Cota Farms' Blog

July 19, 2019

Fake Likes – Fake Followers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Cota Farms @ 6:16 pm
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Sure I was suspicious when I started receiving likes and even followers after not having had any at all. I wanted to believe that people had actually discovered my blog and really liked or at least considered what I had to say. Then I began to notice the pattern that this only happened when I made new posts. Each ‘like’ was accompanied by a suggestion that I look at the sites of those giving the likes. I did. I also noticed that these persons where not the type that I would expect to view my blog much less like it.

Finally, after a decidedly opinionated blog, I noticed that one of the persons liking it should have been offended. Yes, there was a reason I got no comments, only likes. I did the research and discovered what I already knew in my heart, the likes were part of a fake marketing scheme perpetrated by the very platform I was writing on – WordPress.

I felt shame at being so easily manipulated, me, the person that writes about sheep, not always the ones with four legs…rarely now, the ones with four legs. So what to do about it? My research also proposed a solution that I will eventually employ, restarting my own website. In the mean time, I will continue to use this wicked platform as the personal journal, not actual blog, that it has always been and eventually re-post all of my past writings.

July 15, 2019

The Freedom To Write

Filed under: Book — Cota Farms @ 10:29 am
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I was reading about the death of literature and how people don’t read books anymore, they prefer video. I thought it unfortunate for me since I have recently decided to write a few novels myself. To be fair though the books I’m writing would only appeal to a very few even if it suddenly became trendy to read books. Since I understand and accept that and don’t expect to earn any money from writing, I am free to write what I want and not what is required in order to gain a profitable audience. It is liberating in the same sense that being homeless frees one from the burden of trying to keep a roof over their head or have regular meals.

writing mandala

Most bloggers strive for many thousands of followers, some have greater ambitions and I too thought that was what I wanted but not really. Sour grapes? Perhaps but I don’t think so. Just to be sure I have decided that my novels would be a writing mandala. I was confounded the first time I saw the Buddhists Monks, without hesitation, destroy their works of sand. Those lovely patterns labored over in prayer were created just so that they could be erased. Wow! The more I thought about it the more I saw the wisdom of it. I am no monk nor do I aspire to be one. Fortunately circumstances will allow me to engage in this ritual will little effort on my part. All I have to do is sit back and allow my writing to go unnoticed. This would of course happen anyway but instead of resenting it I will be grateful for it.

Let’s have a go then. “Sour Grapes” is a term from an old children’s parable. Many have heard the phrase but don’t really understand what it means. It is about far more than just a fox telling himself that since he couldn’t have the grapes he desired, he didn’t really want them anyway because they were probably sour. This story is about denial. Denial is one of the most insidious afflictions that is destroying culture, society and mankind. It wears many masks today as does the dark power behind it. We see the deception everyday but don’t recognize it because it is pleasing, beguiling.

The positive thinking mantra is popular these days. We are told that if we have positive thoughts it will in turn bring positive energy to us, improve our self esteem and attract those beautiful people we long to have in our circle of friends. If we faithfully recite the prescribed positive incantations the results will be a healthy, happy and prosperous life. This notion is also among the most popular of all the Christian sects. These churches preach what has become known as the prosperity gospels. God will reward the followers of these churches here and now, no need to wait for heaven, with the good life, being a testament to their piety. You can wrap this up in any colorful paper you chose but this is witchcraft.

People want to be around positive persons, the charismatic. Yes it is true, a merry lie is always welcome while the regretful truth is shunned. Today denial is aided by modern science and a form of media that reaches nearly everyone in every place. We are told by the gurus of the west that reality is what we make it. There are no good or bad things it is only our perspective that needs to be brought into line. It’s all good. Don’t worry be happy. Don’t hate. We only need to evolve. And it goes on and on, the programming, the conditioning, the scam.

