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Manuscripts, Memes and Museums, Mmm!

Saturday was a long time coming this week, even though technically it was a “short” week for me.  Jiminy Christmas, I thought I’d never get off work last night!

A few more nibbles on the eBook venture, some from unexpected corners of the galaxy.  Now if they’ll just follow up and SUBMIT.

One did… God help me, she also included some high profile copyrighted MP3 music files in her submission, noting that the links are embedded in the story.  She also said it was an “erotic novel” and doesn’t meet the word count requirements and that she doesn’t intend to meet them.  I can already pretty much compose my “Oh HELL no!” rejection email, with bullet points.  A long, long list of bullet points.  I don’t care about the subject matter or its eroticism.  I care a great deal about everything else mentioned.

For the record: just before this brainstorm I’d literally put out to the Universe the desire to do something for fewer hours and still maintain a respectable and ongoing income, and help others in the process.  This idea struck me almost by the time I finished formulating the request.  Given how many times I’ve passed on opportunities in the past, I was no longer willing to let anything slip through my fingers, ergo I registered the domain pretty much immediately (as my readers here will attest, heh) and started building and plying every decent writer I know with requests to submit.  Ultimately I’m going to have to change the payout percentage because after PayPal takes their cut I really won’t be making anything and may in fact lose money.  If and when I go to a Merchant account (direct credit card payments) the 80/20 split will be more viable, but there are startup and ongoing costs there, too.  Eventually I’ll need to go nearer a 70/30 payout.  But to launch, just to get folks in the door, I’ll do what it takes.

The site itself is making progress.  The upload link is now live and G’s thrown in a quiz for kicks.  The quiz function wasn’t working for me at one point so if you have problems with it, kindly let me know or use the feedback form on the site.  We are working out which shopping cart option we want to employ and trying to settle on how to set access levels for writers vs. readers, etc.  The tech end of it isn’t the issue, it’s more along the lines of, “Do we want the writer options public or only for people who identify themselves as writers on their membership profile?”  We talked about a forum and that’s probably in the offing.  Again, the tech part’s reasonably easy, it’s other issues that take precedence for the time being.

The following is a meme I stole from l’empress. It has some of the most thought-provoking questions I’ve seen for the type.

  1. Where did you grow up? Where do you consider home?
    We lived in Evansdale, Iowa, a suburb of Waterloo, when I was a kid.  We had a big Cape Cod style house, originally gray slate shingle-sided but eventually white lap siding exterior, in which I had a ginormous (22′ x 16′ or thereabout) bedroom.  We also had a huge yard, though most of the back yard was taken up by my mom’s vegetable garden.  The only downside was that there was just one bathroom on the main floor.  Made for some frantic scrambles in the middle of the night now and then!  It was a small town, around 5000 people, and very rural in its feel. A few steps out of town and you were in corn fields.
  2. If you could paint your car any color with no loss in value, what color would it be?
    Oh, that’s easy.  I love the “raisin” color of subdued purple that’s on a lot of cars but most notably the PT cruiser.  Of course I’d want the PT cruiser to be included at no charge, a late-model, low-mileage one in flawless condition..  That’s a perfectly reasonable expectation, don’t you think?
  3. What do you think comes after death?
    Hmm… this is a toughie.  I’ve read the Bible and its view, and have read countless treatises on reincarnation.  I wrote an article on the phenomenon of ghosts.  The short answer: I don’t know.  The long answer: I definitely don’t know.  (By the way, that article got grabbed by someone and reposted here.  I sent them a thank you note because for anyone who clicks over, I still get residuals!)
  4. Name a TV show that should NOT be renewed for another season.
    The ones that come to mind are American Idol, which has absolutely run its course; any and all CSI convolutions; and pretty much any reality shows you can name.  They are so contrived any more that “reality” has very little to do with their subject matter, anyway.
  5. If you could have a free subscription to any online service, which would you like to have?
    There’s a lady who sells online subscriptions to her 3D graphics services, and she’s really reasonable and does beautiful work.  I use her graphics with fair regularity so would love that subscription back.
  6. Where did you think you’d be at the age you are now?
    Interestingly enough I’m in a better overall position than I expected even just a few years ago.  I like my job and count myself fortunate to be making a respectable living in this economic climate.  My spousal unit, now that I’m acclimatizing myself to his Cancerian ways, is a fairly good match, and I still haven’t killed any of my children (though the jury’s still out on when that record might be broken.)  I had hoped to travel, which physically speaking would be a challenge to me now.  Other than that, I once expected to still be stuck in small town radio and am glad I left!
  7. What did you want to be when you grew up?
    Other than a brief stint (about age 6 or 7) when I thought I wanted to be a nurse, I was split between a future as an artist or as a writer.  Over the years I went more the direction of writer, but have incorporated aspects of the art along the way, too.  Web design wasn’t even a blip on the horizon when I was a kid, so how was I to know I could do both and have a blast with it?
  8. If you were to suddenly become famous, and were forced to change names, what would you choose as your stage name?
    That’s easy because I’ve used a professional name for years.  I used my real first name and promoted my middle name to surname.
  9. What is the first book that you can remember reading by yourself as a child?
    Also simple because it really stuck with me through all these decades.  It was Encounter Near Venus, by Leonard Wibberley.  I’m sure it wasn’t the first book I actually read because it came out in 1967 when I was ten years old; but it really launched my love affair with the sci-fi and fantasy genre and it was the first one I truly remember reading on my own.  I checked it out at the Waterloo, Iowa library during summer vacation and spent every follow-up trip trying to find comparable works.  It couldn’t have been too far from when I started reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, too.  I know for a fact I began those when I was in the third grade.  I also loved Black Hearts in Battersea, by Joan Aiken.  The Battersea novel was the second in a trilogy and I read them around 4th-5th grade or thereabouts.  I was a voracious reader as a kid and still am!

Hope some of my friends will pick up and run with the questionnaire.  Should make for some interesting responses!

I just added a new link to my blogroll, 100 Museums In A Year.  The writer, Sam, is a friend of mine, one of the very first people I met online back in the day.  And yes, she did indeed make a pledge to visit 100 museums in a year.  She’s posted images from several museums already, and I expect to see more of the same as time goes on.  Fun!

Darn – I’ve putzed around online for a few hours, time for me to suck it up and hit the grocery store.  The kids are food vacuums and this month really haven’t contributed much to the mix.  They already know the boyfriend has until the end of the month to move out.  I will be very surprised if my daughter goes with him.  He’s an ass and she’s gotten increasingly fed up.  In terms of personality and reliability he’s a carbon copy of the kids’ dad: zero responsibility and arrogant as hell without giving a crap about anybody but himself.  Guess who’ll never in a million years be allowed back for a visit?

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