Playing a pirate can be fun. Being a pirate is stealing.

Pirating is Stealing

The interwebs have been vibrating with arguments over a website that has pirated many books. Let me be clear. Any site, person, organization which did not pay for copyrighted materials has stolen that property. Pirating books is stealing. There have been flurries of arguments. Some have insisted that all ghostwriters are pirates (ridiculous). Others have argued that anyone who publishes a book a month must be a pirate (not necessarily.) No Excuses I once posted on a social media site. I warned about an organization that had instituted a new policy. Their new policy allowed them to post copyrighted material without permission. My post went to a group of readers and video/movie watchers. The derision invoked by this post amazed me. One commenter said that I’d found the wrong group. No. I did not. If my post warned those who cared, it was enough. If my post educated some who did not understand. That was enough. There are people who understand that pirating is stealing. Some people choose to excuse stealing. Though I suspect that those who excuse stealing books would protest long and loud if a thief had stolen their car or money or furniture. What is Not Piracy […]

The Sorrow and Joy of the Last Page

The writer and the reader experience the sorrow and joy of the last page. Not in exactly the same way, but pretty close. A good book drives you to that last page then, if you’re like me you sit there, hugging the book and feeling lost. This feeling comes from what psychologist and other scientists call deep reading. Most of us make pictures in our minds. We experience sorrow and joy. Science has shown that our emotional reactions are close to the same emotions as the characters we read about. The deeper, the more intense the reading–the more we exercise our brain. We become more empathetic. There are people who are not natural readers. Shocking, I know. They don’t experience reading in the same way. But, they can improve their reading skills and enjoyment. Parents reading to children is a critical step in helping poor readers learn to enjoy reading more. It’s important to read because reading increases the white matter in our brain. (A brief discussion of the science can be found here.) Reading nonfiction doesn’t do quite the same thing. In studies, reading nonfiction lights different areas of the brain than reading fiction does. Not better areas, different. Our emotions aren’t […]

An Early Draft Outtake from My Soul to Keep.

Outtake: An Early Prelude

Long ago, I wrote the first draft of My Soul to Keep. It was a fantasy with dragons. What was I thinking? My next draft or two or three were just as far afield as the fantasy, though they were closer to a science fictional approach. Then, after many discussions with my husband and friends, I came up with the alternate world in which the story now takes place. I thought readers might enjoy a look back at some of the outtakes from those earlier drafts. So, without further ado, here’s an outtake: an early prelude to My Soul to Keep. ~~~~ A Testament for Modern Times The New Book of Samuel Chapter 3, verses 1-17 1. Now it came to pass, in the days after the Great War, that the children of the world did evil in the sight of the Lord. 2. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people and He delivered them into the days of darkness called the Great Depression.  He overthrew the tables of their moneymakers and money changers; and gold became as water. 3. Thieves, drunkards, and  murderers ruled the land known as America.  The American leader, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was […]