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The #amazonfail tweet-a-thon is still going strong. Amazon is calling the whole thing a glitch and there are several conspiracy theories floating around. I think they are trying to cover their assets because they really did not expect to get such a backlash. The thing is several authors have been reporting these issues going on for months and there are reports that Amazon employees stated that certain books deemed too adult would be kept from the searchable rankings. But now it is a glitch. Right…I am no techie, but the glitch theory is bunk [“why it’s not a glitch” is explained quite technically HERE]
The only theory I am partial to is that a puritan hacker/Amazon employee created the term-specific-glitch, which still makes it censorship (even if it is not authorized). But that’s still pretty weak because it does not explain why people were being told in February that their books would not be listed in the sales rankings. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has been covering the story well and  DailyKos has a good round-up of info and posts. Meanwhile, this hilarious chart from the National Coalition Against Censorship illustrates the recent buzz:

This is not over, even if they think they can whitewash it and move on. A boycott of Amazon has begun and several petitions are available upon request. I personally don’t use Amazon, and recommend independent stores and sites like BetterWorldBooks [link on sidebar!]. One of the things that turned me off of Amazon in the first place was that they seemed to be taking so much biz from the stores. I had to create an account at some point when I received a gift certificate [which I still haven’t used!] but now I can’t figure out how to delete it…Let’s hope we see a surge in bookstore sales now.  BTW: Powell’s Books, a very established indy store also has a discount going on…on tweets its being called the #amazonfail discount, but the folks at Powell’s are a bit kinder than that. Here’s how they put it:

#powellswin deal!

At Powell’s, all books are created equal. We hold this truth to be self-evident. Whether any given title is deserving of a wide readership, we leave that decision to you, our customers. In the spirit of such freedoms that perhaps we too often take for granted, today we’re offering friends a special, winning deal.

    Just enter the code “#powellswin” by 11:59 pm (Pacific) on Thursday, April 16, 2009, and you’ll save 20% on your order of $20 or more.

Coupon valid online only, not in our stores. This discount cannot be combined with other offers. Offer not valid on eGift Cards. Limit one coupon per customer.

So, go buy a book! Anywhere but Amazon…

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Today is Good Friday and the prompt is “Fridays”… that one isn’t coming to me today…maybe next week. This is from Day8 which was “Routines”…not great, but done:

Routine Stream

Balance—
Do not fall.
Keep chin up,
Smile.

Steady—
First round-off.
Straighten legs,
Done.

Repeat—
to hand stand.
Toes pointed,
Breathe.

Release—
Now the flip.
Tuck in knees,
Land.

Well, I am officially behind on the PAD challenge, though since they are pretty relaxed about when you post, I still can catch up. This is my ubiquitous I-just-need-to-post-for-NaBloPoMo-so-I-can-go-to-bed post. I have been using this blog and the poetry basically to escape, because it really isn’t something I “have to do” and it feels good to stretch old muscles, outside of the normal routine. But, meanwhile, I have worries and issues piling up and they are still there…plus, if you read the last one you may have some idea of what my house looks like. The kids are on spring break this week, so I get less time to myself, which of course cuts into writing and work time….yada, yada…

Also I am looking for work, real work, not freelance or sporadic assignments, but steady full-time income… and part of me is wondering how I am going to squeeze yet more in, but necessity calls. I don’t know which is harder to deal with sometimes, rejection for your creativity or rejection for your credentials… its all so frustrating either way. And draining…so goodnight friends. Hopefully, I will dream Shakespeare tonight and wake up with a sonnet in my heart 🙂

The theme, fittingly, for the beginning of the Poetic Asides’ Poem-A-Day Challenge is “Origins”…here is my first attempt. I am not really happy with it, mostly because I got to the word ‘mark’ this morning in my journal, then tried finishing it this evening with kids bouncing all around me. So the ending stinks and is forced. Actually it’s probably incomplete, but heck, it’s poetry. There is a time factor here, although the “rules” are pretty lenient on when we have to post. Technically, I could work some more and post it next week, but where would the fun be in that? I had to add the extra pressure of NaBloPoMo too.
Anyway, here goes…I live in the historic triangle where the Virginia colony began, btw, which inspired this piece.

“Virginia”

In more ways than four,
it all began here:
the building and planting,
the lessons and loss.
It is not hard to imagine
what they saw in this world,
sailing into the mouth
of the great Bay,
verdant forests and swamps
lacing the coast,
quiet creeks leading
to another nation.
They named it for
untouched purity,
then they made their mark.
For centuries,
have left footprints
and artifacts
and litter by the wayside.
Grown as a nation and
changed the world view.
Four centuries
have seen begin
and end
changes
unforeseen.

