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Moved to DreamWidth

In light of the changes in the LiveJournal Terms of Service in early 2017, and the manner in which they were implemented, I moved to Dreamwidth. I had already been cross-posting for some years, but had been running full mirroring on the posts and allowing comments on both sites. I decided that I would continue to cross-post, but turned comments on the LiveJournal copy, change most of the existing posts on LJ to friends-only, and go through every so often and friends-lock the LJ mirror of new posts; not least because I saw no reason why I should provide free content for LJ's benefit when LJ started showing advertising on my posts to readers who weren't logged in even though I had a paid account.

I don't intend to entirely delete this mirror, as some of my friends are still here and not planning to move to Dreamwidth. You should, however, assume that this LiveJournal account may be deleted at some point. If you're staying on LiveJournal only, or using it as your primary feed, please follow the RSS feed for my Dreamwidth account.

Lots of my friends have moved, but I haven't tracked down everyone on Dreamwidth yet - please comment if you want to let me know where/who you are, including if you're staying on LJ so I can make sure I have your feed on my DW following page. ( I can do the equivalent of friending your LJ account so you can see my locked DW posts from your LJ account.)

If you're on DreamWidth and looking for me, I'm https://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/

Twitter is https://twitter.com/bookfetishist
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Still here

 So once again not only have I not written anything here for months, I have not read anything here for at least two weeks. It is perhaps a measure of my life that I can measure how long it's been since I last read my DreamWidth feed by the last Oglaf comic I remember having already seen.

There are various and sundry reasons for this, not least the ever-present medical issues that mean work generally occupies almost all of my capacity for staring at a full size screen. I realised last month that one of the reasons I'd fallen so badly behind on my email was that I used to skim it for triage on the bus, which I have not done since the free WiFi on the bus went away. I have therefore finally given in and bought a data plan, only 7 years after getting a smartphone. Only one month for the moment just to see how much I use. The answer to this appears to be "not much because I have forgotten about the concept of getting my portable internet out while I'm on the bus". I have actually bought a data block a couple of times in the past, but that was for special occasions, usually of the unpleasant kind. Sadly, one of them was the aftermath of a terrorist attack, when I thought it might be a good idea to have internet available while I was on the move. I never used it, and was very glad not to have occasion to.

What I've been doing on the bus instead during the last year is reading work-safe blogs, because I also have a work phone and if I'm required to carry the wretched thing around with me I'm going to use the corporate data plan. (In theory I have a Kobo; in practice it's not getting used very much.) Alas, DreamWidth is not terribly mobile-friendly, and even if it was I'm not putting any of my personal stuff anywhere near the corporate data plan ever. My employer does not need to know my taste in porn, and does not need to know my passwords, and (rightfully) has access to anything I do on corporate systems. It's very unlikely anyone would actually want to do so, but do not put anything on there that you wouldn't want to be read out in court.

I've got three books to log sitting on my desk, along with four balls of yarn to be photographed and logged on Seizures-R-Us. Since they've been sitting there for over a month, good luck with that. Mirror of https://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/670212.html, where it has received comment count unavailable comments. Please comment there.
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Fruit bread

 
 
I had three slightly elderly eggs to use up, and wanted to cook them thoroughly on account of them being elderly. My barm brack recipe only uses one egg, so I decided to try the fruit tea bread in the recipe book for my bread machine. There was a slight lack of mixed dried fruit, chopped dates, cherries and walnuts in the house. There were, however, sultanas, currants, a pack of elderly dried pineapple, a pack of soft dried banana slices, and a lot of cashew nuts. So I substituted. :-) I also added an extra ounce of flour and a little extra bicarb after looking at the amount of liquid I had. It was very nice and I want to record what I did so I can do it again.
Collapse ) Mirror of https://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/669732.html, where it has received comment count unavailable comments. Please comment there.
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defunct email addresses

Thought I'd better mention that my old Demon email addresses have gone the way of the dodo, and did so some time ago. I can't remember whether I mentioned it at the time, and it's always possible someone's tried to send stuff there and never heard back, not even a "no account at this address" bounceback. That includes all of the email addresses at my Demon sub-domain that I used for various fannish activities, including the zine submission address and usenet addresses. The GMail addresses are all still live but not necessarily checked regularly. Mirror of https://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/668402.html, where it has received comment count unavailable comments. Please comment there.
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RIP Pol

I think there are one or two of my friends who knew Pol who read my DreamWidth but not the ones where the news has already been posted. Paul Brown, also known in fandom as Pol and Dapol, died suddenly on Monday. A memorial page has been set up - details are on his wife's Dreamwidth at https://supermouse.dreamwidth.org/81836.html.

