Tag Archives: copyright

The Weekend… ends

Back to the paycheck job for me tomorrow. I had high hopes for some writing, but it never happened. At least not to the degree I had planned.

I spent most of the weekend working on social media stuff and expanding my footprint out in cyberspace. After a lot of fussing and fiddling, I now have sites on Google+ and Pinterest. I have no idea exactly what I'm going to do with them, but I have my reasons.

Google is the biggest search engine on the planet, and I've been told that a presence there helps increase your chances of getting found on a search. So I signed up, and figured out how to push these blog posts onto G+. If any of you are interested this might be my profile https://plus.google.com/117501282560056017429

Pinterest is one I had to be talked into. Nothing is a silver bullet in the world of discovery, but many of us are quite visual. I've written entire stories because I saw a piece of artwork, and this one seems like a good fit for me. If it doesn't expand my footprint, I'll still use it for inspiration. I still don't know how either of these work completely. And like with G+, I'm not completely sure if this is my profile https://www.pinterest.com/entertainin0737/

Part of the issue is my dependence on an iPad. These two seem to want to work best on an app. In fact Pinterest wants to drive me to the app, even when I want the browser version. I kind of slapped it around and tried to force it to give me the link I needed. If anyone is interested, I'm Craig Boyack on Google+. I wanted to be Entertaining Stories or even C. S. Boyack, but Google wants it to match my gmail address exactly. I wound up using a business site on Pinterest, and got to be Entertaining Stories over there.

I'm content with Entertaining Stories, because of branding. I also spent a considerable amount of time hunting for that image that eludes me. I saw it on Facebook around Halloween, and never grabbed it. It's going to be the basis of a shorter story after I finish up some projects. (Even if I never find it.)

So, I'm open to some comments and even critiques on these sites. I've been told a pin board for coming books can create a lot of interest. I'm too late in the game to start for my current projects, but will probably try it for the next wave. I created a small Lisa Burton board, and added some select images with links. Do you think I should do a cover gallery and link those too?

Obviously, I need some friends on these sites. Social media takes a ton of time, and I'll dedicate what I have to the forms that seem to be working or more interactive.

I also assembled and scheduled the next two Lisa Burton Radio spots, built and posted the Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author post, and spent a considerable amount of time at Story Empire.

Just to make sure I wasn't slacking, I printed, read, and marked up critique submissions. We meet Thursday night again, and I'm ready.

Yak Guy got left to his own devices. Today, just to keep my hand in, I wrote another “anthem” piece for The Enhanced League. Regulars will remember one I shared, and they're in second person point of view. I really want to call this one Superman, but titled it Super Man in an attempt to avoid a lawsuit. Do you think this might be safe? It's about a guy trying to steal a base in a baseball game and flying through the air like… well you get it. It's 850 words and I'm counting them. Not much for three days.

We have one of those phony gas log fireplaces. I couldn't care less about it, but my wife scheduled it for service today – because I'm home. (Wasn't that sweet of her.) A big part of my writing time went to keeping Otto out of the guy's toolbox. That meant I didn't have enough time for much more than an anthem piece, but I'm counting it as progress anyway.

So there was my weekend; Otto, snow, fondue, more snow, Lisa Burton Radio, snow, Story Empire, snow, Superman, below zero temperatures, service man, snow, Pinterest, snow, and Google+.

How about it peeps? Do you use these other social media? How do you use them? Do you have any tips or tricks for us in the comments? Am I going to get sued by DC Comics? I know you can't copyright a title, but the title is Action Comics that Superman appears in.

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Will O’ the Wisp

Amazon came through, and it appears to have worked without a problem. This post will include links. I’ve been talking about this story for quite some time, and it’s time to let you know what it’s all about.

A Will O’ the Wisp is a rare natural phenomonon. Scientist aren’t entirely sure what it is, but the prevailing belief is it may be a fourth stage of matter called plasma. It produces a glowing light that seems to move around. It is most frequently seen over wetlands and bogs, but has been seen over old cemeteries too. The wisp may also appear around fault lines, and some believe this is cause by friction.

Wisps have been seen all over the world, and are getting scarce. As humans fill in wetlands, and relocate old cemeteries they are spotted less frequently.

