The downside of using a very tiny webhosting service is that when things go wrong there’s a very tiny staff to fix it. The upside is that I can nag him about it, and failing that, ask his wife to nag him. 🙂 Apparently my site was the only one that failed to move across to the new server. And yes, it’s a professional hosting service run by a professional who provides very flexible hosting to an eclectic mix of niche websites whose owners would really rather not have to deal with servers themselves but also don’t want to deal with the downsides of the giant hosting services themselves. We just bug Richard about it when we want something done…
I first discovered Jay Hulme’s writing through his Twitter threads detailing his love of church architecture. He would tell the story of his visit to a church, using beautiful language and beautiful photography – small churches, large churches, obscure ones, world-famous ones. He pointed out tiny details and explored some areas that are normally not accessible to the public. He is a professional poet, and that shone through.
When he started his exploration of church buildings, he was an atheist. More than that, as a young trans man he didn’t feel that there was a place for him in a church as a member rather than engaging with a love affair with the building. That changed one day. He realised that somewhere along the way he had started believing, and that there were churches and ministers and congregations that did not think he was too queer, too poor, too odd, for a place with them.
I followed his Twitter feed for the church porn. The queer Christian poetry that started appearing some months later was an unexpected joy. Having found faith, he started exploring it – a few months before Covid changed the world. The result was queer Christian poetry that spoke of believing in the time of plague, in a time when churches were closed for the safety of all. But God isn’t confined to stone and brick. Jay’s poetry is a stunningly beautiful reminder of that.
Now the poems have been collected into a book. I’m straight and cis and still it speaks to me about God, so intensely that I cannot manage more than three or four poems at a time without weeping. There are poems about God being everywhere you need to find Them, from garden to nightclub to a late-night taxi. There are love letters to cathedrals, including my own dearest love, Durham. There is sadness and joy. There is affirmation that God loves all that She has made, not just those people who came out of the mould He picks up most often. There is a joke that had me laughing out loud. There are questions and occasional answers about “God, why?”
I don’t understand all of these poems. I may never understand some. But I feel all of them, every single one.
I love this book.
Publisher’s website: https://canterburypress.hymnsam.co.uk/books/9781786223937/the-backwater-sermons
Other shops: https://books2read.com/u/b5oVgO
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. 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 the shiny new links below the blurb. If you go to Amazon you will also find that you can buy it in paperback.
When Mark’s PhD supervisor sent him for a job interview with an old university friend, he didn’t mention that the friend was devastatingly handsome. He also neglected to mention to either that the other was gay.
Steven was just looking for a young scientist to train as a PA to help him run his technology company. No extra services required. But watching other people react to a young, pretty man playing secretary to an openly gay CEO amused them both. Watching people wonder if they were having an affair was an entertaining game.
But when the game became real and caught them both up, Mark was left wondering… how real? Because he’s the one PA in the building who can’t marry the boss.
Draft2Digital universal link: https://books2read.com/u/38EMkZ
Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07WQHPZBW
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.
As the title suggests, this is a collection of some of High’s many short stories, together with an essay by one of his editors. High was active from the 1950s right through to his death in 2006, and this collections spans decades. Naturally his older stories are old-fashioned, and they’re unlikely to appeal to readers who aren’t old enough to have grown up with this style of writing; but for those of us who are it’s a pleasant walk down memory lane. As far as I remember I’d never read any of his short stories, but I read several of High’s novels when I was a teenager, and this collection makes me want to find out what else of his has been brought back into print by the SF Galaxy imprint. If, like me, you loved his writing way back when, get a copy of this – there are some gems to be had.
(Yes, those are mostly affiliate links. Also I wish to give some love to not-Amazon.)
I haven’t posted since mid-May. Apparently I haven’t read Dreamwidth since shortly after that, since I missed the news about a friend’s new job. (Congratulations to that friend. 🙂
There are a number of factors in this, not least the ongoing migraine issues which chew up quite a lot of bandwidth and don’t leave much for things other than day job. Also, at one point one of the side-effects of the meds and/or migraine was a bout of something close to hypergraphia, which is how I come to have a completed short story, a large chunk of a different short story draft, a bunch of random jottings on story ideas, and an outline and substantial chunk of something that is probably going to be at least novella length, all as a result of the #cockygate nonsense. This lot was mostly written by hand, with fountain pen and ink, and needed/will need to be transcribed onto electrons.
