Business

My album is finally out!

Though I think more people visit my YouTube page than my blog, I still have to blog it: my album is finally out!  It’s currently only available on my own site, at Hannifin Records.  I sent it to CD Baby right away, of course, but it will take them some time to get it up on their site and get it on iTunes, Amazon, etc.  It’ll probably get a bit more notice once it’s on CD Baby.  Anyway, I think the artwork came out really great, and it’s nice to see my own name on something professional looking.

So… I finally have a product!  Now perhaps I can put all that stuff I’ve read about in business books to use?  Yikes, I don’t even know where to start.

One thing I ask myself is: what do I do with my future music?  This is my first album; up until now I’ve just been uploading my music as MP3s to my site, giving it away for free.  Now I’m asking people to pay for it.  Will they?  Or will they not think it worth it considering all the other music out there that is free?  When I write a new piece, do I give it away like before, or save it for my second album?  What I’m thinking of doing is giving some of it away for free temporarily, until my second album is ready.  So I’ll have a constant flow of free music for people who like that.  Then it will be available on an album with other exclusive tracks.

Though maybe I’m just getting ahead of myself… this album took me almost almost 2 years (maybe 1.5 years; I can’t keep track of time these days).  It’ll probably be quite some time before my next album is ready.

YouTube removes my video for no reason

In other news, I decided to try out YouTube’s video promotion program to try to promote my album.  That might seem vain, and it is.  Selling an album of your own music is kinda vain, so I think if you’re trying to sell your own work you kinda have to get over being too self-conscious about it (while, of course, trying not to be “in-your-face” about it; you don’t want to turn into an annoying salesman who’s only interest in other people comes from seeing them as potential customers).  In away [“in away”?? I mean “Anyway” … that’s such an odd typo to make, I’m going to leave it and just add this comment], my video for my piece On the Edge of a Dream was my most popular video on YouTube that was on my album, so I decided to try to promote that.  So I signed it up to be promoted and YouTube said “disapproved” … and I said: “Huh?  Why?”  And it said that it couldn’t promote a video that nobody could watch.  And I said: “What?  People can watch it!  They just go here…” and I went to the video page.  And it was gone.  It said “This video has been removed due to violation of terms of service” (or something like that).  What?!  So I tried reuploading it, but they must’ve somehow blacklisted the video, and wouldn’t let me.  At first I was afraid my music had somehow gotten on some copyright checklist that YouTube banned from being uploaded.  (Which would’ve really angered me since I own the copyright!)  So I tried uploading a video with just the music track and it worked fine.  So I tried uploading a video with just the animation and no sound and it worked fine.  Then I tried both sound and animation together and … NO!  Didn’t work.  So I finally edited the video and cut off the credits and it worked!  It stinks to have lost all the comments and stuff from the original video, though, but at least the music is back up.  I still have no idea why it was removed.  It really didn’t violate any terms of service.  There’s something stupid somewhere in YouTube’s system, but I’m glad it finally let my reupload the video.  It was quite a headache though.

Well, I guess that’s it!  I hope you, yes you, had a happy Easter!

By S P Hannifin, ago
Non-fiction books

Logic is illogical

It’s been very busy here.  In addition to having house guests (who left near the end of last week), someone quit at the place I work (a part-time job, still don’t have a full-time, and not really anxious for one), and I picked up a lot of additional hours that I’m still not quite used to.  My hours just about tripled.  I don’t mind at all the extra money this will bring in, but I have to get used to the new schedule.  This week it’s been a bit exhaustive, but hopefully I’ll get used to it and get into the groove of things.

I finished reading Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique last week, and posted some quotes on my Book Quotes blog.  ‘Twas a good book, I recommend it… I’d like to buy it in paperback if/when it comes out.

I’m now reading Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson by Jennifer Michael Hecht.  I read somewhere (maybe on the author’s website?) that the author originally wanted to call the book “A History of Atheism” or something.  That’s basically what it is, the history of the questioning of religion, or doubting it.  That said, it’s not a book of “why atheism is correct” or “why religion is correct” … it doesn’t really seem to make any religious judgments itself, it’s more a “history of religious philosophy” book.  For someone like me who doesn’t know much about history, or religious history for that matter, it’s very educational.

