Blog to Book

Blog to Book updated on 2016-08-27 to add new piece: The Legitters.

In 2003 I started pushing publish on a platform called LiveJournal. I wrote how I felt (because LJ had a field for that).

I wrote about the music I was listening to (another field).

I wrote about a day in the life in Kodaira-shi and later Kiryu-shi, Japan. I wrote about the tiny bike I rode around Tokyo and later Yokohama.

I did not write about the one time that I wore a long scarf that got caught in the back wheel of said tiny bike and very nearly snapped my neck clean off.

Some friendly Nihonjin mechanics saw the whole thing and helped me untangle myself. It was a mess. I don't wear long scarfs anymore.

Nor do I ride any bike, let alone tiny ones.

One thing I still do that I did then?

I write.

Prior to writing to online journals I wrote into paper notebooks. In fact, I still write to paper notebooks.

Years into writing to journals digital and non- in 2010 I started charging for my work. Some argue I should continue blogging for free, give it all away and hope that someone somewhere throws me a bone once in a while. Trouble is I'm a professional writer. I've chosen to write for a living as in forever until I die.

That's why I've decided to publish Blog to Book. I've rolled the twenty-three chapters of Stoic Systems into Blog to Book and each time I write ten new pieces (formerly called blog posts) the price goes up one US dollar.


Things got super fucking rough in 2012. I've written about it in brief to the public blog but suffice it to say if I never have to be that skint again, that'd be awesome.

The Stoic practices I've learned since make it so that if I am, so be it. I'll step up my Stoic game. I'd prefer to Blog to Book, add ten new chapters and raise the price by a dollar each time I hit the ten new pieces mark, and think of it: you're incentivized to buy Blog to Book early on. And I'm incentivized to write ten new chapters. Since thinking up this idea, then writing it down and creating a book cover for it I've had more ideas for future pieces. If I keep giving away the cow for free I'll end up under a game table or equivalent again. No door. Beef jerky my only food source. 2012. Rough, rough year. Believed in some people.

Less naive four years on.

Let's talk about the site for a minute.

You've probably noticed changes I've made in the past month (August 2016). As of this month it's no longer a static site generator for pumping out new photos and writing. It's programmatically hooked into a network. It's connected to a secure scuttlebutt-based network.

It's what I call Distributed Associating (not social networking).

On this front page of this site, right now, you're seeing the porthole version of sbot. The only way you'll see the whole network and all aspects of the conversations happening there is if you get an invite code and join. I call it porthole for a reason: it's a window into a world that you don't have access to unless you do.

I blogged to the public web from 2003 to 2016. I now have the peer to peer, eventually consistent logging of sbot to thank for an outlet that I've missed since 2013 when I quit posting things to Twitter. Even prior to that in 2010 when I quit posting things to Facebook (the former, I deleted the account and got back in 2013, the latte r I deleted in 2010 and opened afresh in 2012 only to delete within 72 hours). I know why you continue to come to my site all these years later: you get nutrients when you visit. I know why you get nutrients: I do the work every day. I've had one sick day this year and every other day, including weekends, I've done the work.

Even getting over being sick from the smog, holding very still and drinking tea with jengibre and miel was part of doing the work. Ok, so I do the work each day, without fail.

But sometimes I don't publish things. Sometimes I hold things back because I don't want to give them away anymore. There are what, billions of blogs? When I started blogging there were less than that. Now you have plenty of options, roughly zillions of sites to visit. You can go get lots of nibbles for free from now until the end of time.

If you want the nutrients I create you can buy Blog to Book and join me in ushering in the next phase of the work.


It's $35 now. Once I've published ten more chapters, it'll be $36 and so on until it's finished. Which might be quite awhile. I don't know when. Sort of similar to how when I started blogging in 2003 I didn't know when I'd be done blogging. Now, I know. It's now. I'm no longer blogging. I'm creating the Blog to Book.

As usual, thanks for reading. If this is our last time together, ok.

It's been a ride. May the next one be as full and perhaps a little less skint. (And more Stoic if it is, indeed, skinter. <-- not a real word)

Mood Pensive
Music The sounds of la ciudad

Mexico City
August 2016

Hi. I'm Gwen Bell. I live in Mexico City, Mexico. Current work focus: databases and cryptography.

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