NOTICE: Changes at FFS

There have been some obvious and some not so obvious changes going on here at FFS. First, we’ll address the rumor mill. Second, we’ll address what to expect in the future.

Rumor Mill:

Mike Spindell has resigned. He resigned in such a way that indicated he wanted a total break with FFS. He will not be returning. As that is the case, his copyrighted works (all authors here own their material) will no longer be distributed through or archived on this site. If you wish to follow Mike’s work, I’m sure he’ll be appearing soon at a venue near you. We wish him the best.

Elaine Magliaro is leaving FFS to pursue literary interests she has had on the back burner for far too long. Her first children’s book, Things to Do, will be released by Chronicle Books in early fall of 2016. In addition, two of her original works will be included in anthologies scheduled for publication next year. Her acrostic poem “Crickets” will be included in One Minute Till Bedtime, compiled by Kenn Nesbitt and published by Little Brown, and her poem “There Was a Witch” will be included in a collection of space poems, edited by John Foster and published by Frances Lincoln (UK). Be sure to keep up with Elaine and her current projects at her blog, Wild Rose Reader.

Speaking of plugs and changes . . .

What to Expect in the Future:

In addition to “changes under the hood”, FFS is going to be changing formats. We are going to be adding new authors and focusing on a bi-weekly (perhaps monthly) magazine-like format for longer form columns with more graphics. Some authors will be taking on smaller weekly features and we will make provisions for breaking news although those details are still in the works.

The reasons for this are a) less production pressure for authors and editors, b) a more structured production schedule allows for both higher quality and better management of resources and c) to spur further growth.

We may go to a “trusted user” system for comments, but that is still being debated.

There will be internal policy changes but by in large the 8 Simple Rules will remain the substantively the same although some tweaks may be had here and there as situations dictate. We aim to allow the maximum free speech possible while still retaining the tools to wrangle trolls and ‘net creeps.

These changes will not happen over night. In the meantime, production may be spotty. The look of the blog may fluctuate from time to time. However, changes they are a comin’. We hope you all continue to follow us through this transitional period and find the changes to your liking. If you as the audience have any comments, suggestions or requests of what you might like to see going forward, now is a good time to make them and this is the place to make them.

We thank you all for your continued support that got us to this point as well as your support going forward.

Gene Howington, Editor-in-Chief, Flowers for Socrates

About Gene Howington

I write and do other stuff.
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44 Responses to NOTICE: Changes at FFS

  1. Anonymously nYours says:

    Sorry to see that Mike resigned….. I thought we had a policy to agree but disagree…. Elaine, sorry to see you go… I enjoy reading though I don’t have time to comment….

  2. Oro Lee says:

    Sorta like a Jenner thing?

  3. lol

    Oro you are bad! Nothing quite that drastic though. No medical interventions required.

  4. bettykath says:

    Sorry to see Mike leave. I’ve always enjoyed his contributions.

    Sorry to see Elaine move on, I’ll add her site to my list. Retirement is a funny thing, you always have more projects than time in which to complete them.

  5. bettykath says:

    Seems Elaine hasn’t done much on her blog in quite some time. Hope that changes.

  6. Elaine M. says:


    I plan to start posting on Wild Rose Reader again soon. I all but abandoned that blog last year. I have decided to concentrate my efforts on writing poetry for children once again.

  7. po says:

    Man, just as it is getting good…!
    Whatever caused that break musta happened behind my back, but surely a damn shame!

    ARGHH! !!!!!!
    This bugs me! I liked the combination you had so much I was really pushing myself to become a contributor just so I could be part of it…
    Obviously, I’ll visit Elaine at her blog, and look forward to hearing where to find Mike.

    • po,

      Change is the one constant in life. We hope you enjoy new authors as they come on board and continue to enjoy those who remain from “the originals”.

  8. po says:

    No doubt, Gene, looking forward to meeting them.

  9. rafflaw says:

    Best wishes to both Mike and Elaine!

  10. Aridog says:

    Sorry to see Mike Spendell and Elaine Magliaro go, for whatever reasons. I enjoyed reading their posts, whether I agreed or not. I already have too many sites tabbed (in Opera) to add anymore and actually do anything constructive on a given day. So I’ll just miss their words and say so now. Just did in fact. I realize it is somewhat a burden to be an author and I’d not want to do it myself…same reasons, too much on my plate as it is now. That … and I am a lazy cuss.

  11. Aridog says:

    Gene … yes change is a “constant” in life but at my age (Jurasic period) I don’t adapt as well as I once did 😀

  12. Aridog,
    Be sure to stick around with insightful comments. I have a feeling there will be some dog stories.

  13. Loss all around, i wish them both the best.

  14. Those who enjoyed insightful stories and spirited debate are about to be in for a pleasant surprise.
    Unlike many other blogs, our average reader is a far cry above average than the usual troll infested blog. For one thing, when intelligent users are allowed, nay….even encouraged, to do a virtual vivisection of annoying trolls, it makes for entertaining reading. While the trolls and knuckle-dragging mouth breathers don’t seem to care for it, it is fun for our commenters, who regard argumentation a legitimate sport that should be an Olympic event. Rather than “uncivil” of course.

  15. gbk says:

    Sorry to hear that Mike and Elaine will no longer be contributing to FFS as authors. I hope they both share and argue their perspectives as commentators going forward.

