Monday, June 30, 2008

Stinz Novel

Hokay. I got that Stinz novel thing revised and uploaded at my Lulu page.

I've just ordered a hard copy to proof. AGAIN. I've informed Bowker that the new 13-number ISBN will replace the former version's.

The price for Lulu's version is the Marketplace price. I'm seriously thinking about giving direct-market readers (my site orders) a serious discount. Which I just did, at The Little Store.

410 pages, 28 illustrations. I've removed the "thou" form. Ya gotta love Open Office Spellcheck/replace. Though it created weird stuff like "woryoury" and "Yough" I had to hunt down and kill. And all the 'sts'.

And I finally have a beginning I like. As much as a writer ever does.

And shouldn't a novel about war have a red cover? I think so.

Whose Viewpoint IS this, Anyway?

A reader I'm writing Peach fanfic for and I are jes' talkin':

D: Yes, the "Whose viewpoint IS this?" question will cause much fun.

E: Yep, I think that works well with this one. Definitely should be fun. :>

D: It seems to be a hard rule in American fiction that ONE VIEWPOINT MUST BE ESTABLISHED and NEVER CHANGED (what's up with that?).

E: Well, for most writers and stories, it works better that way. I mean, most folks are hard pressed to get one decent viewpoint established. *grin*

D: Movies and prose books do that. Comics and TV swap all over the place!

E: Yeah, but most folks just don't pull it off well. It works for you, though.

D Well, since characters/ narrators could be misinformed, lying, gossiping, unconcerned, angry, frightened, amused, horny or just dingbats -- how does a reader know which to trust? Maybe most writers can't separate their characters in their own heads. One character's head isn't like the next one's.

The same writers totally freak out when I point out that ALL characters are just pieces of the author. Jeeze, who did they THINK was shoving the pen or tapping the keys? We only have our own viewpoint. It's fun to recognize that's true of the characters, too.

If the characters are ALIVE, why is it a problem? Don't they all have unions? Don't they all wake us up in the middle of the night all excited with crap like, "Ooh! Ooh! Guess how I'm gonna die!"?* I wouldn't trust these guys to keep my bar tab. Especially my bar tab.

*See the Desert Peach's Field Bishop in Bread And Swans.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


The Multi-talented Lou Scarborough now has his own amazing BLOG.

It's called "Scorboropolis."

If you are a fan of the most gorgeous, clean, chiseled pencils, go look. Lou is an old hand in the animation world, and it shows.

Who Dis Stinz?

Seems there's a band out there called "Stinz."

Hmmm.... Now how do I link up so we both sell more?

Any of my street-team geek readers, please contact me at donnabarr at hotmail dot com.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Latest Layout

After the last computer crash, I am learning how to use Open Office to lay out a whole book, including illustrations and different sections.

Open Office even has all the drawing tools I need (both my brother and I consider the eraser function to be a white brush).

Screw these expensive, complicated programs that work only with PC or Mac, but never heard of the other. Who needs this crap?

Open Office is DA BOMB.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My booky goodness

Another great store carrying my stuff: Things From Another World.

Go see their easy-to use site!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Binding, My Ass

What can the internet do? Shall we see? I once offered this language to an animation-industry artist, and after thinking a moment, she said, "They'd jump at it! No lawyers!"

So here we go.

"THIS contract shall be binding on ALL movie studios, publishers and all other middle-men who sign contracts with me. If it's between the quotes on this posting -- and you sign a contract with me after this date -- this contract is binding upon you. You are responsible to find and understand this contract in conjunction with any contract with me. This is a public blog. Hereafter:

"This is a contract binding upon all movie studios with whom I (as understood by the artist/writer/ Donna Barr, born in 1952 and Not From Earth) shall henceforth negotiate for use of my work:

If any studio shall wish to use my (see I) work in movie/s, for t-shirts and other tchatskis or internet shenanigans, send $4 million dollars to an off-shore account in my name and then go away and never bother me any more. If you wish to contact me again, every contact -- in voice, flesh, pixels or throwing one of those fuzzy green tennis balls for my dog (I'll get one) -- shall be billed at $1 million per contact.

The same goes for any publisher (you know who you are) who wants my copyright. You're lucky I don't make this retroactive."

For those of you who are getting those manga-based contracts that demand copyright, just remember this: if they can't afford to buy your copyright, they can't afford to sue you. I didn't say "Take the money and run," but you get the idea.

Hey, we didn't start this. We just want to draw and write stuff and not end up on the street when we're old.

(For those of you who are not my readers, this is supposed to be be funny.)

Chinese Bathroom Instructions

I recently received a contract that looked like Chinese bathroom instructions in English.

I was trying to rewrite it to at least make some of it make sense, when the scrambled prepositions, invented verbs and incomplete sentences made me snap: "What the hell am I doing? Don't they have lawyers to write these things? Don't they get paid for this language? If I turned in a script like this a publisher would make paper airplanes out of it."

Then I realized that this contract had never been written by anybody who spoke English. It was probably a bad translation from an anime or manga contract. Since not all Asian countries are signatories of the Berne Convention, a contract written without consideration of its requirements could land both publisher and author in a signatory country in a big chocolate-colored mess.

Look, contracts are not that hard. I've written completely binding contracts in a single page, and that included the signature blocks. For four-figure jobs. Here's the trick: the longer and sloppier the contract, the more loopholes. The shorter, dryer and more clear, the better for everybody. Better to say what IS allowed than what ISN't allowed. "Reasonable" is a good contract word. Nobody can "absolutely" or "completely" anything (any of us writing contracts with gods?). Stay out of the deep water if all you need is wading rights. Stick to plain language and keep it short.

Don't drive yourselves -- author or publisher -- crazy trying to write language the lawyers should know how to write. Do either of you get paid like a lawyer?

I didn't think so.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hector and the Herd

Crash and Bounce


Nearly had the Stinz novel laid out, when the puter crashed. I hadn't saved it onto the backup that day.

Not a LOT of screaming.

Am now laying it out without the damn "thou" forms. TRY to find all that language. Thank Gods for Find/Replace function in Open Office.

Once I have it up at Lulu, I'm never touching it again. Except to turn it into Courier and send it to another publisher. I've had it with the damn thing.

Now I have to get the newest AFTERDEAD scanned and ready to go. I finally finished all the pages for 1.3.

And now I can get all those scans for the BIG Desert Peach collection ready for Lulu. I'll check out publishers, too, to see if they'll take it for a Telephone Book. Lulu only allows 470 pages at a time -- which makes four books in the Final Collection.

In the meantime, I'm going to be writing a Desert Peach fanfic, for a specific genre. Yes, I'll write fanfic on my own stuff. 25 cents a page. And you just have to be ready for the fact that I am a hard-mouthed writer; if you send me what you want, you never know where it will go.

But that's a good thing.

My Map

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hurricane Doris

Aline's dog Doris ate her copy of "Pithed."

Aline says: "If you're moving up into documentation, future Neo-Doris revisionists may argue that the first picture I sent you is merely an example of a possible situation and is not directly relevant to the case in question."

"Of course, they'll probably also argue that I 'Shopped this one...."

If you have your own Desert Peach lovin' dog, there's always the "Little Store," over there to your left. Fruit may be good for the puppies but not this kind.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Eagle Takes Seagull

Took time out to write an article for Associated Content; Eagle attacks seagull.