Archive for October, 2009

What Stace had to say on Monday, October 26th, 2009
Why can’t we all just get along?

A little note in advance: I’m about to rant. I may rant at some length. I’m ranting about something other people have ranted about, as well. So be warned.

So here’s what happened. Wednesday, the New York Times ran an article about the Kindle and how many Kindle owners are now buying more books than they used to. The end of the article contained the following paragraphs:

Ms. Englin has linked her Kindle to the Amazon account of some nearby friends, allowing all of them to read books like “The Lost Symbol” at the same time — while paying for them only once.

“I read much more, I tend to read faster for some reason, and I read a greater variety of things,” said Ms. Englin, adding that this is nearly the same as lending a physical book to friends. “We haven’t really looked closely at Amazon’s terms of service. But I do suspect we are breaking the rules.”

Now. I read the original NYT article because it was linked to in Publisher’s marketplace, in the daily emails I get from them. I saw that last paragraph and, I admit, had a twinge. A moment of “Hey, that doesn’t seem quite right.” But then almost immediately after I thought two things:

1. That this was clearly just a couple of friends sharing books
2. That this is in essence no different from, say, a group of friends with low incomes or little disposable cash, who pool their money and buy books together to share. I did this a few times as a teen; mostly for hardcovers, but sometimes to get three books instead of one or whatever.

And that was basically it. I closed the article and went about my day.

Too bad some other authors didn’t do the same. I’m not going to name any names here. You can find them if you really want. But a few other authors also saw that article, either through PM like I did or because they get the Times or whatever. Those authors went on Twitter and began what I can only describe as a witch hunt, a name-and-shame campaign where they not only scolded Ms. Englin and called her a thief, but actually listed her Twitter identity in their tweets–her Twitter identity, which appears to be her professional identity, as her Twitter seems to be used almost exclusively for business (she’s in marketing or consulting or something like that).

No, I’m not kidding. These people actually felt perfectly justified in naming and publicly scolding this woman, and in encouraging others to retweet their rants and join in berating her as well, in public, in front of her friends, family, clients, and potential clients.

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What Stace had to say on Friday, October 16th, 2009
I know, I know

I came in here before with a big cheery post about how I would totally be around, and then I wasn’t. Here’s what happened (sort of):

Found out while in Baltimore that I am going to LA next week, leaving Monday. No, it’s not big Film Deal stuff or anything like that, so don’t get excited. I’ll tell you about it after I return.

Tried to upload photos of Baltimore–the few I took (I’m terrible at taking pictures, or rather, I never remember to take pictures)–and couldn’t get the camera to work with the Mac. So I needed to go to the old laptop, where the camera software is installed, and it’s just slow and frustrating and blah blah blah. I wanted to do a nifty photo post but it will have to wait. Also, the Poe body was indeed a wax effigy, which frankly pissed me off. Also, Baltimore is a cool city.

Hubs left for NY yesterday. He returns Sunday. I leave for LA Monday. Wednesday my MIL arrives and I’ll be back in Atlanta Thursday. So the family time is pretty limited this month and we were trying to do Family Things.

Last month my pal Pepper Espinoza emailed to ask if I’d be interested in contributing a short Halloween story (very short, less than 2k) for her new webmag, The Spooky Elephant. I, being me, said of course, and promptly semi-forgot until I was in Baltimore. I didn’t have time to work on it there so wrote it after I got back. I’m fairly pleased with the result, actually. You all know shorts aren’t my forte at all but this was just a little thing, so go see what you think. The story is called “What’s Below,” and it’s especially notable, for me at least, in that it’s written in (gasp) first person POV and segments of it are present tense. I know! Crazy, man. It’s also pretty much straight horror. And I liked a couple of the elements enough that I may revisit them in another project.

Speaking of short stories, my longtime pal Writtenwyrdd is having , which you should totally check out and enter. First prize is a stuffed Cthulhu, which is just awesome.

Oh, and since I’m linking to stuff, my eye was caught this morning–as I giggled at all the Gawker commenters’ comments about the balloon boy stuff–by a headline there about an advice columnist who pissed off a whole bunch of people. (It’s this story here.) And it occurred to me that I’ve always wanted to have an advice column. And it occurred to me that for quite a while I’ve been planning to do a funny publishing advice column over at the League blog. So. Here’s what I’m suggesting. Ask me advice in comments, anonymously if you like. Any publishing-related questions I will answer humorously at the League in the next few weeks (it may be after Halloween as we are of course doing Big Things there for the holiday); the publishing questions will get stupid and silly answers, just a warning ahead of time!!! Any others I’ll answer here. Just for fun, really, it won’t become a regular blog feature or anything like that, but we’ll give it a go and see.

I may do some answers tonight and tomorrow night (if I get any of course). But again, next week I’ll be on the other side of the country so won’t be blogging much if at all. And since the good juju y’all sent for my Baltimore flights was so good, if you have more I’d appreciate it.