While you probably don’t want a rant starting out your Wednesday reading, for writers and readers alike, this stuff matters. Perhaps some of you use Smashwords to get your ebooks. Do any of you read erotica? Do you write it perhaps? Does this erotica include “questionably explicit content”?
This shouldn’t be news, but it is… again. PayPal (and supposedly its backers) want to know so they can stop allowing transactions for such books. Now Smashwords claims that PayPal is working with them, however, given the financial company’s history (links included below), I smell a rat. PayPal has frozen accounts for many sites on its own moral ground and has not, before this, made a point of blaming a third-party (indeed, there is no actually stated third-party, just “credit card companies”) for most of these things. I could go on about this seems to coincide with the recent attacks to disband most of the Occupy Camps that have been discretely noted on the news so that almost no one knows of them. Personally, I’m sure there is connection, just as there is probably a connection with the careful ignorance to studies about health issues caused by GMO products and the sudden media attention to the assumed nuclear threat from Iran. But this isn’t a conspiracy theory blog, and for now, I’ll just use those things as inspiration for my fiction about alien worlds and how characters who have suffered severe childhood trauma still achieve great things (complete with all the questionable elements that will make it unpublishable on Smashwords).
Even without any other factors involved… Censorship stinks!
Censorship Relevant Links:
- Slippery Slope: Erotica Censorship (http://selenakitt.com/)
- Erotica Book Banning Roundup –Part 2 (http://www.svrowle.com/)
- Smashwords –PayPal #1: Smashwords Modifies Terms of Service (https://www.smashwords.com/)
- Paypal Shuts Down WikiLeaks Yet Again (http://www.techdirt.com/)
- PayPal Rains on Regretsy’s Secret Santa Campaign (http://consumerist.com/)
- And for a general Everything Wrong With PayPal…
However, let me add one more thing here… I, personally, have had very few problems with PayPal. One, once, long ago when I lost $20 that I’d had in a former X.com account before PayPal bought them out. And perhaps I could have been more aggressive about demanding my money, but life was interfering and it seemed less important than finding a place to live and a job at the time. But that doesn’t mean I like their treatment of others.
But that’s enough ranting for now. Let’s move on to some….
Here’s a general mash-up of (some!!!!) things that caught my fancy this week… stuff that I hoped you would enjoy with me:
Do you like illusions? My son does. And as luck would have it, I found a whole blog of illusions to look through with him. This one looked particularly nifty being a papercraft project we could work on together in the near future. (from Mighty Optical Illusions): And here is a neat video of a similar project: See through you, I can.
If you are anything like me, reading is second nature and sometime more important than eating and breathing (though almost always more important than sleeping). Well, thanks to Lloyd Shepherd and the Guardian here are 10 interesting “alternative history” books to explore. (And here I’d hoped to trim down my Amazon wishlist this month….)
Jeff Goins often makes a stir online with his blog and Tweets, many of which I find myself reviewing on occasion. His recent Writer’s Manifesto is out, and he’s asking people to read it and to write their own. Bring somepassion back into your fiction. (And, could someone, please tell me why I cannot seem to write the word manifesto without wanting to add an ‘r’ at the end?)
Introverts… Extroverts… Perverts (added because of the rant above)… All these ‘verts’ out there! So what kind of Vert are you? If the stereotype is true, many writers are introverts. I consider myself one, especially given this commonality with other introverts: while I love being around people, I get easily drained and happily enjoy staying on the periphery where I can watch, but not be directly involved Do you think Introverts should be taught differently than Extroverts? Would it encourage those things that define introversion and make socialization more difficult? (I often think ‘The Experts’ believe that; you wouldn’t believe the regime that we’ve been directed to use with our son because of his mild Aspergers. Then, again, perhaps some of you would. What do you think? And should I start a whole post about this on A Garden of Delights about this topic so you can share you experiences? I would love to hear them.)
Good world building comes not just from designing pieces of a society according to your desires, but through making these pieces into something other people can relate to. While this doesn’t directly involve writing, a lot of world building involves giving accurate impressions of different social classes–a fascinating slide show on what a $1 a day really means in survival and food.
