Archive for November, 2009

This picture thing I’m doing.

Pop! 36/365

Jake doesn't like the camera. 32/365

The Loop. 25/365

Think fiction writing. 21/365

Immediate seatnig. 16/365

Eleventh floor. 7/365

So I’m trying (again!) to take a photo every day for a year. I’ve tried twice before, but managed to miss a day a couple of months in. (Oh hai I am a perfectionist.) I have a better system this time — shiny iPhone with camera and also handy alarm that says TAKE A PICTURE at 10.30 every night as a reminder — so I feel better about my chances of finishing.

Over the last month, I’ve had time to think about precisely WHY I’m doing this project. It’s not to be a better photographer, beyond incidental improvements. I take a decent enough snapshot but I’m not interested in fiddly technical bits, though if someone wanted to give me a digital SLR I’d be willing to learn. The iPhone camera has enough quality for me, even if I do pull out my point-and-shoot once in a while.

It comes down to two things, I think. First, I want to gain some creative discipline. I know that interesting things happen when I try to create something every single day — I think it’s some vestige of the Julia Cameron fangirl in me. Plus, I want to document this year. Starting in October. No, I don’t know why. Maybe that crazy back brain of mine knows something I don’t.

The pictures I’ve posted above are the ones I like best so far. Here’s the entire set. If you’re the feed reader type, here’s the RSS feed. Or you can follow me on Twitter, where an automagic tweet appears every time I post a picture.

Posted on November 15th, 2009 by Eliza  |  4 Comments »

Lady Chatterley’s [redacted] and the Happy Ending

I still haven’t heard back from Amazon after sending them this awesome letter last week. So boo on them.

However, while waiting, I decided to do a little sleuthing. I searched for the name of the press that put out the book in the first place. After a couple of missteps (“Did you put out an edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover last year?” “This is a doctor’s office.” “So that’s a no?”) I tracked down the publisher and sent him a message. He, in turn, read my blog post and got back to me as soon as possible to let me know that any omissions from the book were accidental and that he was going to print a new, corrected edition and would send me a copy when that was done. I’m quite happy with the result.

I’m not mentioning the publisher’s name because I honestly believe that it was a mistake and I’m not interested in making a further big deal out of what happened. Which means that whoever is ignoring my letter at Amazon dodged a bullet today. A mildly snarky bullet.

Posted on November 9th, 2009 by Eliza  |  2 Comments »

Here is a letter I just emailed to Amazon.com

Dear Amazon Customer Service,

First, just want to say, love you guys. I bought myself an Amazon Prime membership for my birthday this year and it’s probably the worst thing I’ve ever done for my wallet. I added the Amazon iPhone app and boom! It’s UPS delivery city over here. Not that I’m complaining, but I will say my husband has begun to look very concerned every time I bring another little something inside that eats up our precious bookshelf space.

Anyway, so I’m a student in the Fiction Writing department at Columbia College Chicago, and this semester I’m taking a class about censorship. (Remember this — it will be important later.) My list of required texts included Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by DH Lawrence. Makes sense, right? Lady Chatterley is a book that’s almost iconic for being censored. So I hopped online and ordered the book. Why should I bother walking all the way next door to the school bookstore when I had AMAZON PRIME? I made a pretty big order of books and waited the two long days it took for the books to arrive.

Then I waited for the day to read Lady Chatterley in class. (As part of the Fiction Writing program, we do a lot of in-class reading aloud.) Today was finally that day. Before class, my classmate and I bonded over having the same copy of the book — you can see the cover on the link here. Even our teacher pointed out that the girl on the cover looks a little young. Ha ha, we all said, that is a little creepy. Then we proceeded to read a chapter of the book.

I’m not going to lie — it was a pretty racy chapter. And at the end, there’s a little bit of an extended discourse using, well, the C word. (I’d type it out, but I don’t want to offend anyone. Turns out in a censorship class you use words like that a lot, and it doesn’t bother me to use it anymore, but I trust you know the word I’m talking about.) I didn’t quite remember that bit from when I read the book at home, but I figured that maybe I’d just forgotten, or skimmed over it. My classmate is smarter than I am, though — she looked back in her copy, identical to mine, and saw something horrible.

The discourse on the C word? Totally missing from our copies.

The book I ordered for censorship class has been, in fact, censored.

It’s really funny, in a way. It’s also unfortunate, because I have no idea what else might have been missing from my copy. I was going to be able to check Lady Chatterley off the list of Great Books I’ve read, but I can’t count it now! There might be entire subplots missing!

I checked the product page, wondering if I missed a note about it being an abridged version or something, but no. It’s just the first version of the book that comes up when searching.

So, I’d like to arrange a trade. I want a non-bowderlerized version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover (for my CENSORSHIP class!) and in return you can have this one back. It’s not in perfect condition — I’ve read it, but I do take good care of my books. No writing or anything.

What can I do to make this happen?

Best,
Eliza Evans
Totally loyal customer

Posted on November 5th, 2009 by Eliza  |  4 Comments »