Gimme rewrite

Rachel Ann Nunes has written forty-six novels and published thirty-seven of them. I have to figure somebody thought ripping off just one of them would go unnoticed. Somebody was wrong:

[A]n anonymous author on the Internet, who is known only by a logo and a fake name, had plagiarized my novel, A Bid for Love (formerly entitled Love to the Highest Bidder), which is the first of a trilogy.

It has been verified by four separate readers that Sam Taylor Mullens did, indeed, add steamy scenes to The Auction Deal, her revised version of my Christian novel, and claimed it as her own. Her subsequent emails to different people and contradicting statements online while trying to cover her tracks has shown a definite intent to do fraud. This path she has followed is far more outlandish than any novel I’ve ever read.

Fiction will never be as strange as truth. (No, I didn’t just make that up.)

Oh, and the advance reader copies of Mullens’ book?

When Mullens heard of my contacting the reviewers directly, she immediately requested that all the reviewers delete the ARC.

This is not the action of a person proud to defend her own work, if you know what I mean.

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A pretty good call

A vision of (some of) the future:

Unfortunately, morning email is still a chokepoint.

Well, at least he didn’t mention flying cars.

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Serving suggestion for March 15th

Caesar dressing by Kraft, stabbed in the back

(A reddit find from Miss Cellania.)

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A shortage of pixie dust

Is the economy well and truly dead? Well, no. But it’s fading. Think Tinker Bell, if Tink had to contend with the Federal Reserve:

The economy is an area in which belief equals reality or, at least, belief has an important effect on behavior which produces the reality. That’s what John Maynard Keynes referred to as “animal spirits”, an important force in pulling economies out of recessions.

Welcome to roadkill. Where did all the spirited critters go?

Whatever his failing, Bill Clinton was a relentless and indefatigable cheerleader for the economy. His confidence built confidence in others… George W. Bush didn’t have that same quality and neither does Barack Obama.

Of course, neither W. nor BHO had the benefit of various 90s booms, and neither of them could conceive of a budget that wasn’t deeply in the red. And Clinton had had hard-nosed Congressional Republicans of the Newt Gingrich stripe who kept the pressure on. Today’s GOP, by comparison, has a collective proboscis made of rubber baby buggy bumpers or something.

And whatever Bill did in the 90s won’t redound to Hillary’s credit in 2016, since nobody can imagine her as a cheerleader, for the economy or for anything else.

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A conspiracy of northpaws

This post by Robert Stacy McCain has drawn over five dozen comments so far, of which this one by TheOtherAndrewB is my favorite:

Since the annual Airing of Grievances has come early this year, why don’t we move on to the REALLY important stuff? Only 2% of Americans are gay, but fully 10% are left-handed. How DARE we assume that this constitutes a majority! Sure, 90% is bigger than 10% in your cis-handed world, but that is just oppressive dexteronormative thinking. We should allow (and by allow, I mean force) children to experience the rich diversity of left-handedness. Make all children wear an enormous iron mitten on their right hands until age 18. And, while we are at it, lets force every manufacturer of doorknobs, light bulbs, sporting equipment, cars, industrial machinery and computers to reverse everything they make. At no cost to the consumer and with no unintended consequences.

Ned Flanders was not availididdlyable for comment.

(Why, yes, I do seem to be mentioning light bulbs a lot these days.)

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No place to wear a star

Although I don’t believe that should disqualify him:

An 87-year old man is running for sheriff in Washington state because sometimes, as he says, letters seeking change are just not enough.

Dave Olinger of Oak Harbor, located about 90 miles northwest of Seattle, is a man of his word and convictions and, oh yeah, a nudist.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Heck, Joe Biden is alleged to be a skinnydipper.

Olinger’s problem with the incumbent?

Olinger, who has a political science degree from UC Berkeley, said the incumbent sheriff, Mark Brown, was running unopposed and as a Republican.

“It is a position that is not supposed to be associated with a political party,” Olinger said.