As you might imagine, the wisps have legends from every culture on Earth. I simply took the legends and ran with it. You didn’t really expect a geology story from me, did you?

Patty Hall is a fifteen year old girl who wears corrective leg braces. This was a relatively common situation in the 1970s when the story takes place. I was around and everyone knew at least one kid who had to endure these. Patty likes stargazing, is enamored with the space program, and is into science fiction. It is while stargazing one night that she first comes across the Will O’ the Wisp.

I don’t want to put out too many spoilers, but the wisp has been targeting Patty’s family for generations. If she doesn’t figure something out soon her next stop is the local cemetery.

I think this is the best thing I’ve ever written and I would appreciate it if you’d check it out. There are two different versions published. I wanted to acknowledge that teenagers love their music. It’s a natural thing for them. I always have a couple of personal challenges in each story, and one was to learn about Copyright and obtain a license to quote some lyrics. I was moderately successful, but could only obtain the license for North America. Therefore; one link for the USA, Canada, and Mexico. The other link is for the rest of the world.

I tried my universal link thingie, and these links should take you to the proper store. If anyone has any problems, please let me know.

Northern American Continent link http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00UPH6BNS

Rest of the world link http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00UQNDT2C

My other challenge was to write something in first person point of view. I’ve never done it, and it was a fun experience. Of course I chose the POV of a fifteen year old girl. Why make it easy and use a grouchy old man? My rule was if Patty cannot see it, smell it, or read it, it didn’t get into the book. It was challenging, and you’ll have to let me know how I did.

I learned a new term last week, street team. Without knowing it, I used a street team to help with my promotions. A group of wonderful people agreed to read an advance copy and help me out. I won’t embarrass anyone by calling out names, but I am eternally grateful to these wonderful people. I also know that I’m getting honest reviews from these folks and they won’t cut me any slack if I made a mistake.

I’m also indebted to my street team, and if they ever need me on their team, I would be honored.

I still have a lot to do, including figuring out how to use the sidebar with two different links. I hope I don’t have to add the cover twice.

Remember, early sales really help, and the lending library is an option too. There is a link in my sidebar where you can get a free reading app if you need one.

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Sometimes you just run out of weekend

I started my day with the weekly call to my parents. I don't care what else is beconning, this is a Sunday must. We spent an hour or thereabouts discussing everything under the sun.

I pre-wrote some blog posts to use when Will O' the Wisp comes out. I still have a bunch of them to write, but I want to be ahead of the game. I also finished my “final” read through. It's good, I'm very happy with it.

I got some comments I never expected via email, and the advice was spot on. I opened the document again and made some small changes.

I still have to make a title page for each version, and add all the links in the back of the book. That might be a project for Wednesday, which I have off. I have a haircut roughed out for Wednesday too, so we'll see how productive I am.

I exchanged email with my cover artist, and she's going to post the Will O' the Wisp cover on her blog first. I think this is only appropriate, since her talents brought it to life. Expect that to happen this week sometime.

I also got some good feedback on my short story, but ran out of time to tend to it.

My blog friends are the best. I've relied upon them to beta read, some asked for ARCs, and one made my cover. I'm enjoying writing and blogging more than ever before. It's the interaction that keeps it fun.

Still in the works:

  • Write more blog tour posts for the queue.
  • Make the landing and editing data for Will O' the Wisp.
  • Publish two versions of Will O' the Wisp. Considering two different days to avoid the main one being held up by Amazon.
  • Update the ending data for every other book after Wisp is published to include purchase links.
  • Update the blog tour posts to include purchase links.
  • Fulfill other terms of my copyright license upon publishing Wisp.
  • Hire the blog tour company.
  • Participate in the cover reveal for Wisp and blog the crap out of it.
  • Add the cover to my sidebar in some kind of coming soon format.
  • Touch base with ARC readers. This involves individual emails, because I don't share addresses without permission.
  • Anticipate a fight with Amazon, because I'm putting two versions of Wisp out.
  • Update my “About Me” page.
  • Update my sidebar. Figure out how to show two different purchase links.
  • Update my Gravitar data to include Wisp.
  • Figure out how to get my new baby on Goodreads. Open for advice here involving two slightly different versions.

