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All posts for the month August, 2014

The Death of my Childhood

Published 12/08/2014 by Lily Crussell

Turning on my computer this morning, I was stunned into stillness. Robin Williams is dead, potentially from suicide. I honestly don’t even know where to start with this as that man is responsible for more laughter and joy than I can possibly say. ‘Jumanji’, ‘Hook’, ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ and ‘Aladdin’ were my childhood. I remember watching ‘Mork and Mindy’ in the 80s, my dad listening to ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ excepts in the car. ‘Awakenings’ was shown in Drama class and stayed with all of us long after. ‘What Dreams May Come’ had me sobbing more times than I’d like to admit and I watched it until the tape wore through. ’24 Hour Photo’ was one of the creepiest things I’d seen, and I was in awe that it was the same person who could make me laugh so.

I know people die everyday; heroes, villains, the good and the bad, but this man was such a huge part of my life that it didn’t ever really occur to me that he was mortal.

The one lesson that should be taken from this is the powerlessness and hell that depression is. Go hug your friends, your family and tell them you love them as even the brightest star can be hiding hell of a lot of pain despite a big smile. As a sufferer myself I have nothing but awe that he was able to be so much to so many whilst fighting such a hard battle with his own demons.

You will be missed Sir
RIP.

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Tiny Author vs Giant Companies

Published 11/08/2014 by Lily Crussell

I was just sent an email (it can be found online here; http://www.readersunited.com/)
about a dispute between Amazon and Hachette about low e-book pricing. I admittedly have no idea of what it concerns and as I have no dealing with Hachette, had heard nothing about it.

From what I can tell (I skim read it) Hachette isn’t allowing Amazon to charge what it wants for e-books. In the email they essentially ask authors to write to Hachette and tell them they’re wrong. Me, tiny author with no dealings with huge publisher, is being lobbied to contact a HUGE company. Amazon is massive, Hachette is massive and you want lil ole me to get involved?

The email preaches about how lower e-book prices mean ‘helping the e-book culture’ among other things, but I feel they are missing some serious points;

-E-Books are taxed, paperbacks are not.
-An e-book is no less work for the author, the same effort and energy goes into it.
-Authors are always the ones that get screwed for THEIR work and their creativity.
-Amazon is notorious for trying to cut prices at the cost of the author. Due to its size Amazon can INSIST on lower prices which means less bookshops, less money for authors, publishers etc.

Now I don’t make diddly on my work on Amazon. My e-book maybe gets me about £3 every couple of months, and the story I submitted for the compilation has all the profits going to charity BUT I don’t agree with any huge corporation getting such a large say in a person’s creativity. They’re not the ones spending hours pouring their hearts out onto paper (or screens!) and all the other fun that comes from the writing process. They deal with the finished product (i.e when all the work is done) and some how take the lion’s share (In lion society, the females hunt, the males are lazy and do very little, it’s a good term to use!) whilst the authors seem to get very little.

I also fail to understand how such a huge entity is trying to enlist us teeny tiny artists in THEIR fight.

Basically, from what I can understand, Amazon wants authors to get EVEN LESS by putting the prices down EVEN MORE. They ‘justify’ this by saying cheaper books mean more sales, but this is of no benefit to someone who has to make a living from selling the things.
As a consumer, lower prices are good, but as an author there has to be a balance. I am in awe of a world where EVERYONE else is making more money from a body of work than the artist is.

Anyhoo, that’s my rant for the day. Check out the letter in the link above and see what you think.

Here’s a cute picture to calm me down from that epic rawring!

cookie

cute

Misrepresentation of one of my Muses

Published 08/08/2014 by Lily Crussell

Lucifer in Chains – Paul Fryer

I love Lucy, I can’t deny it. Despite the bad press, I have to agree with him; Humans suck, and to put them above angels is a crazy thing to do. Having written about him in ‘Of Darkness and Light’ I am aware of the charisma of Lucifer (he was only supposed to be in a brief scene, but wouldn’t allow it to happen!) and maintain that he is just misunderstood.

Ok, being serious now, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for Lucifer (my version) and whilst this sculpture is amazing, to me Lucifer is beautiful. His name means ‘Light bringer’ or ‘Morning Star’ and as such would be beautiful. He is always mentioned as tempting people into sin etc, and to do so would have to be physically appealing. This sculpture shows him to be ugly, and that makes me a little sad.

Anyhoo, enjoy this awesomeness.

Beware the Con Artists

Published 06/08/2014 by Lily Crussell

I entered a poetry competition a while back (I enter a lot and tend to forget about them) and recently received an email stating that my poem had been well liked and I would hear more via a letter within 4 weeks.
To me, that seems like an odd time frame. Had I won, I’d assume contact would be immediate. I also had a message left on my phone stating the same thing; no actual information given, just the promise of a letter. I didn’t call them back as I assumed the letter would be with me in days.

Today the letter came and I’m so angry. My poem didn’t win anything, but ‘made it to the short list’ so they wanted to include it in their new anthology. This would be all well and good…except they will be making money from MY WORK, and I have to pay £20 if I want a copy. £20 FOR MY OWN WORK. And to add to the fun, I can have my profile included if I pay another £17. If I buy 3 or more copies the price will be halved.

They’re missing a very serious point here. NO ONE pays that for a best selling book, so why would they pay it for poetry? They wouldn’t. They want the people featured to buy copies for friends and family etc.

I’ve been researching the ‘company’ (after not being impressed that their mailing address was an ‘admail’ one) to find that they’re notorious for this type of thing. One author submitted a poem that she knew was inferior just to see the response…and it was ‘selected’ to enter the anthology.

I went through this bull with ‘Mystic’ Press, the press that never was. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

I don’t know if I’m allowed to print the name of the ‘press’ company as I really have no desire to be sued, but I do want you all to be aware of this type of thing happening.