My 2019

I had a good 2019, all things considered, and had several major accomplishments.

  1. Completing the CMO manual. This was the biggest task and it’s my proudest accomplishment this year. In 2013, I was just someone watching a stream of Command: Modern/Air Naval Operations. In 2019, I’d completed three official DLCs and had the honor of writing the manual for the sequel, Command: Modern Operations.
  2. Getting my first Sea Lion Press book published. The Smithtown Unit, an alternate history homage to “men’s adventure” novels, was written in the summer of 2019 and published in late September.
  3. Revving up Fuldapocalypse. Now, I read incredibly fast, so I didn’t lack for books to review. Still, Fuldapocalypse really got going this year. I ditched the clunky format meant for differentiating very similar books and made all my reviews “unstructured”, enabling me to write a lot of of them very quickly.

How Many World War IIIs?

My latest Fuldapocalypse post asks the question of how many “World War III” novels there even are. This has been a tricky question, but the answer is “not really that many”. Having to move past that original narrow genre has even affected the Creative Corner, causing a reduction in posts, post length, and, more importantly, my focus.

It’s gone like this: Fuldapocalypse is conceived of as a place to slide in the World War III reviews. Fuldapocalypse quickly (and rightfully) shifts to fiction in general, which takes up a giant chunk of this blog’s “jurisdiction” and a lot of my posting energy. What started as a niche side project to avoid clogging the general blog turned into something bigger and more involved.  But there’s trade offs, and, especially when busy elsewhere, I’ve been prioritizing the book reviews over the “miscellaneous miscellany”.

Writing And Blogging

So, blogging has served me very, very well. Especially my Fuldapocalypse book review blog. However, I’ve noticed my reviews on there have been getting shorter and more off-the-cuff.

For the circumstances they were written in, they worked very well, and I’m proud of them. I got to broaden not only my own horizons, but also (hopefully) to share obscure books with my readers. If the convenient situation is “just read a soft ‘51%’ book, then give quick thoughts on it”, it works well.

But now-not so much.

First, I’m going back to long-form writing. I need (and it won’t be the easiest) to get in the mindset of writing 2,000 word or more chapters and not 200-500 word posts. Shifting from “sprinting” to “distance running” is tricky, and going back to the quick and easy posts may be a bad habit in that context.

Second, I’ve had this weird “mediocrity addiction” recently, where I read the first installments of a series, find them to be merely all right at best, then go to the later ones. Meanwhile, I read first installments that I significantly enjoy, and then, somehow, don’t follow up on them. My internal justification is “my brain is too busy to appreciate good fiction, so I might as well go for the outright mush”. That’s kind of self-defeating.

Third, I’ve been in a patch where I don’t have the most to say about my review subjects, and I’m sure the second part has something to do with it-what can you really say about “eh, it was all right I suppose?”

So expect less review blogging. I won’t stop it completely, but I do intend to slow it down, especially once I burn through my pile of “mostly finished” reviews. I’m nervous about going fully into writing long fiction, but I’m also excited, because there’s so much in my mind I want to get out.

Fuldapocalypse Week In Review 2/17-2/23

Under the experimental “three books a week” schedule, this past week I reviewed three books on Fuldapocalypse, my other blog.

Carrier: Enemies – A book with horrible fundamentals (as in, the plot involving the main antagonist is ultimately left unfinished), but which attracted my attention via an enemy bizarre even by 90s technothriller standards (Greece)

Strikemasters – A Mack Maloney treat. Maloney is not afraid to go “Prepare book for ludicrous speed”, and he can do genuine drama as well in this tale of super C-17s.

Death Watch – The final book in Jerry Ahern’s decade-plus epic soap opera that had long ceased to be post-apocalyptic in the slightest. In my opinion, primarily interesting for seeing “what does the twenty-seventh book in a prolonged series truly look like?”

Some blog updates

I’ve been doing some blog “housework”, for lack of a better word. I got rid of some old defunct blogs no one was reading and I wasn’t updating, and I’ve made some changes to both my main blogs.

As always, I’m still changing more, so don’t be surprised if it looks slightly different.

A major blog announcement

So, you may have noticed that the blog has changed a lot. I have a few reasons for this. When I started up this blog almost three years ago, the minimalist theme worked very well. But I’ve felt it has outgrown that.

I’ve set up the Fuldapocalypse Fiction blog to provide more structured, less cluttered reviews. The first such review there is of Bob Forrest-Webb’s Chieftains, a classic tank novel. More are coming-many more.

Setting that up, I liked the theme and felt it was time to do the much-needed revamp of the Creative Corner. So I’ll be tinkering with the site, fair warning if anything changes. In the meantime, enjoy the new Coiler’s Creative Corner. The cars in the header are the notoriously “quirky” Fiat Multipla‘s. I figured they suited a quirky blog.

So I’m excited about this change. It was easier than I thought, and it’s been long overdue.