Yesterday was Oldest's grad pictures, and Mini's school pictures are today. The preschool is in the midst of planning for a Halloween carnival thing, the local fair is setting up (Mini sees it on the way to school every morning and goes bonkers), and about a million other things are cropping up on me at the same time.
Tonight is the preK parent/teacher meeting. Remember I'm supposed to hold those meetings? I still haven't gone through any kind of orientation, and no one has spoken to me about policy or protocol. I'm going to request the orientation before the next meeting, or have someone in the loop take over the position. Honestly, I don't mind reading from a sheet, I don't mind doing the meetings overall, but it would be helpful to know some things in advance. As it stands, I have no clue what's going on. If nothing else, it should be interesting, watching me wing this one.
I'm sure you've already heard about the FTC cracking down on "review" bloggers. How full of shit is that? They're threatening to fine people 11k for reviewing material on your blog and not disclosing if it's a donation, a paid for endorsement, etc. You're not supposed to keep a "review item" either after reviewing it - because that counts as compensation. Since I blog here and at the Midnight Moon Cafe, and I do talk about books, and so...as you can imagine, this new regulation against bloggers sincerely pisses me off. To the cockles of my soul pisses me off. For this blog - my personal blog - it feels like my free speech is being stamped on. If I buy a book, or even if someone gives me a book, I'm going to read it and write whatever I want to. Don't think that is going to change.
At the MMC, although we don't do reviews, we often recommend books that we like, and on Saturdays, I sometimes showcase books that have been donated to us and give away those donated copies. We never keep the books that we receive - they are always given away to readers at our blog. Cass and I do this because we LOVE books. We love paranormal romances, and we want to support authors within the paranormal/romance community. This FTC intrusion puts a crimp on what we do. It makes us very cautious to promote other authors, and it shouldn't be like that. Networking is a MUST in the publishing industry. No if, and, or FTC about it.
Truth told, everything the happens at the Midnight Moon Cafe comes directly out of pocket. Everything is paid for by Cassandra and myself: shipping costs, purchase of swag, books, contest prizes, webspace, etc. It mounts quickly. And yet, if we suggest a book, or talk about books donated to us - books we always give out through contests - that is considered an endorsement.
Honestly, I think the FTC needs to refocus it's efforts on media piracy. If they're looking to money off "criminals" on the internet, perhaps they should go after the ones that create fee-based membership forums then turn around and offer unlimited downloads to pirated material.
You know what this whole thing says to me? It tells me the FTC can't seem to hunt down the true bad guys, so they're going to go after whoever they are able to find. Whatever the case, I can guarantee you this - bloggers aren't going to be the only ones hit. I've said it once already: it's only a matter of time before the big hats come in to start regulating the interwebz. Consider this the start of it. They'll chip away at it little by little. Hide and watch.
On a completely unrelated topic - Second Life. Google it. Go ahead, you know you want to. :P
Anyway, the lovely Cass is completely to blame for luring me in. Above you'll find a picture of my avatar -Cora Waverider. Click the picture to make it bigger. BTW, I nearly fell out when "Waverider" appeared as a last name for my character. See, you can choose your first name - anything you want, but the last name must be selected from a list. How cool one of my book titles ended up on my list? ^_^
If you're on Second Life, the Midnight Moon Cafe will be doing virtual readings this month. There is a tentative list up at www.midnightmooncafe.com. If you can drop in and visit us, that would be great!