So I’m a Goodreads author now

Nova 2015 antologiaI’ve been an aspiring writer since forever. I’d like to write both fiction and nonfiction – and also, you know, be read and published too. I’ve been taking slow steps in that direction, and just now, the first book containing a short story of mine was published. It’s the anthology for the Nova 2015 nationwide Finnish speculative fiction short story contest, in which I came fourth with a horror story whose title translates as “The Devil’s Cellar”. Nova 2015 -antologia

That was really nice, first winning and then being published. What I hadn’t realised was that this would also get me listed as an author on Goodreads. I’m certainly going to take that opportunity. And so I have an author’s blog there now:

My main interests as a fiction writer are in speculative fiction. The next thing coming out from me should be a fantasy short story in another, English-language anthology, although the schedule is unclear at the moment.


Best past posts

WordPress informed me that my last post was the 200th post on this blog. With that and the new year, it’s a good time for my idea of a post that collects some of the best posts from before, many of which have fallen way below the top of the list here but which I’d recommend people to read.

This is quite a lot of posts, but I have been posting here for years, so these really are just some of the best ones. I hope that you’ll click on something that you’ll find interesting. You can scroll down to see different “categories”, written in bold.

In particular, I think I’ve got some good old ones about critical thinking:

In addition to critical thinking, many of my articles overlap into what might called “scientific thinking” — how science works in general.

While I’m not a scientist, I also cover a few topics that could be said to be about science, be it evolution or psychology or something else:

Philosophy is the field I’m supposed to be studying, so the next ones will be miscellaneous philosophy.

  • Some difficulties in thinking about time looks at how assumptions about time pervade our thinking so much that they make thinking about the nature of time difficult.
  • The Decision Machine presents a thought experiment showing why it might be that we think that we are (or have to be) able to choose between different options when making a free choice — even if determinism is true. It’s just one of the many posts I have about free will.
  • The Ultimate Sceptical Argument (Leads Nowhere) — What things can we doubt? What can we know? Can we really refute all scepticism?
  • How Does Meaning and Purpose Emerge in a Mechanistic Universe? tackles the big question of how a mechanistic universe can become a humanly meaningful one.
  • In Two Kinds of Morality… Actually, Just One, I point out how there can be completely different bases for what people think of as “moral” — and how, once they are stripped of deceptive words, some ideas about morality turn out to be anything but moral.
  • In Possibility Is Just Lack of Contradiction, I analyse the notion of possibility and of possible worlds and give them a simple reductive explanation that accounts for all the facts and is justified by them.
  • The philosophical gap looks at a common phenomenon where really thinking about things makes it seem like what you knew was totally wrong — when really it only seems like that because you’re still stuck in the old view of how things “should” be.

Some of my posts combine popular fiction with philosophy:

I have also written about religion and spirituality from various angles, as a very well-informed outsider to organised religion.

I also have a number of posts that could be described as “answers to stuff I hear people say a lot.” Sometimes, there are things you keep hearing people say, but when you really think about it, they don’t really make sense.

  • In A Note on Things That We Cannot Understand, I talk about how people appeal to the idea that we have to accept that there are some things that we cannot understand… and why, while true enough, this doesn’t do what they want it to do.
  • In Fundamentalist on Others’ Behalf, I note how people rather absurdly complain when their ideological opponents are being too reasonable.
  • The Mythical Animal notes that people often have an automatic way of talking about what non-human animals are like… when they really mean to say something about humans and have little real knowledge to justify what they’re saying about all the other species in a huge blanket statement.
  • In Then why is it called “feminism”? (Like you don’t know.), I show that, quite aside from the fact that there’s nothing wrong with the name “feminism” in the final analysis, those asking why it refers to women if it’s about equality do already know why it’s thought appropriate — if only they thought straight instead of looking for ways to attack.
  • Finally, in These days, I talk about the minor but weird and ubiquitous phenomenon where people seem to automatically assume that anything that they observe now must be a new thing, even though they have absolutely no evidence about the past and the past may not even be at issue.

I haven’t written so many reviews, but here are a few I could highlight:

Some interesting stuff falls outside these rough categories, but that’s enough of a sample for now. I hope you’ll find some of these interesting.

A slightly less ambitious 2016

My original goal for the year involved posting twice per week — or at least one “analysis” and one “review”, which could also be the same post. I’ll just drop that down to at least once per week. It’s a busy year.

less ambitious or whatever

I’ll also start using free stock images in my posts to attract readers. This one’s just for irony, but I bet it will make someone click to this post anyway. (Source: Pixabay.)

Keeping it short

Click here for the Finnish version: Lyhyemmin

This blog has reached its third year, and nearly 2,000 views. Woohoo. Anyhow, I’m going to try something new.

A while ago was not only NaNoWriMo, which I intended to take part in but ended up skipping because I had a very good excuse, but also something called NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, where the challenge was to post a weblog entry every day for a month. I didn’t participate in that, but I got thinking about what kind of posts I’d have to make to be able to do so. Obviously, they’d have to be much shorter and less thought out than usual.

I always have ideas whirling around my head that I could write about if I had the time and energy, and after thinking about the possible short posts, I started getting these ideas largely in the form of how I could make them really short. And since it takes so much time to write the longer ones and I don’t tend to have that time, I thought, why not? So for now, my intention is to write mainly shorter posts, sort of sketches about a rather limited idea. Of course, this weblog has always been a bit like that, since I don’t make the effort I would if I were writing a book or an academically published article, but these short posts will be even more so. As before, though I don’t think I’ve mentioned that, comments on how to develop the ideas are welcome in the comment section.

Since the short posts won’t take much time in the first place, I’ll try to write them in both Finnish and English again (in contrast with my previous time-saving resolution). I will put these (and some previous) short posts in their own category “Short”.

I think I’ll also aim to post at least once per week. I thought WordPress had a tool to keep track of that, but I can’t find it, but I’ll try to do so anyway.

Another Break from Writing to Have Time for Writing

I haven’t been writing a lot here anyway — partly already because I was writing something else, which you’ll probably be hearing more about later — , but now I’m officially declaring a pause again for next month. Much as with NaNoWriMo last November, it’s because I’m taking part in Script Frenzy now. Of course, I may still write something here as well, as last time, but I set no aim to. Well, that’s enough said about that.


The Last Two Months and the Next One

See here for the Finnish version: Kaksi edellistä kuukautta ja seuraava

I’m planning to take the next month off from blogging, which I’m sure comes as not much of a shock for the about two people reading this weblog. The reason is that, even though it’s insane of me, I’m going to be participating in the National Novel Writing Month. My page can be found here. NaNoWriMo involves writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. (It’s also actually not “national”, so it makes sense for me to join.) I’ve already done it once. In case you are interested, my novel’s premise this time is kind of deconstructive fantasy. Continue reading