• Category Archives Web Stuff
  • Things pertaining to websites, blogs, social media, and life on the Internet.

  • Stay Focused Social Media Blocking App and Timex TW5M23300 Watch

    Stay Focused Social Media Blocking App and Timex TW5M23300 Watch.

    Last week I was off-line except for a couple of tasks that needed doing via the Internet (like administration). To ensure I remained off-line–I’m just as human as the next guy (I think)–I got an app for my computer phone called Stay Focused. This app can block any app on your phone and, in the free version (which I used), can block up to 5 apps at once. You set a schedule by telling it which hours and what days you want certain apps blocked. I applied these to the social media apps on my pocket computer to keep me on lockout. While true I’m in Broadcast Mode in the winter, as part of broadcasting I sometimes need to go into an app like Instagram and post something. The problem is one glance at the feeds can quickly lead to two, then three, and so on, and the next thing you know you’ve fiddled away an afternoon scrolling and scrolling and refreshing and scrolling.

    This picture is a screenshot of the app from the day I went dark. You can see the stat on there says I’ve already tried opening the app 3 times and each time it didn’t work (was running tests). The timer on locking me out of these apps ran for a week. And it worked! Once I knew I was locked out, I didn’t give the apps a second thought.

    Stay Focused APF

    Stay Focused also acts as a master lock, meaning you have these little locks under it (like the apps you’re blocking), but then you can lock Stay Focused itself–but only in 6-hour chunks in the free version–to ensure you don’t unlock your blocked apps. I’m assuming this is for extreme cases where certain people need a double padlock on their phone. To get even more extreme, I’m pretty sure there’s a lock on Stay Focused that forbids you from uninstalling it in an effort to destroy your barriers.

    What was interesting was it kept track of how many times I unlocked my phone to do something, like reply to a text from family. I was disgusted when I saw, at the end of one of the days, I had unlocked the phone around 35 times. I barely used it that day! But numbers don’t lie. I barely used it? That was 35 times in the span of 12 hours (roughly). That’s approximately 4 times an hour. That’s once every 15 minutes. My unlock count steadily dropped as the week wore on and I got busier, but this goes to show how much we’ve integrated pocket computers into our lives.

    The app has other features, like how long you are using any one program and your total phone usage for the day.

    In the end, getting an app like this is highly recommended, especially if you are a phone junkie and recognize you have a problem (dopamine addiction). And, yes, the irony of this kind of post ranting about frequent phone use is not lost on me. I fully recognize a good part of my business is digital and having people on-line looking at or reading my stuff is better for me yet here I am encouraging my readers to go live life in the physical world. Oh well. But my refutation to the irony is this: I’m referring to balance. Is your on-line and off-line lives balanced? Take away sleeping hours, eating, and body maintenance, and see how much time is spent on a screen while you’re awake. The rest is up to you.

    (I know that author J.B. Bennet got on board and locked themselves out of things during working hours each day, so others see the merit in this.)

    I made this video on Friday of last week and aired it yesterday. It gets into what happened during my time off-line. Watch and subscribe. You might relate.

    Lastly, for months I was getting frustrated of having to pull out my phone to check the time. While 9 times out of 10 all it was was checking the time, there was always that one time in there where it became an excuse to futz around on the phone. I couldn’t have that. I needed to be off-line, so I took the plunge and got myself a basic sports watch by Timex. As a kid, I had a couple of their Ironman watches, which I loved. I was aiming for another basic Ironman this time around but it was suggested to me that’s more a watch for a 15-year-old than a man so opted for a different one because I thought that was a valid point (I’m talking purely the aesthetics).

    This is the watch I got, model TW5M23300:

    Timex TW5M23300 Watch APF

    And that was how I kept dark last week.

    Taking a break from the Internet is something I’ve recommended for years for the sake of maintaining all facets of one’s health. I will go off-line again somewhere down the road because 2020 is a stupidly busy work year and sometimes you need to just shut up and get the job done. But that upcoming time off-line won’t be for a while yet. Not until my first holiday of 2020. Until then, I’ll be here, writing to you and making books and art and comics and videos.

