Posts

Showing posts from 2011

Today Feels Like a Thousand Days Before

December 1 is never a good day for me. Never.  Today is World AIDS Day and a day when not only do I remember, but I sit back and think about how things are different now.  If they are.  And since today is the 24th World AIDS Day in a year in which it's been 30 years since the first reported case of AIDS, it's a day for people of my generation to reflect.

And reflection for me is not easy.
When AIDS first came to my notice, I was a teenager.  In the early days, the media called it 'gay cancer' -- straight up, on television news programs and magazines.  And as a kid in Tennessee, the concepts involved were at first hard to understand.  When I graduated in 1984 from a still-small Tennessee high school, I was unprepared for what the next few years would bring.
At first, AIDS and HIV were problems in the cities with big gay communities and freer moral standards.  I learned about it like many kids my age did--through the media.  But as I matured and moved into professional t…

Giving Thanks--It Ain't As Hard As You Think

Let's see--what am I thankful for this year?

I could go through the whole usual litany of "things Celina is grateful for in 2011" but I'm sure you'd be bored.  The list is short and...well, quite frankly, you guys don't read my blog to see what I'm being nice about.  You want to see what's pissing me off.  So let's head to the top of the list, shall we?
I hate divas.
Now, I realize that's strange coming from a girl who worked in theater AND in drag shows for a long time, but it's the God-honest truth.  You know all the awards show speeches that thank the "little people?"  Well, who are the "little people" in publishing?
The cover artist. The content editor. The line editor. The proofreader. The book designer. The marketing people. The bookkeeper. The review coordinator.  The list goes on and on and on.  A whole lot of people go into creating a book.  Sure--the writer is responsible for the lion's share of it; after …

What To Write, What To Write...?

I just spent fifteen minutes looking for an appropriate quote for my blog today.  

Unfortunately, every quote I considered had something to do with not being able to write. Probably not the best thing to write about--not being able to write--and yet, a strangely familiar thing for me at the moment.  
I've never had any problems sitting down and putting words on paper.  Sometimes, those words even made sense. Frequently, those words formed themselves into sequential stories.  And in the end, no matter whether I have my writer's hat or my editor's hat on, the stories are what drive me in all aspects of my life. 
Which makes my life pretty damn cool.
Except that right now, I'm finding it difficult to make the time to write.  All those 20 hour, 20,000 word days are now 20 hour, 20,000 (slight exaggeration for literary effect) email days. My editing time has taken away my writing time, save for...well, now.  Three a.m.  The house is quiet, my inboxes are clean-ish.  I open …

Journalist And Newspaper Gone Bad

The reporter that was bugging me for details about AMP? The one that Teddi Pig posted the contact details for? His article went up at the Aurora Sentinel newspaper. The title of his "article?"

Battle Among Local PORN Authors Heats Up on Facebook As Aurora Publisher Goes Mum.
Porn?  PORN?  What the HELL?  I don't write PORN.  I don't edit PORN.  In fact, during my tenure at AMP, I never saw a PORN book go through the pipes.  PORN and EROTICA are two entirely different genres, types of book, and markets. AMP didn't publish PORN.  AMP published science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance w/o sex, romance w/sex, erotica, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, action/adventure, paranormal romances.
And yet, this "journalist," Brandon Johanssen, didn't mention that in the title of his article.  Oh no--instead, he compounded the misery of AMP authors by calling them all PORN authors.  
PORN?
Dude--are you really SO ignorant that you don't know the difference be…

Breaking My Word About Aspen Mountain Press

Yeah, yeah--I really thought I was done.  There are a lot of things I could be blogging about, but this one is sticking in my craw.

Since all this mess started, Sandra Hicks has been maintaining a low profile.  The splash page on the AMP website reads:

The Aspen Mountain Press web site is temporarily suspending operations.Over the past five years we've demanded high standards in all areas of the company from authors to editors to administrators.  Due to the current health of the owner these standards have not been met.We'd like to thank you for your support and patronage over this past half decade and apologize for any inconveniences this decision causes.
Due to the current health of the owner...

Makes it sound really bad, doesn't it?  Like the situation is dire?

Well, then let's take a look at the owner, Sandra Hicks, and her personal Facebook page. Her personal Facebook page tells an entirely different story.  This Sandra Hicks doesn't seem to have many health pr…

Breaking News from Musa Publishing

Musa Publishing is proud to announce our acquisition of the entire collected works of American pulp fiction author and a pioneer in America speculative fiction--Homer Eon Flint. Best known for stories like The Emancipatrix, The Devolutionist, The Blind Spot (co-written with Austin Hall), The Lord of Death and The Queen of Life, Flint was an influential and popular writer who amazed readers with his flowing prose, his incredible vision, and his ability to create credible and vivid imagery that rolled out just like a film-which is good since he was doing film treatments as well.
At Musa, we believe that electronic publishing has value and uses other than just publishing. We believe that the archival ability of e-publishing allows us to better the literary world in general. These manuscripts have been stored away for almost a hundred years. Now they are going to see the light of day for the first time in some cases--and Homer Eon Flint's bibliography will increase accordingly.
The …

Why That Won't Work

To the individual who keeps spamming my blog with the same comment:

I, and everyone else involved is, well aware of what our options are for the AMP case.  I have already clearly stated in my blog posts, had you bothered to read them, that this was the case.  I do not need multiple postings of the SAME COMMENT to understand what my rights and options are, thank you very much. 
Probably a bit of a nasty surprise to find out my blog is moderated, yes?  But, since you seem intent on posting the SAME COMMENT even more, I'm terribly afraid I have marked you as spam. 
To the rest of the world:
We're going to try this one more time.  I WILL NOT DISCUSS legal issues on this blog.  I WILL NOT COMMENT FURTHER on AMP and the case around them. I WILL NOT PERMIT anyone to use this blog as the weapon for their own personal vendetta. 
I trust I have made myself clear?
We now return you to your regular NON-AMP status. Have a very nice day.

