Friday, January 28, 2011

New Webzine

Quality Writing on the Web

Beginning February 15th, 2011 The Writer and the White Cat will be accepting submissions for our new quarterly Web Magazine.  We will be publishing 5 stories per quarter, paying 5 cents per word.  The word limit is 2500 per story.  We'll also be publishing movie reviews at $50 each.  We'll have the submission guidelines for fiction posted mid-week along with the email address to send them to. We're interested in reviews from established authors as well, and will set payment and terms for that by next weekend.

The new website is being designed and the first issue will be published June 1st.  Payment will be upon acceptance.

We're open to mystery, suspense, horror, western, romance, fantasy, steampunk and sci-fi.   Our favorite stories are mysteries, however, so although we're open to all genres, we are interested mainly in stories that embody the elements and atmosphere of mystery. This is our first time doing this, so input from you is absolutely welcome.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Book Dreaming- Where Do You Go When You Dream?

Can She Trust You With Her Dreams?

Look at her.  Where is she right now?

If you're a writer and she's reading your book, then she has left her daily life and is with you in the world you have gifted her.  But where exactly is that?  What is she experiencing?

She's in another world you say?

Is it a world where she is more beautiful, more intelligent, more action oriented?  Is she more in your world than she is in her here and now existence?

And let me ask you this- in your world, can she smell, can she feel emotion as well as the touch of another?  Can she taste and talk?  Can she sweat, can she shiver?

And who is in control in the world you have given her?  You or her?  Does she trust you? 

You must trust her, too, since you have given her a world you built with you heart and true intent.  Or have you given her too little and disappointed her?

Two souls unite when your story becomes her dream. 

Are you safe together?

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Do You Write Like a Robot?

She's Writing a Novel.

The video above was covertly filmed at a secret research facility buried deep beneath Area 51.  Using reverse engineered alien technology, an elite group of scientists who worked Monday and Wednesday nights while living on pretzels and coffee finally developed a robot capable of writing genre novels.  "It was bound to happen," said a former scientist for Coast to Coast AM .  "Robots could already play chess, perform surgery and dance like Janet Jackson.  We just took it a step higher- or lower, depending on who you talk to."

It's a dark secret in the publishing industry that as many as 7.4% of the novels they now print are, in fact, written by a prototypical novel writing robot named "Cut and Paste."  As her name suggests, this amazing piece of technology specializes in mass producing genre novels.  The genre market was chosen for the first software trial because so many genre stories are interchangeable. 

"Hard to tell them apart," said one test reader.  "But that's the way most writers make them.  If they show too much creativity, no one's going to publish them anyway.  So why can't robots write if all they have to do is stick to a formula?"

In fact, according to a recent survey, most writers are advised to keep a lid on their creativity if they want to get published.  One writing teacher paid by the publishing industry advises, "Just gender swap roles  and use canned plots like everyone else does. That way you don't have to think so much and you can write more."

This approach is so predictable it gave software engineers ideas.  Computers are great at predictability.  "If we can map the human genome," said Dr. H. Dumpty, "I think we can kick H.K. Rowling's ass.  Sure, in the beginnning we wrote a few clunkers, but 'Cut and Paste' is now a B list author at an Indie publishing house and no one is the wiser.  Everything's done through emails, and for booksignings we hire actresses and pay them minimum wage.  We can afford it because we don't pay 'Cut and Paste' royalties.  We have a good deal going."

They do have a good thing going.  Maybe if writers don't want to become obsolete, we should try being more creative and quit being safe.  Maybe we should inject a little risk into our prose, take a few serious chances.  Maybe we should push the market's envelope instead of letting the publishers seal ours.

Otherwise, we might start seeing 'Cut and Paste' at booksignings instead of H.K. Rowlings.

Just how predictable is your writing?

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

I Want to Know- Where Do You Get the Pictures for Your Blog?

She Has Copy Rights, Too


Artists have Copyrights, too.  Most of us bloggers, even with the best intentions, from time to time forget that.  Jonathon Bailey wrote an extremely helpful article on this back on July 14, 2009.  Here's the address for his article:
I recommend every writer who blogs read it.  Most of us are focused on copyright infringement as it it pertains to writing.  We run non-commercial blogs and we do it because we love to write about all things writing related.  But after being plagiarized, I learned that pictures have to be attributed properly to be used. 

Some of you may have noticed that for months I have been buying photos to use in my blog and going backward to replace photos and pictures that I can't remember where I got the originals from (PhotoBucket, mostly) with new pictures that I purchased the right to use.  I've been using iStock Photo for this purpose, since they have a good reputation.  I've even taken down a year's worth of posts to eliminate anything that I might have questions about in deference to artists and photographers.  All that's left are postings with pictures I've bought rights to use.

Maybe I've gone to extremes here, but I'm trying to learn from the mistakes that David Boyer made.  I have to admit, his actions have made me think.  After I saw that he'd used Ben Templesmith's art on the cover of some of his books without getting permission, I started to think that this must have been accidental or incredibly stupid.  Who would blatantly steal from a famous artist and expect not to get caught?  But he did it for money, not on a non-commercial blog so in the end what he did was very, very wrong. 

So I have to ask all of you- where do you get the pictures you use on your blog?  How do you make sure you're treating artists and photographers the right way on your blog?  Is it enough to attribute the creator, or do we need to get written permission?

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