Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Freebits with Ginger #frifreebits

Welcome back to more from Destiny' Bride.  I hope you're enjoying the tidbits I'm sharing so much that you'll want to buy your own copy.  So...on with the story:

****

The pesky rooster crowed as sunlight barely lit the room. For Cecile, he only announced another lonely day filled with tasks she hated. Still tired from yesterday’s chores, she fought the urge to roll over and go back to sleep, but resisted. Although staying within the comfort of the warm and cozy blankets was much more enticing than all the things that had become her responsibility, she threw back the covers and steeled herself against the brisk morning air. 

The rough plank flooring felt icy cold as she moved her bare feet from side to side, searching for her slippers. She pulled on her worn and faded wrapper and, hunching into a shiver, shuffled across to the fireplace. Fingers of morning light touched the pitiful mismatched furniture and rough hewn walls, a grim reminder of her disappointment in her new home, nothing at all like the painted rooms and elegant furnishings in her parents’ place. Who would have guessed that marrying the man of her dreams would bring her miles from civilization to a life that left her feeling older than her actual nineteen years? 

When flames crackled in the fireplace, she opened the door and stared across the prairie, at the fiery orange halo stretching across the horizon. A light breeze blew the knee-high grass back and forth in a rhythmic dance, and drops of dew reflected the rising sun. Goose bumps peppered her arms. Loneliness hung heavy in her heart. 

The chickens foraged the ground for feed, and the cow and horses kicked the wall of the barn, restless for release into the roomier outside pen. Unhappy grunts from the pigsty indicated the sow was ready to eat. Cecile sighed, wondering about Walt. He should have been home by now. Maybe today was the day. She ducked back inside and changed into her work clothes. 

During her husband’s absence, she’d perfected the routine of balancing the outside chores with the inside ones. Thankfully, the weather change lessened the amount of dust seeping through the crooked shutters, giving her a respite from sweeping. With everything done for the day, she sat down to practice her crocheting, noting she was getting pretty good at it. Strangely, the practice piece of knotted yarn was beginning to grow into something resembling a baby blanket. 

Images of a young boy in little coveralls, working alongside his father, filled her head. The lad looked like Walt. The picture switched to a miniature of herself, the Cecile that wore pretty dresses and looked feminine as a child. 

****

As you can see, Walt has gone for supplies, leaving Cecile behind.  She's biding her time, and now believes she's 'with child.'

Until next week...I'll leave you with my Amazon Author's Page in case you can't wait for more.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WHAT WRITERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COPYRIGHTS (FAQS) BY BRIAN KLEMS – FROM 2009 #blogjack #copyright

We’re still with Brian Klems ….  Rita

Follow me on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Check out my humor book,
Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl.
Sign up for my free weekly eNewsletter:
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Can You Copyright a Title?
Q: I’ve been working on a book and the title is very important—I use it as the URL for my blog, for a weekly column I write, etc., and I want people to identify it with me. Can I copyright a title so others can’t use it? –Anonymous
A: Copyrights cover works fixed in a tangible format, but because titles are typically short, they don’t fall under copyright protection. So no, you can’t copyright a title to a book, song or movie. But you can trademark a title, which may give you the protection you seek.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office states that a trademark protects words, phrases, symbols or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others. Brand names like Pepsi, Xerox and Band-Aid are all protected. So is the Nike “swoosh.” But more relevant to us, book titles such as The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone are trademarked.
Unlike copyright protection, which is granted the minute your work is written down, trademarks aren’t handed out so freely. In fact, if the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office doesn’t consider your title (or brand) a distinctive mark that is indisputably distinguishable from others, you will not be granted trademark protection. This is why you see so many books with the same—or very similar—titles. Many of the terms are considered too generic or arbitrary to warrant protection.
Trademarks are not only intended to protect the creator, but also the consumer. Trademarks keep others from confusing a well-known work on the bookstore shelves with others. For example, Harry Potter is such a popular, distinguishable character by J.K. Rowling that you’d expect any title with his name in it to be written by her (or, at least, a book approved by her). It’s not only her work, but it’s become her brand.
So if you use the title of your book as the title of your blog, column, etc., it could be considered your brand identifier. And if you find success, you could qualify for trademark protection.
Brian A. Klems is the online community editor of Writer’s Digest magazine

