Sixty Hours Of Drinkwater Drinking Water

At 8am today I had a small bowl of porridge after a 60 hour water-only fast. Best bowl of porridge I've ever had! Oats, some chopped dried fruit, home-made soy yoghurt, and half a teaspoon of blackcurrant jam.

I see our digestive system as a 24/7 factory. With a fast we shut it down for a few days, so staff from the production line can focus on cleaning and maintenance. Then it slowly restarts, and functions better for it. Rubbish has been thrown out, bad habits broken, RSI rested, machinery oiled.

I can only speak from my experience, but I always feel great afterwards, and after my first ones twenty years ago with all the "toxin" symptoms (bad breath, spots, headaches) I don't have any negative effects any more. I do one every few years, and even during them I feel surprisingly energetic. I used to teach martial arts while fasting. At the end I reintroduce foods slowly, starting with plain and simple things like oats, rice, steamed vegetables. After a fast I have a much better relationship with food, since my body craves really simple and healthy stuff and no junk.

As an aside - I had one of the lowest sick rates in my departments when I worked for a uni. My occasional day off was usually due to injury rather than illness (snapped toe in martial arts; pulled back from helping a neighbour move heavy furniture). I used to have a normal amount of colds etc, but haven't actually had a cold or flu for maybe five years now, perhaps longer. So all I can say is that the way I practise it, and the frequency, seems to be a great thing for my body. (Some of that health may be from regular exercise, a vegan diet, and making good life choices.)

Also note that I am fasting partly as a bodily reset and chance for my body to switch the resources used for digesting food into other processes like cleaning and breaking down excess fats. I also partly do it as one of my willpower-strengthening exercises - saying "I can do this" and then just doing it. It's similar to my reasons for my recent week without chocolate and week without alcohol (and my challenges of getting up early to watch the dawn - see here and here). I am not doing it as part of a crazy diet or weight-loss system. For me it is something I do every few years, and I think it is one of many things that can help to maintain good health in a body that isn't malnourished. It works for me.

Humans did not evolve eating every day, yet our civilisation is based around endless food in large amounts (and often over-processed). It's rewarding to give up the luxuries and have a different experience.

In case you're curious: my longest fast is 74 hours, though that one was a water and fruit juice fast.

Where next? You might want to follow me and my work, or even buy my books. Many thanks!

Ethical Clothing And My Books

Sometimes my readers tell me things they'd like.

"Hey Karl, write a sequel to Lost Solace."

"Dude, I wish there was a film made out of Lost Solace."

"Dear Mister Authorman, I'd like a T-shirt that says Lost Solace."

Yes, Lost Solace is my most popular book/series ... :-)

I am working on the sequels. I  can't do anything about a film unless people can persuade Neill Blomkamp or another director with experience in that genre. But I decided I would look into the clothing idea.

I've now set up a store with Teemill.

They're the most ethical of the clothing companies I contacted. Organic GM-free cotton, no animal testing (inks) or animal products, low waste printing tech, made in a renewable energy powered factory etc. You can find out more in the product specs and on their website.

There's a range of products but I'll only design 15 different items max. I have some free slots in my range. So, are there any of my other books people would like to see featured on clothing? Or particular designs you'd like? Quotes, and if so, which ones? I'm happy to look into options, just get in touch with me here, or on social media. I'm always interested in feedback, since there are so many designs, clothing items and colours to choose from.

There are postage charges for items ordered - and since they are all made in the UK factory, I am not sure how expensive will work out for international customers.

My First Order

I ordered some items, and was impressed with the delivery.

Some of my items - no waste plastic!

Lovely packaging that's full of detail. All just recyclable paper. Brill!

I like the way my author logo is included on the address label :-)

The Lost Solace Logo T-Shirt, modelled by some weird beardy bloke

Browse the whole store here.

Where next? You might want to follow me and my work, or even buy my books. Many thanks!

Music - DMC 2019

Last year I really enjoyed the 2018 DMC (Dumfries Music Conference) event, so went to the 2019 event last night (Facebook) at a new venue. Again, it was really good. I love live music, and every time I strum my own guitars I wish I was a lot better! Music and singing are forms of communication for emotions and ideas. As with last year, there was a wide variety of styles, to cater for all tastes.

