Joe: Good morning Calliope.
Calliope: Good morning, Joe. How are you?
Joe: Fine, but I thought it was time we had another chat.
Calliope: I agree. I have enjoyed your posts about the writing life. Yet I have wondered what is happening in your life, particularly regarding your writing.
Joe: Fair enough. I have been meaning to update you. First, I lost my position with the Batavia Daily News where I published my column for fifteen years and which I also distributed as Sliding Otter News.
Calliope: Sorry to hear it. What happened?
Joe: New management arrived at the paper in the Fall of 2015. I inquired as to why my payments had been reduced. In response I received a contract to sign which said the paper would treat my columns as work for hire, suggesting that they would have exclusive rights to my writing for them. In looking up the meaning of work for hire through the US copyright office, I learned that such work would become the exclusive property of the paper for a period of 95 years, after which I was free to republish it. Not planning to live that long, I called the editor to negotiate. He claimed he did not know I was sent a contract but did say that his goal was to have exclusive rights which was not acceptable to me. He promised to look into the matter and get back to me. I never heard from him again. On the next date my column was due to be published, it did not appear in the paper. My attempts to contact him about the status of my column were in vain. I was left to conclude that our relationship was over.
Calliope: A sad development in this age of instant communication. So now what?
Joe: I decided to continue distributing my newsletter on the Internet and also concentrate on my other writing. Since I was away for a while, I published some former articles for a while in Sliding Otter News.
Calliope: Anything else afoot with you?
Joe: I have been researching a new book on addressing violence. In the process, I realized that violence was a result of the direction our society is taking and not a problem of its own. Therefore I have reshaped my project as dealing with living in peace. That’s where I have been placing my efforts lately.
Calliope: Glad to hear you are still on the creative path.
Joe: So am I. I will keep you posted.