How Do You Regain Copyrights to Pieces You've Sold?
Q: About 20 years ago, I sold a short story to a magazine. One line in my contract stated the payment was for “full rights” and another said, “On acceptance of this payment, the author transfers the copyright interest to … .” Does this mean I can’t sell the story ever again, even as a reprint? What if the magazine is no longer published?—P.A.‑Humphrey
A: Selling full rights to your work is like selling your car—once the contract is signed, you have no rights to the piece and can’t sell it again. Works created 20 years ago are protected for the life of the author plus 70 years, so the new owner has that copyright protection.
According to our legal expert Amy Cook, even if a magazine is defunct, someone, somewhere, still owns the copyright to your piece. If you want to sell that article again, you’ll need to get the rights back.
“Even if the company went out of business, copyrights are assets that can be bought and sold; they don’t just disappear,” Cook says. “However, if you can find out who currently controls the copyright, that person may be perfectly willing to transfer the rights back to you.”
Cook also notes that there’s a little-known loophole in the Copyright Act that says authors may terminate their copyright grants after 35 years (though it doesn’t apply to works-for-hire or copyrights transferred in wills). But this loophole still requires you to contact the existing copyright holder and inform her that you’re exercising the clause. It’s important to put it in writing. And if you’re doing this, I suggest consulting a lawyer first.
Your other option is to change the story to make it a new work. There’s no real formula when it comes to creating a new piece out of old material. It’s important to know that you can use the same idea, but the work can’t be “substantially similar” to the original piece. How similar is “substantially similar”? That’s up to the judge—if it ever comes to that.
Brian A. Klems is the online community editor of Writer’s Digest magazine


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Page Straight From Anita Seymour #apagestraightfrom

The Rebel's Daughter
by
Anita Seymour

The rebel soldier raised his musket slowly, but before he could take aim, Bayle lunged, both hands clamped round the man’s throat.

Helena gasped as together, they tumbled onto the road, with Bayle’s full weight on top of the soldier, who had no chance to cry out.

In the instant it took for his companion to register what was happening, without thinking, Helena leapt down from the cart and swept the second musket from the ground.

The soldier froze, both hands held up in surrender, his eyes going from her face to the gun and back again.

Aware she could never work out how to fire the weapon in time, even if it was loaded, anger and desperation gave her strength as she swung it in a wide arc, catching the butt on the side of his head.
The soldier hit the ground with a dull thump, and stayed there.

With no hand on the rein, the startled horses crabbed sideways, the rear wheels threatening to crush Bayle and the soldier beneath him.

Dropping the musket, Helena ran to the front of the cart and grabbed the reins, stilling the horses.
Bayle’s superior weight pinned the officer to the road, though he flailed uselessly with both arms. Bayle scrambled to his knees, pulled his arm back and punched the man squarely in the face. The flailing stopped as the man lost consciousness.

Torn between trying to help and keeping the cart still, Helena could only watch with growing horror as the soldier she had hit stumbled to his feet and pulled a knife from his belt. He must have still been stunned as he swayed, and staggered towards Helena.

She opened her mouth to shout, but just then Bayle yelled, “Helena, Move!”

Instinctively, she threw herself sideways away from the cart, hit the ground and lay still just as a shot echoed across the fields, sending up a flock of crows in a nearby tree, dying away quickly into the afternoon quiet.

She rolled over, in time to see the soldier’s eyes widen in shock. He crumpled to his knees as a crimson bloom spread over the front of his shirt. The knife fell from his hand and with a final grunt, he fell forwards onto the road.

Shaking, Helena scrambled to her feet and staggered toward the cart, grabbing at the reins just as the wheels began to turn again. A groan came from the man on the ground behind them. Helena was about to call out in warning, but in two strides, Bayle raised the musket he had just fired and brought the wooden butt down on the man’s temple with a sickening crack.

Helena thrust her fist into her mouth to muffle a scream, transfixed by the unnatural dent in the man’s skull. She looked down at her skirt, where spots of blood soaked into the fabric.

The metallic tang of blood filled the air. The horses snorted in panic and strained against the reins, taking all Helena’s strength to keep them from bolting. When she could bring herself to look, Bayle was dragging the shot soldier toward a deep ditch at the side of the road.

“There should have been six of them,” Bayle grunted as with a final heave, the body rolled into the ditch, flattening the long grass on the incline.

“Help me,” Bayle instructed, indicating the second man.

Her chest heaved and she widened her eyes in shock, but bracing herself, she gripped the end of the soldier’s long buff coat and with Bayle bearing most of the weight, they inched toward the ditch.
Helena closed her eyes as the body disappeared over the side, though it made no sound.

“They are visible if one stands here,” Bayle said, “Though I doubt they can be spotted by a casual observer from the road.

“How long before they find them, do you think?” Helena asked.

“The others, if there are any, could be back at any time.” Bayle jerked his head toward the road ahead. “They are always in packs, like dogs.” He collected the other musket and threw both guns in after them.

“What about their horses?” Helena nodded toward the docile animals grazing a few feet away.

“We’ll get rid of anything which marks them out as soldiers” mounts, then turn them out in that field over there.” Bayle nodded to a meadow beyond the hedge.

While Bayle removed the saddles, Helena grabbed the trooper’s hats, knapsacks and cooking utensils, which joined the bodies in the ditch.

By the time she had finished, her chest burned with the effort and the emotional toll of what they had done. What she had done.

The soldier’s knife lay where he had dropped it, but she couldn’t bring herself to return to the ditch, and instead, tucked it into the pocket of her skirt. A skirt with blood on it, which she intended to burn at her first opportunity.

Bayle helped her back onto her seat and climbed in beside her. ‘Now let’s go home.’

