Yes, Kat, it's true! I do love you! I love anybody who buys one of my books, especially if they blog about me!

Sure, my books are available for free download. But when you buy an actual printed copy, I’ll inscribe it any way you like, as for example, here:

cover page of the pains with my handwritten inscription

It says, “Kat, I love you madly, but it has to stop here. To continue on as we have been doing would be MADNESS!”

Yes, it’s like a Governor Sanford or Senator Ensign letter to a mistress, declaring love but calling off the affair. What’s different about the affair between Kat and me, however, is that we’ve never actually met each other. Or even had a conversation.

Details at her blog. Her review of The Pains is here. I do wish it had been a little more enthusiastic, but I’ll take what I can get. After all, Kat was probably a little bit heartbroken as she wrote it.

The key point is, buy my one of my books and you too can get your very own personalized declaration of undying love in permanent ink. Or whatever else you want me to write. (One of the best things anybody ever asked me to write was something like, “Dear _______. I wish I could write as well as you do. But this crap was the best I could come up with, so it will have to do.”) Go wild! Make me be your dancing monkey! Included FREE with the purchase of a book. As Billy Mays might have asked, “NOW how much would you pay?”!

Further Adventures of a literary nobody

Latest installment of a continuing series. In this issue: I get snubbed by the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival.

So the other day I sent a note to the organizers of the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival inquiring about setting up a booth there from which to do my Billy Mays thang. (I remembered having been turned down two years ago, the last time the MV Book Festival was held, when I made a similar request. But I couldn’t remember the rationale given. Had I missed a deadline? Had they run out of room?) Anyway, their response this time was <Wayne Campbell voice> DENIED! </Wayne Campbell voice>.

I thought their DENIED notice was a little bit snotty, so I replied with a note of my own that was also a little bit snotty.(But not too snotty, I hope. On a snottiness scale of one to ten, I would put our exchange at about a “2”. Read on and you can judge the level of snottinessosity for yourself.)

Below the fold: The prissy exchange, plus! what’s the difference between being a “Vineyard Writer” and “A writer who trades on the Vineyard”?

Continue reading

Atrios dogbark blogging

In March, I went to a gathering of people who read Eschaton, a blog by “Atrios”. This guy Atrios has a pithy blogging style that I like a lot. Basically he puts out short observations about this and that (or thus and such)–much as my late dog Rosa used to just bark at random times. People then leave hundreds of comments on Eschaton in response to the Atrios dog-barks.

Among other things, Atrios likes to bark at his readers. From time to time he barks at readers who want him to give them or their blogs publicity. He barks that it is not his job to give people publicity. When he blogs on this topic he gets riled up like a proper chihuahua.

One time Atrios put up on his blog a photo taken inside his apartment. I saw on his bookshelf books by Douglas Hofstadter. So I sent him a note asking if he would like a copy of my Hofstadterian book, “Cheap Complex Devices”. Atrios did not write back.

At Eschacon, I spoke with him for a little bit. He was drinking red wine & think he was a little tipsy. I gave him a copy of my book, which he graciously accepted, and I saw him carrying it around hours later, so I know that, at the least, he did not immediately throw it in the garbage.

However, he still has not replied to my email or given me free publicity on his blog. Also, hardly anybody ever leaves comments here on Wetmachine. Finally, although Doug Hofstadter and I are now friends, he had not read my homage a Hofstadter yet either. And none of you people leave comments!

Also, this entry is much too long for an Atrios-style blog entry. Maybe that’s why I’m a minor blogger and he’s a superstar. It’s harder than it looks.

EcoEquity, Greenhouse Develpment Rights, Bali Conference, Our Planet

Tom Athanasiou and his good colleagues at EcoEquity attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“The Bali Conference”) & got a chance to share the ideas behind their framework for Development Rights in a Carbon-Constrained World. ( I earlier promised that I was going to give an in depth analysis of their argument, but I’ve changed my mind. They summarize it and present it better than I can, so what’s the point?)

Tom has a few follow-up articles about the Bali Conference and what comes next. In Grist, Environmental News and Commentary, Tom has a kind of Bali Conference trip report. In Foreign Policy in Focus, Tom has a short but important essay, “Towards a Defensible Climate Realism”.

These articles somewhat wonkish in nature, but hey, difficult problems require a little bit of thought, and what policy problem is more difficult or important than climate change? Besides, if you’re reading Wetmachine you probably have a fair amount of wonk in you, or at least geek, which is close enough. For some real insight into what really needs to be done about climate change at the policy level, rather than at the switch-to-energy-efficient-lightbulbs-and-hope-for-the-best level, you need to get acquainted with EcoEquity.

Check ’em out. Better still, subscribe to the EcoEquity newsletter, then you’ll be as in-the-know as I am!

Here's blooking at you, Harold!

According to this post in the Sydney Morning Herald, books derived from blogs–inevitably given the doubly-condensed appelation “blooks”– are the hippest thing in publishingdome:

blooks – books based on blogs or websites – are beginning to reap returns for publishers. From the moment the adventures of Belle de Jour, the diary of a London call girl, jumped off the computer screen and onto the page, publishers saw the potential in dishing up our favourite on-screen pleasures in book format.

I know that our own Harold “Tales of the Sausage Factory” Feld has been toying with the idea of slapping printouts of his Wetmachine posts between two covers & selling the resultant, umm, blook, at a decent markup. Perhaps this article will inspire him to actually do it. But here’s my little bit of publishing advice, Harold: since “sex sells’, even in the blook world,

whether it’s the slightly grubby thrill of Girl With a One Track Mind (the ”diary of a sex fiend“) or a dip into Frank Warren’s PostSecret (a collection of anonymous postcards on which people reveal a secret), readers seem happy to buy them

be sure to give your blook a title that hints at something having to do with sex and secrets. Might I suggest, ”My Big Sausage, Just For You, Baby!”?