It isn't like today was unproductive at all. There's just a lot to do. Some of these projects will take minutes, some will take hours, but they all have to get done. I really want to give Will O' the Wisp a good start. It's a good book and deserves a little more effort on my part.

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Back to work

My visitors got away at a decent hour. It's time for me to walk the talk. I jumped in the tiny gyro-copter and headed for the writing cabin.

Lisa* called me almost immediately. “I didn't expect you to come out today.”

“I need to get some things done. If you made other plans, it's okay. I'm sure I can manage for a day.”

“It'll all be fine. I'll put your coffee on.”

The snow was gone from the landing strip. Weather this year has been crazy. Thank God everything was frozen, and landing was smooth. I pulled onto the elevator and went into the basement. I had to wait for the army ants to march past. They were featured in Panama, and relegated to the basement like most other story elements.

I tromped up the stairs and headed for the paranormal office. When I threw the switch the bone chandalier lit up the room. Lisa had placed sheets over the furniture. I hung my old fedora on the stone gargoyle and pulled the sheets away. This was quite the room, and I'd done some of my best writing here.

I opened the roll top desk and sat out the bell jar containing the Will O' the Wisp. I set it free once more and watched it careen around the room like a glowing green Pong ball.

“What's the plan today?” Lisa startled me. She was dressed in her best Jessica Rabbit outfit.

“Look, you obviously had plans today. You can take off, I'll be fine.”

“My only plan was to spend the afternoon watching the red carpet shows with Bunny. I wasn't going anywhere.”

“Oh, um, well, I'm just going to make the international version of Will O' the Wisp. Then I need to do one more pass over it all.”

“That's editing, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Be right back then.”

I opened the file and copied it into another document I simply called International. This is because I have a license to quote specific song lyrics, but only in North America. It shouldn't be hard to fix, and I decided that surf music was appropriate to the era for the international version.

“Don't forget your friend,” Lisa said. “You never edit without Doubt.”

The Raven of Doubt was a gift from my Muse. He's supposed to help me, but mostly he's annoying.

Doubt leapt from Lisa's arm and flew into the open mouth of the huge hippo head on the wall. Cobwebs caught my eye as his wing beats stirred the air.

“Looks like I'd better take a toothbrush to the hippo.” She went around the room and took inventory of chores. Finally, she turned on the glass alchemy set of retorts and tubes that served as art. It gave off a pleasant odor of Hoppes #9.

I worked backwards and forwards through the section that had to change. Doubt croaked at me more than a few times as I changed some repetitive words. For a stupid bird he sure has a lot of opinions.

“If I promise to do a complete read through will you get off my ass?”

Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha.

Stupid bird. Then it dawned on me. If I had done the final pass first, then copied the international version, I would have saved myself some work.

Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha. Quoth the raven, etc.

I batted the Wisp and it rattled around inside the fireplace before careening across the room into the gargoyle.

I'm counting today as progress. I probably could have been more efficient, but it's still progress. Right???

*Lisa Burton is the main character in Wild Concept, and is a robot. Since her story ended she helps me around the writing cabin.

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Plodding Ahead

I’m one if those guys who always has something to do. Sometimes I let it keep me from having a good time. This weekend was different though. We managed to look for mushrooms, went to dinner, and even caught a movie.

My wife had to work today, and maybe the overtime will make up for the sins we committed at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

I intended to spray a little Sevin on my fruit trees. It’s the stuff they spray on vegetable gardens, and isn’t any industrial insecticide by a wide margin. I don’t have a commercial operation, and if a bug damages a piece of fruit, there’s usually plenty to go around. I got my stuff ready and went outside.

Plans change fast. I had a sprinkler valve that refused to shut off, and we had water pouring down the gutter. It took several hours to sort out, and by then I wasn’t in the mood for more yard work.

I checked email, Zite magazine, and WordPress Reader. By then, I was done outside. I decided to visit the writing cabin.

Lisa* met me in the kitchen. She’d washed all the color out of her hair, and was in a pair of those overalls with shorts.

“Back to strawberry blonde?” I asked.

