J.D. Moyer

beat maker, sci-fi writer, self-experimenter

Berry Beneficial (Health Benefits of Blueberries and Goji Berries)

Now that I’m bipedal again and regaining strength in my foot, I’m focussing on getting back in shape. Part of that is increasing my exercise (both strength and cardio) and the other part is some dietary modifications to get a bit leaner and improve my general health.

In terms of diet, the more I learn about berries, the more I want to eat them (and the more of them I want to eat).

All berries are high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, and low in sugar and calories. But for today’s post I’ll pick two–blueberries and goji berries–and review some of the research.

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Stunning New Ambient Album from Marshall Watson, Free Track, Personal Update

While I don’t announce every Loöq Records release on this blog, Marshall Watson’s new ambient/analog electronica album is exceptional. Listen to “Attack of the Little Straw” from I’d Rather Be In Space to get a taste. You can download a different track from the album here if you join the Loöq mailing list (about one email per month).

 

From the press release:

“I’d Rather Be In Space” is a stunning collection of instrumental music from accomplished composer Marshall Watson. Falling into the broad categories of electronic and ambient, the album transcends both. The sound palate is rooted in the classic instruments of analogue sound synthesis – Korg, Juno, Moog, Prophet. Piano, guitar and field recordings were also utilized. The result is a transformative album with a timeless feel. Enjoy this future classic.

In the artist’s words: I’d Rather Be In Space is a collection of improvisational and generative music, performed and recorded in San Francisco in 2016. It is my soundtrack for ordinary days as viewed through the windows of buses, and experienced on the city’s sidewalks and alleys. For this work, I relied less on the computer, and attempted to capture the music of the moment without a lengthy editorial process (if any.) I found myself getting lost in the sound as the machines interacted with each other, and often times, I just hit record and let the sequences run, playing along and hoping for the best. The result of this vérité style approach, is an ambient, cyclical, synthesizer- heavy soundscape inspired by works of Eno, Reich, Smith, and the city of San Francisco itself.

Available on: iTunes | Beatport | Junodownload

Personal Update

I’ve been posting less often on this blog lately, mostly because I’ve been writing short stories, including an eleven-thousand-word novelet “The Verdant” which I just finished. Selling my second story gave me a jolt of motivation–I’m trying to level up.

I’ve also been putting in more studio time, both with Mark Musselman (the other half of Momu) and Spesh (my business partner in Loöq Records and the other half of Jondi & Spesh).

But another reason I’ve been blogging less is a feeling of dissatisfaction with my blogging voice. Sometimes when I read older posts, they hold up. Other times they seem impersonal, or too know-it-all, or so abstract as to be useless and/or boring for the reader. It’s frustrating to feel irritated with your past work, especially when it’s up there for all the world to see. But I’m not going to edit anything or take it down. Ultimately that’s part of what a personal blog is–a record of a changing person with evolving ideas (including the awkward bits).

I’ll get my blogging groove back, and I’ll keep writing about pretty much the same things (I’ve got posts planned about the health benefits of berries, a long-term experiment with l-tyrosine, my brief experiment with Google AdSense ads, lessons I’ve learned in my mid-forties, and a bunch of other topics). My plan to get through this “awkward voice” thing that’s happening is just to blast through it.

Day to day, in addition to writing and making beats, I’m rehabbing my foot (it’s great to be bipedal again), looking for a new D&D game, watching The Great British Baking Show with my family, reading short stories in Fantasy & Science Fiction and Asimov’s, training up Leia the puppy, and dealing with the logistics of my kid changing schools (more on that later).

Feeling grateful to be alive, walking around on two feet, having most of my family in good health, and many other fortunate events. Hope the same is true for you.

Coming Clean On A Few Things (and an Announcement)

Yes I drink spinach now (sometimes while looking at reddit).