Helena nodded, her hands thrust between her knees to stop their shaking, her bottom lip gripped between her teeth, but she could not get the image of the dead soldier’s battered skull out of her head.
“We-we killed two men, Bayle.”

He flicked the reins against the flank of the nearest horse, his gaze straight ahead. “Forget them, and tell no one what happened today. Ever.”


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WHAT WRITERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COPYRIGHTS (FAQS) BY BRIAN KLEMS – FROM 2009 #blogjack #copyright

We’re back today with Brian Klems ….  Rita

Follow me on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Check out my humor book,
Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl.
Sign up for his free weekly eNewsletter:
WD Newsletter 

How Do I Copyright My Manuscript?
Q: I recently finished a novel and want to know what I can do to have it copyrighted. Is there a special process? –Sylvia R.
A: Whenever you put something in a tangible format—written on paper, typed on computer, chiseled on stone tablets—it’s copyrighted and protected under U.S. copyright law. No tricks. No magic. It’s as simple as that.
Of course, if someone steals your work and presents it as his own, the burden of proof falls on you to show that you created it first (and own the copyright). This, as you can imagine, can be tricky. To give yourself better protection you can also officially register your work with the United States Copyright Office. The downside is it’ll cost you roughly $35-45 per manuscript. The upside is that if anyone steals your work, you’ll not only have proof of copyright ownership, but also be able to sue for more money and damages.
Now I’m not suggesting you officially register every story you’ve ever written, as that can get costly—that decision is up to you. But it’s certainly worth considering for any manuscript of great length and value to you.
Brian A. Klems is the online managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine

Can You Copyright a Pseudonym?

Q: Do I need to get a copyright for a pseudonym, or will a copyright for the book under my chosen pen name be sufficient?—Al de Araujo

A: The name H.G. Wells isn’t copyrighted. Neither is Michael Crichton. Why? Under U.S. law you can’t copyright a name, real or fictitious. Copyrights protect authorship, such as short stories, poems or novels.
You can register a manuscript under a pen name at the copyright office ( www.copyright.gov ). You’ll have to provide some information, including your real address. But if you really want to keep your true identity under wraps, set up a post office box and have information from the office sent there.
It’s important to get your pen name on record so the Copyright Office can acknowledge the proper life span of the copyright. Work created by authors not identified by the Copyright Office have a copyright life of only 95 years from publication or 120 years from the work’s creation—whichever comes first. If a writer identifies herself to the copyright office and registers her pen name, the copyright term for the work is the author’s life plus 70 years. Which means if I get hit by a bus tomorrow my work is still protected until 2078.
It’s also important to check with the office first and do online searches to avoid using names of real people or names that have already been taken by other authors. While you can’t copyright a name, you can get sued for identity theft. Also, publishers can get pretty angry if you try to pass yourself off as someone famous like J.K. Rowling or Dean Koontz. Stick with something unique.

Brian A. Klems is the online managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine

Monday, October 20, 2014

WHAT WRITERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COPYRIGHTS (FAQS) BY BRIAN KLEMS – FROM 2009 #blogjack #copyright

Once again, I’ve run across a saved blog by Brian Klems – that I found so worthwhile and a great once to share with you… so for my next couple of blogs – I’ll be sharing from Brian.  I’m a big fan of his!  Yes, I know it’s from 2009 – but some information is just worth reading….  Rita

Follow me on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Check out my humor book,
Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl.
Sign up for his free weekly eNewsletter:
WD Newsletter 
We’re writers, not legal experts—and yet, every time we put words down on paper a number of legal questions arise. How do I copyright my work? Do I need to? Am I allowed to quotes song lyrics? Can I use someone else’s character in my book? And that’s just the tip of the pencil. Here I’ve collected a writer’s set of FAQs about legal issues that will help you navigate the basics.

Can You Copyright an Idea?
Q: I have a fantastic idea for a book. I’m unclear on copyright rules and I want to protect my idea from someone else copying it. What steps should a person take in order to protect an idea until it comes into print? –Brian

A: I hate to break the bad news, but you can’t copyright an idea. Nobody can. Section 102(b) of the Copyright Act specifically states: “In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated or embodied in such work.
“So if copyright law doesn’t protect an idea, what exactly does it protect?
Copyrights cover “original works of authorship” that the author fixes in a tangible form (written on paper, typed on computer, scribbled by crayon on a napkin, etc.). In other words, it protects the specifics of your book after it’s written. No one can steal, reprint or profit from your work without your consent. Though, no matter how hard you try, you can’t safeguard the idea behind your story.
Think about it like this: No one directly copied William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet word-for-word and slapped their name on it, but they have used his idea—a love story about two young people from rival families— over and over again. West Side Story fits the bill (two lovers from rival gangs). Even Disney’s High School Musical has the same plot (rival high school cliques).

Now before all you overachievers point out that Shakespeare’s work has out-lived its copyright protection and is now part of the public domain, remember this: both West Side Story and High School Musical are copyrighted, so no one can steal significant details from them. But, much like your idea, they can’t stop others from using the basic concept.

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