A lot of thoughts being bandied about in various places on the topic of self-publishing. I’ve been involved in a bunch of discussions about it on blogs, on Twitter, via Facebook and in person over the past week, so I figured a blog post was probably worth doing.

It’s not really a surprise that self-publishing is starting to achieve an audible zeitgeistean rumble. The proliferation of platforms like the Kindle and the iPad, and the distribution tools that are now in the hands of everybody via the Internet, have made it pretty much inevitable. It’s just now getting to the point where it’s on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream, so people are noticing.
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Boxing Day Has Nothing To Do With Pugilism

It’s Boxing Day, which in the Skarka household means that we are up early to enjoy a Feast of Football (of the English Premier League variety). Currently sitting, scruffy and unshaven, watching the match between Manchester United and Sunderland, drinking an inordinately large thermal mug of tea (PG Tips, my preferred brand, acquired via an import shop here in town in ALARMING quantities by our family).

But rather than regale you with my Anglophilia and love of the Beautiful Game, I figured that I’d engage in the American Geek tradition of the Post-Christmas Loot Summary.

It was (as it is every year) a very bookish Christmas for your humble narrator. The haul included:

So what about you folks? What sorta loot did you score? What was the absolute bestest ever?

The Traditional Christmas Post

We all have our traditions — this has been one of mine since I started blogging, eight years ago.

A quote from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which sums up my feelings regarding the holiday:

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew. “Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

One of the greatest achievements of Dickens’ classic is the nearly single-handed creation of a sense of reverence in the secular aspects of the holiday season — a celebration of love, family, fellowship and charity, appealing to everyone regardless of their faith. A call to treat each other better, and to value the relationships that connect us to one another. That’s powerful magic.

Merry Christmas, all.