Novel in a Month, Round Two

Two years ago I spent the month of November hammering away at my computer, eventually cranking out 50,000 words and my first novel, Downtown Dandelions. It was all a part of National Novel Writing Month.

This year I’m doing it again.

Starting tomorrow I’ll be trying to write 1,667 words per day of my new novel, Turn Left at the Blacktop (that’s my working title). You can follow along online if you like, though I don’t expect the read-as-I-go experience to be brilliant reading. But there will probably be more updates over there than over here, so that’s something.

Continue reading Novel in a Month, Round Two

I Get Kind of Weird

When my wife goes out of town I get kind of weird. I work too hard. I watch too much TV. I eat too much junk. I stay up too late.

It’s a window into an alternate universe where I never got married and I never became a father and I just became more and more introverted, typing these incoherent ramblings into a machine so late at night.

Let me tell you. That’s one path I’m glad I didn’t take.

Continue reading I Get Kind of Weird

Online Video, Podcasting & Copyrights

So I was pondering some copyright issues. With the proliferation of user-created content there is all sorts of potential copyright infringement going on. The most obvious use (or misuse) seems to be music. So if I’ve got a podcast and I want to play a U2 song to open it, can I do that? Or do I need to track down the appropriate permissions or pay for the appropriate licenses? Or is that only necessary if I’m making money off the podcast? Same goes for online video. Let’s say I make a video of my daughter, and run a song in the background. Do I need permissions or liceneses for that? Does it matter if it’s for personal use or if I put it online? Does it matter if I’m making money it?

And it seems like everybody’s doing it. That doesn’t make it OK, but it does mean there’s a need for some helpful answers.

But I can never find those answers–at least not basic answers. Creative Commons has a Podcasting Legal Guide that may have the answer, but I got lost and bored before I found it.

So does anybody have the answer? Or are all the podcasters and online video people just infringing left and right and inviting lawsuits?