    Keep coming back to the blog every day. There’s always something being posted.

    – APF

    Ps. Today, a new chapter of Gigantigator Death Machine aired on Patreon! Please go here to get access to this fun romp of creature horror for just a buck!


  • Notice: Going Dark for the Week

    going dark

    Going dark.

    In an effort to make sure the reissue and new release schedules are on track, I’ll be offline this week so no blog entries until I return. (I might post something if I need variety but that’s a maybe.) Feel free to check back every day just in case and/or surf the blog for past entries to get caught up on anything you missed. Also, my social feeds are on automated Broadcast Mode so I cannot be reached there. If you’re a Patreon subscriber, this week’s post for the Essays tier will show up in the Patreon feed on your pocket computer (or on the website on the non-pocket computer). It’s an essay on how to always keep your audience engaged.

    If you are a client, please use email. If you are a reader and need to reach me, please use email. Please note that email is very low priority so unless I owe you a project (which I can identify by the sender), most likely emails will be replied to upon my return. If it’s an emergency, then you know who you are who has that kind of access.

    Enjoy your week, everyone. See you on the other side in Saturday’s newsletter.

    To keep busy while I’m away, here are some suggestions:

    Surf my YouTube channel and subscribe to check out all the latest videos and be notified of new ones.

    Read Gigantigator Death Machine on Patreon.

    Read back issues of The Canister X Transmission and be sure to subscribe to receive a letter from me every Saturday in your inbox.

    Review the social feeds to the right if viewing this entry on a standard web browser to make sure you and I are connected on your various social networks. If you are viewing this on your computerized telephone, type “A.P. Fuchs” into your social network’s search bar and you’ll find me.

    Relax and take care of yourself however that might look like.

    See you.


  • Station Ident – Jan312020

    Station Ident Jan3120

    This is your station ident for January 31, 2020.

    My name is A.P. Fuchs and I’m a writer of words, drawer of pictures, and freelancer in pretty much anything to do with publishing. You are tuned into my blog, Canister X, my official web presence and the Realm of Heroes and Monsters. I’ve been writing and publishing since my first short story sale in 2000, and have been creating and publishing books and comics since 2003.

    My various social media platforms are:

    Ello

    MeWe

    Twitter

    Facebook

    Instagram

    Pinterest

    Tumblr

    LinkedIn

    WT.Social

    YouTube

    Ko-fi

    My Patreon page is here. It’s a special place where I post serial novels, essays on the creative arts business, stuff from behind the scenes here in the Great White North at Axiom-man Central, and more. Join me and my other patrons and be a part of something fun and interesting with regular and reliable content.

    Also, on Saturdays, I send out my newsletter, The Canister X Transmission. It’s a weekly newsletter where we all come together after a busy week, unwind, and kick off the weekend. Presently, we are finishing off The Long Year Five, and Year Six will start before the first half of 2020 is over. Join us.

    Thank you for coming alongside of me on the blog this month.


  • Curating my Own Internet: Read Blog Feed Reader

    Read Blog Feed Reader A.P. Fuchs

    This past weekend I spent some time taking a page out of Warren Ellis’s playbook by downloading a blog feed reader called Read in an effort of curating my own Internet. I loaded into it all the blogs I follow. Now it will notify me of new blog entries from these sources. Since I’m 99.9% off the social feeds for the winter (except for the odd post here and there, usually about my cooking), this makes things easier for me and saves me time checking in on websites.

    The goal is to make my pocket computer’s Internet nice and streamlined in a season of life where I need things streamlined. There are a lot of moving parts going on, both professionally and personally, and it’s time to cut out the clutter and keep things simple. Self-imposed boundaries can be healthy and this is one of the good ones.

