So I was signing on to Authors for Library Ebooks and I accidentally wrote a screed, which I might as well share here, since it uh, might otherwise never see the light of day. Their prompt:
Please tell us a little about you, your experiences with libraries and/or why this issue is important to you and your readers.
My response/accidental diatribe:
Library access to ebooks is important to me because LIBRARIES are important to me. My small-town library was everything to me growing up: escape, information, inspiration. And nowadays, as a grown up and parent and author and booklover, I still use the library every week. Okay, sure, I like when people buy my books -- but what is much, much more important to me is that people READ my books. Or any books. Read anything and everything. Everyone in this country (actually, everyone in the world, but I guess I'll stick to this country for now) should be able to get their hands on any book they wish to read. EVERYONE. Children, teenagers, waitresses, college students, factory workers, night shift janitors, retirees, the poor, the rich, everyone. Regardless of ability, or inclination, to pay. Okay, stepping down from my soapbox. Rant. Sorry.
Anyhoo. What was the question? Oh yes: ebooks. Look, I don't know everything, but I do know this: publishers are terrified that technology is changing the landscape of publishing. And hey, it's okay to be scared; I get freaked out all the time. But you know what? Change is what makes the world go around. Or maybe it's physics? Like I said, I don't know everything.
My point, and I do have one, is this: let's embrace the promising aspects of technology (e.g. the fact that e-books don't wear out after multiple uses --to say nothing of the wonderful fact that you can read an ebook after lights-out, and be all sly about it, and not get busted!). Let's encourage publishers to let go of their fear of change, which manifests in not offering ebooks to libraries, or in placing artifical constraints --like, say, requiring repurchase after a certain number of checkouts-- where they aren't needed. At its best, technology is the promise of access.
So, yeah. Read. Even after lights out. That is all.
A friend asked me to repost in a more findable place. I'm honored that it seems to have resonated with folks. Please feel free to share. Here goes --
Some thoughts on marriage, and cookies:
So I made cookies. (By which of course I mean that I baked the portion of dough that was not in my tummy.) And some of them came apart from cooking sheet to cooling rack, because they were so yummy/gooey. So I said to my hubs, "If you eat any, eat the broken ones."
And then I was like, Wait a second. This is my partner. This is the person who puts up with my ridiculousness every day, and makes me laugh more than anyone else on the planet, and is generous to me when I am a total shit. I literally trust this person with my life, and with my child's life. Why am I telling him to eat the broken cookies?
So I paused Netflix and told him, "You know what? You are my favorite person in the world. Eat the very best ones."
And I guess my Christmas (New Year's) Eve marriage/cookie message is this: We're all ridiculous people. We're only here a very, very short time. If you're lucky enough to find someone who wants to spend every day (and night) with you, and that person still manages to love you? Pause Netflix, tell them what a good egg they are, and by all means, let them have the very best cookies.
To everyone feeling overwhelmed by cookie making, card sending, secret-Santa-ing, and/or open house having. And to anyone feeling vaguely guilty about not feeling guilty about not doing things. I hath created a handy Holiday Tradobligation (Tradition + Obligation) Flowchart. The more you share, the better our world. You're welcome.
Optional Bonus Handy Note:
----------------------cut on dotted line------------------------------
Dear (circle one) friend / family member / colleague / other (please specify):
I am intentionally, but not maliciously, declining to participate in the following holiday tradobligation: ____________________________________________________
for reasons of my own sanity, and to make the world a less reciprocal-obligation-filled place. I invite you to join me in opting out of any and all tradobligations. Experience the freedom!
In the course of writing (**cough** procrastinating) my third novel, it has become necessary for me to list the rules of my home. As written by me. And I'm a share-bear, so here they are:
1. Take off your shoes.
2. Be kind.
3. Ask for help when you need it.
4. Don’t interrupt naps, work, or conversations.
5. Work hard, work well, don’t whinge.
6. Nightly family dinner: settle in, say grace, and thank the chef.
7. Clean up.
8. Don’t interrupt naps, work, or conversations.
9. Share generously: your time, talent, and treasures.
10. Put the seat and the lid down.
11. No ambushing innocent bystanders.
12. When in doubt, tell the truth.
13. Do not anger wizards.
14. Jump up, jump up, and get down.
What are your Home Rules?
Got some signings, conferences, and visits coming up, and I've been pondering how to come up with some stickers for signed bookplates, and notecards with my info for thank-you notes, and other random suches.
Nothing was really working for me. I mean, "let Vistaprint design you a logo"? Blech.
I like personal. I like imperfect. I also like free.
And then, eureka!
My writing group pal John Claude Bemis already dubbed me J-Cube, even though technically I think the equation would be
(j) to the third power.
If you have ever met me, you know I likey a good DIY (remind me to tell you the worm farm story).
My general attitude is, "Why not give it a try? What could go wrong?" (Remind me to tell you the deck roof story.)
So -- voila! My new logo, brought to you by a Pink Pearl eraser and my trusty exacto knife:
Me likey. What do you think?
So I opened up my soul and poured it into a letter to my teenage self and wrote this for the Dear Teen Me website.
And now that it's out there, I kind of can't believe I put it out there on the interwho.
Which is a good indicator of just how honest it is.
Click this link to go to the letter.
The time: June 2012. The place: St John, USVI.
I'm in an island paradise, sipping a drink, staring at this four-foot-long iguana staring back at me, and instead of thinking, Wow. What a cool creature. Or, I'm a lucky girl. Or [Zen lack of thoughts, Be Here Now]," I'm thinking, I can't believe the wireless is down! I need to get a photo of this on Facebook, stat!
And then I said: "Facebook, I need a break. It's not you, it's me." Four reasons:
_My dog, Ruby, died yesterday. I miss her like crazy already. And I've been thinking about some of the things Ruby taught me, like:
1. Enjoy your food. Every morsel of every meal is to be delighted in.
2. You CAN learn empathy, even if it doesn't come naturally to you, and even if you've had a rotten child(puppy)hood.
3. You can be smart, and behave, and learn a lot of tricks, but you should never ignore your core instincts.
4. Let yourself mellow with age. It's all good.
5. You can be bad-ass and super sweet in the same package.
6. Protect the things you love. A big bark and a flash of teeth, used judiciously, can go a long way.
j.j. johnson, author