I love what I do!
Really, I love what I do. I love talking to people about writing. I love hanging out with writers I admire. I love recommendations for new books I haven’t read by authors I trust to give me good advice. And I had a great time for memorial weekend.
Friday I went to lunch with Lee Modesitt and Kirk Shaw. Lee is my dear friend and why he hangs out with me, when he is ten times smarter than I will ever be, is a quandary, but I love that he does. Kirk is my editor and also my friend. That’s a combination that doesn’t come along too often and therefore is cherished. Lee gave me a great new title for my fantasy book and I really hope my publisher loves it as much as I do. Lee also convinced me I need to go to WorldCon. It’s in Denver. A mere eight hour drive. I’ll be going.
While with Kirk, I found that my book, Eyes Like Mine won’t be coming out until February of 2009. That seems so far away, but I will likely need all that time to gear up for signings and marketing stuff.
Basically I spent my weekend with Lee, James Dashner, Jessica Day George, Suzy, and several other people who were just fun to chat with.
And I talked too much. I know . . . I *always* talk too much, but I really sometimes wish the filter between my brain and my mouth worked better. I’m overly opinionated and sometimes a little too passionate about whatever it is I’m ranting about. So I drove home rolling my eyes and wondering what the heck is wrong with me.
Am I the only one who does this? Am I the only one who speaks and then spends the next month asking the person in the mirror why they have no control over their tongue?
Regardless, the above mentioned people are still my friends and I am grateful for that. It’s good to have friends who love you for who you are, in spite of who you are.
I went home to a house full of relatives and since I got home at 2 am, I had to try hard to skirt around the sleeping bodies littering my living room floor so as not to step on them.
I made the journey to the cemetery in the evening on Monday. Everyone else had come and gone and the place looked like a well kept garden with all the flowers. I like going there alone. I like sitting by Grandma’s grave and talking to her like she was right there listening. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I have her name and I have to ask myself what I am doing to be worthy of that name. Would she be proud of me? Maybe. Would she have a scolding for me? Probably.
Would she laugh at the dumb things that fall from my brain, through my sifter, and out my mouth? Oh definitely.
She was fabulous that way.
And no, I don’t mean little parentless children being forced into doing hard labor. There is a bill out that will impact the artistic world. Its impact on the literary world is not as great as on the actual illustration world, but the literary world will feel the negative effects on some level. It’s called the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008.
Admittedly, I am not the brightest star in the sky, but it appears to me that the purpose of this bill is to enable infringers of copyright, trademark, and design. I’ve spent the last five years of my life fighting infringement as an eBay investigator, and I am a writer who believes that intellectual property belongs in the hands of the rights owner solely. I can’t believe anyone looks at this act as a good thing.
Where the 1976 Copyright act gives practical protection to a copyright holder the moment they create a work, the Orphan Works Act does not protect a copyright holder unless he takes action to register their work. In other words, an owner of intellectual property must “register” their intellectual property in order to stake a claim in it.
If you paint something fabulous and decide to not register your work, or you simply were uninformed that you were obligated to register your work, and someone else searches the registered database for your registration and can’t find it, they have the right to use your work as if it were their own. If you don’t register it, the work is considered an orphan and is free game to anyone who stakes a claim on it.
This means someone could decide they like your painting, then they can use it on mugs and t-shirts, effectively making money on YOUR intellectual property. The same will be true of ANY intellectual property, whether written, painted, sketched, designed, sung, or any other creatively created work.
Yeah . . . bad.
The databases where your registration would be held would be privately owned, not government run, and the monies to run such a large operation will come from–you guess it, the owner of the intellectual property. You will have to PAY out of YOUR pocket to protect YOUR rights. I am violently opposed to such a thing.
I stole (with permission) the following example from someone else’s blog.
Following the rules the bill lays out, it potentially creates tens of thousands or millions of instances of this situation:
1. An individual or business finds an artwork (of any kind) that they want to use or incorporate commercially. But it has no author name affixed or associated with it. Under that circumstance or even if this individual knows the name of the author but cannot successfully make contact with them, then
2. The individual may search one of the few, or several, or many privately business-run databases of artworks which this bill will inevitably cause to come into existence (for the mentioned reasons). If the individual doesn’t turn up a connection of the work to its author or is unable to contact the author, then
3. The individual may file a notice with the Copyright Office of their intent to use the work commercially. Many situations would end here: they would use the work without owing the author anything. Now comes what kills art.
