Wednesday, May 31, 2006


The AW Hostage Crisis has been Boing-Boinged.

Also, please let me direct your attention to Making Light's recent update, and link round-up. Our good friend Dawno is, as always, about two steps ahead of me, too. There's also the Random Acts of Kindness approach.

A friend of mine just emailed me to say, "Barbara Bauer and her nineteen friends must be puking a lot these last few days."

We can only hope. You can help, personally, by clicking the paypal button at the bottom of this post, or else spread the word. Feel free to email me if you need help with code for either of the buttons--there's a link to contact me directly, to the right and towards the top, on the sidebar.

Neasa from Stones' comments has taken up the cause, too. She's put the AW button on her blog and is helping spread the word to non-writers--thank you, Neasa! (She's got a cool and beautiful blog, too--go and look. You won't be sorry. And she's a bellydancer.)

Also, I'll be posting this on my regular domain for easy linkage, later--but don't miss this.
Jim Macdonald--Yog Sysop, for you regulars and Usenet veterans--has done an amazing and generous thing and assembled this list:

Books for Writers

Book sales from this page will help support Absolute Write and the Absolute Write Water Cooler


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Calling all Stragglers

If you're one of our AW peeps, and can't find us, we're hanging out temporarily at some of these places:

The AW Refugee Camp, kindly hosted by Roger Carlson our Tech mod.

The Making Light AW thread, kindly started by TNH.

Now you can get the tee shirt to commemorate this...ummm....occasion:

Dawno's "I survived the AW Shutdown" stuff at Cafe Press.

I'll update when I know anything about the restoration of the board.

I'm terribly interested in the fact that every IT person I know is a bit gobsmacked that our host just kept our data. No one's heard of that happening, apparently.

Heh. Our Jenna, she's a trendsetter.

Keep the faith, folks.

Friday, May 26, 2006


...can't stop the signal."

Writer Beware's 20 Worst Agents:

" Below is a list of the 20 literary agencies about which Writer Beware has received the greatest number of advisories/complaints over the past several years.

None of these agencies has a significant track record of sales to commercial (advance-paying) publishers, and most have virtually no documented and verified sales at all (book placements claimed by some of these agencies turn out to be "sales" to vanity publishers). All charge clients before a sale is made--whether directly, by levying fees such as reading or administrative fees, or indirectly, for editing or other adjunct services.

Writer Beware recommends that writers avoid questionable literary agencies, and instead query agencies that have verifiable track records of sales to commercial publishing houses.

Note that while the 20 agencies listed here account for the bulk of the complaints we receive, they're just the tip of the iceberg. Writer Beware has files on nearly 400 questionable agencies, and we learn about a new one every few weeks."

  • The Abacus Group Literary Agency
  • Allred and Allred Literary Agents (refers clients to "book doctor" Victor West of Pacific Literary Services)
  • Barbara Bauer Literary Agency
  • Benedict Associates (also d/b/a B.A. Literary Agency)
  • Sherwood Broome, Inc.
  • Capital Literary Agency (formerly American Literary Agents of Washington, Inc.)
  • Desert Rose Literary Agency
  • Arthur Fleming Associates
  • Finesse Literary Agency (Karen Carr)
  • Brock Gannon Literary Agency
  • Harris Literary Agency
  • The Literary Agency Group, which includes the following:
    -Children's Literary Agency
    -Christian Literary Agency
    -New York Literary Agency
    -Poets Literary Agency
    -The Screenplay Agency
    -Stylus Literary Agency (formerly ST Literary Agency, formerly Sydra-Techniques)
    -Writers Literary & Publishing Services Company (the editing arm of the above-mentioned agencies)
  • Martin-McLean Literary Associates
  • Mocknick Productions Literary Agency, Inc.
  • B.K. Nelson, Inc.
  • The Robins Agency (Cris Robins)
  • Michele Rooney Literary Agency (also d/b/a Creative Literary Agency, Simply Nonfiction, and Michele Glance Rooney Literary Agency)
  • Southeast Literary Agency
  • Mark Sullivan Associates
  • West Coast Literary Associates (also d/b/a California Literary Services)


Buttons and Codes

Matt's Button--

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Okay--blogger isn't helping one bit with posting the code, it keeps wanting to fix it for me. So here it is, but you've got to replace the [ ] brackets with <> brackets, instead, for html.

[a href="
absolutewrite" target="new" title="Get your copy of The Street Smart Writer and support AW, too!"][img src="" /][/a]

Feel free to swipe it, and if you have trouble with the code, just let me know.

Matt, how hard is it to make the button bigger?

Let's make a couple more, folks, so peeps have a choice--what do you think?


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Street Smart Writers

Jenna's blog, in case you hadn't found it.

She says she isn't comfortable taking donations for the forums, yet, until she knows if she can "put Humpty Dumpty together again."
We can all buy more copies of The Street Smart Writer, though.

Jenna's page about the book is here.

Lisa Spangenberg, our own Digital Medievalist, points out in an email:

"Now, if we all link to the Amazon page for the book, using this url:

Then AbsoluteWrite gets a little bit of cash from Amazon, and we can
someone from the Barbara Bauers of the world.

