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it came out of the wordwork

Rain first, now wind
We had a quiet Christmas Eve, resorting to a toast and our first two episodes of The Last Airbender, or Avatar ... and we also had some fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and a cannoli ... the cannoli since I couldn't find any mincemeat pie at local stores -- the big grocery usually go to said "they were phased out last year" ...

In the meanwhile, I continue keeping up as best I can with Haysus the Asus while the big machine will reluctanly let me find the CMOS set-up almost anything else falls victim to the Sony built in rescue partition's intevention ... I'm goign to download (via Rolanni's machine) one of the Linux rescue disks and see if that will get me in to the dernned thing ...

In case you *didn't* notice the first thing I rescued from the big-box-back-up files was chapter 38 of Theo Waitley's Saltation adventure, which has been a up online a few days now.... But the melt-down has cramped my plans for Theo since I also have a big-honking hardcopy of Longeye to proof in the next three days, and we still have Christmas dinner and a few visits to do....

Which brings up the eternal question: why is it that editors *always* send proof materials out just before holidays and want them back just after holidays, meaning that the authors have to proof "through" holidays to get them done? We've even seen writers who go to conventions during holidays reduced to doing page proofs *during panels and convention meals* in order to make things happen...

On another matter of interest if not importance, I'm wondering if there's a need for a "we support readers" site promoting independent and used bookstores in the US. I mention this because there is an ill-thought call on the part of some writers to make used bookstores pay royalties on sales of used books. Aside from the simple nightmare of accounting, there's also the matter of fairness ... who would actually get paid - the authors or the publishers? In that case, should used car dealers forward royalties to GM? If I sell my used Subaru should I send a check to Japan?

Umm ... the doctrine of first sale covers it -- used records, books, shoes, cars, drumsets, computers, Barbie Dolls, salt shakers, kitchen knives, and all of those things are real property and once sold can be disposed of --resold, given away, bequeathed and all that, by the new owner.

Me -- as a writer I think a reader who no longer wants or needs a book should be able to sell it, and a store owner should be able to retail used goods without oceans of paperwork or computer filing.

From a practical standpoint, for me and us, when one publisher gave up on us, it was the used bookstores that hand-sold our used books and kept us in front of readers, and when we went to conventions we autographed thousands of used books ... for readers who wanted more. So, we support used bookstores, we sign used books at conventions, bookstores, and fleamarkets. Readers deserve the opportunity, especially in these times when jobs and cash are at a premium, to buy a used book. Yes we need to sell new books, too,but used book dealers are not taking food out of our pockets.

Merry Christmas, Good Yule, Happy Holidays .. read a book this week!