more experienced version of B will show up, pull that out of the drawer and know if it's got some good "bones" for a total rework. Although it is just as likely that in the fullness of time, you will come to laugh (lovingly) at the lot of it, but at the same time realize that bits and pieces of it have shown up in a dozen things you've written since. 

But at the "worst," it will be a thousand great lessons that you can never unlearn.

Now it's possible there's something different going on, B, and you could try all of this to no avail, but in medicine there's an idea that if you see hoofprints, "think horses before zebras." Which means it's probably not something exotic so much as something simple. I'm guessing if you get through this list, you're going to be feeling a lot more confident. Maybe not about that book you've been tooling for eight years (that MIGHT be a lost cause), but about writing in general.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Facebook Ban (Guess I'll See You Tomorrow)

I caught a 24 hour Facebook ban for this. 

Apparently FB algorithm bots just crawl for keywords and don't actually know the difference between saying something and saying someone said something. Which seems like an absolutely critical failure on all possible levels if you're leaving your censoring to bots. 

Anyway, 95% of my blog visibility is through FB, so there's really no point trying to get the article up that I had planned if I'm not going to be able to post up when I'm done.

It'll be up tomorrow, and if I need to, I'll wrap the thing I had planned for TOMORROW around to the weekend or slap it up on Thursday even though that's my day off.

In the meantime, I'll work on my taxes, take the rest of the day to finish this post instead of trying to bang it out in the next hour (hur hur "bang it out"), make something for lunch that doesn't come in a cardboard box, and maybe even take a nap.