Gypsy's Travels

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Writers Beware

DD#2, aka ABW, had a strange request in her blog comments yesterday. Don't bother to look for it, it has been deleted. There is a web site which I choose not to advertise, but include here the gist of the request.

The info printed below is directly off the website and has not been altered / corrected in any way.

The goal of [info deleted] is to collect stories, doodles and journal entries of military families & spouses.This will give military families a voice, while helping them to stay anonymous. Why would a military spouse or family member want to stay anonymous? You ask...Although, living in America - many military families feel as if they have no one to talk to in fear that they may face repercussion from their service member or the military on different subjects.Share feelings on how you really feel about living the life of a military spouse, the job your spouse has in the military, your FRG or whatever else it is you would like to talk about.You may send photos, snippets, doodles, short stories or anything you feel help you express your feelings as a military spouse.Your information will be kept confidential. In sending your information, this does not mean that your information will be used in our book.

In sending information to us, you are giving us permission to publish your story, doodles etc... with-out compensation of any kind. You are giving us permission to use your original work to publish in our book.We are not here to slam our military or our government. We are here to give you a voice on issues where in other circumstances you would feel unable to do so.

The whole idea is strange and, possibly, subversive. I have contributed to similarly constructed books, but never under such secrecy. I was always given a small compensation, such as a book, or a book, or a book, or the proceeds were to be donated to a worthy cause. The cause was delineated in advance which gave me the opportunity to write & submit or not. This person stipulates "no compensation will be given" but does not say where the money goes. No problem unless s/he ends up on a talk show and / or the book becomes a best-seller.

She doesn't just want to hear the bad, you can send some good stories as well, but it will be edited and who knows what stories will be included. Of course, all this is all anonymous - the story writers, the "author" of the book, and, presumably, the people in the stories. Why not just write a fiction book based on your experiences / gripes / hearsay?

I hope that you will look over any offers such as these that come to you. Chances are that this proposed book is a whim and the author is just a naive, star-struck writer with $$ signs in her eyes or an axe to grind. Still, you can't overlook the other possibilities - maybe Cindy Sheehan is phishing in new territory, maybe a terrorist cell is infiltrating the military through the spouses, maybe there is an attempt to stir up unrest before the elections. Far fetched? So were the events of 911. If Ms. Anonymous wants people to write a book for her, she should show herself!


  1. Amen! If you aren't proud enough to attach your name to it - you aren't proud enough to publish it.


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