Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Unexpected Inspiration, critters in my walls

We finally got the new roof on our house, and expelled the furry roommates.  A dozen or so raccoons had taken up residence in the attic and eaves; they would throw loud parties late at night, drag race, get into teenage brawls, and never paid any rent!

(I've had similar human roommates  that were just as pleasant.)

Each victory leads to another challenge.

This time, there's a squirrel in the wall trying to eat its way into our bedroom via the closet.  It scrapes, scrambles, chews, squeals, and fights off other would be tenants - from about four a.m. to 10 p. m.

So I can honestly say I have insomnia induced by something scratching in my walls.  I also have daily fear that the creature in the wall will burst through at any moment.

Harrowing, even when one knows what the creature is.  I have so much sympathy for horror novel characters that don't know.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stouffer, get stuffed

Found it - yet another poorly written vanity press number looking for its legitimacy by an ill conceived attempt to cash in on the most tenuous of similarities to a blockbuster series.

This one is flat-out hilarious:

In Stouffer's work, the 'muggles' are diminutive, alien-esque creatures.  The main character's name is Harry. She attempted to sue based on this incontestable(read desperate) parallel of her unreadable opus to the Harry Potter universe.

The judge was so impressed by her lawsuit (which included false papers) that Stouffer's case was not only thrown out, the dimwit was fined $50,000 for wasting the court's time.

Original news here:

The laughable 'case', if you're into reading the nitty gritty:

And the result:

Moral of the story:  No matter how desperately you want to believe that the one toss off idea you had somewhere could never have come up in another writer's mind - you're wrong.  And having a very public temper tantrum about it will not only NOT get you the acclaim you slaver for, it just makes you look like an ass.

Poor Mrs. Rowling

The greedy, desperate, and underhanded are at it again! There's another lawsuit against the creator of the Harry Potter series regarding the intellectual ownership of wizards named 'Harry'.

I read some of the (again - what is it with these people?) semi - literate, horrible sentence construction of this (again) vanity pubbed writer. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what an adult, wild - west sci-fi flavored ADULT novel had to do with the Potter franchise...

...apparently, no one else can figure it out either.

Plus, these people cannot seem to parse the difference between plagiarism and a derivative work - though neither applies here.

(To nip this in the bud, since I've heard it before: Harry Potter and Tim from The Books of Magic, are both brunette English wizards who wear glasses. The similarities end there. Read before rant, ok?)

There was another, even more ridiculous lawsuit regarding 'muggles' - I'll have to dig up the eye-rolling details for further derision.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another way to kill your writing career...

Blog angrily with great vitriol about how 'stupid' the stars of the literary world are, bonus if your spelling and grammar hovers around the seventh grade level.

Bonus #2: post excerpts online that are eyebleed worthy, and refuse to understand that the nice comments people post on it are part of the popularity game. The people who make the top ten on those contest sites devote far too much time and effort in doing so (and no one in the top ten has actually been offered a publishing contract).

Bonus #3: Take that, evil publishing world - there IS a publisher that has finally recognized her brilliance. Extra points for realizing that this publisher is...

Publish America.

Raise your hand if you were even a little surprised.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another runner up for the Wingnut Award

This is certainly a newer twist on the batshit crazy retardation we've been seeing lately, and goes as follows:

Terrible writer writes Gary-Stu fic in which he magically kills, maims, haunts, etc, his imaginary 'enemies' (mostly taking the form of editors, or anyone who 'doesn't recognize mah geniuz'). Puts it online to be read and praised - guess which one of the two happens?

The expected butthurt explosion occurs, of course. What wasn't expected:

This same writer deciding he'll 'show them' by offering these works (and I use the term loosely) for sale on Amazon:

Notice the now ubiquitous poorly written and vague five star reviews which are de riguer for any desperate vanity published writer! And the backlash...

Not content with spreading crazy through his own blogs, he's gone so far as to attack real writers, accusing them of stealing his stories and profiting from them!

Brian Keene and his editor respond:

(Note: in order for anyone to WANT to steal a story, there sort of needs to be a story to begin with, rather than a functionally illiterate Gary Stu revenge fantasy...)

This nut has also tried to scam various writing conventions, attempting (laughably) to contact them as a published writer asking for all attendance expenses and to be put on panels! Failing that, he contacts said convention, 'warning' them about the 'plagairizing' writers that ARE on the panels, along with other vague and ranting threats.

As a shock to no one, these threats are met first with confusion, then with amusement and derision.

A special thanks to my friend Roy, for bringing this asshat to my attention.

Rock band and Writers - Wordstock!!

This is unbelievably cool - so I'm taking a moment from this current line of featured fuck ups to share something that sounds like a great time!

