A Writerly TGIF

What’s on the iPod: Two Coins by Dispatch

Man, am I glad it’s Friday. There was a lot of work to be done this week, and I finished nearly all of it. More to be done, but for now, I’m in a good place right before I leave town.

After spending yesterday working frantically in an effort to keep ahead of a big storm (and expected power outages), I don’t feel like working today. I will, but I’m going to mix in a little fun, too. I hope you’re doing the same.

What I’m intrigued by this week:

Terrific courses. Good friend John Soares has a new course for writers. John presents a sensible approach in his freelance writing niche course, titled Find Your Freelance Writing Niche: Make More Money for Less Work, a three-parter that gives you what is probably the most comprehensive course specializing I’ve seen. He not only walks you through the whys and what-fors of it, but also gives you exercises and strategies for taking it from an idea to a reality. John gives you a detailed overview of what to expect in the course on his blog. I’ve seen the course — it’s a bargain at $20. Instead of buying that t-shirt at Gap, invest that money in your career.

Derechos. I’m a Weather Channel junkie, but somehow I’ve never heard of these things. They’re congealed line of thunders storms that can kick the snot out of you. Thanks to a merging of storm fronts in the midwest this week, we got to learn about what the devil they are. Thankfully, they didn’t give us a one-on-one lesson. Here’s what Wikipedia says about them.

NSA and phone stuff. Maybe I missed something, but didn’t we know already that the NSA was accessing phone records in select cases? Is this really the national security threat we’re told it is? I fail to see how anyone, including people wishing to do us harm, thought they were safe using the phone in a post-9/11 world. This is about as political as I’ll get in public, so no he said/she said political banter, please. It’s just so boring.

Tough bugs. Bed bugs are impossibly hard (and expensive) to get rid of. But it’s cheaper to call an exterminator than to rebuild your house after you burn it down. Just ask the guy in New Jersey who tried killing them with heat, which sparked a fire. The good news — the bugs are probably gone. Maybe.

Ethics still matter. I listened in on a seminar yesterday given by ASBPE on ethics. Astounding was the news that on several forums, writers are under the mistaken impression that if it appears on the Internet, the information is free to use. Not so. At all. The editors were discussing the problem, and it was clear that not one person on the call was comfortable with writers passing off the works of others as original. They know copyright and plagiarism laws well enough to know they’d be sued from here to the moon for such behavior. So writers, don’t do it. Ever.

What’s intriguing you this week?

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  • Paula June 14, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    We've had a few derechos blast through over the years. Imagine a stampede of giants running over an line of ant hills. Those ant hills are cities. They usually have straight line winds. The only good thing is the leading edge and high winds are in and out fairly quickly.

    Actually, one forecaster said they're like super-sized bow echos. Scary.

    While I'm speaking in analogies, the other night I heard an ethics expert discussing the NSA phone records thing. He said the information is being accumulated, but each call isn't monitored (can you imagine how boring that job would be?). He said tracking terrorists is like searching for a needle in a haystack, but before you can do that you need the haystack. The phone records are the haystack.

  • John Soares June 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out about my new course Lori!

    I've been following the news about the impact of the derechos. Weather always fascinates me.

    Out here in the west we mostly get heavy winter rains that cause flooding and summer thunderstorms that cause wildfires.

  • Lori June 14, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Haystack — a good way to put it, Paula.

    John, we normally have 90-degree weather by now. It's been a glorious 70-degree plus spring (or colder). If there hadn't been so much rain, it would have been ideal, but the rain makes for such gorgeous greenery.

  • Anne Wayman June 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    well, we suspected that NSA and the rest were spying on us… now we have a whistle blower who informs us than it's worth than we thought. And he's had to go into hiding which I consider profound.

    Derechos intrigue me too.

    Looking forward to reviewing John's course.

    And somehow I'm not surprised particularly 20 year olds think everything on the 'net is free.

    Sigh… stgy safe!