Screams from the Candle – Bullshit Traffic

So, I’m new to having and administering a blog, for this is what this site is on the inside, and I’m now amused and disgusted by bullshit traffic.  These are views and visitors and now even comments that are clearly not generated by humans and definitely not by readers.  The most interesting one came from a post that no one ever read, and yet it had a comment on Canadian politics.

The big question in my mind is why?  Why have some random webcrawler randomly flop around on the web and post random and inoffensive bullshit?  Why did I get four visits from Nepal?  Why are Poland and the Philippines dueling it out for fifth place on my rankings of country of origin traffic?  Możesz rozwinąć temat?

And really, with numbers as small as they are for The Strange and the other works here on the site, the bullshit is really obvious.  So from here on in, if you’d like to be counted as a person on this site, comment or like something.  Or drop me a note.  screamingcandle@gmail.com.

And if any of the bullshiters would like to tell me what the fuck is going through your head, that would be cool too.

Stay weird

-SC

Screams from the Candle – WOM

Hi all.  I’m not sure how many people actually read these, but I wanted to throw out a request to anyone who is interested in what you read here at Screaming Candle to help me out.  I’m offering this stuff up for free, but please, if you like it – share it.  Likes on the posts, follows for the site if you’re a wordpress person, comments, all those things help raise the site’s profile.  That helps others who might like the story, find the story.

I’m not advertising the site so the two ways I’m able to reach people who may be into The Strange or the stuff I’m putting out as Liquid Wax is through automated ranking things and Word Of Mouth.  This would help out the site, it would help me justify to every other priority in my life that getting the story up is important to people, and it also shows that you have a refined taste for things that are high concept and low humor.

Going back just a bit to Liquid Wax, I’m also trying to determine my next project.  The Strange is now weekly so that I have enough time to write new.  Ms. Candle wants more stories like Idle Hands – Episode 2 – Temporary Assignment, others may find that slightly too evil.  And you just have to love my girl – she wants me to be evil.  When I get home from taking care of my family (see the previous Screams from the Candle – Sucks to be Old for details – Papa Candle is doing much better, by the way) I’ll be putting up another “Pilot” story called Crabtree, a slightly less evil play on ghost hunting.  I like both of these stories, but I’d like to hear from people who actually read them (and aren’t related to me) to see which one has better legs.

And for those interested in sponsoring me on patreon, it is my intent to take 100% of that and turn it into art for this site.  I wish there was a better way to do that and maybe someone can give me a hand.  See above about how I’m kinda crap with social media and stuff.

So that’s it.  This concludes my … commercial break, I suppose.  The next episode of The Strange won’t be up on time today barring miracles.

Stay weird.

-SC

Screams from the Candle – Sucks to be Old

Hi.

Quick update since I’m not able to update you with any fiction.  I’m down here in Texas with the family because my dad had a … surgical misadventure.  That sounds much better than what actually happened – kinda like some vacation or something.  Anyway, after more than a few scary moments – and most of them handled entirely by my brother and Mom while I was still in the Screaming Candle home base of Washington DC, he’s got as good a chance of surviving as anyone else on the planet.

Now, he’s totally screwed up and thank all the powers of creation that pain medications and antibiotics are a thing, but it’s no longer a question of “is he going to make it.” which really helps the mood at the bedside.

All this to say that updates are going to be fewer.  That’s especially a bummer since some new people have stumbled over from Revfits’s review, which is still making me blush. I’ve got things that are almost ready to rock and am writing new on other stories.  I really just don’t have the time or the right connection to post them and honestly, aside from this little respite, my mind is otherwise engaged.  It’s great that people are reading, but family comes first.

So keep checking back.  The site’s not dead. And above all else – Stay weird.

-SC

Screams from the Candle – Going Quiet

Well, the last Screams from the Candle laid out the shitstorm that is my current predicament.  While things are getting resolved, the big one, my dad having a very hard time health-wise, is not.  Papa Candle has been up and down and up and down healthwise in some very serious circumstances, especially for an old guy.

For the time being, I’m going to try to get on with it but I am NOT going to tie myself to the promise of a particular schedule.  As I only have a handful of readers, that’s likely not going to break many hearts.  The Strange will keep poking along and when I have time enough to get a groove going, I’ll get back to a reasonable schedule.  There is a huge amount of story still left to go and we haven’t even fully wrapped on Act 1.

Writing is a therapy for me, but at the same time, I’ll be traveling, possibly for weeks, and visiting with my family who needs my support.  We’ve unfortunately already been here before with my sister, but having Papa down is really a weird feeling.  He’s always been the guy at the middle of things.

Please do not send thoughts and prayers.  People always do that and it’s nonsense. Instead, if you really want to do something for a stranger, hug your kid, or your dad, or your loved one, or that weird guy at the corner store that smells like roast beef.  Be nice to the barista.  In short, instead of doing something useless that only makes you feel better, be nice to people, or at the very least, don’t be a dick.  Papa Candle has us in his corner and that’s enough.  Improve your own world and do it on our behalf if you really need an excuse.

So with that quick status, I’m going to bump out a few things onto the Liquid Wax portion of the site and maybe have the second and final part of the current Strange Story (that has already gone on too long) before cutting out to Candle Base South to be with the fam.

