Sunday, May 30, 2010

WordShaping: Why I Write Fantasy - Rowena Cherry

WordShaping: Why I Write Fantasy - Rowena Cherry

Amber Polo has a Sunday series of authors explaining why they write Fantasy. Most are offering one prize randomly drawn from one commentator. There are excellent odds of winning something from someone.

I'm offering a $25 book token to one winner, no requirement to sign up for anything, no requirement to buy my book, no requirement that the comment has to be on topic or thoughtful or flattering... but it must pass Amber Polo's moderation standards.

Best wishes,
Rowena Cherry

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Art Of The Apology

Hasty comment....

And I suppose, haste goes to the heart of the issue. We are all rushed, all multi-tasking, all shooting our mouths off all over the internet.

It seems to me that civility has gone to the wall. (Or not, if one is a FaceBook user!)

In the last week, I have seen two instances on different --professional-- Yahoo groups of misguided individuals singling out and insulting other individuals. When their jaw-dropping rudeness has been pointed out, the offenders have apologized not to their victims, but to the group with a "Perhaps I was mistaken..." or "My bad..." or "Sorreee. I need a coffee."

In one case at least, I know that the offensive individual did not also apologize privately to his victim.

A soft answer still turns away wrath. Especially if delivered promptly. In my opinion, in addition to an ever ready selection of well crafted "elevator pitches", every author should have a small rolodex of disarming apologies.

If any visitor has an example of a really well-worded apology, please leave it as a comment.

I'm offering two prizes of a Barnes and Noble gift card... one for the 8th sample apology, and one for the exemplary that I like best. Samples do not have to be original, they may be quotes of a famous person's apology if quoted with proper attribution.

(I would have offered a Borders one, but I understand that Borders is currently supporting a pirate site with their advertising dollars.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Advertisements As Literature

Do TV advertisements that tell a story interest you?

Are you interested in the unstated subtext? Do you ever wonder what the political or social views are of the person who wrote the ad?

Don't get me started on the dirty old man who lists his medications as he jogs, and grins as he boasts (by implication) that American taxpayers are paying for his erection-producing pills which he takes for the benefit of his girlfriend who is in her sixties.

Notice the implied advocacy on public television during prime time of sex outside marriage, and drugs for recreational use.

I almost got started, didn't I?

What about the BDO advertisement. Not only is it excruciatingly obnoxious, it is... interesting as an indictment of affirmative action.

For those who haven't seen it, here's this incompetent young chick with a little-girly voice and one of the most unprofessional attitudes I've ever seen. She has obviously been promoted way too soon, way too far, because she is a woman and young.

"Did you hear?" she gossips to a much older male colleague and informs him that "we" have to issue a restatement. Not "they". "We". "The effective tax rate.... it was way off."

She stammers a little. I can believe that she was the person responsible for the effective tax rate calculation being way off, but she verbally distances herself from that.

"How off is off," the mature gentleman inquires patiently.

She cannot give a straight answer. Instead, she goes for the sensational.

"O'Reilly hit the roof."

The bottom line is that the hotshots within the company fouled up, so an outside consulting firm is being hired to clean up the mess.

To me, this ad says less about the merits of the consulting firm, and leaves me wondering whether or not the advert copy writer thinks there are a few "Have you heard?"-type inexperienced kids in corporate America who are in positions for which they are not qualified.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Six Lies And One Truth (or not)

I've been tagged by Jacquie Rogers for Lesa's Bald-Faced Liar, er "Creative Writer" Blogger Award.

Here are the rules: I tell either six truths and one lie, or six lies and one truth about myself, and you get to figure out which, and leave a waggish or witty comment. Everyone is offering a prize, so I will, too.

While I ponder that, I shall nominate seven other writers for this award!

Sandy Lender

Pauline B Jones
Kelly Harmon

Brenna Lyons

Emily Bryan

John Klawitter

Marianne Arkins

I'm not very much into point to points around the internet, but when I read what Jacquie wrote about her grandfather's balls of steel, I decided that this could be fun.

