Friday, September 12, 2008

The Internet is great until it isn't. Temporarily out of commission.

It Ain't Working
Our DSL kept conking out, we'd restart the modem and it would work for awhile and then stop again. Eventually it slowed to a crawl -- and then died again, apparently for the last time. Working our way through the labynthine ATT support structure... Back soon, I hope.

3:30 p.m. Update: Back up. ATT came and swapped the modem, which was still under warranty. Took forever because I couldn't find our user ID and password for the modem itself. The tech tried to reset it and that got us caught in an endless loop that took almost an hour to sort out, and by then I had found the scrap of paper where I wrote down the password. The tech says this happens all the time. He suggested I write it on the bottom of the modem, since we'll only need it if something is wrong with it -- and it wouldn't do anybody else any good even if they did find it. Seems like a good idea...

1 comment:

Diablo Publishing Inc said...

Have you ever entertained the thought of skewering your enemies by writing a novel that portrays them in thin disguises through which an unflattering light shines?

Well, this time-honored strategy has become more difficult. You used to be able to defend yourself from litigation by declaring your slanderous work to be fiction and your characters' resemblances to the living "coincidental."

Today's lawyers have turned this defense on its head. They have won damages by establishing in court that you first made your character identifiable and then proceeded to create lies ("fictions") about him.
The novel is no longer the refuge for the vindictive that it once was.

I should note, though, that those successfully sued have often asked for it. Many authors throw down the gauntlet by failing even to change the name and demographics. If you're writing a short story that includes a hack blogger hailing from Madison called MadGuy, at least expend the energy to change it to MudGuy from Monroe.

It is also the case that the need to camouflage characters may lead to better fiction. Why stick with reality when you can amp it up? If the real person is thrifty, make his fictional counterpart miserly. If his gut hangs over his belt, make him a blimp of 339 lbs in your novel.

Why am I bothering to write about this? I am one of the area's foremost unpublished writers, and this issue is on my mind because I'm tinkering with a story based upon a real incident. Moreover, I'm leaving some droppings to tide MadGuy's readership over until he returns with his bird photos and clarion calls to eviscerate Republicans. Inching up on Althouse as we are, we can ill afford to have our hard-won readership clicking from here over to there.