And so Sheriff Brown will be primaried. Washington State has an open primary, so Olinger’s political affiliation is not germane:

Olinger was first going to try and get on the ticket as a member of the nudist party, but later decided the Democratic Party worked just fine, he said.

“I would do a good job for the county,” he said. “I have a real chance of at least making the [general election] ticket.”

In other news, apparently there’s some sort of nudist party. I had no idea the Body Freedom Collaborative might actually hold political-party status.

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Does whatever he does

This, I think, was inevitable:

Similarly, Woody Allen in Without Feathers:

The great roe is a mythological beast with the head of a lion and the body of a lion, though not the same lion.

No doubt other semi-hybrid creatures exist, or can be presumed to exist.

Addendum: No way I could pass this up:

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County of Kings

A Facebook friend in Brooklyn, looking for new digs, posted this image, perhaps to show us out here in the provinces what he’s up against:

Affordable Housing in NYC

For some of us, this is a definition of “affordable” with which we are not familiar. I’m sure it’s worse in Manhattan, assuming there are units like this to be had in Manhattan.

If you’re a sophisticated urbanite, by the definition used by sophisticated urbanites to separate themselves from those rubes out in the ‘burbs, this is what you get for that kind of money in the 405. (My little house on the edge of the Loop runs, um, rather a lot less.)

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Would you have any grey coupons?

“The bad news for news isn’t over,” says Jeff Jarvis:

The last best category of advertising in newspapers is the distribution of FSIs, free-standing inserts — circulars and coupons — which by one account adds up to 30-50 percent of newspapers’ retail advertising (though retail advertising continues to plummet). The last, best reason to keep printing and distributing a newspaper is FSIs. When you see papers cut frequency of printing or distribution to a few days a week, those are not hot news days; those are the days that bring FSIs and their revenue.

I’ve been saying here for some time that FSIs will go away. About two years ago, I asked a big-box retailer that makes much money from its circulars (from charging brands for presence in them) how long it would be before the circulation of print newspapers would fall below critical mass. The reply: 24-36 months. Note how long ago that was.

A typical Sunday Oklahoman has maybe 110 pages of actual broadsheet; all the rest (except for Parade, I suppose) is FSI. The classifieds, once 60-70 pages, are now down to 16. I’m not sure what mass is considered “critical,” but I do know that thirty years ago, they were moving twice as many papers, and those papers were 50 percent thicker.

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If only I knew

Usually I can snap off an answer to these Yahoo! questioners in nothing flat. This one left me baffled:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: What is Twilight Sparkle's cell phone number?

I mean, I figure she’d have enough trouble with a landline.

But no, there’s a reason for this:

you know how you can call a phone number and it will be an automated message? I wanted to call the number for my little sister cause she loves My Little Pony, its not half bad actually, so if anyone knows anything, please answer, thanks in advanced.

This I hadn’t heard. And all this time I’d believed her policy was “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

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Non-returnable, non-disposable

This never, ever happened with a 59-cent GE SoftWhite 60-watt:

Fortunately, I still have a couple of dozen of those ancient devices.

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Mineral wrongs

This seems like it could be just a simple mixup, but nothing in the energy biz is simple anymore:

A Hancock County [WV] couple whose mineral rights were used without their knowledge as collateral for a $500 million loan have filed suit against Chesapeake Energy affiliates, claiming Chesapeake’s debt was improperly recorded as a lien against their property.

Homeowners John and Jacqueline Bird of New Manchester filed the suit in Hancock County Circuit Court, saying the enormous lien has imperiled their ability as property owners to buy, sell or borrow against their property, “thereby depreciating its market value, restricting plaintiffs’ full use and enjoyment of the property, and hindering plaintiffs’ rights …”

The suit, which seeks class action status, also claims the landsman who arranged the deal, Chris Turner, prepared, explained and modified legal documents, including leases, even though he was not an attorney.

