Ecstatic Days — Blog Archive — Steampunk Revolution – Announcing the TOC
When I’m not soldering, snipping, or cranking out marketing copy and textbooks in order to pay the bills, I write basically unpublishable fiction–clockwork sexbots, murderous baristas, haunted dogs, sinister midgets; about what you’d expect. In a bizarre twist, a story from the *least* marketable of those endeavors is seeing print! Mojo, Fritz, and I are pleased to brag that one of our Giant Squid stories–“An Exhortation to Young Writers (Advice Tendered by Poor Mojo’s Giant Squid)”–will appear in Ann VanderMeer’s upcoming anthology Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution (I also had a story in their last steampunk antho, Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded). Our Squid will appear alongside works by such luminaries as Lev Grossman, Garth Nix, Cherie Priest, Bruce Sterling, and Catherynne M. Valente–which, frankly, stuns me to the core.
I’m guest blogging all this week at Man Made DIY and the first of these posts just went live. Tune in later this week for project-specific stuff, as well as some general DIYing advice and things I’ve learned since writing Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred.
The Craft and Commerce of Writing — Man Made DIY | Crafts for Men — Keywords: talk, work, craft, writing
I never set out to write a craft book–or, for that matter, to write business columns, or reference materials, or textbooks on teen sex and Chernobyl, or basically anything that’s paid the bills over the last five years. I’d written for years, but it had been an after-hours art: Essays about technology and sexuality and Detroit’s decay; stories about clockwork robots, haunted dogs, monster wives, and giant squid–the kind of stuff you gut out after dark; the kind of stuff you write for the consuming love of finding how to say it. The kind of stuff that’s hard to sell.
If you, your family, or friends are having trouble groking why folks are up in arms about SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act, take 10 to watch these Colbert Report clips (posted with rights holders’ consent and encouragement–or, damn, at least I *hope* so; otherwise they’re going to shut down this entire site and lock me up for 5 years [not a joke!; those are actual provisions in SOPA]).
Just to reiterate: I’m a professional writer. This is how I make my living: I write things, I sell those things, people send me checks; those checks aren’t big. I have royalty agreements on some stuff, but have yet to ever see an actual royalty check. (I also write other things, for which I never expect fungible payment; this is one of those. Since I read lots of things that other folks write with no expectation of seeing a check, I’m eager to likewise contribute to the largest and most accessible lending library in human history. Let us call this process “dropping a dime in the heavenly jukebox.”)
SOPA and PROTECT-IP do *nothing* to help or protect “content creators” like me. In fact, almost *nothing* that’s happened in copyright law since the 1960s has done anything to benefit the vast bulk of all artists; it *has* done a great deal to enrich corporate rights holders (who were often robbing those artists you love. Please see the biography of *any* bluesman ever for details.)
Here’s the takeaway: These laws bludgeon regular citizens–like yourselves–with no corresponding benefit to the workers who did the heavy lifting (and when I say “workers” I don’t just mean the writers, musicians, actors, etc. My *publisher* doesn’t use DRM on their ebooks; user-level piracy isn’t a threat to their business, and they know it). This law is for 1%ers.
As an independent business person and content creator in the economically depressed state of Michigan, I’ve contacted my reps raising these very points; they’ve been at best ambivalent. So, if these laws sound like a bad idea, and you want to contact your reps, that’d be great. Tell them David Erik Nelson sent you; he’s a “content creator” and he’s against SOPA and PROTECT IP.
SOPA Censorship Bill on the Colbert Report