Megan Airlie (FB / Twitter)

"With a voice that traverses the glamour of Judy Garland, with the darkness of Amy Winehouse. Airlie, originally from East Kilbride is setting the Scottish scene ablaze with performances at Wide Days and XPO North as well as the 2018 SAY Awards. This young artist is building a repertoire of songs that will leave you shuddering, spellbound and moved with a classic sound that breaks convention in the most delicate of ways."

Megan Airlie sang and accompanied herself on guitar. She was chatty and reminded me of Doctor Who in her jacket and long coat. It was an easy and relaxing style, good to listen to.

The Lutras (FB / Twitter)

"In the past 12 months, The Lutras have twice sold out hometown headline shows at the 350 capacity Venue in Dumfries, alongside rapturous performances at Edinburgh's Liquid Rooms and Glasgow's iconic King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, firmly cementing the foursome as one of Scotland's most-hotly tipped new bands, armed with a new release and a ferocious live set."

The Lutras were the headliners, and it was my first experience of them. They played really well, a professional rock outfit, and got everyone jumping around - which is what you want!

Actually, after the The Lutras set up but before they played, a rapper was asked to get on stage and give an impromptu performance. I missed his name - Justice? The Lutras improvised a drum and guitar backing and he freestyled to it, really enjoyable and clever stuff. I wish I knew who he was! All the more impressive for they way they all just created something without rehearsal.

Quiche (FB)

"A harmoniously textured, romantically dreamy and adventurously tasteful’ psychedelic pop rock quintet from Glasgow. If you like Mac DeMarco, The Lemon Twigs and Tame Impala then you’ll like Quiche."

Quiche were energetic and fun, jumping around and sometimes coming into the audience. They played a mix of rock songs that I really enjoyed, with humour and passion.

Prussia Snailham (FB / Twitter / Instagram)

"A piano-based musical experience with songs about love, insanity, conversations, life, loss, animals and sarcasm. A captivating performance driven by its melancholic and evocative vocals/melodies, heartfelt and clever lyrics, with dynamic, unpredictable, stabbing percussion throughout… elements of hip-hop, minimalism, blues/jazz and art-pop."

Prussia Snailham were the first band of the evening to play, and if I had to pick one out of the excellent set as my favourite, it would probably be this, since it was so different to what I normally go and see. Just a young woman on keyboard and singing her own songs while her friend acted as backing drummer. They were both understated and yet filled the stage with earnestness. The singer was evocative, with a hint of early Bat for Lashes and maybe some of the mood/look of Hazel O’ Connor in the quieter moments of Breaking Glass. She sang about dogs and cats, and the miaow miaow song made me laugh. Afterwards we chatted with her a bit, because one of her songs had been about losing her dog - and I still regularly dream about my first ever dog (Toby), even though he died years ago. I love the way all the musicians of the night seemed so friendly and approachable.

So, another great night. I had some beers, did a bit of dancing, chatted with people, and came away with lots to think about. Make sure you support your local music scene, wherever you live, and whatever the styles: it benefits you as well as the artists. Peace!

Where next? You might want to follow me and my work, or even buy my books. Many thanks!

Helene - A Lost Tale Of Solace

Helene is the first in my new Lost Solace spin-off series to accompany the main Lost Solace books. These will all be shorter works (10-20,000 words), each tale focussing on a particular character, filling in some gaps in the main story or scenes from the character's past. I thought this series could be fun to write, allowing a range of styles and stories, and adding to the depth of the Lost Solace universe. Plus it is easier and quicker to write 10-20,000 words than 100,000+ words, so there won't be such a wait between books! Don't worry, Opal's story will also continue in the main series.

Lost Tales of Solace will be e-book-only as individual releases (since they are too short to be paperbacks), but I won't rule out releasing a collected edition later, in both paperback and e-book.

Helene is available to buy, at the same e-book vendors as my other books. It would be great if my readers could leave reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, or other review places: it's always difficult launching a new book with no reviews.

Here's the blurb for Helene:


Dr Helene Vermalle is shaping the conscience of a goddess-level AI.

As a leading civilian expert in Emergent AI Socialisation, she has been invited to assist in a secret military project.

Her role? Helping ViraUHX, the most advanced AI in the universe, to pass through four theoretical development stages. But it's not easy training a mind that surpasses her in raw intellect. And the developing AI is capable of killing her with a single tantrum.

On top of this, she must prove her loyalty to the oppressive government hovering over her shoulder. They want a weapon. She wants to instil an overriding sense of morality.

Can she teach the AI right and wrong without being categorised as disloyal?

Where next? You might want to follow me and my work, or even buy my books. Many thanks!

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