The Noble Pen for Feb 14, 2013

Next Noble Pen Meeting

February 14th, 2013 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


The Marion Public Library is having an “Author Fair” on Saturday Feb 16. The schedule includes two hour-long sessions (choice of two each hour) with panels of published authors, including such notables as Ed Gorman. A lunch can be reserved in advance. After lunch there are readings and opportunities to chat with the authors.


Nick has written through chapter 6 of his SciFi book.

Dylan sold a dinosaur horror story to an anthology.  Flight is still in the running for the Harper Voyager contest.  Two beta readers liked BAM.

Tyree researched tidal waves and found his story to be consistent with what might happen.

Janice likes the improvements she is able to make using some of the suggestions of the writing diagnostic tool.

Ciuin finished another book on her reading list and is editing again on Petty Theft.


Some time back the newsletter mentioned Pro Writing Aid as a free and useful means of identifying things you might consider revising.  It will give you more suggestions than you want.  Janice recently used it and reports that she finds some of its output useful.  A free tool from Writer’s Diet may give another view.  And Edit Minion claims to be a “robotic copy editor.”


Authors should have some knowledge of copyright law.  You should know that anything you write is immediately copyrighted.  Registration with the government office (with a fee) strengthens your ability to enforce your copyright.  Rights cover several different types of use.  Some uses can be made of your work without infringing on the copyright.

US copyright laws have changed from time to time, mostly to extend the coverage.  Cynics have noted that the length of time a copyright provides protection (with registration and renewals) has usually been a little longer than the age of Mickey Mouse.

A search will turn up many explanations of copyright, and I’ll link a few of them.  The  Writers Write site has a nice summary written by a lawyer in more or less layman’s language.  Here’s another.  The US government Copyright Office gives definitions related to the subject.  Wikipedia has a substantial article.

Of all the creative work produced by humans anywhere, a tiny fraction has continuing commercial value. For that tiny fraction, the copyright is a crucially important legal device. ~Lawrence Lessig

I think that the use of copyright is going to change dramatically. Part of it is economics. There is just going to be so much content out there – there’s a scarcity of attention.  Information consumes attention, and there’s too much information. ~Esther Dyson
Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet. ~Mark Twain

Upcoming Schedule

Feb 14th


Feb 21st

Shannon (double slot)

Feb 28th

Tyree (if no one else)
Open Slot

Mar 7th

Nick (double if no one else needs slot)
Open slot(s)

Mar 14th

Open slots

Mar 21st

Nick ?
Open slots

Keep Writing,