4. If the author of the infringed work finds out that it has been infringed, and should he go against the infringer for it, the infringer may claim to the court that he made a “good faith” effort to find the author of the work or make contact with him, but never found them to be in connection with the infringed work, or never made successful contact, and therefore
5. The court will order the infringer to pay the copyright owner only a “reasonable fee” but the infringer may continue use of the work, without limitation, and
6. The infringer cannot be compelled to pay attorney’s fees to the individual whose copyright he has violated. This is the real death blow to the authors of infringed works, as this current protection – where copyright violators must pay the attorney fees in cases of violation – this is what currently protects copyright most effectively. But under this bill, this protection will be removed by “limitation”. Consequently the author of the infringed work could never afford to go to court against anyone who infringed their work, because the most money they could get out of it would be far less than the attorneys fees which they, the author of the infringed work! – would have to pay.
Someone else profits from work they did not make – and it could be *my* work – and the author – *which could be me* has no means of obtaining any money for it.
Other practical (more correctly impractical) results of this? The market value of the author’s work is diluted by two thirds, since he can’t guarantee exclusive use to anyone on sale or license.
No author is afforded any copyright “protections” unless they register, and they would have to do this for every work of art they have ever created, paying a fee to each of several or many databases, and if they fail to register with all of the databases, anyone can pick up their work for unlimited use from a database they might have overlooked. Worse, the databases are not perfectly searchable, and many works properly registered will fall through the cracks. Images not in any database – the vast majority of contemporary images, since they *cannot* capture every living artist’s every work of art – are also unprotected.
It’s a reversal of copyright protections. Currently (again, under the Copyright Act of 1976) if you register a work you can claim damages whether or not the infringer found you or knew you to be connected with the work, but under this bill, your work would not be protected, if the infringer, uh, managed not to find you. Which would be very easy to do when there are two, three, five, seven databases to search – which database *won’t* find you? The court will hold that up as a “good faith” search. A simple failed search of any database will be enough.
With the private, business-run registries on whose contents decisions of copyright limitations hinge, the Copyright Office – or part of the United States government – would be handing control of citizen rights (copyright protections) over to private enterprise. Would any artist like that? Their rights being given to private business without their knowledge or consent? Should any citizen like that idea? That they, or an artist they know, will have to monitor private enterprises for the governance of their copyright?
Worst, even if an author successfully monitors all of their works of art in all of the databases and pays a fee to each of the many databases for every work of art they have ever created (which with so many artworks and so many fees could easily be far more expense than an artist makes profit), and if he ever finds any of his work to be infringed, the practical protection of his work remains as nonexistent as the above numbered points describe.
It must also be pointed out that the Copyright Office seems to have, or breed, contempt for the copyright protections of authors. This was the Associate Register for Policy & International Affairs’ reply to Brad Holland (of the Illustrator’s Partnership) in a meeting where Holland questioned the bill:
Holland: If a user can’t find a registered work at the Copyright Office, hasn’t the Copyright Office facilitated the creation of an orphaned work?
Carson: Copyright owners will have to register their images with private registries.
Holland: But what if I exercise my exclusive right of copyright and choose not to register?
Carson: If you want to go ahead and create an orphan work, be my guest!
Write your representatives and let them know how you feel about this. Here’s a link: http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/issues/alert/?alertid=11350921
Or use this:
This whole concept bothers me because it puts all the responsibility on the creators of intellectual property and none on those who simply want to use another person’s work. So I leave you all with this politically charged blog in the hopes that you will look into it, draw your own conclusions (I don’t expect anyone to share my opinion and I don’t proclaim to have all the details, but I encourage you to research for yourself, draw your own conclusion, and be a responsible member of our society by actively communicating with your representatives on matters that matter) I would be glad to hear your opinions, whether for or against and why.
And the chosen title for Seeking Zion is Eyes Like Mine.
I was kind of hoping for the Lost Treasure of Constance Miles Brown, but I’m glad for the simplicity of this title. It’ll be easy to type, and easy to say, and overall I am generally pleased with it. I still don’t know the release date, but the fact that it is coming out sometime is good news. Eyes Like Mine . . . yep, I like it and isn’t it lovely . . . the title actually has meaning in the story.
And no, I didn’t forget the contest. Though I wouldn’t blame you for thinking I had. I am awfully flaky sometimes. The winner of the title contest is An Ordinary Mom. Send me an email with an address and your book choice and I will make sure you get your prize
I’ve been pretty flaky when it comes to blogging and emailing and with communication in general. I have not read for my own pleasure in more months than I care to admit, and it seems life is speeding up, not slowing down.
Yesterday, my husband suggested we take the kids up the canyon and do scripture study and a picnic and just relax a little. So we hauled the kids up the mountain and had ourselves a great time. We spent the majority of our time in a place where the mountain seemed to split to create a little bowl. The bowl has a grassy area with a creek running through the middle. The kids tromped through the water and tormented each other in general while Scott and I laid ourselves out on the grass and stared at the sky. Sky staring is never boring because the sky is always changing. There is always something new to look at.
