Here we go again…

And I’m taking it rather well, I think…
Remember how last year I went with virtually no connection for months – because it took months to get a repair guy out here? And then he tightened two bolts and went away without addressing the core problem at all?

Granted I should have seen that problem for myself. And now it’s doing it again, and Wildblue has already screwed me in an extremely rude way very recently with no kissing at all, and I do not feel like suffering a repeat of what happened last year.

So I’ve been muddling through with download speeds I could beat with cuneiform on clay tablets but that’s okay! Whatever! Just let me work.

Until of course came the time when it just stopped working. And right in the middle of a project that was going really well at that moment.

You guys want to read a chapter called “Paddle Faster, I Hear Banjos?” or “The Hermitty People’s Armored Brigade?” Well you can’t because they’re not finished. I needed to get pics and refresh my mind on the stories but couldn’t because right in the middle of working I had no connection at all.

The boys will testify that I reacted to this with total nonviolence. Loud, stomping, blasphemous nonviolence.

Calm blue ocean calm blue ocean…Anybody I’ve ever worked with on a creative-type job will tell you that you do NOT interrupt Joel when he’s in his nod. Not if the building’s on fire. Not if you want to stay friends.

Look, it’s hard for me to tell at this stage because I’m too close to it. It might be complete and absolute tripe and I won’t really know until I find some editors on whom to inflict the first draft but it feels pretty good. What it is, is a series of mostly-true tales, see? And reader Benjamin is urging me on with an actual cover I didn’t gimp together myself. We’re still working on it – I think the pistols need to go – but it’s whipping into shape nicely. Wanna see?


And I’ve been making real progress on something to put between those nice covers but my sat connection is taking a dump again and it’s got me rather pissed off because I need that. The dish is wedged to the wall and I’ve fiddled with the angle as much as I can vertically but through the whole range where I have any connection at all the signal really stinks and all yesterday afternoon it disappeared entirely.

Don’t make me angry. My sentences run on when I’m angry.

I’d say screw it, I went years without internet and I can learn to happily do it again. But I enjoy talking to you guys. And frankly I’m about to lose my only reliable income stream and I need to build another. Can’t do that without the connection.

So Uncle Joel is unhappy. But he’s holding it together for the children.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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10 Responses to Here we go again…

  1. Benjamin says:

    Open to suggestions and criticism. I have an idea for the back cover graphics involving your mean-looking rat trap and will send you a rough sketch later.

  2. Claire says:

    Wow, that is a very nice, professional-looking cover. Nearly too slick for our scruffy old Joel and I miss seeing a photo (either of the desert surroundings or of the lair itself). But impressive!

  3. Claire says:

    Love the guns, BTW, and the general feeling of “wild westness.” Terrific work, Benjamin!

  4. Benjamin says:

    Thanks Claire! I’ll apply some weathering once the basic design is approved, it won’t look nearly so clean when finished.

  5. zelda says:

    So some people won’t get it, and I’m one. I just went back to Joel’s June 9 post, read it three more times, and my initial reaction to it is still the same. I read it as a celebration of a life, and a celebration of life choices (including voluntary poverty) that brought someone to where he was meant to be, the intro to a chronicle/diary of person living in harmony with himself and his life (including his guns). So because I read it that way, I don’t get how the working title You Never Completely Lose fits what Joel wrote. The proposed covers are professional and wonderfully graphically interesting, great layouts, but they keep getting darker in color and image, and like the title, I don’t see how they fit with the tone and subject of what Joel wrote so far. Joel’s beginning in that post really got me, I thought it was a brain grabber, very well written. “This is where I live.” Five words and a photo that tell you everything. And then he begins his story of why and how he came there, and a chronicle of his life there. If I hadn’t read Joel’s writing online I doubt I would pick up a book called You Never Completely Lose, but from the enthusiastic positive response to that title it’s obvious that I just don’t Get It. To the stake with the heretic!!!! (But for marketing and income purposes, it should be helpful to know that someone who doesn’t Get It nevertheless enjoys and values the content and style.)

  6. Joel says:

    Zelda, you could be right but right now I like it. The working title comes from something a little further down in the book, which i just looked up…

    “Of course in a situation like this it would really pay to know what you’re doing. Alas, that’s not an advantage I brought with me, and I could show you the failures to prove it. But here’s the thing I’ve learned: Until the failure that actually kills you, you get an endless supply of mulligans. You pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. You may never completely succeed: Just take a look at that poor unfinished cabin bleaching in the sun. But you’ll never completely fail until you stop trying or die.”

    And then of course in thinking up the title I got my own quote wrong.

  7. Benjamin says:

    Palette swaps only take a minute and will influence the tone: I go to and browse or search. The colors for the one Joel posted were from a search for cedar, a previous iteration was a search for high desert, etc.

  8. theclubabove says:

    Black cover all the way.

  9. Claire says:

    I agree with theclubabove. I like the black. Only other colors that might seem right are some sort of desert-tan/juniper green combo. Very high-deserty. Very Joel. But the black is classy.

  10. Claire says:

    Tan/green … which, come to think of it are the exact colors you already chose in addition to the black! (DUH)

To the stake with the heretic!