New Review Today

Featured image: “Cristal Sorceress” by nauraljuice.

I might have to swipe feature more art by this naturaljuice guy. I like the cut of his jib.

But, in any case, I’ve been busy of late job-hunting and applying for school. I revised chapter 19 of Jake and the Dynamo last night because I’d rushed it out, so it needed a little more proofreading. Today, I’m working on chapter 20, but I don’t expect to have it in final form by Monday.

I should, however, be able to get up a new review by the end of the day today, so stay tuned.

How to Shave Like a Real Man

In Jake and the Dynamo, I have a scene in which Jake performs a lengthy and elaborate ritual to shave his face in the morning. I thought it was funny to depict a fourteen-year-old going through so much trouble just to scrape away his peach fuzz, but aside from his abuse of aftershave, his morning ritual is pretty much the same as mine.

I did this in part because I wanted to hearken back to the days when shaving was a tad more difficult and therefore more of a rite of passage for the adolescent male.

This is called “wet shaving.” I first discovered it while perusing The Art of Manliness, where I came upon the article, “How to Shave Like Your Grandpa,” and upon reading, immediately realized I would not be happy until I gave up my ridiculous, modern ways of scraping hair from my face and instead found joy and solace in beautiful anachronism. There’s a tight-knit internet community dedicated to wet shaving, because there’s an internet community dedicated to everything, but it’s enjoyed a resurgence in popularity recently mostly because wet shavers tout it as considerably cheaper than shaving with the disposable cartridge-head razors. Continue reading “How to Shave Like a Real Man”

Aristotle, “On Trolling”

That trolling is a shameful thing, and that no one of sense would accept to be called ‘troll’, all are agreed; but what trolling is, and how many its species are, and whether there is an excellence of the troll, is unclear. And indeed trolling is said in many ways; for some call ‘troll’ anyone who is abusive on the internet, but this is only the disagreeable person, or in newspaper comments the angry old man. And the one who disagrees loudly on the blog on each occasion is a lover of controversy, or an attention-seeker. And none of these is the troll, or perhaps some are of a mixed type; for there is no art in what they do. (Whether it is possible to troll one’s own blog is unclear; for the one who poses divisive questions seems only to seek controversy, and to do so openly; and this is not trolling but rather a kind of clickbait.)

[Read the rest.]

New Essay –> Sci Phi Journal

Featured art by BeningK.

Crazy times over here.  I’m preparing to move and then to go back to school … again.

But other things are still happening.  I’m spending this afternoon (it’s actually my morning because I’m working nights now) finalizing and submitting an essay to Sci Phi Journal: The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy, a site I recommend you check out if you haven’t heard of it.  It publishes new fiction, some reprints, and philosophical essays using sf as a jumping-off point.

But it suffers a lack of magical girls. I’m sending in an article entitled “Justice Tempered with Cuteness: Moral Development and Retributive Justice in Craig McCracken’s Powerpuff Girls.” If that doesn’t get accepted there, I’ll post it here instead.

If it does get accepted there, I’ll start another essay on metaphysical concepts in Shugo Chara!, which I’ve been meaning to write for a while but haven’t gotten to yet.

I’m also working on the next part of Jake and the Dynamo, of course. And I’m making my way through a second viewing of Revolutionary Girl Utena, which I am proud to own in the limited edition remastered box set, and about which I’ll write when I’m finished.

I also recently read Herman Hesse’s Jungian/Nietzschean/Gnostic novel Demian, which inspired Utena, in the hope I would therein find the master key to understanding this most esoteric of magical girl anime. Reading a classic of German literature in order to understand a Japanese cartoon sounds backwards, but hey, whatever gets them reading, right? This is only the second Hesse novel I’ve read, and I’m now wishing I had greater knowledge of his corpus.

Also, as a heads-up to anyone who cares, a boxed set of the Revolutionary Girl Utena manga, which differs significantly from the anime as the two were made at the same time by different people, is set to release on February 7 of next year. I know I’ll be getting one. I just can’t get enough sexual-neurosis-induced-crisis-reaching-catharsis-through-swordfighting.

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Branches Out

To increase exposure, I’m working on hosting Jake and the Dynamo in a few other places around the internet. You can see there’s now a Patreon button on your left, right above the Paypal button. The story will continue to be available for free, of course, but if you’d like to put a little change in my jar whenever a new chapter appears, it would be much appreciated and will help me to keep the content coming, and to improve it.

I’m also looking to host the story on Royal Road, which hosts web novels and is, quite reasonably, asking for a verification of my ownership. That’s part of the purpose of this post.

EDIT: As a reader points out, we could use some more J&tD-themed artwork. That’s where any donation money would go first, actually.

Update

Featured image: “Megurine Luka” by rahulrk.

You haven’t heard from me this week because I have a number of things going on related to work. However, chapter 10 of Jake and the Dynamo will be posting tonight as usual. There’s more action as Jake and Dana hit the streets to clean out the latest infestation of monsters, and a new rival comes on the scene.

Pesky Editing

I spent yesterday drafting chapter 17, and will spend most of today editing several other chapters.

I’ve also gone back and removed epigram from the existing chapter posts, as it appears to be conflicting with my SEO software.  The chapters are supposed to have summaries that show up on search engines, but the epigram, which is posted with the “excerpt” function on the blog theme, apparently overrides it.  That’s fine, as I was getting tired of seeing it at the top of every chapter anyway.

And speaking of SEO, I’m think of throwing in keywords on posts.  I don’t know if that works like it used to now that search engines have more sophisticated algorithms, but it’s worth a shot.

Keywords for this post:

Porsche, sickle cell disease, Donald Trump, Chicago Cubs, Jeff Bezos, Domino’s Pizza, Game of Thrones

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Gets a TVTropes Page!

Some kind soul has gone to the trouble of producing a page on TVTropes for Jake and the Dynamo. I really appreciate it, and I’ll be interested to see if the page grows over time as the novel continues.

My first thought, upon looking over the particular tropes that the page’s creator has picked out … actually, my first thought is that the book sounds kind of pervy.

So let me suggest some additional tropes that might balance that a bit. In no particular order: Continue reading “JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Gets a TVTropes Page!”