Thursday, April 25, 2013

Arrrrr! Pirates Blow.

Image by: James Barker /
Even if you hermit from social media and internet, chances are you know all about piracy.

Whether it be movies, music, photography or books we're all aware of it. When I was younger, and not a published author, it didn't bother me.

Ever buy an album because there were one or two songs you LOVED only to find that the rest of the cassette sucked? That happened to me frequently, and when Napster came out, I remember thinking it was a good idea. These big rock bands are rolling in money, right? (For the record, I never actually used Napster or sites like it. I was behind the times, and barely knew how to use the internet.)

But it wasn't just big named bands that were targeted. New bands were also victimized. Bands that invested a tremendous amount of time, money and heart into their music, only to have people just click a mouse and take it. Ouch.

Now I'm older and wiser, and worried about my own work and that of others.

I'm just using myself as an example...It takes me a YEAR to write a novel. That's just the first couple of drafts. I stress out over every word. From there, it's edits, marketing, purchasing swag, networking and making contacts, after one finds a publisher and/or an agent (a feat in itself) there's contracts and more edits.

After all this, very few of us make a living at it. And NOW we have to spend time trolling the internet looking for self-entitled jerks who sell or give away our work! I have a brand new sympathy for those short-changed by sites like Napster. And for photographers who spend thousands of dollars on equipment only to not even be credited for their work by people who aren't even aware they've stolen anything. I especially feel for us authors, because I know how much we make for our efforts.

The way I see it now, I'm glad I can buy a single song from iTunes for a mere  $1.29. Beats shelling out for a CD I don't like. Hopefully the artist will make enough money to keep making hit singles instead of getting disgusted   with the business and getting an office job.

I can download, with permission, certain images for free if I'm not using them for personal profit. Like my favorite site (They have reasonable terms and conditions.) But if I think someone's image will sell me tons of books, then yes, I should pay the artist. If I get rich, they should too.

Hard work and talent SHOULD be rewarded. If someone makes millions, maybe it's because they deserve it.

I don't shoplift books from a bookstore, so why would I do it on-line? It would make me a hypocrite. Besides, what's five bucks compared to that of say 10 or 15 dollars for a paperback?

The internet has made it easier for all of us to get paid and to buy creativity for less. Why wouldn't we SUPPORT the work we love instead of starving the artists? Not to mention the behind the scenes people. We're talking JOBS here.

Rant over...I'd like to introduce the author who inspired this post. I love what she did here. Go Nely!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Still Among the Wicked

Thanks Mel!
I love spring, but I am having a long week. I am knee-deep in edits for 'Aphrodite's War' and stupid me, I also decided I should edit fifteen chapters of the erotica I'm piddling around with. I haven't touched 'Chasing Monsters' in a week. In fact the only new stuff I'm doing lately is this blog.

I am only floors away from finishing my spring cleaning, (Thanks Darci for cleaning my fridge! I love you!) just in time for my yard work to begin.

I am brewing wine for a wedding and looking for a new company to do my swag after my current supplier's printer went bust. (Sorry Sweetie. <3 I'm not going to name you, because I don't want to affect your business negatively.) After I started crying at lunch, a good friend volunteered to finish off the bookmarks I've been struggling with for weeks. (She had them done in two days.) God bless you, Melaida <3 I'd offer them out, but MY printer is out of ink.

I am neglecting friends and family. My poor cousin has been expecting me to phone her for three weeks. I keep e-mailing her to apologize for the lack of timing. She has two small boys. You'd think I could find SOME time to chat if SHE has the time, right? I'm awful.

In the midst of this chaos, I had some serious doubts. I never had these problems when a had a full time job. You know, like a normal person. And like I said, I'm not writing anything new.

So what the hell am I doing here?

Maybe I'm not cut out to be a writer. Maybe I don't have what it takes to commit to writing everyday to make my dream happen. Maybe I can't handle the pressure that comes with marketing, networking, organizing, handling everyday life, and most importantly, WRITING! Maybe I'm kidding myself and I'm not really all that talented...And then I got some news from my publisher, Heather Savage of Staccato Publishing.

