“The Tale of Rin” serialization is live!

Update (8/8/22): I’ve ditched Vella. The Tale of Rin now exclusively is available on Substack. I’ve amended the post below to reflect this.

My epic fantasy series “The Tale of Rin” now is being serialized on Substack. New episodes come out on Wednesdays and Sundays. Here’s the description:

Just because Rin is indestructible doesn’t mean she can’t be hurt. On her quest to remedy an ancient sin, a single act of casual cruelty sets off an avalanche of events which threaten to destroy everything. Rin must rein in her assistant, a man of fierce attachment and questionable conviction, while avoiding her devious ex-husband, who will stop at nothing to reclaim her. In the balance lies her heart and the fate of the world.

Of the anticipated 6 volumes in the series, the first 2.5 have been written (and the rest mapped out). The first is publication ready and the 2nd close to that state. The first volume, “Protege”, likely will serialize to around 70-80 “episodes”.

The first 10 episodes will be free on Substack. Paid subscriptions are $5 per month (approximately 8 episodes) or $30 per year. Frankly, I would have preferred to charge less, but $5 is the lowest Substack allows. Note that a paid subscription gives you access to previous episodes as well — so don’t hesitate to subscribe at any point!

This is my first serialized novel, so please make some allowance for a few hiccups early on. If you encounter formatting errors or other weirdness please let me know. Such things aren’t always evident to the author, and these platforms are really clunky and buggy to post to.

Disclaimer: This is a work of original fiction, and any resemblance to real people or other fiction is purely coincidental.

Sensitivity Warning: This work may not be appropriate for readers highly sensitive to violence (including the occasional implication of possible sexual violence). Reader discretion is advised. Based on beta reader feedback, I’ve toned down a couple of scenes to make it more palatable to a broad audience. If you’re ok with something like Game of Thrones you should be fine with this.

I hope you enjoy the world I create and have a thrilling journey through it. Whether or not you find Rin an amiable companion, I’m sure you will find her an interesting one.

The Most Important Problem in the World — Solved!

Toilet Seat Problem

Should the toilet seat be left up or down after use?   I decided to undertake a rigorous investigation of this critical issue.   Every woman I asked knew the answer: leave it down.  Every married man also knew the answer:  do what she says.   The truly domesticated men did one better:  leave the cover down too.  I stood in awe of their sheer servility.

Sadly, nobody seemed to feel any need to investigate further.   But, like Galileo, Einstein, Anthony Bourdain, and Stalin I was not  deterred by the disapproval of my peers.   In fact, it invigorated me.   Anything worth doing is worth doing wrong, I say.

Given a man and woman living together, the goal was simple:  introduce an unwanted technical innovation that was sure to drive the marriage apart.   Specifically, I sought a strategy which minimizes the average number of toilet seat flips per use of the bathroom, subject to the constraint that everyone sees the same average.

As with any straightforward problem I choose to examine, the universe immediately rewired its laws to require a lot of math.   Hence this important paper.  Too important for Nature, Science, or The Journal of Advanced Computational Potty Talk.   The only venue worthy of its publication is this very blog which, entirely by coincidence, I own.

Surprisingly, the result turns out to be neither trivial nor obvious.   It seems  the universe actually has something interesting to say about toilet seats and fairness, even if I do not.

Click on the link above or below to view the PDF paper.

Toilet Seat Problem