Little Free Libraries Have Come Under Fire

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On this day in 2014 I published 100 WordPress Followers!.


This is a joke. No other words to describe what’s happening in a few cities across America. But first, let me explain to you what Little Free Libraries are. Usually someone puts them outside their home, but they can be anywhere. They’re small structures full of books. And anyone can walk up and take one out on the premise that they will put one back in. It’s literally a little library. I only know about them because I backed a Kickstarter project for some back in 2013.

Well recently in cities all over America people have decided to complain about the Little Free Library in their area. And local leaders and politicians are not handling these “complaints” with any common sense whatsoever. In Los Angeles and Shrevepoet politicians are ordering for some of these wonderful little libraries to be taken down. Because they violate city codes.

I have nothing against city codes and ordinances because in most cases they serve a valid purpose, but I don’t think anyone writing said codes ever meant for them to be used to take down these Little Free Libraries. This is absurd. I just read story after story of people coming together around their neighborhood Little Free Library. They stop and discuss books they’ve read. They make sure to put quality books back in. They get to know their neighbors for the first time. But most importantly, they’re reading! And some ignorant people want to complain and get these taken down? Come on. Seriously.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with Little Free Libraries, but the people who feel the need to complain about them are doing no one any good at all.

PS: I’ve read about some local lawmakers trying to give Little Free Libraries an exception to city codes. Go them!

Photo Credit: Purewow

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Any Reason to Use Wattpad?

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On this day in 2014 I published Male or Female Protagonist: Why does it even matter?.


I’ve never used Wattpad. I can’t even remember playing around on the site. But I know a lot of bloggers use it. I’m just wondering if it’s actually useful.

I’m not going to pretend to know exactly how it works, but from what I’ve heard I gather it lets users create an account and then post original stories. Am I on the right track here? I guess one can receive feedback, perhaps? Not sure. But I’m just trying to figure out what draws a writer to the site. I can understand someone sharing one of their first stories, but I’m not sure I see any positive coming from an experienced writer sharing a new story that could be self published or pitched to an agent or entered into a competition. I just don’t see the point.

I’m not against the site. I’ve never used it. But outside of someone just beginning their writing journey, I’m not sure it’s really all that useful. If you’ve proven yourself as a writer, published or not, why use Wattpad? I don’t know the answer.

Photo Credit: Wattpad

UK Poll: Author is most desired profession

YouGov recently conducted a poll in Britain to figure out what the people believe to be the most desirable jobs. And author came out on top. To say that I was surprised by this would be a slight understatement. I’m not going to sit here and act like I’d have any idea which jobs would or should be considered more desirable than any others, but author? Really?

But I will offer up my little explanation. You know that whole “everyone has that one book in them” crap that I really hate? Yeah…let’s talk about it. The people who keep floating around that little saying have probably never come close to writing a book. They probably don’t even have a story idea, but they have this belief that their book will happen. Okay. Good luck with that, I say. But I think people who don’t write view being an author as easy. They just favorite authors who are famous, rich, and well-known. But they don’t see all the other traditionally published authors who still have day jobs.

I don’t consider myself an author, so I won’t sit here and tell y’all how ridiculous that thought process really is, but I did write a book. Yeah it’s not great and after all my reading there were still typos and things I wish I’d have changed…but it is a book. And it was pretty damn hard to write that thing. I’ve made between $500-$1,000 from it. And there was nothing glorious about any part of the process. But no one saw that. None of the people who read it. And none of the people who have come across it on here or on Amazon saw the process. But y’all know. Because y’all write.

So sure it’s easy to say that being an author is the most desirable job when all you see is the money EL James and JK Rowling have managed to make from their books and adaptations, but those two are hardly the expectation and one would do well to remember that.

The second and third most desirable jobs were librarian and academic, respectively. You can view the full list of results here.


I’m starting a new thing on here. The first sentence of every post from here on out will be “On this day in 2014 I published ‘insert title of post from the corresponding day.'” I’m doing this because I have new readers every single day and they only see my new stuff when I have some old posts that may interest them as well. This will be the first. On this day last year I published Tenth Chapter Benchmark. It’s about my own writing!

 

Writing Pet Peeves #5: Literally

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Photo Credit: Cinematic Commentary

I don’t know if I’m going to be able to write this post without banging my head on my desk. This is way up there in terms of the most annoying things people can do around me. Using “literally” for everything, and being wrong every single time.

“I’m so sick I’m literally dying right now.”

“I was literally laughing my ass off.”

“I just ate so much I’m literally going to explode right now.”