One of the peculiarities of keeping a personal blog is that the things you write about yourself diverge from your current state, either quickly or slowly. I feel an obligation to you, the reader, to occasionally provide an update re: how my views or habits have changed from what I’ve previously written. So without further ado …

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New Published Story “The Fo’dekai Artifact”

My science fiction short story “The Fo’dekai Artifact” appears this month in the web magazine Cosmic Roots And Eldritch Shores. This is my second fiction sale at a professional rate, doubling my number of published stories and bringing me two-thirds of the way towards joining the SFWA as an active member (which bestows the privilege of voting on works for the Nebula award, among other things).

The story has shades of Cthulhu/Lovecraft, featuring a race of mind-controlling squid-like aliens, but is primarily a science fiction tale that explores one way an expansionistic civilization might spread throughout the galaxy (without giving too much away: tiny ships, storing information in an infectious DNA-like molecule). Thematically, it’s a story about which class and cultural groups might be more open to the possibility of alien immigration/invasion, and why.

Cosmic Roots And Eldritch Shores charges a modest $1/mo. annual subscription fee (sign up for 2017 here). Well worth it, if you’re a fan of short science fiction and fantasy.

Reference photo: “Underwater Dance” the Russian photographer Willyam Bradbury Stock Providers: “Octopus” http://www.deviantart.com/art/Octopus-473740570 by Kayla Ascencio http://www.kaylafantasyart.com/fantasygallery.html “octopus”  http://mysilentsky-stock.deviantart.com/art/octopus-31560066 and “Tentacles 2”  http://mysilentsky-stock.deviantart.com/art/tentacles2-31560216?q=&qo= by Guyang   http://mysilentsky-stock.deviantart.com/ “Octo ll” http://idnurse41.deviantart.com/art/Octo-II-136435437 and “Octopus Stock”   http://www.deviantart.com/art/Octopus-stock-136411455 by Pamela   http://idnurse41.deviantart.com/

Four Reasons to Supplement with Niacinamide

There are a few supplements I take regularly, including conservative amounts of vitamin D and fish oil (both of which help keep me free of asthma symptoms). Recently I’ve added 25-50mg of niacinamide (also known as nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, similar to niacin but without the flushing side effect) a few times a week to my regimen. Here are the reasons why:

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Activity Audit – Where Does All The Time Go?

At some point everything drops …

December and January brought more freelance coding and database work than expected, but now I’m in a quiet stretch. It’s given me the opportunity to experiment with my ideal schedule. That is, working on writing and music as much as I want to, without a heavy load of client work. For the moment (and as long as I’m comfortable with how much I have in the bank) I can pretend I’m a full-time artiste.

It’s fun! I’ve been writing fiction in the mornings (with more optimism these days–I recently had another story accepted for publication at a pro rate, bringing me that much closer to SFWA active membership). In the afternoon I head to the studio and make beats, or work on Loöq Records, or do whatever needs to be done around the house. Pretty much my ideal weekday schedule.

But large swaths of unstructured time can be dangerous. I’ve had similar opportunities in the past, and squandered them, losing whole days to video games or trying to read the entire internet. Those of you who are self-employed may be able to relate.

A few years ago, in response to my own “Where does all the time go?” question, I ran an “activity audit,” a detailed analysis of all the activities in my life that require work/effort. After listing all the major activity areas (database/coding work, fiction writing, music production, household/parenting, etc.), I asked myself a series of questions about each activity.

Honing on in the what, why, and how for each activity gave me a great deal of clarity. It also improved my focus throughout the day (especially my ability to resist distractions), and helped me decide what to do each day, and in what order.

In the long run, the activity audit was more effective than any other productivity technique I tried, like locking myself out of certain internet sites, or depriving myself of coffee until I’d started writing. If I’m clear on my purpose and intended direction in life, and how the things I spend my time on fit into that picture, distractions are less of an issue. I still use quotas and have production targets, but I don’t rely on those for motivation.

Here are the questions I asked myself in regards to each activity:

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