I’m in a foul mood today. Like, fuck Columbus Day. It was a long day—with some highlights, got to see people, had positive social interactions and whatnot—but the day had already been a little shitty by that time and I was intentionally compartmentalizing my post-traffic rage—wow, post-traffic rage; I had feelings about the day today. Maybe it wasn’t enough sleep, maybe it was too much. Maybe I really do need at least half a second cup of coffee before heading in. Or maybe just fuck Columbus Day. It’s a very bad day in 2019. I’m sure lots of good things happened out there, but reality still sucks and still having to think about fucking Columbus Day just aggravates it. So many feelings. I need to go to bed.
I’m taking weekends off from Comics Fondle and Visual Reflux. VR is a little more graphics intensive than anything else I do and CF is going to get about as much as it, though in different ways… awesome new phone camera(s) means being able to do nicer images for posts. One of the reasons I never started doing pictures in posts was not being able to ensure the quality of those images. It’s a lot easier now—you can just screenshot a digital comic, right? But you can get it done; back when I started the blogs, flip phone cameras… nope.
But maybe a Summing Up post on weekends. One, maybe two. At least one. Maybe. We’ll see how it goes next weekend, though I’ve also got a much higher word count target on Summing Up posts than anything else—besides Stop Button, which has a variable target.
I’m writing this post instead of doing anything else on my to do list, which isn’t anything pressing but there are some productive items. I really want to go play a video game, so instead I’m being productive with something besides the productive items on my to do list. It’s like differing procrastination. I’m also now wondering if I might be able to make the VR graphics intensive stuff more like the coming Comics Fondle graphics intensive stuff, which would mean I could defer an item off today’s list. Innovate to avoid.
And the more innovating, the more avoiding, the more waiting down the clock until there’s no longer enough time to do anything on the to do list and instead I’ll just have to put some of them off until later tonight. It’s very difficult to get excited about having to force down your electrolyte supplements. At some point, nothing’s going to taste worse than elephant’s ball sweat so why even try to figure out the spectrum.
With all other blogging, I have an ambition. With Summing Up, the only way I can rely on myself to actually post to the blog is to have no ambitions. No schedules, no plans… I can’t even remember what the theme looks like right now. I think it looks all right. Or it’s just Baskerville 2. I’m liking Baskerville 2, even if the header image area is lousy and the title font is a tad much. Clearly I’m not too worried about it because I still haven’t done anything with the Visual Reflux header, though I did just get a relatively fast and easy idea I’ll probably try to get done after this post but before I run out of screwing off time. I’m getting pretty good at maximizing all those times. Something about the word count targets. It gins up the enthusiasm just right, leading to a huge wink paragraph for Logan’s Run today and a little wink for Rambo V tomorrow. Given I’m going through the first couple years of Stop Button right now and rather impressed with how little I tried back in those early days… it’s nice to be thoughtful.
I’m kind of curious when the change occurs. Because there’s a period, before the 250-word constraint but after I started submitting to MRQE where I got my verbosity on. Haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m also putting off doing the day’s catalog capsule post for Stop Button. I’ve got to do cat litter soon, like… there’s only so much you can do.
When I started 2019, I had this idea I’d consolidate all my blogging. Actually, wait, no, when I started 2019 I was going to start a TV blog (A Televisual Feast, natch) and do a lot of TV blogging, starting with a watch-through of “Penny Dreadful” because I’d gotten it for real cheap on Blu-ray in the late fall. Maybe on Black Friday. But then we wrapped up “Comics Fondle: The Podcast” and decided to do a relaunch, “Visual Reflux,” and if I was setting up a whole new site for the new podcast, why wouldn’t I just do some blogging there… I was getting excited about self-hosting again. Old time blogging. Bringing the geekery back into it.
So, funny thing… Comics Fondle: The Blog turns ten in a couple months. When I started Comics Fondle back in the day, it was too late to be starting a new comics blog. I already had a “brand” as far as it mattered in 2009 blogging, but it wasn’t CF, it was Stop Button, of course. And, because I clearly wanted to give myself an out, Stop Button was never part of the Visual Reflux: The Blog concept. I should’ve known launching a secondary blog in 2019, even if it consolidated, was a bad idea. Especially for the amount of work I really wanted to put into it. I had a lot of TV to watch, potentially, and I think I’d already decided on the Punisher MAX read-through. I swear I should have a little style guide with all these various boldings and dashes.
Anyway. It’s now September. 2019 is almost over. I’ve managed to read two books this year, as opposed to a book a week—Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History, by Blair Imani, and Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets, by Feminista Jones. Both are great. HERstory would basically be a great older kids book, like fourth grade, but also to old age because it’s a who’s who. Imani’s got some great chapter introduction essays too. And Reclaiming Our Space is an amazing history of social media in the last ten or so years. And Jones is an excellent writer.
So good books. But only two.
And many, many, many months apart.
But I have successfully completed—almost, one more to go—an intentionally scheduled Punisher MAX deep dive, which had always been a problem before; not finding or making the time, but getting to the write place with the writing. Because if blogging is just going to be my writing, the posts have to be about the writing, not the subject. Figuring out how to talk about the subject while still being about the writing… it takes time.
Basically, it turns out I was doing constraints wrong. In the many years Comics Fondle and Stop Button had strict per-post word counts, I learned how to write concise, which is great, but it turns out general word count targets work a lot better for how I write now. I shoot for 650 words on something, or 450 on a shitty movie, or 1,000 on a great one, and there’s no ticker—the writing app, Ulysses has turned out to be a great investment—just knowing if I hit it and where I am in the writing impulse… it works out.
My writing practice—my blogging practice—has changed. Some of it, which I don’t really want to address right now, has to do with recognizing the difference between blogging as writing and blogging as work. I don’t do the latter, I do the former. One of The Stop Button’s earliest subtitles was “An Appreciation of Amusements” (in 2019, I don’t even want to think about how much The New York Times influenced the blog’s style, but, suffice to say, Oxford commas are now a thing) and I’ve now come to think of the posts more as the amusements themselves, separate from the discussed media.
Then today I decided… why not bring back Summing Up, since I never got around to archiving its posts and it’d probably be easy to clean up and it’s not like micro.blog is working out for longer form colloquial blogging.
So instead of having two primary blogs, one The Stop Button, the second comprised of one secondary (Comics Fondle) and two tertiary (Televisual Feast, which never launched with new posts, and Summing Up, which has been in a very strange place for a long time), let’s just do all four.
I’ve got the domains anyhow. And MarsEdit. So it’s very easy.
Also… self-hosting a blog in 2019. Icky bad.