Yours truly is a finalist  for the Midwestern Independent Book Awards! A finalist! Who, me?

I'm pretty sure I haven't quite grasped the humongousness of this honor, but it's a little hard to fathom. I beat out over one hundred books, and this is a big deal! Everybody wish me luck, because I really want to WIN.

But if I don't win...I think I've already figured out that I belong. Somebody noticed Thoeba and me. I'm a keeper in the literary world, and my work is valid. I deserve to feel good about my work, dammit!

I guess I'd better not disappoint everybody after all! I gotta  get cracking! :D

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bad words.

There are certain words that us writers can't spell...It happens, or at least I hope I'm not the ONLY one.

I'm reasonably confident in my spelling abilities. As a lover of all things wordy, I take pride in it.

These days I use Windows, and spell check, and all that awesome stuff that points out my mistakes without me asking. Nice, but...

I used to just be able to LOOK at the word after I typed it, and think "Nope, that doesn't seem right."  Then I would check my dictionary, and figure it out. I didn't mind that. It kept my brain sharp.

Now I can see that red squiggly line, and I already KNOW it's wrong...but I click to see how it's REALLY spelled.

It smacked of laziness, but I'm frequently pressed for time and don't really feel like spending the precious two minutes it would take to find it. No really, I'm sure I know how to spell words like immediately, tomorrow and definitely, given a few minutes. (Yaaaay! No squiggly lines this time! I must be learning something!)

But have you ever found a word that you couldn't spell if your life depended upon it? A word you spell SO BADLY that even the spell checker doesn't know what you're talking about? And you go to your ole' reliable dictionary, but IT DOESN'T WORK...because you're about to spend a lot of time searching for a word whose first letter is an 'R' but you have nothing else to go on because you don't know the next letter?

Here's mine: I got 'thymine.' I should've run a contest for this..."Figure out the word I'm trying to spell, and win a prize!"

Again...Rt-hymn. Not exactly, but I must be getting better. Its usually worse.

The word is 'Rhythm."  Just so you know, It took me a dictionary, spell-checker and a lot of frustration to get there. At least 6 minutes. One of the suggestions said' Rhythmic' but I was so frustrated,  I didn't see the connection.

How can I not get this? Why is it, that I LIKE this word, and it hates me so much? Does anyone else have this problem? Or am I just weird?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Night Out

So I went out last night. DON'T JUDGE ME! Even a writer has to have some sort of social life...Really.

I have a thousand things to do. And today I ACTUALLY got up early to get them done.

I did all the dishes and laundry, answered my email, posted to my "Author Page", and washed half of my kitchen walls--which included garbage can, oven and blinds. Icky things, since I like to entertain whenever possible.

I didn't write anything today...yet. But I thought I deserved to go out.

I always feel guilty when I do. As if  EVERYTHING must be about either writing And the irony of me blogging about my night out isn't lost on me. And I give in at least once a week. Pppplllltttt!

THIS is another reason to go out. Not only does one make new friends, but one learns new ideas.

A friend suggested I friend her Mom's page...been a writer for herself for almost as long as I've been alive. Thank you, Rebecca.

Another suggested Vista, for all my swag ideas for cheap. Thanks Nora!

Yet another acquaintance wondered why I hadn't promoted my OWN work on my OWN author page for my upcoming novel. Duh...Why didn't I think of that? Thanks, Daniel!

Because, according to another person, I'm "Too close too see it."  to paraphrase him...Caught up on making my presence known, I'd forgotten that. Good point. Oops. Thanks, Marshall.

So I have a lot of work to do. My bookmarks might be done by someone else.. And I'll be posted quotes and paragraphs  for 'Aphrodite's War' on my author page. Checking out new ways to make myself known.

Glad I went out after all. It was a  great learning experience. Winky face out.