Says counsel for the plaintiffs:

[T]he Birds signed “what they thought were leases, though there’s a question (now) whether it was a lease or an option. They signed it because they hoped to get some royalties… What they didn’t know or understand because it was never told to them was that their lease would become collateral for a $500 million loan, that there would be a lien on the property of every person who is in the class.”

Which could be as many as five hundred.

Chesapeake, perhaps not surprisingly, has petitioned to move the case to U.S. District Court.

(Via Cheri Campbell.)

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New morning at Dawn

Dawn Eden and I go back many years, and by “many years” I mean a duration long enough for us to have gotten out of touch for several, somewhere in the midst of it. I can tell you, based on personal experience, that she’s an inveterate punster and a wonderful dinner companion. But for the rest of what she’s been up to, you’re going to have to read this piece at GetReligion, which explains not only how she got it but what she did with it.

And this, she says, is the bottom line:

[H]aving put in years in New York City newsrooms, not to mention decades as a rock music historian, I know the value of a free press, and I want to see mainstream journalists produce accurate, fair, balanced reporting on faith issues. That’s why I am here at GetReligion.

Her blog continues at The Dawn Patrol.

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It crawled into my ear, honest

The Friar may be sticking his fingers in his ears about now:

Over at Today I Found Out, a writer explores some of the reasons that songs become earworms, and I imagine those same music folks have pored over these ideas to see what kind of combination of catchiness, repetition, hook and whatever else you can think of actually makes a song something that you can’t get out of your head.

The problem for them is that no two heads are alike (except maybe for Vice President Joe Biden and Peanut), so the triggers that will make a song stick in my head are not necessarily the triggers that will make one stick in your head. Even if the triggers are the same, the qualities that trip those triggers might not be. I may be an unreconstructed punk who will start bobbing my head and drumming out a rhythm on the armrest at “I Was Wrong” or “Bad Luck.” You may be a later music lover who has the same reaction to a Tony Bennett/Lady Gaga duet (in which case may the Lord and all of his angels help you before it’s too late). The point is that a record company that wants to find a formula for a hit can’t make a song that will cause both of us to click on iTunes and demand it take our money.

In my own defense, I do know my own weaknesses. I’m just … I mean, this is exhausting.

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With tremulous cadence slow

One regular feature in The Week is called Wit & Wisdom; it’s simply a small collection of Famous Quotes that have appeared recently in the media they mine for excerpts. I’ve swiped several of them for the sidebar, in fact.

What’s interesting is not so much the quotes themselves, many of which are overly familiar by now, but the description, or in some cases lack thereof, attached to the original speaker. In the current issue (8 August, #680), they assume you know Henry David Thoreau, Will Rogers, Andy Rooney, Groucho Marx, and Matthew Arnold, and don’t know Muriel Spark and Douglas Adams, who are identified as “novelists.”

In a better, or at least more literate, world, we’d recognize Spark and Adams right off the bat. But I admit to being somewhat relieved that it’s assumed we know Matthew Arnold, Victorian poet, who in this seemingly post-poetic world might be overlooked just for being a (1) Victorian (2) poet.

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I haz several sads

The function of sadtweets.com:

The website scans through your Twitter feed and then shows you, one by one, all the tweets that nobody favorited or retweeted, one tweet at a time. The tweets zoom toward you slowly, inescapable in their awfulness, one after another, ceaselessly. Prepare to shake your head at your repeated Twitter defeats and wonder where you went so, so wrong.

You can try out Sad Tweets here. Unfortunately, you can view only your own Twitter feed’s saddest tweets at the moment; hopefully soon you will be able to view the saddest tweets of your friends and colleagues, so that you can mock them and make yourself feel a little better about your own failures. (Or, you know, commiserate with them.)

I’d guess that somewhere around half my tweets received neither retweet nor favorite; this would mean that I’d have to sit through around 25,000 of the darn things. No thanks. They weren’t all that wonderful to begin with.

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