Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mirror Mirror on the Wall!

With the release of the movie "Mirror Mirror on the Wall" directed by Tarsem Singh, Pigsback, an Irish online daily deals website has offered their customer (me) a chance to see a Preview Screening for free in the next week or so. Movies

That is if I get selected by their lottery system.
They used to offer preview screenings for free if you register on time.

They used to offer a preview screening nearly every two months.
But no more.
Now, you get these offers once a year and if you are lucky, you might be picked. Or not.

As much as I tried to deny myself the joy of going to see romantic movies in theaters thinking the likes of "oh this is so anti-feminist" and "Oh this is not realistic!" and "there's no such thing as a knight in shining armour in real life!" I have decided that I shouldn't deny myself the simple pleasure of getting away from it all and being entertained by a feeling good movie. Besides I was wondering how Julia Roberts would pull the role of the Witch. She never usually plays the role of a Baddie.
See MIRROR MIRROR First and for Free!
 Yet I still enjoy a good laugh and nothing makes me laugh more than making fun of those stereotypes that we are constantly reminded of in those fairy tales and romantic stories.

In this frame of mind, I wrote a while back a silly little poem. Nothing great. Just an idea to play with and have fun with. Only this one was called "Mirror, Mirror in the Mall"
And yes incidentally, if you turn a "W" upside down, it is a "M",  so the Wall becomes a Mall.

Mirror, Mirror in the Mall

Tales come and go
But this story will make you bow.
Listen up.
Unplug yourselves from this reality,
And dive into the hub
Of this unusual story.
Today is your lucky day.
But hey, there's no guarantee you’ll be blown away.

So you see,
there was this chick.
She was pretty,
Some say, she was slick.
She bought and trashed.
And flashed her cash
But to no avail
The Holy Grail:
Tom Patcat
Was as blind as a bat
Mirror, Mirror in the Mall
She asked, tell me who’s the awesomest chick of this Mall?
My Queen, said the Reflection,
You know, you’re my little Onion.
With your plastic boobs and your faked tan
You’d bring any boys to your divan.
But there’s a slight problem with your Patcat:
He’s a fruitcake, my little rat.
Oh my, oh my, said Eli,
How can I make him like me?
You’re in luck, said the Mirror
Cuz I’m a fairy, so come closer.
Let’s switch places
And I’ll make him fall into your graces.
Eli jumped into the mirror.
But the Reflection never came back
And incidentally his name was Jack.
So here's the story's moral:
You should never trust your pal.
Especially if he’s a queen
and he happened to be very good looking.

What about you? Do you get a buzz out off watching Fairytales/romantic stories? Or do those themes turn you off completely?

Oh and yes, I did try my hands at writing a Fairytale for Big and Small Kids. It's a fairytale with a quiet power of imagination and poetry and luckily for you, it is available for FREE.
It's called "Saving Ordenia" and I would love to read your reviews on it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The battle with Paypal

I've neglected this blog.
There were a million things I wanted to write about (maybe 3 or 4) and a million things that I knew was irrelevant to this blog.
  • Job interviews or the lack of them
  • Holidays or the lack of them
  • Money or the lack of it
  • Writing or the lack of wanting to write.
  •  Socializing or the lack of it ( hard to socialize when your best friend is a toilet roll paper which you keep at all times next to you in case you're going to....sneeze! It is even harder to socialise when you constantly frown trying to concentrate on what the person is trying to say because your head is filled with a gigantic ball of cotton wool and you can't think straight. Or when people are talking to you as if they were in a different room when they are actually next to you but you can't hear a thing because your ears are stuffed.
 I could go on like this...
There are things I should have talked about...
  • Like Paypal gave an ultimatum to Smashwords two weeks ago: Remove all titles containing bestiality, rape or incest, otherwise they threatened to deactivate our PayPal account. I was so annoyed about that. I am not interested in reading or writing about these topics but I believe anyone should be writing about anything they want. And it surely felt like PayPal was asking writers to censor legal fiction.  And they were. Regardless of how one views these topics no financial institutions should tell us, authors what we can write and what we can not write.
Fiction is fantasy. This is why we can write. We write so we can express ourselves.  And if Paypal was starting to censure that then what next? Police on our thoughts too?
I was very angry that we keep on having to fight for our basic rights as institutions keep on invading in our private worlds.