The short story is that the site is not dead, only recuperating.  Now go be nice to people and tell the roast beef guy to shower more often.

Stay weird

-SC

Screams from the Candle – 420

On this 420, I wanted to lay out the Screaming Candle’s view on marijuana legalization.  If anyone is reading The Strange, it should be no shock at all that I believe that pot should be legal, taxed, and regulated.  The prohibition on pot has been used for decades as an excuse for the police to harass citizens, especially minorities and poor people.  The suspicion and the surveillance that accompanies this prohibition is demoralizing to the population and breeds mistrust between the citizens and the police, making the situation progressively worse.

Really, it is this opening of an adversarial relationship with the cops that is at the very heart of the problem with the current prohibition.  There are other arguments as well.  With the drug illegal, food purity and sanitary standards that we apply to everything else we put into and onto our bodies are completely out the window.  Your pot could be 20% dog poop or infested with e. coli and it would still be sellable.  Nothing else in this country is like that.  The money that goes to drugs goes to people who thoroughly suck and are terrorizing Mexico, making a proud democracy into a shithole.  Pot is not a gateway drug, BUT it is a drug that is sold alongside the truly dangerous drugs like coke and H at the criminal drug dealer.  AND that guy makes most of his money from the ganja.  Take away those sales and there wouldn’t be nearly as many outlets for the other stuff.  Want to keep pot away from kids?  Put it behind the store counter with the porn or in a special shop like a booze store.  The current system has a criminal being the only gatekeeper between kids and pot and that criminal knows that the school kids – all kids all the same age all talking and networking with one another – is a prime word of mouth marketing opportunity.  All of these arguments wrap up into one unassailable truth, the prohibition on pot is unjust and unjustified, especially if one thinks of it in terms of public safety.

The fact is that as I sit here right now, I want a fucking bong hit.  I’m an adult, a father, a home owner, a tax payer.  I don’t smoke pot because I don’t want to break the law or hand my money over to criminals.  Colorado and other states have already figured out how I could possibly have that bong hit without breaking the law and without handing my money over to criminals.  LETS FUCKING DO THAT!

Oh and last but not least, let’s think of the kids.  I look at my little candle, Captain Q, and I see a potential future pot smoker.  He’s a weird ass who loves humor, spazing out, and cookies – not too far a leap to think he’d enjoy a joint when he gets older.  Thing is, we live in the city.  He gets popped for doing that in high school it’s into the criminal justice system for him.  And he’s so lily white, he practically glows in the dark, but still, we live in DC – stuff happens here.  The thing is, I don’t think it’s as big a deal as getting caught with a beer.  I’d rather have him intoxicated than incarcerated.  He’d get over being stoned and being a stoner WAY before his criminal record was expunged.

So, if we want to “think of the children” let’s do the sensible thing and legalize, regulate and put an age limit on who can have pot.  It is the ONLY thing that makes any sense.

Screams From the Candle – Damnit! Life Happened.

Hi.  It’s now been a pretty rough stretch for The Strange and for me generally.  My wife has made a couple of trips to the hospital and is still not completely on the mend and Everybody had their birthday including and most importantly my now eight year old son.  Getting his birthday together, especially with Mrs. Candle in questionable and inconsistent shape has been a journey.  One that is, happily, approaching closure with a good time being had by all.  There is still the whole hospital thing, but hey… you always want to leave something for the sequel.

So anyway, I’m still working, haven’t died or given up.  The Strange has now been listed on Web Fiction Guide and while people aren’t exactly flocking to the story, the numbers are up off the mat.  To be clear though, the whole reason to publish The Strange is to get the story out of my hands.  I’m essentially throwing it out the airlock so that I don’t have to think about writing it anymore.  Ironically, in order to do that, I must both think about it and write on it some more and this has been my issue.

Episode 16, you see, is completely new.  Most of what has been put up so far has been a draft that simply required polish.  This next bit was something I came up with to hopefully improve the whole of the story.  It had been planned in my head but not written.  Given all that has happened I never got to sit down and get it written out.  Now it is, but it’s rougher than my normal fare.  It’s going well, but that doesn’t mean it’s done; you know what I mean?

And yes, I just used a semicolon in something other than computer code.

So sorry.  Life happened.  I believe that I will start publishing weekly.  I don’t want to be caught in this bind again and I don’t want to be left with no time to write anything else.  Oh yes, I have other projects in mind for after The Strange which will be slightly less puerile in nature and tone.  Thanks to anyone and everyone who has been reading.  I hope I’ve made the time worthwhile.

Stay Weird

Patrick Lewis

-SC

Screams from the Candle – Rehosting

Hi.  Patrick here.  I’ve decided to rehost the site because hosting on Patreon was limiting the kinds of things I could do.  Specifically, I don’t believe that indices of webfiction are unanimously groovy with that being your primary site.  So here I am.  This is going to take a second to fix and I think the first dozen or so posts will have incorrect dates on them, but in the long march of history it will, I’m sure, be overlooked.

So sit back and enjoy the show and let me know if the site looks ugly.

Stay weird.

SC