When Expectation and Truth clash the Heart is often the loser. The pain in Ingrid’s voice here is so very clear, and so easy to relate to. While we all know that real love and universal acceptance of each other’s foibles is difficult for everyone (if not impossible for some), we seldom consider how difficult and heartbreaking it can be to realize that the person we love is who they are because they will NOT give into our desires.
I found this post delightful, mostly because I write stories like this. My characters are who they are, and they don’t want to compromise what has made them who they are… at least not just because they have fallen in love with an ideal, not a person (yes, I assume one could say that all characters are cast as “ideals, not people”….
Making a blog into a real author’s platform doesn’t come naturally to the medium, and it’s probably something that many of us not have considered (I certainly hadn’t, but then I was in it for the social experience at the time). But like most people who love to write and write stories, I do have aspirations of eventual publication and some small amount of money coming from my writing. It’s a good idea to consider how that will best happen. So using this page at Jane Friedman’s site, I hope to revamp both Many Worlds and A Garden of Delights. I also am looking at some of Jane Friedman’s other pages on blogging and authoring, starting here with the (what else) Get Started Guide.
Has anyone else heard of Dirty Fighting in Writing? Well, if not, head over to More Cowbell by Jenny Hansen and get yourself a piece of the action. Now with MORE words!
And lastly, because, while I don’t write romances (as in no “happily every afters” guaranteed), I do write about characters who fall in love (and out of love) and about love that must be because of the Fickle Finger of Fate or something, I wanted to share this post from Alien Romances. (I’m not sure about the author quoting an article about violence and video games that states professional organizations but links to no actual studies.). What are your opinions on strong characters? Does being unwilling to change one’s behavior in an emergency necessarily make one strong or simply stubborn?
Did I just say “And lastly“? Oh, no, no, no… I still have to give a…
Writing and Editing:
- 500 words a day on my WiPs — behind somewhat, trying to finish other obligations
- Typing 5 pages per week — 6 pages done already
- Edit 2 full pages a day — behind today, made other days
- prepare and post one full blog post per week on each of my blogs — on track
- #teamsprinty and #ROW80 word sprints at least 3 times a week — did it!
- check new blog posts1 (one) day a week–Thou shalt not live on the computer! — failed
- stop Facebooking and other time killers after 1/2 hour once in morning; once at night — did “okay” (45 minutes), still needs improving
- exception– to return direct messages (I’ll still have email and Tweets on in the background) — getting batter at this, am going to try to set up Tweetdeck again and see if that helps
- Get out of the house and enjoy life! — Didn’t really “get out of house”, but took some personal time to read and relax, be myself and catch up on things that make life easier. Tomorrow is my son’s birthday, and several school events are coming up over the week… Sunday’s check-in could be interesting
- Keep dancing! — Been doing a happy dance at least once a day because of my wonderful family
- Take pictures — no pictures
- Hug and savor my family… especially my family. — of course I did this! 😉
There it is… LOTS of stuff. Hope you were happily entertained.
Thank you Eden for the mention and the beautiful compliment 🙂 And thanks for the other wonderful links, especially on censorship. Oy, what a slippery slope that is.
Thank you for visiting, Ingrid. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I don’t often comment on your blog, but often I find it so engrossing I need to reread simply for the pleasure so I am glad I could “return the favor” somewhat.
Awww. 🙂 Thanks Eden! As a newbie blogger that means so much to me. hehe 🙂
Thanks for the shout out for the Dirty Fighting Contest. Winners get an edit by a professional editor! Deadline is midnight on St. Paddy’s day so you still have time!!
You’re welcome, Jenny. It looks like a lot of fun and wanted to share (and yes, I’m hoping to get something written up for it too).
I love this post……I love the things to look into and consider, when this writing compulsion I’m currently in the midst of leaves me a bit more leisure for looking and learning….
Although marketing will be part of my second round goals, for sure.