And yet there is a glaring error in their fiction. In order for this line of reasoning to work they had to replace the old gods with the new – science for God, evolution for creation. The ideas of right and wrong are abandoned in favor of progressive politics, sexual freedom and profits. But the whole premise of evolution is built on a reality that is not created in the mind of man. There must be actual laws of nature and the physical universe. There has to be consequences for certain actions in order for a lower life form to evolve into a higher one. The theory goes that organisms that developed in a way that aided their ability to survive and adapt are still around. Those that did otherwise perished.

We can’t just simply imagine defying these natural laws to make a world that let’s us do what we want without repercussions. A species that uses sexual reproduction will not thrive if the males pair up with one another. The biology of evolution doesn’t work that way, or so we were told. But now we are told to believe that homosexuality is a natural, positive alternative to traditional human sexuality. A new reality?

I am old enough to remember when gambling was considered a negative behavior, it was counted among the vices. Now it has been elevated from the outlawed and glamorized to serve the state and corporate interests. By the way that is defined as fascism and not liberalism. I am also old enough to remember when history was considered an important tool that could be used to let us know when we were doing things that have proved to be detrimental in the past. Now it seems to be a forbidden subject.

So, if history and evolution were overlaid atop the design of our present society it would be clear that we are dying. We are ancient Rome, can there be any doubt? I’m not writing anything new or profound here I am just writing it, which seems to be new and profound. The irony is that at least on some level we all know this. We are entertained by stories of our own demise. Reality is not what we imagine it to be but the result of our thoughts made manifest.

April 29, 2019

Everybody’s Grammar

Filed under: Book — Cota Farms @ 8:55 am
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I recently wrote a book. It was a novel and the experience was not what I expected. During the writing I was reminded of two books I read in which the authors referred to the story writing experience in almost magical terms. It was understated in both instances as I now know after having had the experience. It was magical and I never thought what those authors expressed was meant to be literal (pun intended).

Publishing a book is not a magical experience at all. It is anticlimactic. In today’s book publishing industry, the cost to publish a book (I am not including the cost to write one) can only be recouped by the most successful authors and since there are so many authors these days the percentage of authors who make a profit on their books is quite small. There is a standard procedure, cost structure, and if followed even loosely it would cost several thousand dollars to bring a book to market. For self publishers of eBooks, editing can be one of the more costly parts of the process. It you sell your book at a modest price of say between $4 and $10, you would have to sell several hundred copies to break even.

I could not afford to have someone edit my book so I had to do it myself. I understand that this is not the preferred method but I know of nothing that is done as it should be in spite of costs, profits, sustainability and the list continues. There is a variety of software available to help with the editing process. I just assumed that the fundamentals of punctuation would be included in the basic versions of these programs, I was wrong. But what bothered me the most was the rules of grammar. One program always wanted a coma where it wasn’t necessary but was called for in grammar text books while another ignored commas in favor of sentence structure. The cruel (and capitalistic) part of all the software I looked at was the large number of corrections that were tallied but not shown to coerce you to purchase a key to unlock the the full program. Yes, I do understand that we all must make as much money as possible and there is nothing wrong with this marketing approach…

So, what I got out of all this was that vocabulary, sentence structure, and all the things that makes writing a creative, artistic process is to be regulated and style is only allowed to the extent that it falls within the rules of grammar. I even asked a person to give me a sample edit and cost schedule but they too just relied on some grammar rules they learned in books or college. Oh the hypocrisy!! Some of the most lauded books in English literature are nearly unintelligible but they get a pass since they went from being a novel to literature as specified by some college of literature. And of course when it is pointed out that famous author X edited his own material the standard reply is “you are no author X”. Such arrogance can steal your breath away.

You have to write like this.

The irony then is the complaint that so many of the new self publish works are terrible. At least some of that is because the authors are driven by a formula that allows for the most possible profits within a standard marketing format and genre. There are so, so many sites, videos and blogs about how to make money writing. It seems to me they are akin to telling an artist how to make money painting houses in lieu of pictures because it pays better. If life is truly reduced to that equation then prostitution should be legalized simply because it pays better than waiting tables.

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