There are some seriously heavy literary hitters in this project, riffing on writing, music, art - everything. Sounds like every show is a laugh riot!

Are they any good? If you're like me, that's a mildly interesting question, but not really why you're going to see them.

And all proceeds go to charity!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How NOT to market yourself - Lessons from Robert Stanek

Just when you thought you'd seen it all...

So, you've been barred by those evil, elite, snotty commercial publishers that don't recognize your brilliance.

Rather than growing a clue right about there - you decide to self publish your 'epic' fantasy series. Okay, whatever you need to do to feel better...

I've heard of people putting up fake five star reviews on Amazon. How about over 200 of them?

What about claiming having won awards that don't exist? (While I've heard of that too, the sheer number this numbskull professes to blows my mind.)

You've become a legend in your own mind...what could possibly go wrong?

The wrong starts when real people get duped into buying your juvenile, unedited pile o' crap because they believed that you were an honest person, and wouldn't stoop to such bone - headed and underhanded marketing methods.

They came, they read, and now, any potential audience you may have had is PISSED. They're panning your work all over the 'net, warning off other targets.

People self publish crap all the time, no big deal. The biggie is lying about it. A bigger one is pretending to be 200 other people and lying about THAT.

Were it not for this shitstorm of audacity, this book would have died a quiet death, like its thousands of self published brethren. Many of those writers do go on to write something commercially viable - but you sir, have proven yourself unworthy of that goal.

You can't be trusted to turn in your own work, no matter how shoddy it may be.

For those of you who are interested in seeing just how bad this steaming pile is:


Things like this make it really hard to buy that line about the 'evil, elitist barrier' in publishing. If 'evil' means correct word usage, and 'elitist' means proper grammar, I'm all for it. Honestly guys, if you're not getting a response, it might be time to take a look at the work. You don't want to be like this guy.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Another copyright maroon...

Star Trek this time.

Here's my take on fanfiction:

While technically illegal, a bunch of 14 year olds writing about the characters they've fallen in love with (often porn*), and stretching their literary muscles (mostly with cringe inducing results), is mostly harmless.

Provided they do it on a fan fic site to share their little fantasies with other rabid fans, and bask in the glow of a similar interest.

Once said fan writer decided (usually erroneously) that they should be paid for this effort, and offer a highly illegal copy of someone else's intellectual property for financial gain, they should be gutted with a spork.

*there may be nothing on Earth unintentionally funnier than a sheltered tween's idea of how sex works.

POD done right!

This is both an example, and a plug for my friend Mike.

He's a brilliant creature artist, having done work for games, books, etc. Since individual art books (featuring a single artist) are generally a hard sell without the name recognition of say Rockwell, Mucha, Frazetta, etc., he decided to self publish a book of drawings and sketches, marketed to fellow artists and fans.

Here's why this works:

1. Targeted, niche audience that he can reach through his own website and blog. Since I'm already familiar with Mike's work from other venues, I know how tasty those sketches are going to be.
2. I know the book is going to look good; beyond the interior, I know the cover is going to be laid out well.
3. The content is something that is of interest to that audience.
4. The price is right. While it seems high compared to something comprised primarily of text, the price point is well within the accepted range for a book of illustrations (not to be confused with an illustrated childen's book - we're talking art books here).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Copyright infringement ain't so bright either...

This is old news if you follow publishing, but it's still an amusing read.

Some dunder-head self published a Twilight fan-fic. (And argued about it being illegal!) Some interesting threads and wank from the idiot herself:

Rather than give up entirely, the hot mess of a 'book' is available to suffer through here:

I was shocked when this first appeared, and appalled that it's available anywhere outside of a fan fic forum (excuse the unintentional alliteration).

Whatever one may feel about Mrs. Meyer's prose, there is absolutely no recourse for this reprehensible behavior. (Plus, this book makes Twilight read like Shakespeare in comparison.)

plagiarizing is bad, mmmkay?

While it's all bad, stealing the work of a very well known writer is just stupid. Playing the 'disability' card as an excuse? Even stupider.

(I do have to admit, these car wrecks are fun to watch.)

Remember kids, an agent who charges fees is BAD. One who can only 'sell' your book to a vanity press is BAD.

Thermo - meter

This is just what happens when the brain runs on too little sleep...

I was mucking about in a casual game (as the two lovely gentlemen on our roof made it impossible to concentrate on anything) and it got me thinking about the modern pronunciation of 'thermometer'.

It's a meter to measure heat, so at what point did 'thermo - meter' become the single word 'thermometer'?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New IQ is up!!

We've been working on a new look for the Filmmaker IQ website, full of tasty new features and other fun stuff!

Man, I'm glad it's launched.