    Speaking of which, and this idea is at the consideration stage at the moment, I’m thinking about going dark next week so I can ensure the release schedule is maintained. Pursuant to this blog entry here, I tire out quicker than most because of the after effects of being ill so any spare energy I can save and funnel into my projects is a good thing. I’ll keep you posted.

    Back to Read.

    So far, so good. Saves clicking around or fumbling through my computerized telephone’s browser.

    Here is the link should you wish to add this blog, Canister X (the Realm of Heroes and Monsters), to your feed reader, if you have one.

    Lastly, tomorrow on Patreon airs the next chapter of Gigantigator Death Machine, my ongoing serial novel about a group of young adults hunted by something huge and deadly, with all the creature-feature fun that goes with it. Go here to get caught up and get ready for the new installment.

    Thanks.

    Hope the week pans out well for everybody.


  • Recap Tunnel: Catch-up Time

    Recap Tunnel 2019 No. 4

    Here is the last installment of this recap series. It is called Recap Tunnel: Catch-up Time and it’s very simple: I’ve done a lot of blogging over the past few months here at Canister X, your Realm of Heroes and Monsters, so you’re invited to poke around the blog and check out the various pages as well as scroll through previous blog posts to ensure you’re all caught up before we head into 2020’s blogging year.

    Some ways you can make sure you don’t miss a blog update are to use some of the subscription boxes to the right of the screen, which enable you to subscribe to the blog via email and/or to the RSS feed and/or to my weekly newsletter, The Canister X Transmission. My YouTube channel is also regularly updated.

    You can also use these links:

    Canister X RSS Feed
    The Canister X Transmission
    A.P. Fuchs on YouTube

    Reminder: Today is the last day to book me for your project in 2020 and receive 2019’s rates. Please shoot me an email so we can lock something down because the fees go up effective tomorrow. Please go here to see what services I offer.

    It’s been a hard slog this year with recovery from being ill and getting my career back in order, but it was time well spent despite how difficult some days were. And so we march onward down the Timeline of All Things into 2020.

    Join me.

    Ps. A new chapter of Gigantigator Death Machine just went up on Patreon. Please read it and its previous chapters here.

    Pps. Thank you for reading my recap series of posts, starting with this one here (or technically here, if you want to go back to the series’ first mention) and ending up here with Recap Tunnel: Catch-up Time.

    Happy New Year’s Eve!


  • Station Ident – Dec272019

    Station Ident Dec2719

    This is your station ident for December 27, 2019.

    My name is A.P. Fuchs and I’m an author, artist, and freelancer in everything and anything to do with publishing. You are tuned into my blog, Canister X, my official web presence and the Realm of Heroes and Monsters. I’ve been writing and publishing since my first short story sale in 2000, and have been publishing books and comics since 2003.

    My various social media platforms are:

    Ello
    MeWe
    Twitter
    Facebook
    Instagram
    Pinterest
    Tumblr
    LinkedIn
    WT.Social
    YouTube
    Ko-fi

    My Patreon page can be found here. It’s where I post serial novels, essays on the creative arts industry, what goes on behind the scenes here in the great white north at Axiom-man Central, and more. Join the journey and be a part of something special.

    Hope you had a pleasant Holiday week.

    Ps. All my superhero and monster fiction eBooks are presently on sale at 50% off on Smashwords until January 1, 2020. Please go here (and scroll down a bit) to stock up before the discount ends!


  • Project Rebirth: Final Update and Announcement

    Project Rebirth Announcement
    It’s been a long road, but one worth travelling.

    Project Rebirth: Final Update and Announcement given this sixth day of the twelfth month in the year 2019 AD.

    It’s been a long, busy journey, but Project Rebirth is complete up to the point where I can transfer out parts of the project into the “things I need to finish” category, in other words, what’s left to do is the “more” part that I’ve mentioned in previous updates.

    So, as always, a recap of what’s complete and what that strange “more” is all about.

    The following list is taken from the last update on Project Rebirth.