GAH! Stop it! My response just about every time someone uses this word wrong is, “I’m literally about to slap you across the face!” I think this is one of those words that will be used incorrectly as long as it’s in use. Why? Because way too many people use it incorrectly and no one corrects them. Sometimes the media or pop culture play a part in words and phrases that are used incorrectly, but I don’t even know how this happened. What I do know is that ever since I was a young kid I’ve constantly heard this misused. I don’t remember any teacher ever correcting a student. And I’ll even admit that I don’t correct people now. Because it’s a lost cause. Ten minutes after I correct someone they’ll use it incorrectly again. Ugh.


In other news, I went ahead and made a new blog! I know I said I wasn’t but I decided it wouldn’t be the end of the world to start fresh. It’s all about sports. It’ll be exactly the same format as this, but sports. My first post and About Me page are already up. So take a look! And follow. Pretty please.

 

RadioShack is Closing…Should Amazon buy Some of Those Stores?

I’m sure by now you’ve heard that RadioShack has filed for bankruptcy. And will be closing hundreds of its stores very soon. We’re talking a lot of retail space that will be coming free virtually all over the country. And what’s that little rumor we’ve been hearing about Amazon wanting to make same-day delivery a reality for everyone? Hmm.

Imagine small retail stores that could act as little hubs for the internet retailer. And if you’re like me, you probably live within a short driving distance from a RadioShack location right now. How cool would it be to go into your local Amazon store and browse the latest bestsellers at Amazon prices. No shipping. No waiting a few days to get it. No nothing. Or imagine having any of your Amazon orders shipped for free to the store rather than paying to have it arrive at your doorstep. And if you’re thinking that would take away from people wanting Prime memberships, well I’d say Prime is a bit more than just two-day shipping.

And the best thing about this potential scenario would be that you could go in and try out new gadgets before buying them. Like Kindle, FireTV, Fire Phone, or any of the products that Amazon is set to release that we don’t even know about yet. I know this would be a huge undertaking for Amazon, but from a consumer perspective I know I’d like it. What do you think?

I was looking for an image for this post when I came across this article. Hmm.

What Happened to the Short Story?

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One of the last college classes I took was an elective on British literature. And one of the focal points of the class was the analysis of short stories. Some authors we studied were James Joyce, Jorge Luis Borges, and Haruki Murakami. And prior to that I’d had no experience with short stories. I can’t remember ever studying them in high school and I definitely hadn’t ever purchased a collection on my own.

In the couple of years since graduation I’ve had no more exposure to short stories but for the few I’ve read here on WordPress. But maybe it’s just me. Maybe there are still writers out there who release short story collections and have large followings. I just have no idea who they are if they do in fact exist. Is this the norm or am I detached from the rest of you?

And I’m not talking about those writers who write dozens of 30 page short stories and just put them on Amazon every other week. Anyone can do that and receive little to no recognition for doing so because the quality just isn’t there.

Do you write short stories? Do you happen to read them?

Using Kickstarter to Publish Your Book

I’ve come across just about everything you can think of when it comes to books on WordPress. One of the posts that seems to persist is writers asking for help via Kickstarter to publish their book. I was one of them. I thought it would be a good way for me to get people interested in my book and to make it better in the process. I haven’t read any Kickstarter campaign pages in a long time, but I wanted to use mine for the things that you’d expect like editing and cover design.

But now I’m really thinking of Kickstarter’s place in publishing and I have some thoughts on it. Sure there are plenty of successful publishing projects on the site, but should it be used as often as it is? I don’t know. It’s nice to help someone get their book out in the world, but in using Kickstarter to deliver that assistance one has no idea what he/she is getting involved with. You likely aren’t beta reading the book. You have no idea how well the author writes. You don’t know much of anything outside of the campaign page. And those are a problem.

I’m not sure I’d be comfortable helping fund any book project. I know, I know. I tried funding mine on the site, but I didn’t know anything. And when I really think about it it’s just not a good bet. Other creative projects are different. Someone trying to fund an independent album can refer you back to song covers they’ve released. Someone trying to fund a short film project can also refer you back to previous work. And even artists can do the same. But I’ve found that many using Kickstarter for a book project have never actually written a book.

What do you think of aspiring authors using Kickstarter to publish their book?

PS: I’ve received two guest posts that I know I’ll be using next week. Which means I need three more. I’m not waiting for people to decide what they’re writing about. All you have to do is let me know you’re interested in guest posting and I’ll send you an invite. I’ll refer you back to this post to see what I’m looking for.