    I wish them both goodwill and good luck while also thanking them for their perspectives and the many things that I have learned from their writings. They will be sorely missed.


  16. NOTICE: The comment labeled “Mike Spindell” was deleted as a violation of Rule 3.

    Our first Rule 3 violation, btw. Poor trolls.

  17. I. Annie says:

    Gene, good idea, keep posting the IP address of the trolls.

  18. Aridog says:

    Gene … I had at least one instance of a hijacking “Aridog” that was promptly removed by the moderator of another blog on my request. Not sure who did it, but it was unlikely one of what you call the “Troll Patrol” due to subject cited in the hijacked aspersion. There is no excuse for it. I’ve used the same “nick” and ISP address and avatar for many years and it is well known at the US Army office I consult with now and then since I retired. Once retired I lost my full power CAC Card and have to use my “Nick”, but with full disclousre to anyone who asks or emails me. I cannot afford malignant remarks in my name becasue of the potential for Army notice. I do not need any grey suits, or worse, ninja folk, at my front door some morning. Anyone can call me any number of names and pejoratives, and I ignore, but do NOT hijack my identity, which is very thinny veiled, has a sustantial Google profile (plus others similar) and my real name has been stated by me often when necessary. I credit both you, Gene, and Prof Turley for policing this type abberition, as well as some other sites not obviously known here.

  19. I. Annie says:

    That’s food to know Gene, it may give the troll/ trolls pause.

  20. I. Annie says:

    LOL, more coffee. Food for thought.

  21. Aridog,
    If that happens here, be sure to let us know as soon as you discover it. Identity hijacking and doxxing has become a very real threat to the Internet itself.

  22. Aridog says:

    Chuck Stanley … you can be absolutely sure I will notify if hijacking of my “nick” occurs. I have a lot to lose and nothing to gain by such actions. I take it personally. Usually they can be identified because they lack my avatar. Hasn’t happened here so far.

  23. Aridog says:

    Gene … I’d suggest, humbly, that the best way to deal with trolls and anyone you don’t want around is to ignore them, period. Expanded coverage (…e.g., ISP notice) is futile. Now and then an “outside” opinion is worthwhile. An echo chamber is boring. I hardly “fit” with most of your posters and commenters, but I have not found the experience unrewarding. Good luck with the new format and new posters.

  24. Aridog,
    That is the general plan, unless a particular troll has entertainment value. Then we might keep them around for a while as a kind of virtual piñata, so to speak. As blouise pointed out some time back, they may help us hone our argumentation skills. Climate change deniers and homophobics are especially fun targets.

  25. pete says:

    My personal favorite are racists who “have a black friend”.

  26. Aridog,

    There is a big difference between someone with a different opinion and a troll.

  27. Anonymously nYours says:

    Ok Pete,

    For being PC, I have some friends that happen to be gay….. Should I say chose an alternative lifestyle? Or maybe that’s too broad, as that could include screwing sheep…. That’s a different lifestyle… But I don’t think any gay person I know screws sheep…. Just Rick Perry or was that a Mare….

  28. pete says:

    I suppose if they’re bi you could say they choose an alternating lifestyle.

  29. Anonymously nYours says:

    So Pete,

    Isn’t that going AC/DC….. If so, could not it be confused with the band?

  30. Anonymously nYours says:

    For the folks bent one me not being PC…. “It” in this instance refers to the people’s mind set as opposed to the “bi” folks…

  31. pete says:

    Yes, but that can also be confused with electricity and that’s the real shocker (not to be confused with the “two in the …, one in the …”).

  32. Anonymously nYours says:

    But Pete,

    You have to top “Highway to Hell” and “Back in Black”….. Or you just leave your current exposed….. Remember “A Bird in the Hand is Better than two in the Bush”…… Not referring to the former Presidents….. But then again….

  33. Anonymously nYours says:

    I guess this is not a better time than any to confirm confusing…. But, does Uranus stink…. It’s so far from here I don’t know…. Or care to…

  34. pete says:

    I always liked the older AC/DC with Bon Scott, more direct, but not as current.

    But if you want to talk about Uranius, and btw there’s a ring around Uranius. You have to wonder, what knocked it over?

  35. Anonymously nYours says:

    So Pete,

    Are you saying if one stands on its head s/he that they could not see the bottom tilted? Would it still be at a 98 degrees angle cockwise?

  36. pete says:

    Don’t know but if you stand on the equator, instead of the days going round and round they go up and down.

  37. po says:

    What is wrong with you two… 🙂

  38. Anonymously nYours says:

    Did someone say something is wrong, remember…. Truth is real…. It is just your perception of truth….

    Now, back to Pete, what goes up, must come down, especially when the blood runs from your head….

  39. bron98 says:

    who cares, people are plucked up for the most part and have no clue about anything. So who cares a ship about who does what to whom? The whole world is falling apart, Iran is getting the bomb, they’re talking about federalizing the police force, H UD is talking about taking over the suburbs and you will P are worried about gay lesbians and transsexuals, I think there are their are larger fish to fry.

  40. pete says:

    I’m not worried about gay lesbians and transsexuals (I do wonder about those darn straight lesbians though)


  41. pete says:

    “The whole world is falling apart”

    I’m a child of the late 50’s early 60’s B, the world has been falling apart since the day I was born.
    (or so they told me)

    “Iran is getting the bomb”

    A lot of countries do (some have even given it up).

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