And that was before my Firefox install fell over multiple times, on one occasion taking Edge with it. Those things that require the big screen on the laptop plus a proper keyboard were not happening, and that includes Dreamwidth, both reading and writing. Actually fixing [expletive deleted] Firefox seems to involve removing every trace of it and then doing a fresh install, then waiting for the next time it falls over, so the only two reasons I use it at this point are Containers and NoScript. It makes Edge look stable by comparison.
And at some point I have to face the task of updating my website, so that will consume such spare clock cycles as I have. I shall endeavour to post slightly more frequently than I have of late, but am not making any promises.
My primary publisher, Loose Id, has alas closed as of 7 May. My books published through them are now out of print, although you may see them on third party distributors for a short period while the out of print notices work through the system.
I do intend to make the books available again, but that takes a lot of time, which is a resource I’m rather short of at the moment. I’m also waiting on Loose Id to finish working on the rights releases for the cover art I’d like to re-use. I’m focusing on writing new material for now.
If you’re still looking for something of mine to read, I do have books at NineStar Press under the name Storm Duffy, which are still available and will be for the foreseeable future.
In the never ending quest to tidy my room, I decided to have a cull of the pen herd. I have many, many pens of various types accumulated over the years, some dating back to when I was at university [mumble] years ago. I can tell, because they’re in the biscuit tin I used as a pen case.
I was going to be ruthless about throwing out the ones that didn’t work anymore, but some of the ancient and venerable have sentimental value, or are promo pens in a barrel style that I find very comfortable to use, so I set about investigating the availability of refills.
First port of call was the Cult Pens website, a wondrous cavern of everything pen. It turned out they were having a three for two special deal on Schneider products, and Schneider make All the Refills, or pretty close to it. I already had a Schneider disposable courtesy of a sample in a previous order, so I knew they made decent cheap pens. Cue buying binge…
I needed a selection of refills, and I haven’t had a chance to do much with most of them yet, but so far — nice refills. They write smoothly and don’t need much pressure to get them started. I really like the Slider 755, which is a Parker style G2 filled with Schneider’s ViscoGlide hybrid ink. It writes very smoothly with no skipping and almost no pressure once it gets going, but can write on gloss paper without smearing even if it gets wet. It’s described as combining the best features of ballpoint and gel pens. It’s moderately expensive but I think well worth it if it continues to perform like this. I do love my fountain pens for not needing any pressure to write, but this refill comes close and is waterproof to boot.
The refills are all clearly labelled with brand, model number, colour and tip size, even the tiny D1 format multipen refills. This might not sound important, but when you’ve just opened an envelope full of miscellaneous loose refills, it’s very useful for matching refill to pen. Definitely for my “buy again” list.
You can find the Schneider range in lots of pen shops, and as of the time of writing there is still a three for two offer at Cult Pens for the entire range.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of fountain pens and sealing wax
of binding combs and rings.”
I’ve been on a bit of a binge on stationery and office supplies of late for a number of reasons. Chief amongst these is the latest medical reason for staying away from a computer, but it doesn’t help that the WIP features a hero with a passion for pens beyond even that seen in rasfc’s collective obsession with writing paraphernalia. I can’t type, but I can put ink on paper and dictate the results into Dragon, and only look at the screen to set the transcription running and then error-correct the result. I have a genuine justification for having acquired a breeding herd of fountain pens over the last few months, inasmuch as a good fountain pen needs no pressure at all to glide over the page, and this is an important consideration for those with RSI. All of this is to explain why there may be stationery-related wibble in lieu of anything else I can focus on for long enough to write a blog post. You have been warned.
My blog was at LiveJournal and then Dreamwidth for a very long time, and copying everything over to here would be Too Much Work. The blog is still based at Dreamwidth and you can find older posts there, but now I’m mirroring posts to here. You can comment at either site.