Saturday, March 8, 2008
Important. And pass it on...
He's not the first writer I know who didn't think to take care of his or her posthumous intellectual property. For example, I knew a writer -- a great writer -- separated from and estranged from his wife during the last five years of his life. He died without making a will, and his partner, who understood and respected his writing, was shut out, while his wife got the intellectual property, and has not, I think, treated it as it should have been treated. These things happen, and they happen too often.
There are writers who blithely explain to the world that they didn't make a will because they don't mind who gets their jeans and old guitar when they die but who would have conniptions if they realised how much aggravation their books or articles or poems or songs would cause their loved ones (or editors, anthologists or fans) after their death...
Writers put off making wills (well, human beings put off making wills, and most writers are probably human beings). Some of us think it's self-aggrandising or foolish to pretend that anyone would be interested in their books or creations after they're dead. Others secretly believe we're going to live forever and that making a will would mean letting Death in a crack.
Others make wills, but don't think to take into account what happens to our literary estate as a separate thing from the disposition of our second-best beds, which means unqualified or uninterested relatives can find themselves in control of everything the author's written. Some of us are just cheap.
All this bothered me, and still bothers me.
Shortly after Mike Ford's death, I spoke to Les Klinger about it. Les is a lawyer, and a very good one, and also an author. I met him through Michael Dirda, and the Baker Street Irregulars (here's Les's Sherlockian webpage).
Les immediately saw my point, understood my crusade and went off and made a document for authors. Especially the lazy sort of authors, or just the ones who haven't quite got around to seeing a lawyer, or who figure that one day it'll all sort itself out, or even the ones to whom it has never occurred that they need to think about this stuff.
It's a PDF file, which you can, and should, if you're a creative person, download here:
Friday, March 7, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
3/3/08 1:24 PM EST | Baghdad
It very cold down in America this time on year, yes? You get trapped inside like so many gurkkus under rocks, and you get this, what you say, captain's fever? You want to get away somewhere warm, adventurous, where anything can happen, like in your movies. I know this deep inside my heart.
Come close, and let me whisper the name of this magical mystery adventureland in your ear: Iraq! Wait, come back! Hear me over and out.
In Iraq, every day is a glorious quest of majesty. You step off of the plane, and already you hear the fireworks and shooting of rifles in the air. Of course because they are happy on your arrival! And Allah-be-praised is it hot! You are sick of cold and snowfrost, I know this. Well, yesterday, I am telling you, I cooked eggs on hood of my car. I cannot begin to describe to you the sublime taste detonation that erupted within my mouth. It was truly glorious. Every day in Iraq, you will eat meals like this.
And thrilling adventure? Let me not even be getting started!
- more -
Monday, March 3, 2008
For more information about the competition, about Robert Benchley and about the Robert Benchley Society Award for Humor, visit Lexington Film at: http://www.lexingto
I love it. Keep this up and we'll need a Michael Dare Society Awards For Pure Thought. We could have people think 500 words or less, in the style of Michael Dare. The winner would be given thorazine, and noninvasive custodial care at some country club rehab center.
Horace J. Digby, winner of the 2005 Robert Benchley Society Award for Humor