When we got home the kids were a muddy disaster so I demanded they all take baths. Murky called out to me during his bath and asked me to come look at his leg because he had a spider under his skin. I went in to check it out with a roll of my eyes and a “yeah right.” I fully expected he’d spray me with water or have some equally demonic plan for me. When I looked, I about screamed. He really did have something half in and half out of his leg. And it did look like a little black spider. I called out the big guns–dad. These are things moms should never have to deal with.
It was a tick. Remember all those things you learned at girl’s camp and boy scouts about ticks and how to remove them? Yeah, all lies. You don’t use petroleum jelly to suffocate the tick. You NEVER want to twist it out since that will snap it off and cause a bad infection and could result in lyme disease. You use blunt tipped tweezers and get underneath the tick and pull out straight. This means you have to tear skin to get underneath the tick and ensure you don’t leave any parts of the little parasite behind.
My Murky was brave. We flat out told him it was really going to hurt when we removed it and his heart beat went up (I know because I was holding him while Dad did the extraction), but he didn’t cry out. Brave kid. He’s great that way.
So much for the relaxing day. Next time we go up the mountains, we’re all wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts. Okay we probably won’t. We go up all the time and this is the first instance we’ve ever had of tick issues. But you can bet we’ll all be a little more wary as we brush by plant life.
In other news I am heading to CONduit this weekend to hang out with my favorite sci-fi and fantasy writers and am excited to see everyone. I will report on the weekend next week sometime. Tomorrow is my day for writing on the wall so feel free to check it out. I’m doing the toolbox for YA writing.
And yeah right . . . a writer without words . . .
I took this photo in Hawaii in a rain forest (don’t ask which one . . . That whole week was one blur of bliss and zen) I’ve come to really enjoy the concept of paths with turns that disappear behind trees or whatever. A path with turns, twists and the insecurity of not knowing what waits around the corner.
Life is a path like that. I feel like I’m there right now, standing at the turn, insecure in not knowing what waits for me, wondering if I dare take the step that will put me face to face with something new . . .
Does anyone have a good path story, where they got around the corner and found a surprise, good or bad, waiting? I’d love to hear it while I stand here contemplating my own bend in the road.
For your Mother’s Day enjoyment, you need to check out the above youtube video.
I am not all that fond of Mother’s Day. I’t a day to reflect on all the many ways I fall short. The fact that I got a really cool hammer from my husband for my mother’s day present (and the fact that I love it) is indicative of the type of woman I’m not. But I am starting to feel more comfortable with myself in my role as mother. Moms are more than people who cook meals and clean house. Moms are people who genuinely love their offspring. I can do that. Moms are people who laugh, and cry, and scold, and sing, and cuddle, and laugh some more. They are the ones who rush in to hold you when you’re feeling sick, unloved, afraid. They are the ones who hold you long enough for the love to sink into your bones, until you feel better again. They are flawed–all of them. Kids are flawed too so it all works out okay. I don’t bake fabulous things. I don’t do a lot of things right, but I do the important things right.
My own mom is a sweet little lady who is desperately flawed. I wouldn’t have her any other way. She drove me in the mornings on my paper route because I was afraid of the dark and the Sunday papers were so heavy. She had water fights with me and my friends. She properly humiliated me the day I needed to buy a strapless bra for prom (no my dress wasn’t strapless but the lace straps were . . . well lace. Lace has holes.) I still remember the day I walked in her room to find her on her knees in prayer. I hurried to duck out of her room so I didn’t disturb her, but the image of her turning to God for help stayed with me.
She’s a great mom. She’s there when I need her. What more could I ask for? I try ot be there for my kids when they need me.
Moms carry a lot of guilt around. We carry it with us like cloaks, worn on the outside, covering up all the great things we do. It’s springtime, ladies. Shake off your cloaks. Focus on the little moments where we get it right. There’s lots of those moments. Find joy in them.
Tristi Pinkston is the proud parent of a new book: Season of Sacrifice.
Sarah Williams is a young Welsh immigrant, coming to Utah to join her sister Mary Ann Perkins. When the Perkins are asked to join the San Juan mission to pioneer a trail through Southern Utah, they take Sarah along to help care for the children. But a six-week journey turns into six agonizing months of hard work and toil as the Saints blast their way through a cliff to bring their wagons through what would become the famous Utah landmark “Hole in the Rock.”
Finally settled in the San Juan, Sarah’s true hardship begins when Ben Perkins asks her to be his second wife. With their faith and testimonies challenged to the core, both Sarah and Mary Ann struggle to find the true meaning of Christ-like love and obedience. Will they make it through?
