On Saturday night, around 4 am, I started reorganising bookshelves. It seemed like the thing to do, since I’d been studiously not-sleeping for five hours after going to bed.
Bookcases are one of the places where mess accumulates in my flat, largely because there’s so many of the damn things and I’ve developed a bad habit of taking things down, reading a couple of paragraphs, then putting them back somewhere else. What starts as a workable system quickly devolves over time, and every couple of years I have to start from scratch and reorganize the entire system.
The whole process tends to start around 4 AM, ’cause insomnia is my response to doing to much and thinking too much and generally feeling like things are out of control. Reordering shelves is my way of figuring out what is and isn’t important in my life, and everything goes on from there. It’s a mental reset, fighting back against my natural tendency towards entropy.
So far I’ve got two shelves down. There are many, many more to go.
I mention this primarily because my friend Alan, and possibly my dad, were interested in knowing when the issue of Weird Tales with my story in it was available. And it now seems as though Weird Tales #357 is out in the world, and when all your friends are Lovecraft geeks this is about as cool as it gets.
This has been doing the rounds of twitter and facebook recently, but for those behind the curve: a guy tries to sell “a story to topple Star Wars and Harry Potter” on ebay with a starting bid of $3,000,000.
There’s also a pretty good take-down of his sales pitch over at Bleeding Cool, but essentially what’s going on is a new iteration of an old conversation that goes something along the lines of “oh, wow, you’re a writer? I’ve got a great idea, let me sell it to you and we can split the money it earns once you’ve written it.”
For those of you out there with a great idea: please don’t do this. It irritates writers and perpetuates the myth that ideas are somehow all it takes, rather than work and persistence and the occasional stroke of luck
Most writers will reply with something along the lines of “ah-huh, great, but I’m a little busy right now,” after which the writer walks away and mock you with their writer-friends, who understand that ideas are the cheap part of the equation and worth very little until someone builds a book/movie around them.
When you try to sell your idea on ebay for large sums of money, it just means you’ll be mocked in public. The internets are like that, sometimes. So are writers, really. I suspect we’re subconsciously bitter about the fact that our career is so frequently undervalued, both socially and monetarily, that the three million asking price is like a red cape to a bull.
I tweeted this a little earlier this morning, largely ’cause I suspect there’s more gamers following my twitter/facebook feeds than there are following this blog, but just in case I’m wrong: RPGnow is raising funds for the NZ Earthquake victims. Folks who donate $20 get a bundle of over $320 RPG/gaming ebooks donated by gaming publishers.
This is, as they say, a good cause worth supporting and the RPG ebook community has been very successful with such things in the past (and a tip of the hat to Melinda, who comments here occasionally, for giving me the heads up).