“Yeah, vacation’s over. It was fun while it lasted,” she said.

“Faith got away alright?”

“She spent a couple days, but had to get back to work. We laid out in the sun and had some wine coolers. Did you know I can’t suntan?”

“I did not know that. Still, pale skin is pretty.”

“It’s this stupid GMO skin,” she said. “The genetic engineers must not have thought tanning was important.”

I poured a cup of coffee and turned toward my office. “You can always try a spray on tan.”

“Your fantasy world is pretty big. Maybe there’s some distant planet where they can give me some summer color.”

I put a hand on her shoulder and said, “Such are the problems of the modern day robot girl.”

I started doing edits on my next project, Arson. This is a return to science fiction, and I’m doing a downward spiral with my main character. I haven’t looked at it for a long time, and it has some fun stuff in it.

I’m kind of getting back into it. This is a danger, because I edit a page or two, then catch myself pleasure reading. It’s a good sign for the book, but it’s not the same as editing.

I signed a contract to use some song lyrics when I put Will ‘O the Wisp out sometime this fall. Music is such an important part of our lives, I wish this was easier. It’s too bad we can’t legally sample some things and still respect the copyright. The bad news is that I was only able to secure North American rights for the copyright license.

This means either I only publish W’OW in Amazon stores that serve North America, or I rewrite that part and publish a different version outside North America. If anyone has any advice or suggestions I’d love to hear from you.

Lisa carried Bunny in and sat on the couch. “It’s time to hold him,” she said. “His operator’s manual said he must be held for precisely one hour every day.”

“So are you timing it?” I asked.

“Of course. Listen, I’ve been thinking. You’re working on Arson again, and you’ve made contact with a cover artist, right?”

“Uh huh.”

“So who are you going to invite out here to help you work on it?”

“I don’t understand what you’re getting at.”

“Don’t be coy. I’m here to keep people interested in Wild Concept. Bento came out to help with Panama. Who’s coming to help with Arson?”

“I don’t know. Why?”

“There are some scary people in there. I don’t want anyone who might hurt Bunny. That Mr. Freckles might try eating him.”

“Okay, first of all, you’re here because I need the help. Second, having Bento around didn’t exactly put Panama on the best seller list either. Why don’t you put some thought into it and invite whoever you want.”

“That’s a big responsibility. Someone really nice might not be interesting enough to get people fired up. Someone mean would be no fun for us. Now I don’t know what to do.”

“I trust you. You have a good head on your shoulders–

“My processors are in my chest.”

“Oh yeah. Well it’s just an expression. Maybe you can split the difference. Not quite as bad as Mr. Freckle, but not some goodie two shoes either.”

She raised an eyebrow and smirked, then rubbed Bunny behind the ears. “I’ll make sure to pick up some extra fire extinguishers before the invitation goes out.”

“That narrows it down to a handful of characters,” I said. “You may have to serve as security depending on who you ask.”

“No worries, Boss. I still have my BAG**”

*Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept.

** BAG is a running joke between Lisa and I. It means Big Assed Gun.

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Minimal Effort

I put together a package for a music copyright holder this morning. I really want to quote some specific lyrics in Will ‘O the Wisp. Since I’ve already written the section, I decided to seek permission.

I’m small potatoes, and would likely never draw attention from corporate attorneys, but I like to do things right. If they say no, I’ll be disappointed. I’ll have to rewrite the section, and I will. I also know they can only say yes if I jump through all the hoops. This was a morning for hoop jumping.

I wound up a bit disappointed in my iPad and Mac. The application is an online form, and I have to attach the important section. This isn’t possible on an iPad. It’s damned near impossible on the Mac. I wound up saving the document as a PDF file on the desktop. Only then would the form allow me to search and find it.

There was an appropriate amount of cursing and one minor temper tantrum, but it worked. In this instance I prefer something more like internet explorer. I also don’t like the way Apple Mail won’t allow me to create an email and then add attachments. Sometimes I want more than one attachment. The only way I’ve ever been able to make it work is to open the attachment email it and add text. This means sending one photograph at a time.

The Mac probably has a way, but I spend most of my time with the iPad.

