Wednesday, June 14, 2023

I've Had Enough Fun With Simily

Just a reminder: It’s okay to leave comments!

I think it's time to end my experiment with Simily


I received this email from Simily this morning (June 14, 2023):

Wednesday June 13, 2023

Important Changes to the Simily Platform

To Our Fellow Similians,

Simily’s mission has always been to build a place where creative writers and readers can thrive online. As the platform has grown, we noticed a shift in the quality of content and engagement on the site which took us further away from this mission. Over the past few months, our small team has spent countless hours and resources defending the site from bad actors focused on driving spam and bot traffic. (If you’ve been with us for a while, you understand the bumps in the road and we can’t thank you enough for sticking with us!) 

It’s time we bring our focus back to creating a social platform that allows creators to share high-quality writing with an engaged audience.  

We’ve spoken to hundreds of you and based on your feedback, we are excited to announce a series of changes to the Simily platform. Each decision was made in an effort to make Simily a home for creative writing and foster an engaging community of readers and writers. These changes were designed to set our Similians up for long-term success and we can’t wait to continue this journey with you all! 

So, what’s different?

Social settings are changing. In an effort to support meaningful interactions on Simily, the ability to direct message other writers, create groups, and post in groups on Simily will now only be available to paid users.

There is an application process to become a Simily Writer. As of now, members will need to apply to become a writer on Simily. We will no longer allow anyone to publish whatever content they want. By curating the content on Simily, we hope to create a better, higher-quality experience for our writers and build a library of incredible stories for our readers.

I have stories on Simily, what happens now? If you posted on Simily before this change took effect, all of your stories will be reverted to drafts. We encourage you to apply to be a Simily Writer through our application process! If your application is not accepted (or you decline to apply) you have until August 1, 2023 to download your drafts from the site before they are deleted permanently. If you are approved as a Simily Writer, your content will be published live on the platform. All new writers will be required to apply for the ability to post content on our site.

Can I apply to be a Simily Writer? Absolutely! Submit your application through our application process!

What about my earnings? When an author is approved as a Simily Writer, all earnings from previous stories will be maintained. If you have a current balance above the minimum earnings threshold, you can request a payout by emailing

The following countries are eligible to be paid out through Simily: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

For additional information, please view our Community Guidelines and FAQs.

We know these are big changes for Simily! If you have any questions or would like to share feedback, please do not hesitate to reach out to 

Thank you!

Allegra, Katie, and Shannon Signature

Simily Co-Founders

When I checked my Simily page this morning, I found that six of my stories had reverted to draft. Everything I have there has been posted before the changes took place. They said all would be reverted, but it seems they couldn't get that right, either. Did they forget? Are they not done? Who knows? And the posts that went back to draft were all my most recent posts. What they said and what they did don't match.

UPDATE June 14, 2023: All of my posts have been reverted to draft. END OF UPDATE

They also said we'd keep our earnings. That didn't quite work out either. I know others have complained about losing earnings previously. 

And if you've followed my posts in other places, you'll know I wasn't happy about the repeated outages lasting for days with little (or no) information as to what was going on.

These statements worry me: "We will no longer allow anyone to publish whatever content they want. By curating the content on Simily, we hope to create a better, higher-quality experience for our writers and build a library of incredible stories for our readers." It doesn't say who will be "curating" or if there could be a discussion about it if a post is denied. It's just another form of censorship. I seldom (ever?) post anything controversial, but it doesn't sit well.

They do give an address for Simily in their e-mail. It's 4387 W Swamp Rd # 4718902 Doylestown, PA 18902-1039. 4387 W Swamp Rd Doylestown, PA 18902 is a Parcel Place, so they are using that as a mail drop. This brings up the possibility it is being run out of someone's basement/home office. Not necessarily bad thing, but not confidence inspiring—especially considering the other problems I've mentioned.

I really don't think the Simily folks are malicious. I think they're incompetent. Or perhaps less competent than they need to be. Just an opinion. Anyway, I'll be leaving Simily. Might take a few days to copy stuff and all, but it's time...

© 2023 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Monday, June 12, 2023

Travel Advisory For Shore Leave 43

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Just got an e-mail from the Shore Leave folks this morning. Due to the I-95 collapse in Philadelphia, they are warning folks about possible detours and traffic problems for those coming in from the northeast. I-95 is bad enough under normal circumstances, so take heed!

