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7 posts from June 2007

June 29, 2007

A Concert in Support of Willie P. Bennett

PiggybankMy friend Jeannine Taylor over @ QuidNovis.com is one of the sponsors for this concert, so I wanted to do my bit by spreading the word about this special event. Besides, as a self-employed author, I'm all-too-aware of how financially perilous it can be to pursue a career as a self-employed anything, let alone a self-employed creative type. Sometimes you have to rely on the kindness of friends and relatives to weather the lean times in your business, whether that is at startup or during the financial hiccups that can occur during times of illness or family strife. (This is why organizations like The Writers' Union of Canada have been lobbying the Federal Government for years to allow income tax year back-averaging for creators. But I'll leave that subject for another day.) For now, find out about the concert for Willie and enjoy some great music while supporting a great cause.

How to Raise $7000 for a Homeless Shelter in a Single Weekend

I've always liked Patti Peeters' take charge style. If she thinks she can make a difference when it comes to a particular project or cause, she'll roll up her sleeves and get things done. Last weekend, for example, she raised approximately $7000 at a fundraiser and art auction that she hosted in her own backyard.

When I dropped by to purchase my tickets to the event, I snapped some photos of Patti and the mountain of donations that were taking over her house. I think the color purple may have something to do with Patti's endless energy and tell-it-like-it-is style, don't you? After all, you can't be meek and mild and wear purple. Kudos to Patti for a job well done.

Patti Peeters ~ Donations at Patti Peeters' House ~ Donation Made to Patti Peeters' "Yes, In My Backyard" Art Auction

June 07, 2007

Kudos to BlogHer

UpwardarrowBlogHer has announced an exciting new activism initiative that has the potential to rally tens of thousands of women bloggers in powerful, positive ways -- BlogHersAct.

It's a natural for an organization that was created to bring women bloggers together online.

This is the logical next step: asking them to work collectively to raise awareness of important issues and causes as the need arises (and there's always a need).

I predict that the initiative will have an important spinoff effect: helping women to raise their voices (political and otherwise) in the off-line world so that we have a more gender-balance dialogue about what it will take to fix the very real problems in today's world and the world our children will inherit.

Yeah, BlogHer! And welcome, BlogHersAct!

June 04, 2007

Mars and Venus at the Polling Booth

WomanmanarrowsAccording to the latest Ipsos-Reid poll, Mars and Venus don't see eye to eye when it comes to Canadian politics:

By gender, men favour the Conservatives (39%) over the Liberals (27%) by a 12-point margin, while women prefer the Liberals (34%) over the Conservatives (29%) by a five-point margin. The NDP draws higher support among women (17%) than among men (15%), while the Bloc (men, 9%; women, 10%) and Green Party (men, 8%; women, 9%) divide their support more equally between men and women.

June 03, 2007

Taking Back the Big Box Stores


I love the idea of this project -- and the grassroots community work that has taken place to give Julia Christensen something to document in her project How Communities Are Reusing the Big Box:

"Since the spring of 2004, [Julia Christensen] has traveled over 75,000 miles around the country in her car, visiting the sites and meeting the people who are transforming empty Wal-Mart buildings, K-Mart buildings, Target buildings and more into useful structures for their community."

How inspiring!

Personal Outsourcing Latest Trend in Globalization: WSJ

GraffitiscissorsThe Wall Street Journal has identified a disturbing new trend in globalization -- "personal outsourcing". Increasingly, individual Americans are subcontracting tasks like tutoring and freelance office work to people in other countries. The reason? They don't have to pay these workers as much.

And what's even more disturbing is that "personal outsourcing" to other parts of the world is being promoted in some online communities as a smart way to buy household assistance. Never mind the fact that your next-door neighbor's tutoring business or secretarial service or web design company may not be around long because you're asking his company to compete with the $2 to $3/hr. wages you're paying to someone on the other side of the world. That's not your problem....right?

June 01, 2007

Republish or Perish

Flyerfinala_2It's an unprecedented rights grab amongst book publishers -- a contract so bad that the Authors Guild is launching a campaign today at Book Expo America to tell authors everything they need to know about the new Simon & Schuster book publishing contract.

Update, 11:30 am

Simon & Schuster executives yesterday apologized for "any early miscommunication" regarding reversion of rights, according to the Association of Authors' Representatives (the literary agents' organization).  S&S is willing to negotiate a "revenue-based threshold" to determine whether a book is in-print, says the AAR.

Simon & Schuster's new position reflects substantial movement from their initial stance, but it raises many questions, including (1) whether revenues would be measured by income to the publisher or the author, (2) what level of revenues would meet the threshold, and (3) how unagented authors (particularly children's book authors) would fare under this policy.

We're off to BEA.  More details certainly to come.

Feel free to post and forward this message.  The Authors Guild (www.authorsguild.org) is the nation's oldest and largest organization of published authors.