What About a Forum?

I’m brainstorming other ideas here and this one popped up:  would you use a forum?

A forum is where you join and can post questions and answers to topics.  So, let’s say the topic is:  BSF Lesson 1.

You could discuss answers and get a dialogue running.  You can get fancy too and set up your profile with your name and location and stuff.

Preliminary research (let’s say the last 10 minutes or so) has been this would cost me money to set up.  But it’s something I’ve dreamed about with this site.  Getting discussion and dialogue going like a discussion group but without a time frame.  You could debate God’s word all day long if  you wanted and everyone got a chance to participate–even anonymously if you wanted.  All you’d be known by would be your screen name.

It would increase the participation and not just be me.

So, would you use a forum for BSF and participate in one?  A forum has no value without you all.  The people make the forum.  Just like people make the church.

Reproduction Versus Distribution

I received an email from a reader insinuating that someone emailing me a copy of the notes and questions was a violation of copyright.  So here’s how I understand the law and correct me if I’m wrong:

Reproduction is when you take someone else’s work and say it is your own or you take an intellectual property and claim it as your own (like the scraper does when he steals your work and posts it on his site).

Distribution is where you receive a copyrighted material (either through purchasing or giving it away).  Here’s what I found on the following website that says it better than I ever could:

http://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/scope.html#distribution

Distribution:

“The distribution right grants to the copyright holder the exclusive right to make a work available to the public by sale, rental, lease, or lending. This right allows the copyright holder to prevent the distribution of unauthorized copies of a work. In addition, the right allows the copyright holder to control the first distribution of a particular authorized copy. However, the distribution right is limited by the “first sale doctrine”, which states that after the first sale or distribution of a copy, the copyright holder can no longer control what happens to that copy. Thus, after a book has been purchased at a book store (the first sale of a copy), the copyright holder has no say over how that copy is further distributed. Thus, the book could be rented or resold without the permission of the copyright holder.

Congress has enacted several limitations to the first sale doctrine, including a prohibition on the rental of software and phonorecords.”

So, according to the first sale doctrine, once BSF hands you the notes and questions,  you are free to do with it as you wish with no restrictions.

Am I correct or does someone else have another take?

The reason I’m exploring this is because I don’t want to be sued by BSF for violating anything and am thoroughly debating/praying about NOT posting my answers due to this fact.

I do not reproduce anything:  I never post the notes or the questions; just my answers which is my intellectual property.

It seems we are covered on distribution as well if I understand the first sale doctrine in US copyright law.

However, I’m about to throw in the towel.  I’m tired of being accused of violating BSF’s copyright, their rules, their distribution, their spirit, their “you-name-it.”  It’s a hassle I just don’t need right now in my life where I’m struggling in other areas.

I’m trying to do what’s right here in God’s eyes and follow this where it takes me but there comes a point where I say, “Enough is enough.”  Maybe He moved me here to make me quit.  I don’t want to believe that but only God knows.

I just wish BSF themselves would acknowledge me instead of ignore me or at least give their blessing to this endeavor and others I have suggested.  Instead, it’s muteness and to me the fight is no longer worth it.  I don’t want to invest myself (and doing this is a HUGE investment not only time-wise but emotionally, etc) into an endeavor that only meets with criticism, nay-sayers, and those looking to accuse me of something.

This is not against the nice gentleman who emailed me his concerns.  He raises a valid point and for that I am grateful.  I can’t afford a lawsuit.  I think it would break my heart.

If BSF headquarters asked me to stop, I would.  If they said continue, I would.  If it’s up to me to decide, it’s probably a no.

If you ask me, BSF just doesn’t want to acknowledge the changed times and I don’t have the time to wait on them to wake up and realize we are in a flat world, a global economy, and our younger generation lives on the Internet.  I simply don’t.  My days are numbered on this planet as are yours and I am acutely aware of this fact as I watch my kids sprout before my eyes and my dogs get older with every day.

I don’t believe this website is my ultimate calling from God.  It’s just something I do.  So I would rather invest my few precious hours a day I have to do my stuff on other callings from God than BSF.

Opinions will be appreciated and I will weigh them before I decide (especially if BSF responds, hint, hint so feel free to share this if you happen to know any of them).  I am looking to hear from the ones who’ve been here since the beginning, who have expressed how much this means to them, and who have supported me when I was down. Newbies are welcome to comment as well but the old-timers and those I “know” would be appreciated.

Please comment on your understanding of the law and if I am violating anything as well.  I have considered removing all BSF postings.

Feel free to email me as well if you don’t want to go public:  atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com

I am too upset right now to say any more…

The Book of Fairies

The Book of Fairies by Michael Hague is a compilation of short stories about fairies.  This comment was in the appendix and it struck me:

“A world without magic and danger would be boring.  Stories of fairies remind us how unpredictable and interesting the world really is.  And they remind us that we must have times of struggle before we can have happy endings.”

It’s a sentiment we’ve all heard before, right?  You got to have the downs to have the ups.  But I’ve never heard it quite put like this before.  Since I’m a writer I guess the simile impacted me more.

But it’s true.  It reminds us all to keep plowing through the rough spots to find the smooth road; that the pot of gold lies at the end of the rainbow; to follow the Yellow Brick Road to return to Kansas.

I think that’s why I switched from writing non-fiction to fiction: because I like a good make-believe story as well as the next person.  And I believe I can create one as well as or better than others.