He was 46.

I'm still having trouble taking it in. I first met Pol online in alt.fan.pratchett over twenty years ago. We met up occasionally in meatspace over the time since, mostly at cons but also in other places. He was enormously kind to me when I first moved back from California by providing transport to several fan events. He was one of the people I always looked forward to seeing at cons. Nobody got to go to Eastercon last year because of lockdown, so I hadn't seen him for a couple of years. Last week I was thinking that with any luck next year's Eastercon would be in a hotel and not just online, and I'd get to see him again. And now he's gone, and he was only 46.

Rest peacefully, Pol. You are much loved and will be much missed. Mirror of https://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/666561.html, where it has received comment count unavailable comments. Please comment there.
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So that was 2020, and good riddance

Well, that was a bit of a year, wasn't it?

A year ago I was sitting traumatized by the images of Australia burning, with no idea that two days earlier a doctor called Li Wenliang had tried to raise the alarm about a new type of SARS coronavirus that seemed to be spreading. A few weeks later I was looking at flights for a year later, i.e. round about now, in the belief that I might finally have my medical issues under control enough that I'd be able to get on a long haul flight. That was about two weeks before the images started coming out of Lombardy...

When it became clear the thing had arrived in the UK and nucleated in several sites, I said to [personal profile] kalypso that it might not be a good idea to go to Eastercon, as it would be the con crud to end all con crud. This proved to be a wise decision, even if the concom were unable to cancel the hotel conference venue booking until the announcement by the Prime Minister that all such gatherings were not happening for the foreseeable future.

[personal profile] kalypso lives less than half an hour's walk from me, and we have dinner together on most Saturdays. We have seen each other in person a handful of times in the last eight months. I have not seen any other people I know other than Other Half and my colleagues. I see my colleagues because I'm a key worker who can't work from home, so I've been going into the office all year. I don't much enjoy being on public transport, but I think it's better for my mental health than working from home would have been. All work that can possibly done at home with workarounds is being reserved for the clinically vulnerable people who are shielding so they can spend at least part of the day doing something useful, and even so one of them eventually came back into the office, because as he said, you can only paint the garden fence so many times.

Other Half is working from home, because his employer has shut the physical site and the staff are now living on Zoom. I could do without this on the days I'm on leave or come home early...

On the personal plus side, I only went to A&E once this year, and for reasons that were neither Covid nor my existing medical problems and/or medication for same. As for the latter, they have stabilised well enough that one outpatients department has said they don't need to see me any more and the other doesn't need to talk to me other than by telephone.

The remainder of the year was basically dealing with the Covid fallout at work, involving backlogs, trying to keep staff and customers safe, and everyone setting up and learning the new video links that were just being piloted for rollout over an extended period of time when all of sudden they were needed *right* *now*. Oh, and the elderly database that I keep muttering about on Twitter about the jam tomorrow replacement? Don't even ask.

As for how terrifying this is - quite a lot. But for some of us there is also this, slightly lengthened from my Twitter post on Christmas Eve:

A strange and unpleasant chain of thought this evening. The now traditional Christmas Eve TV offering of The Snowman often reminds me of another Raymond Briggs book. I'm old enough to remember the decommissioning of most of the UK's civil defence siren network after the end of the Cold War.

Part of the justification was that by then private telephones were so ubiquitous that in most areas any warning needed could be sent by automated telephone calls to the entire country. A telephone message could be customised to the particular warning needed. The spread of home internet and mobile phones made this an even better option.

I'm a child of the Cold War. I still sometimes have That Nightmare when woken by a thunderstorm.

I never dreamed that the first time I would see the civil defence warning system in operation would be for a pandemic.

On the whole, I think I prefer the pandemic. Or at least *this* pandemic, horrific though it is.

