Friday, April 15, 2011

fun, fascinating, and probably completely unnecessary

I've been having some fun with Smashwords recently. For those unfamiliar with Smashwords, it's a place where you can make your own ebooks. It's pretty simple to do. Took me an hour or so to publish two small ebooks, and then it was about a 10-day wait to get "premium status," which means they'll be distributed to places like Barnes & Noble and Apple. I even opted to have a free ISBN assigned to each ebook.

Kind of fun. Pretty cool. The world is fast going the way of all things digital, so it was a neat little experiment, and also something to remember down the line should my books ever go out of print due to, oh, I don't know. Maybe my publishers will die. God forbid. Or...something might happen, I don't know what. You just never know what tomorrow will bring.

Smashwords could topple and disappear in a year's time. Can't bank on that being around forever either. Hm.

Anyway, if anyone wants either of the books for free, I've got a little code you can use. It's good for another couple of weeks, I think.

For The Hamper Affair, the code is: QE86F

For Pooh in Meatspace, the code is: EC22U


Both stories were previously published. Pooh in Meatspace was one of my first paying pieces. It earned me $10 from a place called Atomjack, a place that is no more. They called it quits a year ago, I think, after a five-year run. I think. It's difficult to keep up with everyone and everything. But I remember them as being cool, and nice, obviously. They paid me for a goofy sci-fi story.

But yeah. So.

Things don't last. I guess nothing does. Technology is fascinating and fun, the internet, too, is fascinating and fun. Sometimes mind-numbing. Sometimes the quintessential time-suck. Both things. Technology and the internet. They keep racing forward, and, per recent conversations with a smart person, they are masterful at marketing, at making once essential things now obsolete.

Like records. Then cassettes. Then CDs. Now we've kind of plateaued with mp3s. But something else will come along. Something better, sharper, easier to purchase (or pirate), easier to share. Something. Something will come. It always does.

It's exciting and scary. We're being acclimated to live in a world of ultimate convenience. Oftentimes, people don't have to leave their homes to shop, work, exercise, socialize, etc. And why would they even want to? They have the world at their fingertips, literally. What could possibly be beyond their front door?

Oh, I don't know. People. The outside. Daylight. Nighttime. Things to poke. Things to smell. Work waiting to be done with hands. Like, real work, like, work that requires real physical exertion, work that'll shock your body and mind in ways you've forgotten they could be shocked.

Bleh. I'm probably talking shit. This is why I don't "blog" much. I don't have the patience for it.

And I wonder sometimes. I do. If it's not all by design. Sure, I flirt with conspiracy theories. Why not? I believe in aliens. Maybe vampires. Werewolves are kind of cool. And I wonder if this isn't, this meaning all our fun, essential gadgets and internet joyrides, the government's way, or the Vatican's way, or the Free Mason's way, or some esoteric, underground order's way to keep us stupid and docile. Easily led. Easily brainwashed. So they can get away with murder. And destroying countries. Families. The poor. Women. Education. Health care. You name it.

And then I get all hopeful too sometimes, thinking, hey, we're not all dummies right? We can use the fancy gadgets and the internet to our benefit and not theirs. We can use it to stage an uprising. Or...or to educate people about how to make a difference. Or to educate people about what's really going on. And what really is going on? Sometimes I feel like everything is hidden in plain view, which is kind of genius in a way. It also goes to show how sad and pliable we've become, each of us little cash registers.

Nothing is going to last. Not here. Not on this funky earth. Sure, we'll never live long enough to see it go, but rest assured, it's all gonna go someday.

Music? Literature? Works of art? Are these things of permanence? No. Nothing is going to last forever. But what we choose to celebrate within our lifetime will ring, hopefully, for a little while after we're gone. And that ringing will carry through our children, and they'll add their own tones which will then carry through their children, and yeah, it's just an ongoing song, right? With songs and notes passed along and pushed through, and maybe it's pretty, and maybe that's what the end will sound like. A little song. Probably a lullaby.

I'm hoping it's Old McDonald Had a Farm.

Which reminds me: we don't need all this shit. A life lived sans technology and internet is not worse, or less convenient, than a life lived with it. In fact, I'd bet it's safe to say it's better.

At the end of the day, our worlds are small. And as hectic as we allow them to be.

All that said, I'm sure I'll continue to ride the cyber-highway and fantasize about buying a Kindle this summer. Because I'm not perfect. Because I am perfect. Because we're all headed to the same place, a million miles per second, and I'm not entirely sure it matters how we get there.

Well, it'd be better if people weren't dicks. But we need the contrast. So.

Go get my Smashwords stories before the world ends, will ya?

And read this interview.

And go to the Juniper Festival.

So long.

6 comments:

Eric Beeny said...

YES! YES! Bozzy comin' thru with the knowledge. You're right on all counts here, bro. All counts. We've got a Vulcan mind-meld going, I think...

I really love that last line of the FREIGHT excerpt, and can't wait for the whole thing. I've got a piece from a new novel I'm writing called CHILDREN coming out in Necessary Fiction soon I'm eager for you to read...

Mel Bosworth said...

boo to the ya, bones! thanks for the love, my friend, and congrats on the NecFic. Tight tight tight! When the time comes, my eyes will dance with your words, fo sho.

Tracy Lucas said...

Um, no. You should blog more often. This is excellent.

Can't even add to it with a coherent comment, really.

Just.

Yep.

Mel Bosworth said...

oh you tracy lucas. thanks for reading.

Jennifer Noel Bower said...

Very nice post, Mr. Mel! You say it all well. My favorite bit is at the very end...'maybe I understand now why...' At the end of the day I create for me, I create for her, so that we will both remember. Thank you for this - reminder.

Mel Bosworth said...

Many thanks, Jen.