General

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

My last post was about a flash fiction story I wrote that dealt with the atmosphere of tension in a corporate lawfirm. It was a small example, and pretty civilized, really, given the reality. But it’s hard to know how far you can go in fiction to get a point across and still maintain verisimilitude. Happily, I have a real life example now. This is the kind of thing that if you wrote it in a story, no one would believe it.

It seems two attorneys in Florida got into an email war.  It devolved to the point (my guess is sooner rather than later), where one called the other a “bottom feeding/scum sucking/loser lawyer” and the other accused the first of displaying “symptoms of a disability marked by ‘closely spaced eyes, dull blank stare, bulbous head, lying’.”  The article is here.

I mean, you just can’t make stuff like this up.   The good news is that the article appears on the American Bar Association website reporting that the lawyers were sanctioned for their behavior.  But don’t let that fool you.

Thanks to Buce over in Palookaville who posted the link here.

Posted by Scott Alumbaugh in General, 0 comments

Food, Sex, Danger

Susan Weinschenk is a psychologist with a book (Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?) and a website (What Makes Them Click). On the website, she is running a series of articles entitled “100 Things You Should Know About People.”  As of this writing, she’s up to thing number 47: “People Value A Product More Highly If It Is Physically In Front Of Them.”

Thing number 11 is entitled, “Why You Can’t Resist Paying Attention to Food, Sex, or Danger.”  In the article, she explains that humans have three brains: a new brain, a mid brain, and an old brain.  The old brain is the one interested in survival.  So its job is to scan the environment and ask, “Can I eat it? Can I have sex with it?  Will it kill me?”  I don’t know if all scientists agree with this assessment, but it’s a fun read.  As are many of the other things we should know about people.  Here is a link that brings up all of the article titles.

No message here from me.  Just pointing out some fun reading.

Posted by Scott Alumbaugh in General, 1 comment

Signing Up

Part of the process of becoming a writer these days is signing up. Services abound. Resources are overwhelming. Many are free, unless you count the time you take to search, scan, read, save, post, forward, or archive them. All of them require at least a little time commitment.

I signed up for two things today.

First was a one year subscription to Writers Market. That’s the service that lists writing markets, submission guidelines, etc. My previous attempts at fiction, over 15 years ago, ended just about the time awareness of the internet started spreading. So the guidelines were all in print; either in the Writers Market books or in the backs of the journals and publications. Of course, you could always send a letter and ask for a copy of the guidelines, which I did.

Now, for the price of one of those Writers Digest books you can get a one-year online subscription. You get the listings, and probably even more useful, your own area on the site. You can search markets, save your search results, leave notes and reminders to yourself, track submissions, store manuscripts . . . I don’t mean to sound like a noob, but it’s pretty amazing.

I also don’t mean to pimp WM. I haven’t even used it yet. But just signing up feels like commitment, and with that, opportunity. Markets await. Editors are standing by. And now I have the keys to the secret kingdom of Publishingdom. Publishinghood? Whatever. Of course that’s not the reality. But knowing where to send things is a good step toward submitting them.

Which brings me to my second, and probably far less useful, signing-up of the day. I submitted a story to Glimmer Train. Not only that. I entered it into one of their monthly contests. Chances of winning anything? Zilch. So why pay a little to enter a contest when they would review a standard submission for free? It’s that hope again. That, well ya, but wouldn’t that be cool?

All of which makes me think of gold prospectors. Very few made any money. But the merchants who sold them supplies and, uh, services made fortunes.

Posted by Scott Alumbaugh in General, 1 comment