Monday, July 11, 2016

Sending One's Work to Oneself to Copyright--Is this Effective?

Last Wednesday on her blog, Stephanie Faris wrote about four ways for authors to avoid being sued. Among those were copyrighting one's work by sending a copy of the story to oneself.  After I typed the first draft of my memoir, my mom told me to do this before letting anyone else read it.  I'd saved it as pdf file one Sunday afternoon and was about to email it to the members of my book club through our group email.  "Did you copyright it yet?" Mom asked, meaning did I send myself a copy. I hadn't--not yet--so I saved the email I'd begun in my draft folder and the next day sent myself the first copy I'd printed out. I'd just typed a second draft that I'd saved as a pdf. When I received it back three days later, I resumed sending the email, coincidentally just before our monthly meeting in June. Of the members who showed up, only one said she'd gotten it and the others present each admitted that they had not checked their email that day. I also sent it to to a guy I knew in high school that same day.

Below is the envelope I sent the story to myself in with the story still inside (I was told not to open it). The receipt from the postal place is used to cover up  most of my address.

This method is known as the "poor man's copyright," and according to this link, it has proven ineffective.  But even so, my mom said, it still works. Another post quoted in the blog points out that your work is copyrighted once you create it. But I've already mailed my story to myself, so what is done is done.  

For the record, I've only received some feedback as of yet from those to whom I emailed the story.  Though I understand it takes different people different amounts of time to read.  Another person I'd sent it to is the bartender at my favorite local bar. I saw her two weeks ago at a neighborhood grocery store, and she said she'd begun to read my manuscript, but that she's a slow reader.  Another I sent it to, a fellow bar patron was texting me about what she had read so far when she received the email. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

Hope everyone has a happy July 4th, whatever you plan to do today.

In my home town, the July 4th weekend is dominated by the annual motorcycle rally. Our main street is blocked off and most business are closed, and various souvenir booths are set up. People come from all over. The rally is one of the few things people outside Hollister, California know about this otherwise little-known town.  A typical scene at the rally might look like this:

This is from a couple years ago. Though I went this year, I didn't get any pictures. But it always seems the same to me.

What is going on in your neck of the woods for July 4th?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Quiz: The Fireworks Test

Definitely agree with this one.

Your Fireworks Say You're Introverted
You are a rather reserved person in day to day life.
However, you do have a few topics that truly excite you.

When you become impassioned, it's a surprise to everyone around you.
But if they blink, they'll miss it, because you get back to being calm very quickly.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Book Challenge by Erin

Found another challenge. It started yesterday, but I saw it just now on someone else's blog. This one runs until October. Sign up and see more details here.

Book Challenge by Erin 5.0
General Rules
First and foremost, have fun. Don't stress. No one is being judged, graded, or penalized. Even if you finish only one book the entire challenge, if you enjoy it and it's an accomplishment for you, then that's awesome.
  • The challenge will run from July 1, 2016 to October 31, 2016. No books that are started before 12 a.m. on July 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on October 31 will count.  (We live in different time zones – follow this according to your own time zone.)
  • Each book must be at least 200 pages long.   Audio books are fine too.
  • A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be completed once. If you want to switch the category of a book, or change the book you originally chose, no worries. 
  • You can read your books in any order you choose.
  • Rereads can be used only once.  If a book you love fits into a category, go ahead and visit it again. Read it in its entirety.  But, only do this once for the challenge.
  • There will be a photo album for each category with links to books chosen.  Please comment on the photo for each of your books when you finish reading them.  (ask for help if you need it)  A comment can include a review, a rating, a recommendation…other readers want to hear what you thought of your choice. 
  • There will be 10 book categories with a possibility of earning 200 points.   That’s 10 books in four months.  For some of you, this will be a BIG challenge; for others it will be easy peasy.  It’s all for fun, remember!
  • Book categories will be posted June 1st to give you time to gather books in preparation. 
  • After the categories are posted, please post a preliminary list to the facebook group page with books of your choice according to their categories on the facebook group page by June 15th (if possible). If you need help with a particular category or want a book suggestion, we as a community of reading enthusiasts can help each other.  (Late entries will still be accepted)
  • Participants can join the challenge at any time.
  • The first three people who finish the challenge will be invited to contribute a category for the next challenge. The top winner will get a small prize from me!  Plus, everyone who completes the challenge will gets all sorts of recognition and support!
  • Lastly, have fun.  Don't stress. No one is being judged, graded, or penalized. Even if you finish only one book the entire challenge, if you enjoy it and it's an accomplishment for you, then that's awesome.  Wait, I’ve read that somewhere before…Good luck!

·         5 points:  Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages.   The Girl Who Chased the Moon--Sarah Addison Allen

·         10 points:  Read a book that starts with the letter “R”.   A Rose From the Dead--Kate Collins

·         10 points:  Read a book with five words in the title.   The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel--Deborah Moggach

·         15 points:  Read a book that has a (mostly) blue cover.  7th Heaven--James Patterson

·         20 points:  (Submitted by Barb; she’s a twin and is a mother to twins.)  Read a book with twins as characters.  Here’s a list that should help.  Fangirl--Rainbow Rowell

·         20 points:  (Submitted by Christina) Read a book from the following list of books made into movies: 

·         25 points:  (Submitted by Stef) Read a book set in a country you have always wanted to visit.   Northanger Abbey--Jane Austen (England)

·         30 points:  (Submitted by Linda) Read a historical fiction book.   The Widow of the South--Robert Hicks

·         30 points:  (Submitted by Ericka)  Read a music related book.  (i.e. a memoir from a musician, singer, band, roadie, producer, groupie, music journalist, etc. OR a fictional book with a lead character that is a musician, music teacher, etc.)

