Saturday, January 24, 2009


The wait to hear from potential employers or publishers, who are experiencing economic Ragnarök, can be tedious and depressing. However, there are steps that one can coach out of oneself that will contribute, hopefully, to future contacts and employment. I am using this down time to learn technologies new to me and to sharpen my job skills.

Currently, I am enrolled in a Linux administration class at the HP business online courses. I also have set up a blog for my resume and have worked at tinkering with the site's design by getting into the HTML template code. The site is called The Writers' Home Portfolio. I am pleased with the results which involved going through lines of HTML code until I found the specifications to change the design. I used GIMP to manipulate the designs, specifically the header divider. I attached a Google Gadget, a clock, and changed some of the code to be similar to my colour scheme. I am am also playing with cloud computing.

Being unemployed does not mean being idle. I plan to use both blogs, this and the portfolio, to showcase my newly found knowledge.

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Monday, January 12, 2009


One of the most anticipated events and shining new hopes in publishing, if you are not already depressed as an out-of-work writer, is a revival of the Winnie The Pooh brand. Publisher Dutton Books and author David Benedictus plan to have great sales with a retread of Christopher Robin and friends.

I ran this past my children who like many youngsters, including someone not now so spry as me, had the enchantment of A.A. Milne's characters to grace their childhoods. The immediate reaction from my very literate offspring was "What!!!" There was a general cry of shock and horror that these books of strong character identifications and mythology were being sold like cereal. The visceral yelps led to a long, about a half hour at the least, vilification of publishers who try to cash in on their readers' fond memories for short-term profit. Books were, and are, the friends who comfort us when the world seems too big. Tampering with these emotions with a written mockup (mockery?) destroys the child's primary experience and love of the elemental literature.

I am not sorry to comment that I am a literary traditionalist and that I have given these values to my children. An individual's genius, their spirit, cannot be copied and packaged like any other product. The publishing companies are in trouble not because brands such as Winnie The Pooh are insufficient but because book marketers are not bold and will not chance original writers to hook and engage new readers.

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