Updates 10/28/2011 --  To the commenter who doesn'…

Let's Talk About Writer Etiquette...

I'm not the nicest person in the world.  In fact, there are times that I'm one of the most foul-tempered people on the face of the earth.  But there's one thing I always am.

Courteous.
Never underestimate the Pavlovian tutorial that is growing up in the South.  I still say yes ma'am, no sir, thank you and please to anyone that might conceivably be my elder.  I hold doors open for people.  I moderate my language around people I don't know well. It's just ingrained in me. That courtesy is necessary for success in the publishing industry.
For example--last year one of my editors came to me with a problem author.  At first I couldn't understand what the problem was. Then I opened the manuscript.  If the writer disagreed with the editorial change or suggestion, he left snide, nasty, rude comments in the margins. I mean REALLY rude comments.  This author had a bachelor in the 1880s American West living in a 'pioneer' cabin with running water AND a sofa. S…

Breaking My Silence on Aspen Mountain Press--Part 3: Epilogue

I had to take a few days off and NOT think about Aspen Mountain Press. After all, I have my own business to think about and my own writing career.  But now, at the conclusion of a hellish week, I've decided to follow the links to my blog all over the internet and see what people were saying and thinking about what's happened at AMP.  As a result of that trek, there are a few things I want to discuss.

There seems to be a common thread among the comments that the AMP authors and staff are sitting back doing nothing.  That's about as far away from the truth as you can get.  
Stop and think for a minute. Would it be prudent or wise to discuss LEGAL actions on the internet?  Of course not. Why would anyone exploring legal avenues discuss their plans online, where not only people who are not involved can see them but the party against whom such actions would be taken?  Several of the AMP authors are attorneys, and an attorney had seen my documentation before I ever said a word.

Interesting Developments

This morning, I woke up to a threatening message left as a comment on my blog.

Now granted, there are several people I can think of right off the top of my head who might feel compelled to leave such a comment on my  blog. Obviously, considering the nature of my past few posts I would have been an idiot not to change my comments over to moderation. I tend to NOT be an idiot--at least, not all the time--so I was fortunate enough to weed that comment out in the skimmer.
*shrug*  I'm really only an idiot about silly things, like forgetting to turn the heat on last night when I knew the temperature was going to get down to the low forties. (in other words, it's damn cold in here this morning). But one thing I'm most definitely NOT an idiot about is how people behave.  Years of bartending kind of wean you off the surprise thing.  But even then, strange reactions are kind of acceptable in a way.  Someone can have a few too many and shoot off at the mouth without really meaning to …

Just When You Think You've Seen It All...

...some doofus comes along and convinces you otherwise.

After a couple of VERY hectic weeks dealing with Musa's launch and subsequent releases, all the AMP horrors, working on my own manuscripts and getting ready for World Fantasy Convention in San Diego next week, my sense of humor has pretty much evaporated.  Add in the fact that I turned forty-five a couple of days ago (quel horreur!), that Aurora the Regency line turned one, Aurora the toddler turns two tomorrow and my husband's birthday is Friday and it's no wonder that the only thing I laughed at today was a very unworthy thought that flitted around my mind about someone who wasn't there to defend themselves.  (Never fear--I jotted down the notes so I can incorporate that thought into a Jack the Ripper story coming soon near you!) 
At any rate, when I'm in a non-humorous mood I usually end up reading submissions.  Somehow, I've convinced my subconscious that I am less likely to contract a mediocre book wh…

Breaking The Silence on Aspen Mountain Press Part Two

Today's post will be much shorter.  The past couple of days have been very wearing on me. And I do have a business to run instead of forever worrying about what's going on with Aspen Mountain Press.

Here are Aspen Mountain Press's and owner Sandra Hicks's responses today.
1) Today the Aspen Mountain Press website went back online.  None of the out of contract books were taken down.  The site has not been updated.  AMP authors believe that after being served with a DMCA notice and having the site taken down, AMP has just moved to a new host.  
2) After her post of yesterday morning (that you can see here on my blog) where she assured the authors that she had the money to pay the authors, today she told an author that she actually has NO money to pay the authors and that she isn't worried about criminal charges because she hasn't done anything wrong.
3) One author received a rights reversion in the mail today, but when the site went back up all of her books were …

Breaking My Silence on Aspen Mountain Press

Originally, I'd planned to write a completely different blog post from the one I am now putting out there.  I was going to trace the history I have with Aspen Mountain Press and the disintegration of the business, ending with how and why the senior staff all walked out at the end of July.  But after a very disturbing post by AMP's owner, Sandra Hicks, on the AMP Authors yahoo loop this morning—a loop I and other authors to whom AMP owes a lot of money were banned from because we were too outspoken—I think it's better to just cut to the chase and then to go through some of her responses.  I believe it's essential that what is happening at AMP is brought fully into perspective.   And, since I have kept every email correspondence, every royalties report from AMP and third party sites, and chat transcripts of every staff meeting with Ms. Hicks this summer, I'm in a unique position.
I'm one of the few people in the world who knows exactly what happened to AMP and h…