Pass it on . . . "

Maybe someone would like to design us a nifty sidebar button to share around?

In the Meantime...

Roger Carlson has put up a forum as a gathering place for displaced AW folk--you have to register, but it's free.

Oh dear...

Let us consider the saga of Barbara Bauer, literary agent from hell:

What's worse for a scammy agent than being prominently featured on Writer Beware's 20 Worst Agents list? Or attracting the aggravated attention of the redoubtable and delicious Miss Snark?

Why, having a series of very public temper tantrums about it, creating a ludicrous nuisance of yourself, and generally giving the whole thing oh-so-much-more Google juice than it ever would have had, otherwise. Better minds than mine have cooked up a smart and dirty Google Bomb. Do consider participating.

Heh. Also, don't miss Fireflies in the Cloud's hilarious follow-up post, complete with illustrations.

Then consider how wise it is to put yourself squarely in the sights of a bunch of writers--after depriving them of a time-consuming and much-beloved hobby by getting a favorite hang-out like AbsoluteWrite pulled down off the web, even temporarily.

Jenna Glatzer is one of ours. She consistently and tirelessly fights the good fight. If you really want to take her on, Barbara, you'll have to take on all of us.

ETA: Oh, look! Barbara Bauer has been Wiki'ed!

A whole host of others.

More blogging about Barbara Bauer.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

AW Down but not Out

AbsoluteWrite's message boards are temporarily down, for those of you who might wander by here looking for information. We've been temporarily frozen out, through the combined effects of an apparently inept-but-abusive supposed literary agent, and a cowardly and amateurish web host overreaction.

Blustering agent Barbara Bauer, PhD (wooHOO)--proprietor of the Barbara Bauer Literary Agency and proud member of WriterBeware's 20 Worst Agents list--called up our webhost and they shut us out.

Thanks a lot, JC Hosting. Way to stand up for what's right. Don't look to word of mouth from us for a whole lot of positive future traffic, I'm afraid. Best of luck with Barbara's good wishes, though, since you've chosen sides like this.

It's a long and sordid story, and you can get the gist of it here.

We're working diligently to get everything back up, and at this point it looks like we've saved the databases, and should be back and badder than ever sometime tomorrow morning.

Thanks, everyone. Blog it, if you can. Then blog it some more. Be sure and use her name: Barbara Bauer, or even Barbara Bauer, PhD. Perhaps we can all compare nasty and abusive emails, later! Won't that be fun?

technorati tag--and pass it along:

Thursday, May 18, 2006

You must remember this...

I submit for your consideration The Payphone Project--self-described as "stories, pictures, phone numbers and news from payphones and public telephony."

Just the price of the gas in this picture should give you a hint as to how long ago it was taken. Ah, the good old days.
My personal experiences with payphones over the years tend toward the middle-of-the-night, damn-I'm-in-a-fix variety. You know the kind I mean, right? Your car broke down and you've just hiked along the shoulder of some lonely two-lane highway, in the dark. You find a roadhouse with a payphone in the back, through the smoke and past the pooltables.

So you cradle the receiver and fish in your pockets for enough change for what's going to be a long-distance call from the middle of nowhere, and when you finally manage to get through, you stick your finger in your free ear to block the loud music from the crummy local band, and shout your location to whoever was unfortunate enough to pick up, on the other end of the line--never mind that you can only make out about every third word they try to reply.

Then, if you've still got a couple of bucks in your pocket, you go order a draft beer and settle in to wait for your friend, roommate, sister--or whoever you called--to come and retrieve your sorry ass.

That can't possibly just be me. That's happened to all of you, too, right? Before we all carried cellphones, I mean?

Much has been made of the vanishing payphone, in this brave day of blackberries, cells, and wifi hot spots. The disappearance of coin-operated telephones creates problems for people in remote areas, since guaranteed cell service still isn't a Constitutionally protected right.

Here's an article that points out some of the issues with losing these free-standing, well-lit oases of communication with the rest of the world.

From The New York Times in October 2005:
The pay phone in the dirt parking lot of the Acworth General Store here is not terribly impressive, its base coated in grime and a plastic-covered phone book hanging limply from its metal frame.
But to residents of this village of 150 people in southwestern New Hampshire, it is a phone worth fighting for. The town gets no cellphone reception, and there is no other pay phone for miles. The police and volunteer fire departments even have to use the phone sometimes when their radios do not work.
I don't really need payphones, anymore. I just sort of miss them, you know? For all that my friends make fun of my propensity to fondle my cell phone--which lets me check my email, download music, text and send pictures, and even take snapshots or short digital video clips--there was more than once I was awfully happy to see even a beat-up payphone with the yellow-pages long since gone missing.

Even now, especially on the road, driving long distances, I find myself noticing and remembering where I last saw a phone. You know, just in case.
Not to mention that poor Supes is going to have to figure out yet another whole new system for those quick costume changes.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Just found this post, (via Bitch, Phd)on a blog called Super Babymama.

Since I've nothing particularly interesting of my own to say, I thought I'd at least direct you to someone who does.

I'll be more myself, I'm sure, when my brain returns from wherever it's gone this time.