In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.  -John McCrae

 

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The Authors Guild and the Trademark Fracas

Author Kevin Kneupper brought this to my attention on Twitter yesterday. This post is an absolute must read for everyone because, sooner or later, we’ll encounter some misguided author who firmly believes s/he can to pull a Faleena over a word or title and we all end up watching another boozy video by someone who thinks eliminating all competition is the pathway to fame and the #1 spot on the NYT best seller list.

And since I invoked her name, Faleena has reluctantly settled and is withdrawing her trademark applications. She made a (mercifully short) video where she plays the martyr (does she ever not ) and wistfully murmurs about trying to protect her family, the Cockers, who are fictional) and how she was brutally attacked for doing so.

Refresh my memory, wasn’t she the one sending out fake cease and desist letters to indie authors using the word “cocky” in their titles? Wasn’t she the one who managed to get Amazon to remove books using “cocky”? Wasn’t she the one that applied for a TM for the word cocky in a specified font that wasn’t hers to TM? But she’s the victim, riiiight.

Anyway, go read it and save the link somewhere for when you encounter the next Faleena or Michael Scott Earle.

 

 

Felix the Railway Cat

screenshot-13443On the first anniversary of its release Felix the Railway Cat has raised over $48,000 for Prostate Cancer UK. A remarkable cat indeed.

Available from Amazon in Kindle, hardcover, and paperback.

“When Felix arrived at Yorkshire’s Huddersfield Train Station as an eight-week-old kitten, no one knew just how important this little ball of fluff would become. Although she has a vital job to do as ‘Senior Pest Controller’, Felix is much more than just an employee of TransPennine Express. Felix changes lives in surprising ways.
She is always ready to leap into action and save the day: from bringing a boy with autism out of his shell to providing comfort to a runaway child shivering on the platform one night. So when tragedy hits the team at Huddersfield, it is only Felix who can pull them back together.
But a chance friendship with a commuter that she waits for her on the platform every morning finally gives Felix the recognition she deserves, catapulting her to international stardom . . .” Amazon

Diego

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2001(?)- January 26, 2018

Friend, son, brother

At the end you couldn’t recognize anyone or anything and thought yourself alone, but you weren’t alone and you were loved. Sweet dreams, sweet boy.

 

Diego died  of complications from diabetes, it was an ugly end to a beautiful life, we had 4 yrs together after he was diagnosed.  I don’t usually solicit for a charity or non-profit but here is a link to one I support, Diabetic Cats In Need. They try to give every diabetic cat the best life they can.

 

 

California’s New Law Could Halt Live Author Book Signings

R. Gardner Goldsmith reports on a California law affecting author signings.

 

RPBookSigning

So, I’m a writer. Hopefully, that comes through not only in the fact that I’m setting caveman fingers to keys, and you’re reading the results, but also in the quality of what I write, the idea that it has value. I write non-fiction on political economics and ethics. But what some folks don’t know is that I also write scripts, short stories, novels, and novellas. As a result, I’ve become familiar with how publishing works, and have become friends with a number of terrific authors.

Many of those truly fantastic writers don’t have the backing of big-name publishing houses. Some sign with small “indie” publishers, while others split from the old guard and self-publish. And what every author, even the well known who have the backing of promotional departments, will tell you is that personal, hand-to-hand and word-of-mouth connections are what sells books.
As a consequence of this, making appearances — at conventions and at book signings offered by local booksellers – is not only essential for authors to exist in the pro field, but the crowds these events generate are also important for the bookstores to stay in business.
But, on January 1, an amendment to a California law kicked into effect that makes it virtually impossible for authors and booksellers to conduct “book signings” the way they once did. And only the folks of the Pacific Legal Foundation, hired by an indie bookseller based in San Francisco, are fighting it.

Read more.