March appears to be going out like a lamb, so I guess its time to wake up and officially come out of hibernation. I have been missing the blogosphere, but haven’t been able to force a post out lately. When we get a round of flu, it takes a few weeks for the whole crew to recover and of course Mom ends up cleaning and caring for everyone else, even when she’s down and out. So, I have found it hard to do more than a quick look at some sites and multiple rounds of mind-numbing Scrabble. I did sign up recently for another reading challenge. This one is called Diversity Rocks! and focuses on adding new cultures and authors of color to our reading lists. It runs all year if anyone else is interested, and there are several “levels” of participation.

Speaking of challenges… April is bringing many to the web including Script Frenzy from the makers of NaNo. I considered trying this one because I thought it would be a good way to quickly learn about scriptwriting. NaNo was a fun experience, but it kicked my booty too, and I know I will have a raging case of Spring Fever by Earth Day, so maybe another year. I did, however, find a couple handy links just-in-case. If anyone else is thinking of trying their hands at writing 100 pages of screenplay, play script or TV shows [apparently graphic novels are also included in the Frenzy, but I don’t have links for that style.]:

Screenwriting.info

Screenwriters Utopia

Stage Affair– offers an e-book on play structure when you sign up for newsletter

I still would like to try my hand at playwriting someday…I am more of a one-act stage person than screenplay writer I think. I used to like reading plays though I never did any theater stuff myself.

Anyhoo, rather than the call of the stage, I am returning to an old love and taking up the Poem A Day Challenge happening through Poetic Asides, the  Poet’s Market blog from Writer’s Digest. April is Poetry Month and I have always had fun writing my own ditties. Each day a topic or prompt is posted on the prompt and participants add their words right in the comments. It makes for some interesting reading…often hilarious.

Just to add to the fun, I am planning on combining this challenge with NaBloPoMo again. ..why not? I need to stretch my muscles. I like writing poetry, but have to add the universal disclaimer that daily poems written for fun may not always be considered “art”…there are so many ways a poem can go and sometimes it gets out of control. But what a great way to celebrate spring!

BTW: I also wanted to share this with folks because its just so exciting [it doesn’t take much for me :)]… after our discussions on books made into films, here’s one I wasn’t expecting and yet apparently have been waiting all my life to see, because now I cannot wait. Obviously, the storyline is getting changed in this one since the original is about 100 words or less. Maurice Sendak certainly had a way of proving the adage “A picture is worth a thousand words.” His classic book said so much in so few words, and spoke volumes to millions. Or perhaps it was just the imagination running away with us. Enjoy!

 I am working on linking this blog over to NaBloPoMo and now I have noticed that my NaNo wordcount widget has been hijacked. I am having a bit of struggle managing my media and links, but am hoping that is going to be one of the promised changes coming to WordPress soon. I really want to be writing my novel rather than dealing with HTML which is a foreign language to me. More kudos to the programmers who do all the work for us!

NaNoWriMo is so busy I can’t get to many pages today, but I did read their recent blog and thought I’d share. Chris Baty is actually discussing just how busy their server gets as NaNoSeason rolls in and shares some stat shots. As you can imagine, it grows every year. I know they have a brand spanking new one this year when they are anticipating the busiest, biggest year yet. I’m crossing my toes for luck. [My fingers are obviously busy :)]

I have been looking at the stats here more too, now that I have been blogging regularly again, which is something I did not really think I would care about when I started. This still is a personal project for myself, in that I do not expect to gain anything from my blog except some more writing skills and some peace of mind. Lucky me, I have also made some friendly connections, with other writers and bloggers, and activists and even learned a thing or two. Still, it’s fun to look at the stats and pings too;) It’s like a virtual pat-on-the-back, or the plus-mark on a teacher’s checkmark. Gives you a reason to keep going.

 It is amusing {or very sad} that my Most Viewed [through searches] post is a short, silly one I wrote about the auction of J.K. Rowling’s hand-crafted copy of Tales of Beedle the Bard. Just goes to show how much impact she still has on the literary culture as well as the “Interwebs”. So happy to report that we Muggles do get to read them in December, though the cover is not nearly as cool as the original. Still, it will be a fun read after a month of writing.

 

[Update: HEY! My widget’s back in play. Can’t wait to see if i get past zero!]

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