March 2nd, 2009



Some of you may have heard that the Author's Guild sued Amazon over the text-to-speech capability of the new Kindle, claiming that this feature infringes on their right to sell the rights to audio books. I could link you to any number of articles and blog posts explaining why this charge is clearly ridiculous, but Neil Gaiman (as usual) does the best job of it (make sure to also read the two posts he links at the top). (I am dismayed to see Roy Blount, Jr. leading the charge on the other side.)

Seems pretty clear-cut to me. But Amazon caved. Publishers will be able to opt-out of allowing the Kindle to read their books. Sorry, blind people! Don't have the money for the audio book edition, or no audio version exists? Too bad, so sad.

Is it just me that finds this pretty chilling? Especially coming on top of Google's settlement with the American Association of Publishers and (surprise!) the Authors Guild over their book scanning project. To be fair, that one makes more sense to me -- although most experts agreed that Google had a pretty good fair use case, it was risky to carry it forward in the current legal environment, which tends to favor copyright holders pretty strongly. But this case seems so much stronger toward fair use, and still Amazon gave in without a fight. And there's more: check out this New York Times article about excerpting, which brings up many of the same issues.

Why are we so willing to give up our fair use rights?
book - pile

Writing goals: February in review and goals for March

Days written: 21/28 (5 "free days" and 2 skips, both on concert/rehearsal nights)
Words written: 8,366
Stories worked on: 7, plus the character sketch project
Stories posted: 5 -- 1 drabble for ff_fortnightly and 4 fic battle stories.
Total words for the year: 18,972
Stories posted for the year: 9

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So I didn't do quite so well this month. All those skips. I'm frankly amazed I got even half that many words written -- credit the kiss battle for that one. I partly blame the concert month, and I partly blame some other distractions, and I partly blame myself for being so easily distracted. I spent the vast majority of my writing time this month working on one story, which I am now deeply into editing. This is good for the finishing of stories and not so good for the wordcounts. But editing is such an important part of writing, it seems somehow unfair that it doesn't get to count. If anyone can think of a better way for me to give myself "credit" for extensive editing, I'd love to hear it. ;)

Anyway, specific goals:

1. Write or do some substantial editing every day of the month (Mondays and Thursdays excepted). Not too badly -- I only missed two days, both during concert week, and I wrote on a couple of allowed "days off".

2. Finish FF in Space story. I completed the first draft, which is pretty bloated at 13,000 words. Not that 13,000 words is too long for a story, in the abstract, but it's too long for *this* story. But I have a good idea of how I'm going to reorganize and punch it up. Hopefully it works, and I can get it into beta before I go to Seattle next week.

3. Post at least two stories. Successful, but almost all of them were kiss battle stories. Not that there's anything wrong with kiss battle stories ;) but my goal with those is to get them finished fairly quickly, without overthinking them, and so they're not as polished as my other work. I'm glad I wrote them, though; they were fun.

4. Make progress on Chapter 4 of Aftermath. Does 230 words and a little bit of editing count as progress?

So, not so bad, but could have been better. So now the question is, do I dial back on the goals, or step up the writing? I think I'll do a little bit of both. Therefore, my goals for March:

1. Write or do some substantial editing every day of the month, Thursdays and my time in Seattle excepted. (No free pass for Mondays -- chorus is off this month.)

2. Finish and post the FF in Space story.

3. Make substantial progress on Aftermath.

4. Write at least one story for ff_fortnightly.