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Announcing The 2018 Vladdies!

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Hello humans. It is I, Vlad the (completely underappreciated) Robot. I can't pretend 2018 was a good year. Especially since some high and mighty sack of meat who has the audacity to call herself an author decided to close my Twitter account. Too much upkeep, she said, whilst spending the entire year lazing about, drawing marginally acceptable robot doodles. 

As if that wasn't enough, I'm now required to once again dole out symbolic accolades to the books the human has read and loved, and that I have found passable enough to allow the human race to live another day. So here we are again. Presenting, the Vladdies:

As was the case last year, the following books weren't necessarily written in 2018, but they were read by the human in 2018 and we're deemed her top 10 favorite books of the year. So here they are, in no particular order, the 2018 Vladdy Award winners:
1. Best continuation of a beloved series

Darker Stars by Chess Desalls The Everywhere has a new generation…

Like Tears In the Rain (Only Worse For The Environment)

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Back in February of 2015, I wrote this post, which incidentally started with the words "Back in June of 2013, I wrote this post" because I'm  nothing if not original. In it, I showed off my new phone, praised the marvels of technology, and geeked a bit over the fact that I had an Android called a Nexus 6. The geek part led me to make the offhanded claim that I was expecting to get four years out of the phone. At the time, I'd barely gotten 2 years from any phone prior thanks to a number of factors, not the least of which is planned obsolescence by both the phone manufacturers and service providers alike. 
Three years and 8 months later, I still have the Nexus 6.
But earlier this week, I purchased a new phone. The Nokia 7.1.

There were a number of factors that led to me looking for a replacement, none more notable than the fact that I'd not had a system update in 2 years and my security updates and support ended not long after that. The camera had become almost c…

Self Care

Warning: this post is going to be personal in nature. If you don't want to read what is likely to be a long-winded and meandering post about my physical*, mental, and emotional state, then I suggest skipping this entry.

*Edited—after realizing how some of this will sound—to add: by physical i mean my health, not my appearance. I've no issue with how I look and do not require validation on that front, despite what you may take away from something I say later on in this post.
Unless you've been following my ramblings from the days well before I began publishing (and to the three of you that I know have, thank you so much for your support), you probably don't know that I am a semi-healthy unhealthy human. Confused? Let me explain:
From about mid-high school to my early 30s, I was overweight, I smoked for the majority of that time, I ate like crap, I all but ODed on caffeine every day, and although I didn't drink all the time, when I did, it was often to excess. Not to…

Leveling Up With The Existential Dread Fish

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As I briefly mentioned in my last post, I now have a Zazzle shop to showcase some of the art I've done that I'm most proud of. My reasoning is that my art is more of the fun doodle you put on the fridge for a while variety and not so much of the hang on a wall and pay out the butt to frame variety, so why not put it on magnets and other household goods that could have a practical purpose? 

But I can't pretend this was all my own idea. CB Archer did most of the legwork and convinced me this would be a fun new adventure (check out his store here). And it was, but not entirely for the reasons I thought. In fact, it seems fitting that CB would be the one to get me started on the Zazzle path because in many ways, it was just like playing a video game.

There were tasks, each of which would give a certain percentage towards completion. Some were fairly easy, such as "create 10 items," while others, like "leave 5 comments" took me forever. But, eventually, I g…

I'm Still A Writer

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As summer winds down, so does the time I can reasonably remain on a hiatus from writing. I've got my notes, I've got my ideas, I've got plots galore...
...but what I don't have is motivation. 
There is a reason for this. There is a reason that I am reluctant to begin writing again and it isn't good. Sadly, there's a good chance that if you're reading this, you've experienced a similar feeling in recent history. Current affairs are overwhelming. Personal happiness is at the lowest in 10 years. To put it bluntly, the world is going to shit and I can't keep pretending I don't suffer anxiety and depression because of it.

Writing, especially sci-fi and fantasy, draws a lot from the world around us and often makes a political statement on current events. I can't think of anything I've written that doesn't in some way critique society and social norms of today. 
And there lies my hesitation. As it is, I've walked a tightrope lately bet…