Fortunately Smashwords authors, publishers and customers mobilized. They made telephone calls, wrote emails and letters, started and signed petitions, blogged, tweeted, Facebooked and drove the conversation. They made the difference. I didn't. I wanted to. I probably thought to write to Visa and Ebay about 5 or 6 times during those 2 weeks.  But thanks to them people paid attention. And thank God for them. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) were the first three advocacy groups to stand up for us, authors, publishers and customers.  Bloggers and journalists also helped carry the story forward by lending their platforms to get the story out.  

This is based from the email I got from CEO Mark Copper 3 days ago, who told us of Paypal's decision to modify their policies to allow legal fiction after all.
Mr Copper also wanted to give his Special thanks to TechCrunch, Slashdot, TechDirt, The Independent (UK), Reuters, Publishers Weekly, Dow Jones, The Digital Reader, CNET, Forbes, GalleyCat & EbookNewser and dozens of others too numerous to mention.

So this is a battle we won. Before we had bloodbath battles. Nowadays we have "inkbath" battles and digital conflicts. Battles of the minds. Battles of the words.
So we have pushed back. For how long? I am not sure. But I am relieved. I will go to sleep a little more peaceful and happy. I sure hope to hell that there will always be people to push back. I didn't fight this battle. But I am thankful for the people who did.

Friday, March 9, 2012

READ AN EBOOK WEEK OFFER with Smashwords this week!

Exciting times!
Smashwords has kicked off their fourth year of the Smashwords Read an Ebook Week promotion.

A special Read an Ebook Week promotion catalog has appeared on the Smashwords home page.
You, Readers can browse the catalog and search by coupon code levels and categories.
It kicked off last Sunday.  At the stoke of midnight Pacific time this coming Sunday (that's the 11th of March), the catalog will disappear again!
The coupon codes only work at Smashwords, not at retailers served by Smashwords.

I've just launched a series of 4 romantic short stories called "Leaving Love Behind"

So use and abuse as much as you want of the READ AN EBOOK WEEK offer!
Most of my e-books are on promotion this week at 100% OFF!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Free Creative Writing Workshop in the National Gallery

Art for All Ages Workshop: Creative Writing Workshop

14th March 2012
Event type:
Lifelong Learning & Courses
Atrium - National Gallery - Merrion Square West, Dublin 2.

Detail from Walter Osborne, 'The Dublin Streets; a Vendor of Books', 1889
Free workshop, with Kate Dempsey. Meet in the Atrium.
The Art for All Ages programme of events for adults takes place on the second Wednesday of the month from January to November at 3.00pm.
Art for All Ages events are free of charge, and no booking is necessary. All equipment is provided. Meet in the Atrium.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

you've just been unloved

Getting unfollowed.
Either on blog or on twitter.
Has it happened to you?
I think it has happened to me twice or three times since I created my blog.
On twitter, it hasn't happened yet.
But there's a first for everything.
You can't help wonder if it is because you began to s-lack in writing something interesting or if they found your blog by mistake.
So you started to form probable scenarios:
Maybe they followed you by mistake in the first place? Maybe they got a bad day at the office? Maybe they got dumped?
Or maybe it is just you!

It does feel like they're saying:" Sorry dude, got it wrong. Thought you were good, just taking it back cuz your blog in fact suck!"
In other words, you've just been unloved!
If most of us would feel this way about being unfollowed, what does it really mean?
So we are not perfect? We are making mistakes?
So what?
We're only human.
Of course, it would help to know which mistakes we are making. But in reality, how many of us have ever offered feedback when you unsubscribe from a let's say a website?
The truth this world is a free world.
To follow and unfollow as you please without having to justify yourself is one of the greatest advantages that Internet has been able to offer us.
In a world where everything is asking more and more commitment from us, from setting up your electricity bills online to just providing an ID card to get books to your local library, here is a way to hop around the web without having to think twice about it.

Action without consequence.

Or is it without consequence? Have you heard of a story where people got angry at you? Or people got overly sad because of it?