SOPA/PIPA and John Milton’s Areopagitica

After much research, I decided to join yesterday’s Internet-wide protest of SOPA/PIPA.

On the surface, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP) are anti-piracy bills. Antipiracy is a good thing; it’s necessary, and when administered properly it protects artists, writers, musicians, etc. The problem with these bills is that they are so broadly written they go too far and allow for abusive control and censorship — not good things.

SOPA was shelved before yesterday’s protest, but it’s not dead yet. PIPA goes to vote on Tuesday, but support is fading fast. We do need antipiracy laws in place. We most certainly do, but not at the expense of free speech.

As I researched SOPA/PIPA, I remembered a post I did back in June 2010 on Areopagitica, John Milton’s passionate essay on the right to freedom of speech and expression.  I thought it was worth repeating:

Enjoy Freedom of Speech? Thank John Milton

For more details on SOPA or PIPA, this video from Fight for the Future does a great job explaining it.

Advertisements

Making the Time to be Quiet and Write

You write by sitting down
and writing.
Bernard Malamud

Sounds easy enough, but those of us who write know there’s more to it than that.  Endless distractions can pull us away from our writing.  Then a few days, turn into weeks, months, or more of not writing, and our initial excitement turns to dread.

The only way to break that cycle is to follow Mr. Malamud’s advice:

Sit down and write.

If you have a hard time motivating yourself to do that, join The Silent Writer’s Collective for a Silent Write-In, a weekly online writing retreat that helps writers put aside distractions and write.

By committing to a group effort, (think Weight Watchers or NaNoWriMo) many writers find it’s easier to stay motivated and reach goals.  Writing, as we’ve heard ad nauseum, is a solitary endeavor, but sharing our efforts with a group makes it easier, and can help us reach our writing goals.

Our next retreat is tomorrow night, Tuesday, January 17, at 9 PM EST (US), if there’s interest, we’ll also meet at 9 PM PST.  We start on time with a minute or two of hellos, then the “buzzer” sounds and we start writing.  You can work on your own writing project, or use one of the provided writing prompts or exercises to get started.

We meet via Twitter using the hashtag #SilentWriters. If you aren’t on Twitter, we have a group on Facebook. If you don’t have either, just join in on your own at 9, and know you’re not working out there on your own.

For more information, check out the SWC FAQs.

Monday Motivator: Dr. Seuss

Image reblogged from IM NOT TRYING TO IMPRESS YOU BUT I’M THE DOCTOR at Tumblr

 

Dr. Seuss, whose birthday is Wednesday (March 2, 1904), was the author of 44 children’s books, including “Green Eggs and Ham,” “The Cat in the Hat,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

◊ ◊ ◊

The Monday Motivator is a quote posted each week to encourage, inspire, and motivate writers of all skill levels and across genres.  If you have a favorite quote to share, let me know and I’ll post it here.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

Resources: Dr. Seuss, The Daily Post

A Thousand Words: New Treats

Image courtesy of Alison Scarpulla on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A Thousand Words is a photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the image will inspire you to write a journal entry, a poem, a blog post.  Maybe it will inspire you to go exploring, or maybe you’ll just sit back and enjoy the photo.   Whatever your response, I hope you enjoy the picture and that it inspires you to some sort of creative zen.

If you write something based on the image, feel free to share a link in the comments section.   Also feel free to use the photo on your blog, just be sure to give proper credit, which I will always include in the post or the caption.

Resources: Creative Commons, Flickr, The Daily Post

Yosemite National Park: Near and Far

In October, Hon and I visited Yosemite National Park in California.  It was my first visit, and I can’t wait to go back.  These pictures might explain why.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All images by Olivia Tejeda.  Some rights reserved
Resources: Yosemite National Park, The Daily Post

Atwood Finds Her Way After Early Career Confusion

When I think about my career path, I often envision the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs gets knocked out by a girder and sleep walks through a construction site.  Just as he’s about to plummet off the edge of a girder, another one moves into place and he  keeps on walking.

There have been times I tried to plan my professional life, but confusion, too many choices, uncertainty about my aptitude or skills, kept me from anything too definitive.  The truth is, my career  has been a bit of a Looney Tune.  I have moved along, step by step, blissfully unaware of what lies ahead.  Just when I’m about to step off the edge, another girder carries me to safety.

Despite the meanderings, “what I do” has always been somehow connected to words, and I’m happy where I’ve landed.  The ground feels pretty solid right now, even though I know that might be the sleep walker talking.  If so, I know the next girder will lead to something interesting.

I was happy to find this interview with Margaret Atwood.  She talks about confusion over her career choices.  At various times, starting at age 8, she thought about becoming a clothing designer, a home economist, and a biologist.

“Then the writing took over,” she says.

I know the feeling.

Resources:  Homeless Hare by Warner Brothers, The Daily Post

Monday Motivator: Erica Jong gets Subversive

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it … It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more.
— Erica Jong
“How to Save Your Own Life”

♥  ♥  ♥
Happy Valentine’s Day

The Monday Motivator is a quote posted each week to encourage, inspire, and motivate writers of all skill levels and across genres.  If you have a favorite quote to share, let me know and I’ll post it here.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

Resources: Erica Jong, The Daily Post