If I keep trudging through the muck to get to the shower…

New IPod Favorite

It’s been a while since I’ve added a new song to my playlist and I’m not for sure why.  I don’t think I’ve been struck by a song lately.  Until today….

It’s a song I heard a while back but I heard it again a few weeks ago and it’s stuck with me and I finally had time to download it tonight.

Forgiven by Sanctus Real is about how we all make mistakes in this life but ultimately we are forgiven by God no matter what we do.

My favorite lines are:

“And I relive my days in the middle of the night

And I struggle with my pain

And wrestle with my pride…

And when I don’t fit in

And I don’t feel like I belong anywhere

When I don’t measure up to much in this life

I’m forgiven”

The message is timeless and one I need to hear repeatedly.  Awesome.

Why Would Anyone EVER Pre-Order a Book?

I am anxiously awaiting the release date of the final book in the Inheritance Cycle (called Inheritance) by Christopher Paolini as a lot of other fans are on November 8.

So, I go online to Amazon to pre-order it.  Well, as most of you know, you have to spend $25 or more to get free shipping so I thought I’d order some other books I’ve had in my queue.

I go through the whole process to the end where it says, “Your books will not be shipped until November.”

What?!

I thought books from Amazon were shipped when they arrived so I’d get separate orders.

I cancel that order and hop over to Barnes and Noble.com and see what they say.  I call a physical store to ask,”If I pre-order this book along with others, will it be shipped separately?”

“Oh, yes,” the employee assures me.  “You’ll get your other books first.”

Once again, I go on-line to order my books along with pre-ordering Inheritance.  Again, same message:  “Your books will not be shipped until the pre-order is available.”

Of course, I don’t believe the young man on the phone and I just cancel my order.

In the end, I don’t order Inheritance (much to my chagrin for I really want the book) and just order the stuff I need now (some are workbooks for homeschool) along with a book my daughters really want (the new book in the Magic Tree House Series called Dogs in the Dead of Night #46 by Mary Pope Osborne) to get myself over the $25 mark.

Why would anyone ever pre-order? I wonder.

Amazon has changed the price on Inheritance THREE times since I’ve put it in my cart.

I decide to just order the book when it comes out.  Easier. Safer.  Less hassle. And confusion.

And if I pay shipping, so be it.  But by November, I’m sure I’ll have something else I need (all books are a need, ya know!).

I Admit It…I’m a Skimmer…

I have a problem that drives my husband nuts.

He’ll ask me, “Hey, babe, what’s going on in the world?”  (He asks this when he travels).

“Well, the stock market went up and then down and then up and then down and gas prices are going down but not here of course and some kid died in a rafting accident.”

“How old was the kid?”

“I think 15 or something or other.”

“What happened exactly?” he asks.

“Oh, I’m not for sure,” I say.  “He was rafting some river, it tipped over, and he drowned.”

“Did anyone else get hurt?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Why are gas prices going down?”

“I think because of the economy or something.  I’m not for sure.  I didn’t read the whole article…”

“Oh….”

I can sense his frustration.

“And the stock market?”

My pause answers that one.

This is how I relate stories all the time.  Because I never read the whole article.  I skim everything.  I just don’t have the time. Especially on the Internet.  I don’t like being on the Internet.  I feel like it’s a waste of time so I skim everything.

I thought this was okay until I was reading on line about the Pentecostals and what they believe.  Then a few hours later I was talking to my Mom, trying to tell her what I read, and I couldn’t remember.  She knew more than I did.

Now, I’m reading my Bible Atlas mainly for homeschool because we are doing Ancient History this year and I found myself skimming the book.  I wondered if this was okay to do.  Skim for the facts, you know.

Then I wondered what book was the last book I’ve read all the way through without skimming.

Probably my own, I thought.  Or a novel.  Most non-fiction (especially history books) I only read the relevant parts.

What does this say about me?  Is this a product of our times?  Too much information and not enough time to digest it all?  Or do I have ADD or something and am incapable of an attention span long enough to truly find out information?

Does anyone else do this?  Skim for the main idea but the details remain hidden?

Or am I the only one with such a problem?

I would feel better if I weren’t the only one who only has half the story most of the time…

“When Have You Realized that Jesus’ Plans for Your Life Were Different from What You’d Expected?”

This is a question in the sidebar of my study Bible and I had to laugh.

Let’s see:  where should I start?

If you have lived any length of time on this planet, you will see how your plans are not God’s plans.

It’s fun to think back to your dreams as a little kid; how innocent and naive the mind was; how wondrous the world was; how all of that changes as you grow and experience life and learn.

How in your adult life you let go a little more each day and let whatever be, be.

How you watch your kids and the simplicity in their lives and think of when your life was not so complicated.

How you know one day none of the hardships will matter and all that will endure will be God’s plan.

How I know sitting here in my bed with my 3 year old cuddled beside me (he usually crawls in with me in the early morning), my old dog sprawled on the bed leaving dog hair in my husband’s spot, a fly buzzing around, and my Bible lying on the night stand where I just placed it is merely a drip in time.

These drips that I lap up so eagerly.

All God’s plan.

After all, how could my little mind have ever planned any of it?

Certainly not the complex human body, the mechanisms it takes to fly, nor the words on a page that were written just for me–a nobody yet a somebody.

To Him.

The Only One that Matters.