Let me be clear: as an author, I care a lot about copyright and piracy. But I care a lot more about freedom.
SOPA and PIPA would let the US government --and the big corporations most of our representatives are clearly beholden to-- mess with internet content AND structure.
I'm convinced that SOPA and PIPA will break the internet -- technically, practically, and philosophically.
If you want to learn more, the video is a great primer. But don't take it from me. Do your own research. And when you do, please contact your representatives. Stat. (Click the link at left to contact your reps, but remember, when it comes to actions like this, phone calls count a LOT more than e-mails.)
_Who doesn't love a good "Best of" list to ring out the old and ring in the new?
Especially this teen blogger's "Best Books of 2011" list, which includes, and I quote: "This Girl is Different by J. J. Johnson. This book is different. In a good way. No, scratch that, in an amazing, incredible way."
**Happy sigh.** Feeling the love.
And it gets me thinking ... what are MY Favorite Books of 2011? Well, well -- I'm so glad I asked myself!
First, FICTION. Man, I read some hella good books this year. So here goes:
The White City by John Claude Bemis (Random House, 2011). Totally satisfying, Ferris Wheel-centric conclusion to The Clockwork Dark Trilogy. Super love.
The Death of York Mortwell by Stephen Messer (Random House, 2011). Creepy and touching and just plain fantastic.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (HarperCollins, 2011). This novel just stuck to my ribs.
Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal by Mal Peet (Candlewick, 2007). What it might have been like to be in the resistance in the Netherlands, WWII.
Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald (Bantam Dell, 2006). Caught my eye at Goodwill, and I loved it, because it's hard to find a "real" novel about straddling two cultures.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown, 2007). Because I heart Sherman Alexie.
For more, including my non-fiction picks, click right over there --------------------------->
I do love me the resolutions of the new year variety. And this year, having spent NYE on the sofa with the flu, I've had time to consider my resolutions. (Too much time.)
First, the J.J. Johnson Criteria for Acceptable New Year's Resolutions:
(A) A resolution must be desirable. And by that I mean something *I* desire. Sure, I could resolve to run a half marathon--and believe me, I admire those who do--but the sad truth is that I do NOT enjoy running. In fact, it's torture. I've tried, people, I've tried. Me, I'll keep fit through other means. Moving on.
(B) A resolution must be measurable. "To feel better about the fact that I am not a runner" is not truly measurable, and thus, kind of a buzzkill to achieve, because there's this nagging voice that's all "Are you SURE you REALLY achieved this?" Whatever, nagging voice. Go to hell.
(C) Proposed resolutions must be achievable. Difficult is fine, but completely out of the realm of possibility is just a sucky plan. (Section C-1) This also means the resolution must be, barring illness or other "acts of God," wholly within my own locus of control. Thus "Get third novel published," while both desirable and measurable, depends on other people (not to mention a crazy industry), and therefore does not qualify as acceptable under the J.J. Johnson Resolution Statutes.
And so, without further ado, I give you my 2012 New Year's Resolutions. (Careful readers will note these skew more "goal" than "resolution". But whatevs.)
1. Go somewhere new. This has been on the list several years now, and it's always a good one. It can be near, it can be far, but it must be a place on Earth as yet un-walked-upon by me.
Desirable? Yes. I love to travel and explore. Measurable? Yes. Achievable? Yes.
2. Finish writing a new novel. Along with editing and releasing my second novel, I want to write at least one more this year. Either finishing a work-in-progress, or completing a whole new project, doesn't matter.
Desirable? Hell yes. Measurable? Yes. Doesn't matter if it sucks (although hopefully it will be RAD!). No value judgments, just need to get to "THE END." Achievable? Evidently so!
3. Investigate going solar. Read at least two more books AND contact a local solar company for their advice and free estimate on transitioning our household to solar. (The decision itself--whether to install panels--is not the resolution.)
Desirable? Yes. Not sure whether it makes sense for us to make the transition, and it would have to be a decision made with my hubs, but I do desire to greenify my energy choices, and I want to know what solar panels would cost/conserve, ballpark. Measurable? Yep. Either I read the books and make the call, or I don't. If the company flakes out, that's not on me. Achievable? You betcha.
Well ... I think that's it. Sure, there's "be healthy and happy, invest in important relationships, keep marriage strong, work hard, save for retirement, keep fit and eat well." But here I refer you back to item B under "J.J. Johnson Criteria for Acceptable New Year's Resolutions". They're all too gelatinous. Except Save for Retirement. Duly Added.
4. Save for retirement. I have specific numbers in mind, but that's personal, yo.
So there they are. What are your thoughts? Have you made resolutions? Discuss.
j.j. johnson, author