Shore Leave 43 Travel Advisory for anyone coming in from Philadelphia and points north

Sunday (6/11/2023) a portion of I-95 near Philadelphia collapsed due to a tanker truck that caught fire while parked underneath an underpass. This is reportedly near the Cottman Avenue exit. All lanes of I-95 are closed in both directions between Woodhaven Road (Exit 35) and Aramingo Avenue (Exit 26).

According to officials it will take months to get that fixed. If you are traveling to Shore Leave from Philadelphia and/or points north, please plan an alternate route such as the New Jersey Turnpike. Since everyone else will be doing the same, please plan on heavier traffic and delays. Please drive safely!

The Shore Leave Team

Shore Leave 43

Plan your trip accordingly!

© 2023 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Update On Shore Leave 43

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There have been a few updates from the Shore Leave convention folks. You can check out the web site, but here's their latest news directly from them (received June 5) that summarizes it all! And, as always, I will be there with books to give away!

Dear Fellow Fans,

We would like to provide an update on Shore Leave 43, our guests, planned programming, and other topics of interest and importance.

When:  7-9 July 2023
Where: Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley, 245 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21031

Update: Our room block is Sold Out for Shore Leave 43. Please view our list of alternate hotels for a list of other accommodations in the area. (Our room block is sold out, not the convention.) To be placed on the Delta Hotels’ waiting list, please contact Delynn Powelson (waiting list only please).

The deadline for advance registration is June 19, 2023. At-the-door registration will be available at the convention at the following prices:

Weekend: $120
Active Military receives a $10 Discount (ID required)
Friday Only: $45
Saturday Only: $85 (includes Masquerade and Ten-Forward)
Saturday Evening Only: $25 - For admission to Masquerade (viewing attendance) and Ten Forward only. To participate in the Masquerade, you must have at least a full Saturday membership.
Sunday Only: $50
Teen (13-17): $60
Youth (5-12): $20
Supporting (non-attending) Membership: $10

On-site registration (as well as badge pickup for pre-registered members) is now upstairs in the hotel lobby. The hours are:
Fri from 10 AM to 7 PM
Sat from 8 AM to 5 PM
Sun from 9 AM to 1 PM

Grace Park (Sat + Sun only), Aaron DouglasClaudia Black (Sat + Sun only), Ben Browder (Sat + Sun only), Alaina HuffmanPeter MaconPenny Johnson JeraldRobert Picardo (Sat + Sun only), Robert Duncan McNeillBonnie Gordon.

All photo-ops will be done on Saturday. The following photo-ops are available:

Single Actor Photo-Ops Prices
Grace Park ($80)
Aaron Douglas ($60)
Claudia Black ($80)
Ben Browder ($80)
Penny Johnson Jerald ($70)
Peter Macon ($60)
Alaina Huffman ($70)
Robert Picardo ($60)
Robert Duncan McNeill ($60)

Combo Photo-Ops Prices
Voyager Combo Picardo/McNeill ($95)
Trek Combo Picardo/McNeill/Jerald ($135)
Farscape Combo Black/Browder ($135)
Stargate Combo Black/Browder/Huffman/Picardo ($205)
Orville Combo Jerald/Macon ($105)
Battlestar Combo Park/Douglas ($115)

(All prices are per print. Multiple people may appear in a single photo, however there will only be one print per photo-op ticket.)

Claudia Black and Ben Browder will each sign one item for no additional charge during the Official Autograph Sessions on Saturday and Sunday. One Photo Ops photo may count as your free item. Additional items to be signed, in addition to photo op pictures, will be priced at the guest's listed autograph price. Please read the Autograph Policy on our website for full details on the official autograph sessions and autograph line.

All actors will be at their tables signing autographs during the weekend for a fee:
Grace Park ($50)
Aaron Douglas ($40)
Claudia Black ($50)
Ben Browder ($50)
Alaina Huffman ($40)
Penny Johnson Jerald ($50)
Peter Macon ($40)
Robert Picardo ($40)
Robert Duncan McNeill ($40)
Prices are subject to change at the guests’ discretion. Please note that autographs are not included in the price of photo op photos.