So far, I’ve only read the first two chapters (which are the first 85 pages), and there seem to be qutie a few philosophers of old who questioned how we can really know anything or what the point is of questioning things is when answers cannot be obtained.

But maybe how we humans understand logic in the first place is fundamentally flawed in a way we can do nothing about.

So often we think in terms of cause and effect, an event and a reason for it, a “why?” for everything.

For many things, this seems logical.  Something happens, we ask “why?”, we come up with a reason, and that’s that.  The trouble is, we can always keep asking “why?” again.  And again.  Ad infinitum.  This usually leads us to some point where we can go no further, a point where we have to say “I don’t know” and that’s that.  But even if we could come up with answer, what would be the point?  We would just ask “why?” again, and it would have to go on forever.  Every event would have to have an infinite number of causes, going backwards for eternity.  If it goes on forever, then isn’t that the same as there being no answer at all?  There can be no end point.

One could cheat, and go in circles.  “Why are you the boss?”  “Because I tell people what to do!”  “Why?”  “Because I’m the boss!”  Of course, such circular logic is considered a logical fallacy.  But real logic isn’t always much more helpful, even though it seems to make more sense to the mind.  But if logic isn’t circular, is it linear?  A line that goes on forever?  That’s just as useless as a circle!  In fact, just about every shape logic could be in is useless.  (Well, depending on what you’re using it for.)  The whole cause and effect, one thing from another, dominoes of logic . . . ultimately I think it’s a flawed way of looking at the universe, of trying to discover truth.  But right now I have no earthly (or heavenly or hellish) idea of what it could be replaced with.

I’m sure these are not new thoughts for the world, but . . . well, there it is.  Logic is illogical!  Don’t ask me why!  Let me know if you have heard of any philosophers who have had similar thoughts, as I should very much like to read about them.  There’s gotta be someone out there, some form of thought I haven’t heard of yet…

On an unphilosophical note, I had a weird dream a few nights ago.  Near the end of it, a bunch of people gave me a bunch of presents, and it wasn’t my birthday or Christmas or anything.  Being quite astounded at my good fortune, I thought “this must be a dream!  I’m going to wake myself up!” and with some strange mysterious semi-lucid mental process, I awoke myself.  It was like my uncontrollable subconscious willingly giving control back to the my real conscious self.  It was a really strange strange experience.

I call the blog “Blather” so I can blather ya know!

That’s all for now.  Oh, in case you missed it, I posted a YouTube video a few days ago right here.  It’s a piece I’m hoping will be on my first album, which I’m hoping will be finished this year.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Fiction books

Reading and writing and blah blah blah

Been a while again, eh?  I submitted my short story, Oberon’s Paradise, to yet another publisher, this time online magazine Strange Horizons.  They publish stories about once a week on their site free for anyone to read.  The story’s been rejected three times so far, but it never hurts to keep trying.  I’m also trying to get back into the habit of critiquing other people’s work through Critters, a free online writing workshop, and I’m hoping to put my newer short story, No One Was Abendsen, through the critique line.

I also finished another orchestral piece for my album which I call On the Edge of a Dream.  So far my album is up to a bit over 20 minutes, so I’m about a third of the way there.  One song that will be on the album, White Castle Waltz, is already available on iTunes and CD Baby.  I must say, it’s pretty cool seeing one’s work on iTunes, even if they’re not really a selective distributor.

I finished reading Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, and I have a few quotes from it to put up on my Book Quotes blog.  It was a very good book, definitely worth a read if you’re interested in non-fiction.

I also finished reading a fantasy book by Kage Baker called The Anvil of the World.  It was a short book that came out in 2004, and I think it’s out of print now.  I wanted to read a book by Kage Baker because I had read a few of her short stories and enjoyed her style.  It was pretty light reading; the plot never got extremely thick or dark and the world never seemed very complex, but it was still engaging and believable and very humorous.  Not a bad read at all.

I’m still reading The Lord of the Rings (50th Anniversary Edition), a nice all-in-one volume I got for Christmas, but now I’m also reading T. H. White’s The Once and Future King, the book of the legend of King Arthur, which has definitely been enjoyable so far, especially since I already know how parts of the story go, and this book kind of fleshes things out.

And… I think that’s really all I have to blather about for now.  Kinda boring, eh?

By S P Hannifin, ago