Webpage notice

I’m going to do some work soon on a website, and I’ll post here when it is done. Eventually I plan to move the blog over there, though I appreciate all of you who have followed me here. The transition may be months, but that is not likely. Also I have signed up for an affiliate program with Amazon, and if you wish to help me you will click then link before you do any shopping there. Each time you do I will get a small sum based upon your purchases. Currently since they are my sole publisher I think I can feel free to do so. Thank you all for continuing to follow my rambles, and look forward to more. Today I finished the fourth or fifth run through of my second novel, and I think I’ve improved upon what was already there. All it needs now is another set of eyes to help me edit. I’m sure I’m missing something, as it is hard to scrutinize your own work, but I am pleased with it currently. Hopefully my beta readers and editor will agree.

 

Please take a look

Please take a look

Link to my book in the Amazon store – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ME0U00Y

Amazon Affiliate Link – http://www.amazon.com?_encoding=UTF8&tag=steoakautpag-20

Update – Did some work today with Amazon, and got my google analytics account set up. It’s interesting getting a website up and running.

“What separates design from art is that design is meant to be… functional.”
― Cameron Moll

– Steven Oaks

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Award submissions

The thought of trying to get more eyes upon my novel troubles me daily. The idea of submitting my work to awarding institutions has been a recent idea, though I find the thought of giving them money simply to review my work absurd. Should not work be judged simply by its own merit? Many of the ones I reviewed you must be a member of their organization before they recognize what you have done, and they require more than a single piece of work, and you should have been paid upfront. Few of them even look at work from a first time self-published author. I find this worrying for my fellow self-published authors. They may indeed have created the best novel of the year, or even ever, but they will not be noticed. What a disheartening realization. I am of course not saying I have written the greatest novel, even of the year, but I think what I have made deserves a look. And many of the others who have gone my route of not going through an established publisher may deserve the same scrutiny. It seems to write alone without the helping hand of those who’ve come before leaves us bereft of their benefit. Perhaps one day I will join, but it seems I will have to wait until I already have had some success. What a contradictory proposition. Anyway I must go forth and tend to the garden and yard, so I will leave you now. But I will leave you with a thought. Just because you’ve not heard of someone before does not mean they haven’t made something of value.

 

Please take a look

Please take a look

Link to my book in the Amazon store – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ME0U00Y

Update – nearly finished with the latest review of the second novel. I await my editor to finalize with me. Also pancakes eaten today, as the weekend is a holiday, and I plan to fill it with more than just my usual trivial pleasures.

“The book trade invented literary prizes to stimulate sales, not to reward merit.”
― Michael Moorcock

– Steven Oaks

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Reliving the past

I spent today again reviewing the second novel. While I have enjoyed what has come before I find myself entranced by my own story even more today. A particular scene, of course heavy with dialogue as is my style, seems to have captured a moment in time for me. I can even recall what sparked this series of events, though it seems only such a short time ago. Perhaps this daily routine has stripped me of my ability to keep accurate track of time. Also today I’ve decided to clean my Mechanical Mod. It is copper, and the contacts and the magnets seem to have started to corrode. An unpleasant thing only because of the lack of vapour production I am getting. I had thought to buy more batteries because of the apparent lack of power. However using experimentation, and doing minor cleansing of the contacts I have revealed the batteries are working just fine. What a sad state of affairs to have ones possessions become less functional. I tend to keep a tidy house, and I am continually cleaning, but now it seems I must focus more on this item than I had assumed I would. It was once beautifully bright, and has dulled over time, and a black substance seems to have built up inside. From my brief cleaning before I wrote this post I see the shine once more, and hope that it is renewed to its original beauty. No pictures as of yet, as I’m letting it soak in a solution, but perhaps I will do so tomorrow.

 

Please take a look

Please take a look

Link to my book in the Amazon store – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ME0U00Y

Update – More pages reviewed and edited. Things are going smoothly for once.