Here's my list.
  1. I wear abandoned clothes that I've rescued from the sea at low tide.
  2. I was recently invited to give a speech at Buckingham Palace (but declined the honor).
  3. An ostrich once ejaculated while I watched.
  4. An Earl and a Rock musician sang "Happy Birthday" to me on my 49th birthday.
  5. I once won a cross country trophy for being fastest over barbed wire fences and ploughed fields. And I did it in high heels.
  6. I was once sued for causing a celebrity's trophy wife to wet herself. We settled out of court. I am bound not to name her. She is enjoined not to read my books anywhere but a bathroom.
  7. The only time I ever hit a man was because he threw a stray kitten into a swimming pool (the kitten was okay).

One commenter will win a $10 bookstore gift token.  Drawing will take place on Saturday May 22nd

Thank you for playing along!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wall of Shame (Book Publishers who support pirate sites)

Tate Publishing
WE book
WestBow Press

Progressive Insurance
Allstate Insurance

Just a few of the companies that give financial support to ebook piracy by advertising on at least one ebook "sharing" site. They pay per click, too...

You think the pirates are sticking it to the man. You betcha.

There's even a message on this pirate site explaining to member pirates that by clicking the banners once a day, every day, they make money for the site!

"Help the site grow, Click a Banner Ad (at the top or bottom of site) once a day, or click this link to donate."

I cannot get over the mind-blowing stupidity of publishers (!!!) who are --probably unwittingly-- encouraging ebook copyright infringement.

Have they any idea at all what they are doing to themselves and their authors with their advertising dollars? Maybe they just trusted Google. Hmmm.

Maybe the Insurance companies are insuring the pirates!

A site like this makes money from the advertising, and the shameless requests for donations. They claim to pay MEGAUPLOAD an annual fee.

"We only use Megaupload via this filebox uploader to store files.

The reason is that this site pays a yearly fee for an account with megaupload.
If you upload using the below filebox, these links won't expire like they will using other upload sites (rapidshare, mediafire, etc)"
On the other hand, Megaupload pays a bounty (they call it a reward point) for every download from their site, so if 100,000 people illegally downloaded a copy of a book from a copyright infringer's file on MegaUpload, Megaupload would reward the pirate with a year's free membership, and also $100 via PayPal.

I wonder whether this explains why MegaUpload is slow to remove infringing files.

Here are the hoops through which an author must jump in order to get an illegally uploaded copy of her book disabled.

We take abuse of our service very seriously. If you wish to report a copyright infringement, we need you to send us a proper notification. A proper notification MUST have at least the following information, or it may be IGNORED:

1: Identify yourself as either:
  a: The owner of a copyrighted work(s), or
  b: A person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

2: State your contact information, including your TRUE NAME, street address, telephone number, and email address.

3: Identify the copyrighted work that you believe is being infringed, or if a large number of works are appearing at a single website, a representative list of the works.

4: Identify the material that you claim is infringing your copyrighted work, to which you are requesting that Megaupload disable access over the World Wide Web.

5: Identify the material by its URL(s).

6: State that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agents, or the law.

7: State that the information in the notice is accurate, under penalty of perjury.

Authors are in an interesting position with regard to pirate sites and storage sites. The storage sites' terms of service put the onus on pirates to not store copyrighted material on them. The pirate sites claim that they have no liability for the links on their sites, because they don't host any files.

No one but the author, agent, or publisher is permitted to report infringing material.
I don't know of any rule that prevents authors, agents, and publishers to report the same infringing material.

Moreover, keep copies of your correspondence, or screen captures if you have to fill out an online form. Most of the file storage sites TOS state that they will remove repeat infringers. They never do. If you can prove that they don't, maybe further legal action can be taken against them.

Proof that they don't remove pirates does tend to lead a reasonable author to infer that these sites are knowingly and deliberately accessories before and after the fact. It might lead a judge or state attorney general to a similar conclusion.

In addition to sending a DMCA or Copyright notice,  try lodging a copy here:

Or here:

Or here:




Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Crazy Tuesday May 4th with EPIC Award Winners

And the EPIC award goes to....

In a "Crazy Tuesday" EPIC Award Winners Special from 1.00 pm until 4pm on Tuesday March 4th, Rowena Cherry showcases EPIC Award winners Brenna Lyons and Dee Lloyd, Len and Luanna Rugh, J. Michael Orenduff, Darrell Bain, and Kayelle Allen.

Our own Rowena Cherry and Crazy Tuesday won the EPIC Award "Friend of ePublishing"