Today is my daughter’s 20th birthday. She wanted us to take her to lunch at The Olive Garden. That was pretty hard to pass up. She didn’t really ask for anything more, but we got her some presents anyway.

The rest of the day is going to be dedicated to reading, and Game of Thrones watching. I also set the recorder for Turn and Salem. These two are on probation, but I’ll give them a few more views.

I usually post on Monday nights, but not tomorrow. My big boy job is sending me to Coeur d’Alene overnight. It’s just too hard to take you with me. I’m sure there are lots of lovely blogs to keep you busy.

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Rotating Days Off

My department has rotating days off. I drew Wednesday this week, and that usually makes for a great writing day. I got started about seven AM, and wrote until eleven. The word count’s up to 7400 now.

I had to take some research breaks too. It’s amazing how using a fictitious town still requires so much research. I know what I need, but I still have to make it all seem real.

I heard back from the music copyright holder. I want to quote a few song lyrics in one scene. They want to know when it’s going to be published, and read the section where I use their lyrics. When I write it, I’ll forward it to them. It’s going to be a heartbreaker if I have to rewrite it though.

My blog got a few new international visitors. They never said much, but folks from Serbia and Venezuela stopped by. I always like seeing the international visitors along with the Americans. It reminds me how blogging is a world wide activity.

I know Entertaining Stories isn’t a gigantic blog, and may never be. I took great joy in seeing I have 69 followers. Because, you know, 69 is a funny number.

One of my most popular posts turned out to be me whining about my stats. I need to knock that off, because this is supposed to be about writing. I got some really good comments though about not sweating the stats, and I’m going to follow that advice.

I’m pretty sure my writing will slow down over the holidays. My son and his family are coming to stay with us for a few days. I don’t get to see them nearly enough, and they get priority. I’ll still take time to blog, but a house full of rambunctious kids isn’t conducive to creative writing. More so when story structure and plot matter.

I’m one of those people who likes to write in silence. My alone time is important to me. Sometimes I envy those who can write at coffee shops or restaurants. I’m stuck with who I am, and I try to make time. Sometimes I set an alarm just to get a few quiet hours before everyone gets up.

Lorelei, the Muse, managed to leave me alone too. I’m following my outline pretty close, with a few minor deviations. She showed up right at the end though. That will be the subject of my next post.

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A Bunch of Writerly Stuff

The radio played “Lorelei” this morning on my commute. I glanced at the passenger seat, but no Muse in sight. I smiled and checked the rear view mirror. She always makes these blog updates easier, but this time it was actually the radio.

I’m new to all this linking stuff, here goes nothing…

I blogged previously about sources for story ideas. Zite magazine had some interesting stuff this morning. There was a great article about Motorola patenting some kind of neck tattoo that would connect via Bluetooth with phones and other devices. When they mentioned that it could also be used as a lie detector, my head started spinning. Take this article, add a cup of NSA snooping, plus a tablespoon of new legislation and this could make one heck of a story. You can read it yourself here Article.

This one really intrigued me. It’s a story about a pauper’s cemetery on an island in New York. I think I might use this myself someday, but I’ll share anyway. Ideas aren’t usually a problem for me. The earliest graves were Confederate prisoners. It’s become the final resting ground for paupers, unidentified bodies, and other tragic people. The intrigue begins when it’s operated by the prison system. The public is not allowed, and there are no headstones. Oh, and it was once the site of an asylum. Read it here Hart Island

Grains of story form in my mind all the time. I have a character that’s partly formed. Add the Hart Island story to my character, and she fleshes out a bit. Hart Island becomes something more sinister. The prisoners and the guards become something else too. “Poof” – story.

I get wisps of stories from music videos, books, movies, art, photos, everything. They move around in my mind like atoms until they crash into each other and form molecules. Aaaand, you get the drift. Then I make notes in the iPad app for future reference.

In other news, I’m going to an editing seminar tomorrow. I’ll learn something, no doubt.

I’m also going to send a letter to see if I can get permission to use some song lyrics in my next tale. I’ve dealt with plenty of big corporations and have no illusions of success. Still, nothing ventured and all that. Maybe Lorelei can teach me how to write around the lyrics and still get the point across.

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