“Well, I’m not here to impinge on anybody else’s lifestyle. If I’m in a place where I know I’m going to harm somebody’s health or somebody asks me to please not smoke, I just go outside and smoke. But I do resent the way the nonsmoking mentality has been imposed on the smoking minority. Because, first of all, in a democracy, minorities do have rights. And, second, the whole pitch about smoking has gone from being a health issue to a moral issue, and when they reduce something to a moral issue, it has no place in any kind of legislation, as far as I’m concerned.”
― Frank Zappa

– Steven Oaks

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Alone in Reality

There is nothing worse than being alone

to sit and stew on thoughts long thought

With no new idea to balance the growing madness

What is the point of continuing to fight for naught?

Then again what is the point for anything?

In groups we simply survive

alone we can do the same

what is it the universe provides?

Are we merely a collection of atoms

set forth to consume

all mater into ourselves

or are we more than burning suns?

Less bright, less effective

but still set to the task

of creating order

in the chaotic madness?

Even within our own minds

we set a pattern

to the shifting and unknown world

that is all matter

We are the order bringers

just as stars create light from mass

but do we enlighten the universe

with thinking, our task?

To see what is

as something it is not

does not make order

it merely causes thought

But thought is a new order

that forms the turmoil

into something workable

to minds that are absurd

Perhaps we only fool ourselves

into thinking there is a community

and we sit alone

falsifying reality

 

Please take a look

Please take a look

Link to my book in the Amazon store – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ME0U00Y

Update – Several more pages reviewed and edited. The path of the characters leads to more thoughts. I’m enjoying the book again, and I hope the editor doesn’t find too much fault with it.

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
― Albert Einstein

– Steven Oaks

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Recommended Anime

Katanagatari is a wonderful anime that many should watch. The first episode launches you fully into the story with a mass of dialogue that some might find ponderous, but it smooths out as the show continues. You follow the adventures of an unusual martial artist and strategist in their quest to collect 12 legendary swords. The 12 episodes play out in 12 months, and each is nearly an hour-long. The character design appears to be from an older area, but it is extremely beautiful once you get used to it’s dated design. I first saw this show at GenCon several years ago, and it left me feeling a deep desire to complete watching it. It wasn’t until much later when I was finally able to view it in its entirety. Recently I watched it again, and the person who I watched it with agrees it is fantastic. So step up to adventure, and complex, if not silly, conversations. If you can make it through the first episode you will be in for a great ride.

Yasuri Shichika, a swordsman who fights without a sword, and Togame, an ambitious strategist who seeks to collect twelve legendary swords for the shogunate

And as always please take a look at my first novel, Deathship.

Please take a look

Please take a look

Link to my book in the Amazon store – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ME0U00Y

Update – Reviewed and changed a few things in the second book. I had forgotten about some of the descripted nature of my book until I reached a certain part. I enjoy it, and I hope others will as well. I can tell I have grown since I wrote the first book, and can only hope for greater things for the third.

 

However, by that time you’ll have been torn to pieces. — Shichika Yasuri

Cheerio! — Togame

 

– Steven Oaks

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Seeing Friends

What a wonderful weekend I had. I was able to visit my friends again, and see their little baby girl. They made for us a delicious vegetable soup, and had some sort of cheese bread that I poured the soup atop of. All in all it was very good. After dinner we proceeded to have a multitude of conversations. Of course the IPA I brought from Rockbottom helped loosen our tongues, but this is normal for us anyway. At first we simply scored the beverage, but then we proceeded to talk about philosophy. Always a subject to cause discussions. What is reality? Is there a reality? Is it true to simply think allows us to know we exist? Do we even think, or are we simply a container for fighting memes? Our opinions are only those memes which have the most strength at the time, or is there something more? Fuelled by alcohol we stayed up until 4am. Only then did I sneak away to sleep on their guest bed. I only slept for about 5 hours, then once more did I rise and we proceeded to have even more conversation. Truly it is good to see friends, but it is the ideas that we bounce back and forth that make my time spent with them enjoyable.