    Resumption of my newsletter, The Canister X Transmission: Goes out every Saturday and has been for a while now. Please subscribe here and get yourself a free thriller e-novelette as a thank you for joining me.

    A Patreon account with special content just for patrons: All systems have been in go mode for a while now, too. By becoming a patron, you get access to an ongoing serial novel, essays on the creative life, a look behind-the-scenes, and other fun stuff. Joining the journey supports what I do and keeps the projects alive. Please join my patrons and I on my Patreon journey here.

    Order fulfillment of the Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm Kickstarter: All the books are printed up. Special piece of exclusive art to the Frozen Storm lettered edition needs a final touch, printing, then into the books.

    Publication of projects that were temporarily put on hold: See the “more” section below.

    Bigtime expansion and growth of The Axiom-man Saga and associated products: Transferring this portion of the project into the “things I need to finish” category. Keep an eye on this blog for news and updates as we bring the Cobalt Crusader into 2020. I really want to get that long-awaited Battle of Power Trilogy storyline done and published.

    Revving up public appearances and media again: Best place to keep up to date with these is via the Convention and Book Signing Schedule page on this site. Please go there to check out what’s booked so far. Regarding interviews and whatnot, those will be announced on the blog when they happen and will also be listed under the Interviews section of this site.

    New YouTube channel: Been running for a short while now. New videos uploaded regularly. Please subscribe here so you don’t miss the latest video.

    More . . . : A Web presence redesign along with a retooling of the social media pages was part of this and is complete. There is more SEO stuff to do to properly bring the blog into the New Year, but that is a pick-at project for when I have the time and there’s no real deadline other than, say, by spring or something.

    The big part of “more” is this: Book redesigns!

    A good chunk of my book covers are dated and need an upgrade so many are getting one. I also need to adjust the distribution system for a pile of titles to keep them available and searchable at various retailers. Presently, all first editions are still available so if you’re a first-edition collector, please head over to my Book and Comic Shop and stock up. If you’d like a signed copy, please email me directly and we’ll make arrangements.

    As the titles begin to transfer over to their new form, I will post notices here as to which books are being redone and when so you can keep current with what’s what. This book redesigning effort is a large project and is going to take time because there are so many titles. My aim is to do them in chunks. At the time of this writing, my plan is to update my backlist before releasing anything new (despite new titles already being complete behind the scenes). It’s better for my books’ overall quality that I stay in one kind of headspace (re-releasing the backlist) before switching into another (releasing new titles).

    But have no fear for new comic book releases are scheduled! I will announce these in a separate blog post when the time comes.

    So there you have it. This is my winter and what’s coming down the pike. I’m not joking when I say I’m busy.

    Thank you for your patience as I got the media machine up and running again. Thank you for your support reading this blog and watching my videos. Thank you for grabbing the first editions of my monster and superhero books.

    Just, simply, thank you.


  • Station Ident – Nov292019

    This is your station ident for November 29, 2019.

    My name is A.P. Fuchs and I’m an author, artist, and freelancer in all things publishing. You are tuned into my blog, Canister X, my official web presence. I’ve been writing and publishing since my first short story sale in 2000, and have been publishing books and comics since 2003.

    My multi-faceted presence on social media includes:

    Ello
    MeWe
    Twitter
    Facebook
    Instagram
    Pinterest
    Tumblr
    LinkedIn
    WT.Social
    YouTube
    Ko-fi

    My Patreon page can be found here. It’s where I post serial novels, essays on the creative arts industry, what goes on behind the scenes here in the great white north at Axiom-man Central, and more. Join the journey and be part of something special.

    Have a wonderful weekend.


  • A.P. Fuchs is Now on WT.Social

    WT.Social Logo
    Join A.P. Fuchs on WT. Social by going here.

    Yep. A.P. Fuchs is now on WT.Social.

    Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, has quietly launched a new social media site focused on accurately reporting the news in an effort to shrink down the amount of misinformation and false articles passed around on other social networks.

