People with Asperger’s Syndrome are often preoccupied with particular, specialized areas of knowledge, such as this boy’s interest in molecular structure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A couple of months ago I wrote my original “What’s my niche?” post. At the time, I decided to ignore the advice to focus on a particular niche. But a couple of recent events have me rethinking this.
First, last month was National Autism Awareness Month, and I stumbled across several interesting blog posts aimed at raising awareness. These caught my attention because I am an Aspie (as I mention on my About page). Asperger’s is considered an Autism Spectrum Disorder, essentially a high-functioning form of Autism. Continue reading
Artist rendering of SpaceX Dragon spacecraft delivering cargo to the International Space Station. Credit NASA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Great news on the commercialization of space: Dragon Fire: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soared into space, carrying the Dragon capsule to orbit at 3:44 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 22, 2012.
This is their second successful demonstration flight for NASA, and this time it is supposed to dock with the International Space Station. Let’s hope all goes well with this.
Judy Croome. Congratulations, Judy!
Please contact me when you’re ready to claim your free RAOK proofreading.
I haven’t done a proofreading for anyone else before, so I’m not sure how it’s typically done. Probably the best for me would be if you can send me a Word document. I can turn on change tracking and make the changes, then you’ll be able to step through and approve (or not) each one. Or you can send me a hardcopy and I can mark it up. Or maybe you have other suggestions. Let me know.
Thanks to all who entered my little contest, and to Angela and Becca of The Bookshelf Muse for organizing the Random Act of Kindness Blitz.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Boston, Massachusetts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Another publisher bankruptcy. I saw this last Friday in this post on the Passive Voice blog: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Enters Bankruptcy Process.
The article blames the bankruptcy on debt from leveraged buyouts in 2006 and 2007. It seems they were in trouble almost right away, having temporarily stopped acquiring new books in 2008. No mention of e-books or self-publishing playing a role.
This also seems a bit unusual in that a Chapter 11 deal was pre-negotiated with over 70% of senior lenders and bondholders (those with first dibs on assets in a liquidation) to convert their $3.1B debt to equity. I suspect the “negotiation” was along the lines of “your only alternative is to take five cents on the dollar in a liquidation” (they have $135M cash on hand, 4.4% of their debt; not sure of other assets but the lawyers and accountants would chew up a large chunk).
No word on what their current shareholders think of this massive dilution in their investment. But again, it’s likely a case of “you can take a haircut or a beheading.” Continue reading
A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture.
Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter. This is especially true in the Writing Community.
Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.
So many people take the time to make us feel special, don’t they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and celebrate our successes.
To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think kindness is contagious, I’m participating too.
Now being new to the writing community, I’ve had trouble deciding what to offer and to whom. After some pondering I realized that one of my strengths is a good eye for typos and grammatical errors.
So I’ve decided to offer a proofreading of one manuscript to one commenter chosen randomly from those who comment on this post. Continue reading
Writer Wordart (Photo credit: MarkGregory007)
What am I? A writer? An author? Aspiring or actual?
In an earlier post I mentioned the issue of “aspiring writer” versus just “writer”, and chose to refer to myself as aspiring, because I’m not yet published.
Joel Friedlander has a different point of view, described in his post From Writer to Author to Publisher to Marketer. He says that we are a writer when we start writing, and we become an author when we’ve finished writing a book. Makes sense. I’ll go with his definition of author. Of course his main point is that self-publishers have to also become publishers and marketers (although if the progression is from author to publisher and then marketer, I would have reversed the evolution image at the top of the article 8^).
Now this third article I hesitated to link, Continue reading
Lists of academic journals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Amazon’s disruption of traditional publishing has been has been covered in the press and blogosphere ad nauseam. But a less visible, though equally disruptive, change is happening in another area of traditional publishing: academic publishing.
The traditional academic publishers, such as Elsevier have had nice little
scam business model going for them. University professors and graduate students conduct research, often paid for by a combination of government funding, student tuition and grants from charitable organizations. They publish their results in peer-reviewed journals and receive nothing in return. These journals are then sold back to the same universities at outrageous prices, reportedly as much as $40,000 per year for a single journal subscription, running into the millions for a university library.