To commemorate her new novel we’ve done an author interview with her as follows:
1. When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was five. I started writing anything good when I was twenty-three. There was a whole bunch of depressing poetry in there too — but I’m choosing to forget that. That of course took place during the teenage years.
2 I know that this book has a particularly personal meaning for you. Can you please tell us in what ways this book connects with your personal and real life?
This book is the true story of my great-great-grandfather and his wife, and I strongly felt they wanted their story to be told.
3. You handled the tough topic of polygamy with grace and sensitivity. Was it hard to approach such a sensitive topic? What helped you or what devices did you use to make this subject one that people could understand, relate to, and empathize with, without alienating your reader?
It was hard. At times I felt alienated myself. I’m not a big fan of polygamy, and when it came time to write those scenes, I didn’t know how I was going to portray what my characters were feeling. But I finally came to the conclusion that they weren’t converted to polygamy– they were converted to God. That made all the difference. As far as the rest of it goes, I put myself in each person’s place as much as possible. It was emotionally exhausting but I feel the end result works.
4. How long did it take you to write this novel?
Eighty hours. Believe me, that is not usual. But it drove me and it fell into place like no other novel I’ve written.
5. Tell us about your writing schedule and the processes you use.
I’m on the computer from about nine at night until around two in the morning. I have to do my work when the kids are asleep. Processes? First, I have to check my e-mail. I can’t write if I haven’t done that. I also have to have a large glass of ice water next to me (I’m an ice chewer) and . . . don’t laugh . . . my hair has to be clean. If I haven’t had a chance for a shower or if I’ve been doing a lot of dirty work and my hair isn’t clean, I have to go take a shower. There’s just something about clean hair that makes me think better.
6. In every book, there is one character the author most identifies with. In your book, who do you identify most with and why?
I identify most with Sarah. She’s my great-great-grandmother and I believe we share some of the same qualities. She also resembles my grandmother, and since I knew my grandmother, I can visualize Sarah more than I can the others. I’ve also felt a connection to Ben, but in more of a guardian angel sort of way.
7. Writers tend to deal with the world in a different way than everyone else in that we handle rejection, mixed reviews and sometimes, family memebers who are less than enthusiastic about our career choices. How have you handled these things?
Ben and Jerry’s works really well for me. My favorite is Creme Brulee, and I also enjoy Cinnamon Buns. You may think I’m joking, but I’m not. Rejection is brutal.
8. This being your third published work, what advice do you have to give to other writers?
Read good books. Don’t be too proud to accept criticism. And never let a rejection go for twenty-four hours without turning around and sending something else out. Get back up on that horse.
Thanks Tristi! Congratulations on your new book! Anyone can learn more about Tristi at her website:
Today is my day to graffiti on the wall: http://writingonthewallblog.blogspot.com/ Go take a look on a few tips to writing romance. If it’s incoherent it’s because it’s midnight and I am so tired I can barely write without my eyes bulging out of my head.
In good news, I finished a major edit of the Hazzardous Universe and feel good to have things a little more solid. YAY!
I am going to Vegas this week. I spend a lot of time in Vegas due to trade shows and the like. I don’t really get into the glitz of that city. I don’t gamble, I don’t drink, and I don’t care to see scantily clad women running around everywhere. But owning a business requires me to go to Vegas a lot.
So I have found a few places in Vegas that I love. The Bellagio is one of them. The “dancing fountains” is simply poetic. And the gardens are beautiful. They change the gardens in the Bellagio every couple of months and the designs are fabulous in every way. Sometimes life size and larger than life statues made of flower blossoms, and train sets driving through trunks of real trees, can be found there. It is a beautiful room, filled with beauty, talent, creativity.
It’s nice to have places in the world filled with such wonder. I’ve also found that the temple in Las Vegas to be one of the most perfect places to simply sigh in relief. There is a little courtyard tucked into the center of the building with an outdoor garden. The garden has a couple of fountains and a little stream running through it. Unlike the Bellagio gardens, there are few people in the courtyard. One can sit on a stone bench and have it all to themselves. In the Bellagio gardens, there is still noise and confusion, high amounts of traffic, people snapping pictures. It’s sometimes hard to sigh in relief when you get there. It is an escape from the strip, but not far enough of an escape.
I like to be in the courtyard at the LV temple and simply sit. To breathe in and out with my eyes closed so I can hear the quiet of the place. It’s not as fancy as the Bellagio, but it is elegant in its simplicity. I find my own rhythm there, while I breathe in and out and feel my heart steady to its natural pace. If you’ve not been to the LV Temple, I suggest going. Have a sit in the courtyard and breathe for a while. You won’t be sorry.