Letters From Somnolescent

Author: mariteaux


January 3, 2020

Five Reasons I’ve Stopped Reading Your Story

mariteaux

Amateur and fan writing is something I’m no stranger to. In fact, it’s what I’m most familiar with. I don’t read a lot of books, but I do peruse toyhou.se and places for my own amusement and occasionally in the hopes of actually finding something good to read.

Of course, it being the internet, most of it isn’t great. Good writing habits are rarely taught in schools, at least here in the US. Past basic grammar (and even that’s not much), creative writing tends to be side-eyed and pushed aside, and otherwise bright people trip on the fundamentals, let alone anything involving tone, pacing, or dialogue.

Here’s just a few things I notice a lot in people’s writing, plus examples. (Don’t go looking for these people to bug them, thanks.) No judgement if you do any of these; I’ll tell you how to fix them as best I can.

Tags: writing,


December 28, 2019

A Year Under the Bulb: Our Upgrade Plans

mariteaux

The first official year of Somnolescent has had me figuring out little webmaster things I’d previously had no experience with. So far, it’s been really good, no doubt helped by our excellent hosting and a little bit of common sense on the part of all the Somnolians.

Nevertheless, we’re really only just getting started here. As the world continues to churn around our collective, I’ve a few major upgrades I’d like to perform on our internal and external server infrastructure going forward. I’ll explain more under the cut.


December 20, 2019

A Year Under the Bulb: Origins

mariteaux

In all the chaos surrounding Somnolescent, lurkers, and people peeking in at our operation, I realized I’ve never fully told the story of Somnolescent leading up to its formal inception on this day last year. Believe it or not, the name Somnolescent stretches a long, long way back, all the way back to 2011 or so, and it’s been a tale of abuse, betrayals, and triumphs ever since. I kinda wish I was joking.

Should I be sharing some of this? Who knows, but I’ll do it anyway. If you’ll allow me a few paragraphs to ramble, I present the official, messy, canon history of Somnolescent as it well and truly happened.


December 9, 2019

Emergency WordPress Migration Completed!

mariteaux

Like the 24-hour flu, Letters from Somnolescent recently underwent its own 24-hour bit of chaos and peril after Nucleus (our old CMS) decided to test my patience. I planned to migrate us to WordPress next year, but given the circumstances, I couldn’t risk people not being able to log in.

If you’re reading this, it’s already complete. We’re on WordPress.


December 6, 2019

A Year Under the Bulb: An Ode to DreamHost

mariteaux

As you might be aware, when Somnolescent first got a web presence, it did so under a little site called Neocities. (No link, doesn’t deserve it.) As casual web hosting, it’s…fine. It’s hard to get excited about its lack of features, its style-over-substance presentation, how broken it really is, the abysmal Supporter’s plan, and especially its community, but for just getting a website online, it’s okay.

For our needs, Neocities wasn’t about to satisfy. We needed something sturdier, something with a better featureset, better support, and people who give a shit at the helm. The search didn’t last long, and the choice for us was pretty clear: only DreamHost would do. And we love it.

Over the past year, we’ve had nothing but good things to say about DreamHost. It’s been able to support nearly every little venture and idea we’ve had so far, and we’ve had many. Frankly, for what we get, it makes Supporter’s look like a ripoff. Come, as I rave about getting far more than you pay for.


November 23, 2019

End it Someday: Looking Back on With the Lights Out

mariteaux

With the Lights Out

It’s been 25 years, 7 months, and 19 days since the death of Kurt Cobain. You might remember him as the singer and guitarist for Nirvana, who later ended up trying pellet-flavored Pez in his greenhouse. He’s pretty much been canonized as the last great rockstar, and eh—I don’t care. I love Nirvana, but I don’t care.

It’s also been 15 years since the release of a little three-CD-one-DVD Nirvana treasure trove of B-sides, live tapes, and rehearsals came into the world. With the Lights Out was the first official look into the home demos and leftovers that went into producing Nirvana’s three proper records. It’s a fascinating little document with a lot of history—and a lot of flaws.

Join me as I ramble about my history with the boxset, its highs, its lows, and where I think it sits in the Greater Nirvana Canon as a Sacred Text or something.


November 2, 2019

How the Goldfish Man Changed My Life

mariteaux

The day I swapped my album for two goldfish

My stepmom had a bookshelf CD collection when I was little. Young spergs have active imaginations, and I was no exception; album art was everything to me at 5. I probably spent more time staring at the cracked out, surrealist album covers and being confused, fascinated, and terrified than I did listening to anything at […]


September 7, 2019

How the Feed Killed Creation

mariteaux

Let’s start with a premise. We have a creator. She’s a writer, maybe, or maybe a visual artist. Maybe dabbles in animation. She’s got big ideas and the drive to see them to fruition. Might even be months into a grand project right now. Yet, she’ll post her stuff online or in a Discord server, and no one gives a shit.

The internet’s built on user-generated content, stuff ordinary people (people like you, perhaps!) create. And yet, with all these sites for it, where’s the support? Let’s talk about the feed and how it’s killed independent content.

Tags: internet,


July 13, 2019

Cammy vs. the PhotoCam

mariteaux

The AOL PhotoCam

I’ve long liked early digital cameras. There’s a really specific era of 95-98 or so where digital cameras were, by some measures, atrocious, and by others, absolutely fantastic. Their bad CCDs, chunky design, and inconsistent featureset makes them fascinating and a topic of my obsession for a few months now. I would absolutely take pictures […]

Tags: technology,


July 4, 2019

Somnoville

mariteaux

Somnoville landscape

I can remember the last time I had a proper Minecraft server with a group of friends. It was in 2012 or so, when a close friend of mine bought me the game and invited me onto his little public server. (Naturally, since we were spergy kids, I was a co-admin. Too many roles and […]

Tags: Somnocraft,


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