 

Please take a look

Please take a look

Link to my book in the Amazon store – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ME0U00Y

Update – Unsurprisingly I was exhausted this morning. I got up to begin editing and reviewing the second book, but I was too tired, and decided a nap was in order. After that brief respite I got to it, and I am nearly half way through the second book, again. I hope the editor is free soon, but I suppose I can just go over everything until she is ready.

“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.”
― Anne Morrow Lindbergh

– Steven Oaks

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Know what comes before

Learning from words

that have passed through time

of ancestors speech

and from older mind

Listen to sage advice

but always take with salt

there may be things to take

but not always relevant

What can you learn

from cultures long gone

perhaps just where we came from

or maybe why society is what it is

Spend some time

with history book

and learn your past well

for soon your life will be to

As the wind sweeps past

so does your existence

ever-changing life

is all that is consistent

But knowing where we start

we might see where we go

and with a bit of thinking

we can predict the flow

 

Please take a look

Please take a look

Link to my book in the Amazon store – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ME0U00Y

Update – Several more pages edited of the second book, by me. And of course I had my Saturday morning pancakes. Now to think about mowing. I should do it soon since rain threatens the afternoon.

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ”
― Michael Crichton

– Steven Oaks

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Relying on Friends

Who are you to your friends? Are you someone they can come to for advice, or are you a good listener? If you aren’t, then maybe you are amusing in some fashion. Why do we keep the people we do close? Is there something that can be gained by continued closeness? I’ve spoken about how I think having others to talk openly about ideas helps us become better people, but is there more to it than that? While having a person there ready to listen, and respond in kind is nice, there is indeed more. If you are in trouble, and talking doesn’t help, they should be there to assist you in times of need. I’m not saying they should spend all their time or money to ensure that you can get back on your feet, but they should be able to be relied upon to offer a hand. If you lose your home, or job, they might offer you a place to stay. Do not over stay your welcome however. We are all individuals with our own lives. Even if you are the closest of friends there has to be a time when you leave. You cannot become the bum on the couch, because then you might not be friends anymore. If you truly consider another a friend you will not strain the relationship, even if it causes you detriment. You then waste the time you have spent together simply to ensure your own survival. There is more to this life than your happiness, and you should recognize it. Other people have great value, but do not rely on them over-much. In the end you are solely responsible for your life, just as they are for their own. Do not try to trap them into something they would not do on their own. Even offering words like “Just tell me when you want me to leave” would not help, as politeness seems to override the desire to tell another they have over stayed their welcome. It is not a crime, nor should it be, to ask too much of another and receive it. However it is rude, and manipulative. Luckily with the few friends I have we have been able to become honest with each other. It may seem rude to outsiders, but when we grow agitated with each other we let each other know. I suppose then honesty is the best policy. I try very hard not to ask anyone to do anything, but when I wrote my book I informed them I would be happy if they read it. Perhaps it was a polite way of begging for their assistance. I hope they enjoyed the book, though only a few have made it through completely as of yet. Those who have said they enjoy it, but it is hard to tell if that is not just polite words. I wish I had a bit more feedback from those who have read it, but I suppose even saying this is begging for attention. I guess I will rely on honesty at this point. I would appreciate it if people would review my book. I want to know if I have made any errors, and if so I will correct them. If you don’t like the book, that is fine, it may not be for everyone. The perspective is first person, by an individual who is socially awkward, and that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However if you find something amiss, or if you find it well written, I would appreciate a review. I’m editing the second book, and if there are any pointers you might have I would like to incorporate them now before I publish it. Thank you.

Please take a look

Please take a look

Link to my book in the Amazon store – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ME0U00Y

Update – Several more pages edited of the second book, by me. The editor is very busy with work right now, and it seems I will have to be patient. As luck would have it though I was able to spend an enjoyable evening with another friend, and we had a good time. Watching anime, even the horrible ones we sometimes select, brings us amusement.

