Change of Identity

I originally started this blog with the intention of creating a platform to share my journey as an indie author. My first post was over two years ago, a short hello to describe my hope that “my musings will provide my peers and others interested in the indie space information, comfort, and encouragement.”Capture

That goal has not changed, but I have. I have since released a third novel, which also is my first Christian novel. Leaving Darkness relates how one lost in depression finds a way to the light from the Christian faith. With its creation, I realized my calling is not just to create fiction, but Christian fiction with a purpose.

I don’t mean to imply that all Christian fiction doesn’t have a purpose, so perhaps that isn’t the correct way to state my calling. More accurately, I am drawn to write about heavy topics and show how following Christ leads to solutions. I’m not a preacher and never will be. However, what I think I am is a simple person with a somewhat modest gift for writing. That gift comes from God, and I need to follow His will for using it.

Hence the change of identity, or rebranding. I have changed the name of this blog from Second Chance Publishing (under which I self-published my first two novels) to Leaving Darkness, not just as a reference to my first Christian novel, but to describe what I hope to do with my future fiction writing. My next novel, in development stage, tackles abortion.

Another reason for the name change is that my next novel I plan to traditionally publish (at least that’s my thought at the moment). Therefore, the previous tagline “An indie author’s musings” becomes inaccurate. I’ve changed that to reflect where I’m at today: “A Christian Fiction Author’s Musings.”

This isn’t to say I won’t change again in the future. For that reason, I’m keeping the secondchancebook.wordpress.org domain. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll open a small Christian publishing house and name it Second Chance Publishing.

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

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Recently there has been much in the press about Congress “taking away” the Internet privacy of United States citizens. Internet Service Providers can now intercept and sell usage data. There is quite an uproar, and a push for the “necessity” of using Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to keep privacy intact.

Much of this has elements of perhaps not “fake” news but certainly overblown sensationalism. This is a prime example of what we refer to in the infosec industry as spreading FUD – Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

Read closely, friends – nothing has changed. There was a law passed to enable restrictions that would have gone into effect late this year; that will not happen now. Your privacy online is the same today as it was yesterday.

I, like many writers, enjoy writing when the mood hits. That may mean taking out a notebook on a bus or bringing a laptop to a coffeehouse or bar for a drink and a session of keyboard-pounding. I use a cloud service so that my content is synchronized across devices automatically. Use of the public WiFi comes in quite handy.

“But I thought using public WiFi is insecure, and to never do so?”

Well, yes and no.

I do use a VPN service on all my devices, not because I am afraid the government is spying on me or that my ISP is selling my web surfing habits on the open market (I buy aluminum foil to protect against those threats). No, I primarily use my VPN to mitigate risks of Man in the Middle attacks at public WiFi spots.

My fundamental philosophy about information security is it is risk management. Perpetuating FUD does little to help the problem. Do people not drive at all because of the risk of getting into an accident? Of course not, they mitigate that by ensuring brakes are inspected and operating effectively, driving at a safe speed commensurate with conditions and skill, stay focused (no texting and driving, applying makeup, binge watching, and so on), and choosing routes wisely. Does this mean they will never have an accident? No. But they have reduced the chances substantially.

The same applies to cyber. Understand the risks, then mitigate to a level acceptable to your risk tolerance. Yes a VPN service will help protect your privacy if an ISP opts to sell traffic information, but navigate through the FUD and make your decision a risk-informed one. And stock up on aluminum foil.

(Image shutterstock #574193302)

From the Loft Released

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January 18, 2017 – Second Chance Publishing announces the release of From the Loft, a compilation of previously published humorous vignettes detailing a man who grew up in a city atmosphere learning about life on a mini-farm with several horses to care for. The tales capture the struggles and triumphs of one who grew up surrounded by more concrete than greenery as he discovers through some trial and much error the joys of mini-farm life, from moving hay to fixing gates to witnessing a the birth of a horse to bush hogging.

While fictional, the writer based many of the articles on his own experiences. “I found some humor in my adjustment to the different agricultural lifestyle,” author Greg Schaffer explained. “When the opportunity arose to write a monthly horse humor column, I could not refuse. What, with so much material to pull from, the columns would almost write themselves.”

Most of the articles are very close to their original content, with minor style adjustments, presented roughly but not exactly in the order in which they originally appeared. Both of these changes help to establish a feel of consistency and continuity when compiled together.

From the Loft is available in eBook and print formats at major online retailers. Interested parties may order a personalized, signed print copy from the Second Chance Publishing website at www.secondchancebook.org.

Second Chance Publishing is an indie writing resource highlighting independent authors. Visit www.secondchancebook.org for more information.

Greg Schaffer has previously published two novels and a collection of poems. He has several projects in the works, including a sequel to Forgiveness and an as-of-yet unnamed novel about finding hope through smothering darkness. Contact Greg at gjschaffer536@gmail.com.