    For a time, I deemed Wikipedia untrustworthy because it’s open-edit system meant anyone can add anything to any subject, but–so far as I know–Wikipedia has tightened up their practices and data for whatever subject you look up now needs to be cited or it has a warning if information is unsubstantiated.

    Anyway, I’m very interested in this site despite being in Heavy Broadcast Mode because checking the news is part of my daily routine, and if there is a place I can read the latest articles under whatever topics I choose and know they have been verified, well, that sounds good to me.

    I don’t fully know how the site works. It’s similar to other social networks but seems to have a strong focus on news and articles as opposed to social interaction. Not that social interaction isn’t a part of it, but, at least at this early stage, appears somewhat limited.

    The site is free despite not gaining revenue from ads, but you might wind up on a waiting list for a short while before being granted full access. You can skip the line by getting a monthly or yearly subscription. I don’t know, as of this writing, if having the paid version is a way to access more features or if it’s simply a case of supporting the platform and what it stands for.

    What I do know is social media is a wasteland of bad news, people complaining, and drama. To have WT.Social doing its thing might pave the way for a new type of social media because, clearly, the current model is causing people mental health issues and that’s never a good thing.

    To join me on WT.Social, please visit here or use the little icon on the right or the caption to the image above.


  • Project Rebirth: Another Update

    Comic Book Longboxes
    Some of my comic book longboxes.

    Here is an update on Project Rebirth, but first:

    Lots of comics on the brain these days, both the creation of them and the publishing of them (the latter being the most difficult in the context of distribution; publishing them in general is a non-issue). I’m basically living in my head on the matter and have written notes where and when needed. An overall plan is starting to congeal but there are still a few missing elements which will no doubt present themselves the further I get into the process.

    I’m still waiting to hear back from some people on something that will dictate the winter schedule. I expect I’ll be hearing something soon thus helping things on my end.

    A good chunk of Project Rebirth is in the can, here is the update, lifting the list from this previous blog entry:

    Resumption of my newsletter, The Canister X Transmission: This has been back up and running for a while now and is just as enjoyable now and it was all the years I’ve been doing it. Please subscribe by going here. You get a free novelette as a thank you.

    A Patreon account with special content just for patrons: This has also been running for a bit now. It’s a lot of fun and I’m thrilled to provide exclusive content to my patrons. Please join the Patreon journey and get access to an ongoing serial novel (plus other things, depending on the tier you select), by going here.

    Order fulfillment of the Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm Kickstarter: The paperback is coming off the line at the printer’s right now so a pick up is in the near future. I will sign the books then send them to Jeff Burton for his signature before they go out to backers. The lettered edition is printed and signed on my end. I’m in the process of inserting a piece of exclusive art into the book. Once this is done, these will also go to Jeff Burton for signature then to backers. If you missed the kickstarter but want a copy of the book to complete your Axiom-man and/or Auroraman collection, please go here.

    Publication of projects that were temporarily put on hold: A list is made, but this is tied into the “more” below, so as it stands right now, I’m not moving on them just yet.

    Bigtime expansion and growth of The Axiom-man Saga and associated products: In process.

    Revving up public appearances and media again: To be looked at over the winter.

    New YouTube channel: The channel has been up for a short while with more videos being added as time goes on. Please subscribe here.

    More . . . : This “more” is tied into the “hearing back from some people” statement above. This step is a big part of my winter so I’m in a holding pattern until I know what’s going on. Watch this space for more info once I have it. I think a Web presence redesign was part of my original plan for “more” so that’s also complete both here on the blog and on social media.

    And that pretty much sums up where things are at with Project Rebirth. More news to come as things progress along.

    Reminder: A Tip Jar was set up yesterday on Patreon and on Ko-fi. The tips are meant to help fuel the free stuff I put on the Web (daily blogging, YouTube videos, a weekly newsletter, and artwork). Thank you in advance for any beans you throw my way.