Author Guests

Chris Abbott, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Rigel Ailur, Lorraine Anderson, Derek Tyler Attico, Diane Baron, Christopher Bennett, Kirsten Beyer, Alan Chafin, John Coffren, Russ Colchamiro, Greg Cox, Keith DeCandido, Mary Fan, Kelli Fitzpatrick, Michael Jan Friedman, Phil Giunta, Rande Goodwin, Robert Greenberger, Amy Griswold, Glenn Hauman, Andrew Hiller, Amy Imhoff, David Mack, Mike McPhail, Christopher Ochs, Susan Olesen, Joshua Palmatier, Robb Pearlman, Scott Pearson, T.J. Perkins, Roberta Rogow, Aaron Rosenberg, Jenifer Rosenberg, Melissa Scott, Hildy Silverman, Amy Sisson, James Swallow, Dayton Ward, Laura Ware, Howard Weinstein, Richard White, Steve Wilson, and Sherri Woosley.

All author guests, including any science authors, will be at the Meet-the-Pros Party on Friday night from 10pm to midnight. Our bookseller is Larry Smith Bookseller (Sally Kobee, proprietor).

Science Guests

Wayne Bird, Kenneth Carpenter, Kelly Fast, Jerry Feldman, Joshua Handal, Thomas Holtz, Lindley Johnson, Stephen Lesnik, Adeena Mignogna, Timothy Miller, Ray Villard, Brent Warner, and C. Alex Young

Science programming will take place as always Friday evening 6-10pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 1pm.

Artist Guest

J.K. Woodward

Performing Guests

The Boogie Knights, The Chromatics, Luna-C, Bonnie Gordon, Charnock's Comedy Cabaret and Science & Magic with Willie Yee.

We have a sold-out vendor room with a wide variety of goods. Many of our vendors are participating in programming, such as workshops and demonstrations. Please read the dealer and programming pages on our website for all the details.

The Emporium table downstairs will have this year’s Shore Leave shirts and many other Shore Leave goodies for sale. They will also be selling Photo-ops tickets while supplies last.


We will have our usual full tracks of programming, the masquerade, the art show, the food drive, charity auction, a fan film track, science programming, children’s and teen programming tracks, workshops, and other special events. Please go to our volunteer page if you’d like to volunteer at the convention, the Lower Decks Crew would love for you to join them.

Free Workshops
Stargazing (Fri and Sat night), Sungazing, (Fri and Sat during the day), and many more to be announced. Check the website for details on these and other workshops.


Gaming hours (5 pm-midnight Friday, 10AM-Midnight Sat, 10AM-4PM Sunday

Other Information

Our room block at the Hunt Valley Inn is sold out (just the room block, not the convention). Please view the list of alternate hotels on our website for other accommodations in the area.

Please be aware that due to hotel staffing shortages there will not be any shuttle services. There will also not be any room service, though orders can be placed for pickup. We will announce the availability of food services throughout the weekend on our website as soon as we know it.

Do you want to be part of the action? Join our parent organization, STAT Club of Maryland, and become part of the Shore Leave team. Check out on the web, and email for information.

If you have any questions about the convention, please go to this page and follow the link(s) to the appropriate topic(s):

Keep checking our web site for updates. You can also find us on FacebookInstagram, and Tumblr!  You can help spread the word by reblogging our posts and sharing them with your followers..

We hope to see you all in July!


Your Shore Leave 43 Convention Committee

P.S. Please be sure to avoid confusion and misunderstandings by checking out our COVID-19 and Service Animals and Pets policies.  These and other important policies can be found on our website at

Shore Leave 43

That's all for now!

© 2023 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Thursday, June 1, 2023

New Release! Slipping Through

Just a reminder: It’s okay to leave comments!

I have stories out in a new anthology!

It's now available and I can pass on the news! It's called Slipping Through (click on the title to take you to Amazon) and it's all about passing through to other dimensions, the afterlife, or, well, who knows?

I have three entries in this anthology. One is a short story (Memory Lane) and the others are flash fiction (On the Flip Side & Wrapped in a Mystery). The other stories are from Miranda Kate (who put this all together), Michael Wombat, and Victoria Pearson. Here's the table of contents:

As you can see, there are a lot of stories here, so there's a good chance you'll find a few that strike your fancy. I don't have all my "Amazon Author page" stuff sorted out yet, but that will happen shortly...

If you want to see how this came about, you can read my previous Patreon post here.

Also, if you would like to see other stories and poems I've done, please check out this list!

© 2023 K. R. Smith All rights reserved