·         35 points:  (Submitted by Ferne) Read a book originally published over 100 years ago.  

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Technology of the 1980s vs. Today

One thing I recalled in my memoir manuscript I have been working on is the technology of the 1980s, and keeping up with the cassette craze of that decade.  If you grew up then, you will remember devices such as the Walkman (below):

Or the boombox

From my manuscript:  
Unlike the smartphones, tablet computers and MP3 players of today, we were not allowed to have these devices at school.  
If we did, they would be confiscated. These things were only luxury items, not a very important part of our lives--the way the smartphones and computers of today have become.  A sign of how times have changed.

Another line from my story:
Passing notes in class on folded paper was our generation's version of "texting."
Another thing most kids of the 1980s will recall. When bored in class, kids would either doodle in their notebooks or write a note to their friends or to their secret crushes. When doing the latter, they would try hard to pass the notes without getting caught by the teacher.  A typical note-passing act would be something like this:

Notes would often be folded in styles like those below:

If and when teachers caught students passing notes, the teacher would confiscate the notes. Sometimes the teachers would read the notes outloud to the entire class (or make the students read them), before the teachers either threw the notes in the garbage can or kept them in their desk drawers. 

Another thing we faced before cell phones was having to wait until we got home to blab about stuff to others on the phone, or wait 'til school resumed on Monday to do so.   Also, in the '80s, kids might have gotten grounded from using the phone. If this was the case when you called them, or if they weren't home, you had to wait until you saw them at school to give them the hot gossip.  Now everyone of all ages has a cell phone and can instantly blab stuff in a matter of seconds. Also, many kids in the 1980s would ask to have their own private phone line, something that has now been largely replaced by each person in the same family getting their own cell phones. 

Remember all this? Do you think kids today have everything easy?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Tending to Think Too Far Ahead

Yeah, I've done that, what with worrying over getting sued if my memoir should be published and I used real names.  I eventually decided to use fake ones and even made one person into three different people.  I also thought that if it gets published and someone wanted to make a movie, it would be weird to have nameless people in the book. How would they be identified in the movie? Again, thinking too far ahead! But on a side note, I did wonder if any book with unnamed characters have become movies and how the characters were referenced in the film (seems like something interesting to find out).

I am not thinking too far ahead, just want to take it one thing at a time. - Sachin Tendulkar #2

At the beginning of this month, I saved my story in pdf so I could e-mail it to others. I chose to do this after someone from my book club suggested this to save paper. It will also save on postage costs. I've e-mailed it to several people already, one of whose e-mail service unfortunately marked it as "spam."  No feedback yet, but I understand that people have other things to do and I encouraged them to take their time.  But now I'm getting anxious to hear what they think :-) I'm still editing for errors and rewriting some parts.  And how much longer should I wait to find an editor and a publisher? ;-)

Again, I've been thinking too far ahead for something I've already planned for next year. But the idea came to me not too long ago and I had to take it down so I would not forget. I didn't want to share it just yet, but now I'm too eager to do so :-) In this post, I stated the following:

And on a side note, my fascination with memoirs has given me an idea. More on this another time...

Since I have been reading other people's memoirs and am working on one of my own, I got an idea for a reading challenge for next year.  It's only June, but the idea has already come to me. I mentioned this in this blogpost.  The one I've been doing this year was my first one ever and I came up with it last year around May or June.  Yeah, thinking too far ahead.  But once you get an idea, it's good to take it down so you don't lose it. The posts for reading challenges for the following year usually go up around November or December, sometimes in October (when I got mine up last year).  Since it was my first one, I had to do some searching for ideas for readers wising to participate. I'm not sure about doing this one again, as some of the bloggers who signed up have deleted their blogs unexpectedly.  One already finished.

OK, here's what I want to do next year: a memoir reading challenge in a bingo-style format. I looked around for sites to create bingo cards and found some good ideas on this one.  I like the following themes so far (check here for more):
Corporate Bingo Theme
Notepad Bingo Theme
Modern Bingo Theme
Vintage Bingo ThemeGreen Bingo ThemeGold Bingo Theme

These all look good, but I think I like the notebook one the most.

I plan to make a 5X5 card with the free space in the middle and use 24 different memoir categories. I have them picked out already and I say tell what they are when my post becomes official. I'm working on getting it up by the end of October or in November or December.

I wanted to keep this under wraps, which I had done with my challenge this year when the idea came to me a year ago.  But this time, I just got too excited to tell my idea.  I'm sure no one else will have the same idea. No one else came up with a challenge idea similar to the one I did.  There are always several romance, fantasy and mystery themed challenges each year, but each one is different in focus. 

More on this later as the year progresses.

Meanwhile, I will be joining a writing group in my town that meets once a month at a local coffee shop, the same one where my book club meets each month.  The writing group has already met once, but I did not know about the writing group until I saw their flyer at the coffee shop at the beginning of June. They meet this coming Tuesday afternoon. This should be fun. Can't wait to see what the others are writing.