“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.”
― Jon Katz

– Steven Oaks

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Perceptions and reality

To err is to be human.

Is this always the case that we excuse our mistakes?

Easily we are misled

often we are wrong

is it the data

or is it our minds?

The way we view the world

is through our senses

and while they may not be incorrect

our mind interprets it wrong

So then when I say red

and you say orange

which of us is right

or is there truth to be found

in the subjective nature

of our perceptions?

What is faithful for instance?

Is it not making love

to those you have not claimed to be true to?

Or is it not even thinking

of another with desire?

Can you control your desires

as easily as you control your actions?

It is said actions speak louder than words

but is it an act to think a thought?

Words must then be used

between those with bonds

so that when the time comes

a definition can be agreed upon.

The world is chaos

yet our minds organize

Is the truth the chaos

or what we lay upon the universe?

There are no answers

there are only questions

but to not ask

is to know nothing.

Please take a look

Please take a look

Link to my book in the Amazon store – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ME0U00Y

Update – Sadly the editor was unable to meet with me yesterday. Now I am unsure when the editing might be done. This does give me more time to review the book for yet another time, however I grow anxious to get it completed. Today I donated once more, and have come out ahead. Thinking thoughts with friends close and dear, I am amused and these things that come clear.

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”
― C.S. Lewis

– Steven Oaks

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You limit yourself without friends

Have you limited your interactions with others? I do not mean do you not talk with others, I mean do you not reveal your true self. When you converse with close friends do you hide away little pieces of yourself so you might feel safe? Do you have no one you can just be free around? There have been times in my life where my paranoia was so large that I would let no one know a single thought I might have. Locked away I stewed in my own complex thoughts, and became even more frightened of others. How might I be judged having opinions that differed from those I heard? Television tells us there is a normal way to think about things. Politics, religion, and even matters of sex are placed in categories, and we are told we must conform in some fashion in these categories. We must be liberal, or staunchly conservative. There is no in-between, we are taught, and if you have a stance that differs from what is shown, you are some wishy-washy freak. Eventually I felt safe enough with a few friends that I let my thoughts free. Soon I came to realize that we all have, if not conflicting, different beliefs from what we are told. I have never been a fan of sitting idly by and watching programming on television, and perhaps that is one reason why I think myself different. All that is given us, even in the news, are perspectives that force us to view the world as they construct for us. They may indeed be telling the truth at all times, however how you tell it is as important as the truth of what you say. They let us doubt things that may be true, or they have us believe things that may be false. All it takes are words that are fashioned into sentences to push us to think one way or another. I am not saying we cannot find our own conclusions through these mass of words, however it does make it more difficult. Then to who might you listen to know what is true? There is no one that has a monopoly on truth. And indeed truth may be subjective. Therefore you must use your own mind to find it. You can rely on those you truly call friends. Those whom you’ve already revealed your true self to, to help you find it. But they to do not have the power to force you to believe anything. A true friend will accept ideas that differ from their own. I myself at times come up with thoughts that are vulgar or simply do not stand up to what has come before, but I am not ostracised by those I call friends. We argue and discuss logically why I might be right or wrong, and in the conversation I tend to find enlightenment. I do not know everything, but together we know much more. In the end we must seek others out just as staunchly as we question our own thoughts. Nothing is set in stone, and we are the artist and the clay. Shape yourself daily, and find out if what you think can stand the light of reason and logic.

 

Please take a look

Please take a look

Link to my book in the Amazon store – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ME0U00Y

Update – I have taken it upon myself to take another break from writing the third novel, and have moved on to editing the second more. I hope to have another pair of eyes upon it shortly, and I do not wish to embarrass myself too much over the lack of scrutiny I have already placed upon it. Nothing is so shameful as words poorly shaped to an author.

“The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

– Steven Oaks

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