17 February 2012

Do not annoy the queen

A site called Blogger-Index has been caught stealing my feed wholesale and reposting it on its advertising-laden spam blog. Since I would never allow anyone to repost my work and reap ad revenue from it, let alone a site that can't spell and doesn't use proper grammar, I've shortened the feed so that very little is visible. If you regularly read via feed, you will need to click through the feed headline to gain access to the blog. Blogger-Index has been put on notice that it is to remove all my blog content from its site, and I'm taking appropriate action regarding copyright infringement.


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I've been blogging for a pretty long time now and I have definite ideas about the process. You could call this a personal blog, or you could call it a soapbox. You could call it a work in progress. You could call it the place where I call people out who claim to be authorities, but misidentify the workings of glyphosate.

(Alright, truth is I did that on Twitter.)

It's true that I'm a mother. A wife. A woman. And I write. All that makes me...a writer.

And this is where I write, at least where you can see it, as a way to process life. I write other things. Some of those things are out in the public eye, some of them have been used in various proceedings, some live in corporate archives. From time to time, I have contributed to the overall store of knowledge in the world, and that pleases me. But here, I write for myself, and to some extent for my friends and family, and also for those who want to tag along for the ride. It matters little whether you know my real name or recognize it or care. Here is just that: here.

I made a quite conscious decision when I started writing here about what here isn't. It isn't ad-supported. There are no giveaways or affiliate programs. I do get pitches regularly, some of which are mindbogglingly inappropriate and some of which are downright laughable. "We want you to become one of our online journalists and write for our publication...for free."

Seriously.

I write about my kids, but I'm not a mommy blogger. I'm as likely to write about bovine spongiform encephalopathy or a certain knuckleheaded Big Pharma company or the use of pesticides on bananas. I write about cooking because I do a lot of it, but I'm not going to sponsor a cookware giveaway. (Yes, and I said no)

Others have questioned why I am adamant about this and much of it has to do with being beholden to no one here. IRL I write for hire. Here I write about whatever strikes my fancy.

So if you think you want to offer me an opportunity, read what's been written here over the last five years with some care. I do get traffic, but it tends to be teachers, scientists, men.


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I finally finished Haruki Murakami's massive 1Q84. I am left with the feeling that a lot was lost in translation.

I didn't dislike it; to the contrary, on finishing, I felt as though a door had been closed to another world I'd been inhabiting for the last month or so, and I actually rather miss the characters. Amusingly, I read the LA Times review last night, and found a similar sentiment there.

But I also didn't particularly like it. I know the book originally appeared as three separate volumes in Japan, which might explain some of the repetitious information that appeared ("previously on 1Q84..."), but the level of repetition in dialogue was downright annoying. And the unending discussion of the characters' intimate relations verged on the nauseating. Part of me wondered if this was Murakami's commentary on the nonstop intimacy to which we are subjected in TV, movies, media, books, but the story didn't seem clever enough to make that connection. The writing (or translation) was frequently completely flat, sometimes quite awkward. And yet, the overall quality of the story was very immersive. Still, I walked away with the sense that I gained nothing from the exercise of reading it, and I'm not sure I can hazard a guess at what Murakami was attempting to convey.

Frustrating.

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