I’ve just been told tomorrow they will be removing the furniture from the coffee shop where I write, to keep people from hanging about the place. I will be forced to work at home, where all the distractions lurk.

I can understand the logic behind the preventive practice they’re calling “social distancing”. I can even see people quietly doing it on their own: I’ve noticed them giving each other a little extra room in line at the register. Cashiers leaning back a little, with that subtle nervous look that seems to say “how healthy does this one look?”.

The speculative fiction writer in me is quietly playing with ideas of bad people high in government, plotting to separate people using disease, sowing distrust to keep people from uniting together against some unexpected power play. It’s not my kind of story to write, but there’s a lot of interesting–and unfortunate–source material happening in front of our eyes these days.

Meanwhile, back in reality, it seems even writers are being affected by our current world situation. I wish you luck against your own distractions, if you are similarly stuck at home. I also wish you the best of health and safety out in the world. If you are out in the world anymore. Hopefully this will end soon.

We are social creatures after all. I would hate for this “distancing” to become a permanent feature in our societies.

I’ve heard that “Interesting Times” thing was originally a curse, by the way.

What is so cool about Zero. I mean, it’s nothing. Zilch. Nada.

I think zero is cool because, for a while, humans weren’t sure if it was a number at all. Back in the day (when people were still getting used to writing “AD” on their checks), the Greeks were all philosophical about the meaning of nothing as a something, while other math-users on the planet were trying all kinds of slashes and stuff to fill the “holes” where we put zeroes now; while others were trying to do math without it altogether, and experiencing hair loss…

But the coolest thing of all seems to be that the lovely donuty shape of zero came from such a meaningful visual image: it’s a drawing of a hole with nothing inside.

Secretly I think they knew even then that donuts had no nutritional value, but they had to commemorate them anyway. Because … donut!

New home (cat in a box)

Welcome to the new, self-hosted Mikibits.com! Don’t mind the UFO, it usually behaves itself. I hope you like the new look (and lack of ads).

Hopefully I managed to bring all of my followers along. Let me know the moment you don’t get this. giggle (I’ll post to the old page, too.)

In the meantime, I’ll be tweaking the mobile version (it looks terrible at the moment–sorry about that), along with a few other things. But I should be posting stuff in the meantime.

As always, feel free to comment on whatever.

I’m looking forward to supporting each other online.

Just to keep my wonderful peeps in the loop, I’m in the process of converting my Mikibits.com website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. That probably sounds pretty mysterious to most people, but what it really means is that I’m taking ownership of it by self-hosting. What this means to you is that the ad-splatter that so often appears just below my posts will disappear.

Depending on how the patronage thing works (see the new tab to the right), I may (or hopefully not) place a much smaller, more tasteful ad somewhere less intrusive, just to help fund my forward path (read: pay the rent) to my overdue “overnight success” story. I hope to bring as many of you along on that as I can, because you’re cool and stuff for being here. Thanks! ^_^

This move may also open up other fun website gadgetry and perhaps a new background theme. As always I encourage your feedback on everything, because without you I wouldn’t be doing any of this. <3

When asked “What does it take to force a reader to read?” …

I don’t like that word “forced”. To force them is to kidnap them, kicking and screaming, dragging them someplace they don’t want to go.

Instead, I prefer to trick the reader. Lure them in with a pretty cover, a sexy title; then hook them with the very first sentence, a sentence that would keep them up at night staring at the ceiling, if they didn’t continue reading. Now you’ve got them–and under their own power.

The challenge is: you have to deliver on the promise of that first sentence. Not only does the story itself have to pull them into your world, you have to keep throwing more “hook” sentences out there at sneakiest moments. Like at the ends of chapters, or in quiet moments when they think everything is okay again.

But it’s never okay! Bwahahahaha!

You have to put the reader in the hot seat, make them realize: These characters they’ve fallen in love with will not survive without the real hero–the reader–getting them safely to the end of the story.