Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Random Flotsam and Jetsam...

 Holly, my first chessie. She was a rough, tough, mean old bitch, but I've never had a dog with more drive. 

Been too lazy to write lately, so random bits of neither here nor there will have to suffice until the time comes when lukewarm inspiration returns. So...

Retaining rights to our work is always important to freelancers, but we're increasingly being forced to either give those rights up through bullshit work-for-hire or all rights contracts or not work at all.
It's a cognitive struggle as well as a pain in the ass to try to decipher and decode the deliberately vague, obtuse, lawyer-written, multi-page documents that seem to be the rule these days. But I was perusing the submission guidelines on the Gray's website the other day and was pleasantly surprised to find it spelled out thusly...

We buy modified North American serial rights. These are, specifically:

The right to publish your article in one issue of Gray’s Sporting Journal.
The right to publish your article, if chosen, on our Web site for the duration of that issue’s stay on the newsstand.
The right to use brief quotes and/or images from the magazine in promotional programs related to Gray’s Sporting Journal.
All other rights for material printed in Gray’s remain with the author/creator.

No "in perpetuity" crap, no "work for hire", no "copyright remains with XXX", just a clear, straighforward explanation of what Gray's is buying from you. Of course, it might be a different story if Gray's had a more extensive online presence, but of course it doesn't, thankfully.

In contrast, I also recently looked up the submission guidelines for one of those new online-only wingshooting journals, and predictably, in addition to the payment being absolute shite, these chuckleheads were demanding all rights for the privilege of being screwed. Right... To paraphrase the priceless words of Tom Reed of Mouthful of Feathers, these guys can go take a flying leap off Giffy Butte.


If you haven't yet seen the four-part Frontline special Money, Power and Wall Street, then do yourself a favor and go watch it online. It will bake your noodle. Torches and pitchforks optional, but recommended...

Always wanted to write a bestseller but didn't know how? Well, then, here's your bluprint. Pretty good review of the new James Hall book "Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the 20th Century's Biggest Bestsellers." My favorite quote from the review?

For some reason, it is often the very people who say they want to write novels who seem to have the least understanding of what other people want to read. So Hall has no doubt seen countless examples of would-be authors — including people determined to work in commercial genres — who simply don’t grasp the most elementary principles of storytelling. While “Hit Lit” may seem, to many readers, like the literary equivalent of instructions on how to boil water, the sad truth is that plenty of those who speak contemptuously of Dan Brown’s prose are writers who could not get a child interested in a fairy tale.

For the record, I freakin' hate Dan Brown. Absolutely talentless hack. So what does that say about me?

And on that note...

I'm not ashamed to say that I am a Stephen King fan. Call me a rube or a mass-market consumer if you must, but I've always thought King's earlier novels, novellas and short stories were good, entertaining reads, and I'm not sufficiently edjoocated enough to put on any literary airs to the contrary. Judge me harshly if you must... At any rate, Mr. King, who is filthy rich, recently published a fine populist rant over on the Daily Beast website.

As noted in several previous blogs here as well as here I'm a big fan of the early Shimano Bantam baitcasters. I can't claim that a Bantam was my first grown-up reel (that honor goes to - what else? - an Ambassadeur) but those old vintage Bantams always will be my favorites. I snap them up whenever I find them in pawn shops and junk stores. If you have one and want to know a little more about it, here's an excellent resource on the various first-generation Bantams on the website.

I love Moras, and I recently received and have been playing around with one of the new Swedish Fireknives which is a joint venture between Mora and LightMyFire. It's basically a plastic-handled Mora with a LightMyFire rod built into the handle. Really like it so far. Sharp, handy, light and cheap. I'll write more about it later...

1 comment:

  1. I noticed that at Gray's, too. Pretty cool.

    Don't leave us consumers out: include the name of the crappy-paying online mag.