Over the years I’ve read conflicting advice about running a website or blog. Some so-called gurus say that a blogger absolutely must post something no less than daily. Others maintain that three times per week is sufficient. A few will tell you that three times per day is the best way to go. I’ve read that a blogger must post on the same day(s) every week, at the same time every day, on Tuesdays after 11pm, Thursdays after 6am or Saturdays at noon. None of these “experts” can seem to agree with each other, so I’m going to go with the advice I was given when I started building websites for myself over a decade ago[1].

I’ll post something when I have something to say. With all the noise and garbage on the internet, do I really need to add my own inane ramblings?

I wish more people would ask themselves that question before publishing. After all, didn’t we learn as children that just because you can doesn’t mean you should?

“Yes, Timmy, I know you can ramp your bike over your little sister, but that doesn’t mean you should.”

They’ll tell me I won’t build an audience fast enough. Or that if I don’t optimize my SEO efforts[2], Google won’t come ’round as often. But if most of what I ever posted was unfiltered bullshit just to have something fresh on the site, would you really enjoy that? If you’re anything like me, and I know I am, you don’t stick around sites that are full of… well, filler. Not everything needs to be deep and meaningful, but it should all have a purpose beyond “sticking to a schedule”.

So, why haven’t I posted anything in a few weeks?

Because I haven’t had anything to say.

Today I do.

(And there’s another post coming this afternoon.)

  1. The earliest archived version of my first site is dated May 16, 2001. The site was live for about a year before that snapshot was recorded, to the best of my recollection. Ironically, it was to be a site related to writing. Twelve years and a dozen sidetracks later, here we are back to writing. (And yes, I was seriously going to use Dante Michaels as a pseudonym and I’m not even a character in a romance novel.)  ↩
  2. Also, screw SEO. I’m also not including some tangentially related image in this post because I trust that you can read 400 words without needing a pretty picture to help you out. New rule: posts get pictures only when the pictures enhance the post.  ↩

StoryBundle Logo

Earlier this year, Kevin J. Anderson mentioned on Facebook that one of his older novels, Hopscotch, was included in an inexpensive ebook bundle. Curiosity piqued, I visited StoryBundle.com to see what was what, and was impressed by the deal. Seven Sci-Fi ebooks from award-winning authors were available in a “pay what you want” model (minimum $3). I bought the bundle.

A new bundle has just been put together, and while I don’t recognize the authors this time, you might. This is the “Young Adult Bundle”:

  • Feyland: The Dark Realm by Anthea Sharp
  • Scourge by David H. Burton
  • Powerless – Omnibus Edition by Jason Letts
  • The Blemished by Sarah Dalton
  • Closed Hearts by Susan Quinn
  • Feyland: The Bright Court by Anthea Sharp[1]
  • The Vanished by Sarah Dalton[1]

Though YA isn’t usually my thing, the descriptions are intriguing and I just bought the bundle; the offer expires on September 17th, 2013, to be replaced with another bundle a while later.

Two other things to mention: first, there’s no DRM on the ebooks. Second, the amount you pay is split in interesting ways. Awesomely, 10% of what you pay may be forwarded to a charity. The two charities for this bundle are Mighty Writers and Girls Write Now. You may also choose not to donate and instead send the full amount of what you pay to StoryBundle. Once StoryBundle has the payment, they will split that money with the authors of the ebooks at a rate you determine. If you want 90% to go to the authors and 10% to go to StoryBundle, you can do that. If you want to authors to receive 46% while StoryBundle gets 54%, that’s doable. You could even specify 100% to either party. Your call.

For a taste of what StoryBundle does, sign up for their newsletter. You’ll receive an ebook for free: Open Minds by Susan Quinn (which is the first book in her series; the second book is in the bundle). You can always cancel the newsletter if you’re not into it later.

  1. Buyers who pay at least $10 will receive the two bonus books.  ↩

I’ve given myself a goal: a ~2,000 word story before the next Houston Scien—you know, from now on, I’m just going to abbreviate it. HSFFW[1]. I plan on sticking around for the writing critique portion of the next HSFFW meetup, and I’ll need something to pass around. The meeting is scheduled for September 9th, just about two weeks from today. An experienced writer could surely complete a polished ~2,000 word story in a matter of hours or days[2]. I’m not that experienced.

What have I been doing with my time, you ask? Surely I’ve been writing, working on the story, working on the novel I have in production?

Nope. Fantasy Football, baby. I’ve been completely distracted for the past week with draft lists, PPR rosters, pre-season reports and mock draft after mock draft. I think I’ve run two dozen or more mocks this week. That’s not as bad as it may sound. Most of the mock drafts that I’ve run have been automated; I make my picks manually, but my “opponents” teams are auto-picked. The whole 18-player team drafts in mere minutes. The live mock drafts take anywhere from 60–90 minutes or more, and I’ve only run six or eight of those this week.

I’m in a Yahoo! league with some friends, so I won’t go into my pre-draft strategy right here because those schlubs would totally use it against me. Suffice to say, they’re dead. They are all completely screwed this year. When I run my mock results though rating tools, I get predictions like “You have a 90% chance to make the playoffs!” or “Despite looking weak at QB/RB/WR/whatever, we think you’ll have a great season if you pay attention to the waiver wire. 85% chance to make the playoffs!” Last night I ran a live mock draft in a 12-owner league and was told my team had a 99% chance to make the playoffs. I. Kid. You. Not.

So, to all my friends in the Fantasy Sports Geeks league… what did we say the dues were? Can we triple it? You can just hand me that oversized check now. No need to wait[3].

Our draft takes place next Wednesday night, the 28th. Writing resumes next Thursday.

  1. Houston Science Fiction/Fanstasy Writers. I wrote about it last week.  ↩
  2. Or if you’re Kevin J. Anderson, over lunch.  ↩
  3. This is only my second year playing Fantasy Football, so I’m not super experienced in trash talking. How did I do?  ↩