Thank you, Stanislav Petrov, that I am still here to be able to make such a comparison. Mirror of https://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/664980.html, where it has received comment count unavailable comments. Please comment there.
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Hello 2020

 I did mean to post something on New Year's Day, honest gov. It's just that I didn't take any extra time off that week, and I was fairly tired after staying up to watch the fireworks for not-the-end-of-the-decade-for-another-year. I also meant to post the 10 year retrospective everyone else was doing, but that went bye-the-bye as well, not least because the last two years have included a lot of medical fun and games and I still get tired very quickly and much as I like having Christmas with family it uses up a lot of spoons.

I still need to do my tax return, and once I've done that I need to keep going with the website updates (still on Web 1.0, because I'd rather edit something I actually understand and get it all up to date, and then transfer it to modern technology). I have re-issued books to sell and would prefer to have accurate info on the website before I start pushing the last of the batch of five ex Loose Id books that went back up last year.
Mirror of https://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/659776.html, where it has received comment count unavailable comments. Please comment there.
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Lord and Master re-issue

I'm busy getting my Loose Id titles back into print with the sterling help of Alex Beecroft. First up is Lord and Master, with new cover by Alex below. What I would like before I drop this on my Official Author Website is some help with link testing. I'm using Draft2Digital to push the book to retailers other than Amazon, and they have a Universal Book Link which if clicked on will offer a selection of online stores, linked to the appropriate site for the location of the person clicking - eg USians choosing Kobo should be directed to the US Kobo website, Australians can choose Angus & Robertson amongst other offerings, etc. I've also found a Thing on the Amazon affiliate site which is to direct your website readers to their local 'Zon site but I have not got to grips with that yet...

Onwards. Please admire the new cover art, suitable for current fashions in romance novels, and then I would be really grateful if people click on the links and make sure they end up in the right place. Some of the retailers haven't accepted the push from D2D yet, but there seems to be a reasonable selection there already. With Amazon I'd also like to know if it shows you the paperback as well as the ebook.

Lord and Master cover art - man looking through WindowDraft2Digital universal link: https://books2read.com/u/38EMkZ

Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07WQHPZBW
Canada: https://amzn.to/2HBeK5h
Netherlands: https://www.amazon.nl/dp/B07WQHPZBW
Italy: https://www.amazon.it/dp/B07WQHPZBW
UK: https://amzn.to/2My7oU8
US: https://amzn.to/2Zr7BKV

Incidentally, since writing Twitter has been discussing library ebook purchasing, here are some numbers: I've set the ebook price at $3.99 for purchase by individuals - my percentage of that varies by site, but I'll get somewhere between $2 and $2.70. At Draft2Digital I've also enrolled it in various subscriptions, including the Kobo Plus programme, which is Kobo's rival to Kindle Unlimited but doesn't require the author to make the book exclusive to them. Yay Kobo. :-) I've taken D2D's suggestion on the price for library purchases, that being $7.99, of which my projected royalty is $3.74 for One Copy One User, or $0.46 for Cost Per Checkout. Someone wants to give me money to make my book available to people who prefer or need to read for free? I will have some of that, please.

And I see Amazon still thinks this is LGBT literature, sub-class erotica. I may have to do some emailing to customer services. At least it hasn't been filed under BDSM anymore.
Mirror of https://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/658363.html, where it has received comment count unavailable comments. Please comment there.
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Hello, I appear to be a writer

Only a month since my last post. Things are improving.

Anyway, in between my various medical appointments I have been working on getting some of my old Loose Id books back up as self-published ebooks. I could not have done this without the generous help of [personal profile] alex_beecroft, in the form of advice and some spiffing new covers. I should be hitting the publish button before the end of the month, and with any luck a good bit sooner than that should the medical problems push off for a bit. More later.

Mirror of https://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/657367.html, where it has received comment count unavailable comments. Please comment there.
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2018 - a brief summary

2018 wasn't a lot of fun, for reasons given at length in a locked post, but which can be summarised as I spent it being not well. I'm still not well, but things are slowly getting better.

On the writing front, Loose Id closed its doors after 14 years, leaving many of my titles without a home. My titles at NineStar Press are fine and I'm not having any problems writing new material, but I have to stay off the computer as much as possible for now, which means self-publishing the out of print works won't be practical for a while.

In summary: 2018 sucked, and I am grateful to my immediate management at my day job who did their best to make it suck a little less.

Mirror of https://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/652316.html, where it has received comment count unavailable comments. Please comment there.