About introverts and extroverts – I think the problem isn’t with type. The problem is when people expect that all others would be happy relating as they do. There are many points on the continuum, maybe as many as there are people.
You have a happy son who is confident with people who accept him as is without demanding he be other than that.
I adore him. As is. He is perfectly himself, and that is wonderful.
He’s happy, and supported, and amazing.
I’m not an expert, but I have pretty good people instincts. He’s not a diagnosis. He’s a person. He’s not broken.
He’s himself. =)
So much more to say, but my brain has wandered off….Yellowstone area on PBS is making me homesick.
I love you. And that wonderful brand-new six at you house. =)
Really… The problem isn't him, but it does seem that more and more people seem to be looking for problems (and of course, if you start looking for something, you exponentially increase your chances of finding it). You know how I was… The problem is that I didn’t trust myself enough. I trust that in me more now than I used to. And guess what? It seems to be working.
Like you, I’ve go so much more to say, but the world is doing its “come on, get up and away from the keyboard” thing.
Much food for thought, as usual, Eden; I always look forward to stopping by. Between censorship, GMO, International Women’s Day, and world building–no particular order intended–there is no lack in blog subject matter. However, what I look forward to is Eden’s perspective on what is happening across the pond.
Good luck with Dirty Fighting in Writing.
Oh, the stuff going on across the pond… Eek! I’m always astonished by the social intricacies that come into play in Europe (and Africa…and…) And here….
However, I confess… International Women’s Day in our house is “Happy Birthday Marcus Day”, and due to other factors, yesterday was so overwhelmingly busy, that I barely even celebrated that the way I should.
Which is probably best (in both cases). Celebrating a “Day” allows people to pocket away their poor choices and bad behaviors for a “party” and them go back to business as usual once the event is over. However, if writing and the ROW80 and similar programs/challenges can teach us anything, it’s that change needs to be practiced regularly. That awareness and growth and real progress come from slow, gradual pieces building upon each other…
And that it doesn’t happen in a day. Or even in a month (to note the ROW80/NaNoWriMo comparison more fully here)
As always, Karen, thanks for visiting. I don’t know if I’m up for the Dirty Fighting myself… It’s going to be an interesting play by play as things stand.
I had no idea about the censorship.
Thanks for the links and good luck with your ROW80 goals.
Thanks, Medeia. It is a worrying issue, because of how many things actually fall into these limitations. In classic Greek mythology, the god Zeus often appeared in the form of an animal and “shared himself” in that form with a human woman. To write a decently accurate story set in Ancient Egyptian society, one would have to include incest (heck, to write a half-way accurate historical romance set in many European countries, where intermarriage was common one needs to all for incest). And given that “age of consent” (as well as what defines consent) varies vastly across the world, what may be personally normal for a certain cultures values will end up being illegal (or at least unviewable) within the walls of another.
And it’s not just that it’s a slippery slope, but that blaming the stories just allows an excuse for bad behavior when someone does violate the rules. They get a free pass for their own poor choices by pointing to a book or a movie or a song and saying “That ____ made me do it.” They don’t have to accept their own responsibility for their actions, and that, to me, is the worst crime here
I love your links! The dragons are great. I’m going to print a couple out for my kids. I’ll probably take Jane Friedman’s advice at some point too. When I get the time to work on it. I had no idea about the book bans. That’s horrible to read. Good luck with your Row80 goals. Hang in there! You’re doing pretty great. Readjust where needed. 😉
Thank, Debra. Glad you found something here that helps or inspires you. And thank you for the encouragement with the ROW80. It’s a great community.
I really don’t know what to do about this whole PayPal thing… it bothers me a lot, and yet, as someone who doesn’t like handing out her credit card details left, right and centre, there aren’t a lot of alternatives… those that do exist aren’t really used by enough people to actually be worthwhile… :-\
On a happier note, thanks for all the links! I have had some fun clicking about.
Well, at least to go with bothering you, I entertained you some. 😉 Hmmm…
Thank you for visiting. Hope you come back some time and find more things to enjoy.