Paying It Forward…

as per Ophelia

I plagiarized a poet; I
Recycled someone’s rhyme;
I composed collaborations,
Never thinking it a crime

It’s the form of my expression;
It’s the narrative I choose;
It’s the sharing of ideas—
Does it really matter whose?

Hey, a sonnet is a sonnet,
Make the topic what you will—
With a rhyming dictionary
There’s no function left to skill!

In the world of modern poetry,
Your sentences are free—
You could play the Prince of Denmark…
To be, or not to… something…

Plagiarism as a new art form? I must have scores of verses that are pastiches on this or that… (I won’t link one, lest I link a dozen, and that’s not fair). It seems to me that pretty much all parties know (which is very different from all parties admitting) when party B has used party A’s stuff. Some of it is protected; some of it is being a bastard. I have tried, myself, to only use protected bits of other people’s writing… if you see something you think is otherwise, please let me know!

Ophelia notes that being pointed to other people’s writing is a good thing, a feature, not a bug…I agree.

And if you plagiarize me… remember, my sister used to be a lawyer.

Now she’s a judge.

Cyber… Something…

Hmmm… it appears to be CyberMonday, if such a thing exists any more. Time was, Lulu would offer special discounts on Cyber Monday, so I was waiting for those so I could do this post right…. but it appears they are not (if they do, I will update immediately). The only thing they have is the code “FREESHIP” for free shipping on up to 14 items, and “CYBERBULK2013″ for 20% off of 15 or more items.

More importantly, they have information, on shipping deadlines:

Screen shot 2013-12-02 at 1.27.54 PM

And of course, here is the page with all the available cuttlebooks–the (War On) Christmas book with all proceeds going to charity, the latest compilation, the earlier compilation, and yes, some free downloads of the earliest stuff. You might want to wait a bit to see if Lulu is just slow on the draw, but (as per the shipping info) you don’t want to wait too long.

And yes, the “cuttlestuff” link up at the top of the page also leads you to cafepress, where the coolest logo in the world can be found on clothing, mugs, and more.



Checked my mail, and there it was!


It’s the latest in technology, delivered to your door
Like the internet, but portable—why, who could ask for more?
All that Cuttlefishy goodness, but in one convenient book
What a marvelous invention; don’t you want to take a look?

You can take it to the mountains; you can take it to the park;
With a flashlight or a candle, you can read it in the dark!
It’s much lighter than a laptop, so transporting it’s a breeze
There’s no silicon or plastic—nope, it’s all recycled trees!

It’s an omnibus edition! It’s the Cuttlefish, condensed;
If your dog is acting funny, it’s because he must have sensed!
So you’d better buy an extra, when you’re buying one for you,
Cos the animals all know, it’s all the verse that’s fit to chew!

You could buy one for your Mother; you could buy one for your Pop
You could buy one for your Pastor just to hear him holler “stop!”
You could buy a bunch, and swap out all the hymnals in a church
So they never find “Amazing Grace” no matter where they search!

You could pull one on the Gideons, and place them in hotels
You could slip one to a Wiccan while she’s murmuring her spells
It’s the perfect gift for enemies—the perfect gift for friends!
It’s the gift that keeps on giving—oh, the messages it sends!

You can take one on an airplane; you can take one to the beach;
You could buy them by the dozen, so there’s always one in reach
It’s a conversation starter, if you bring it on a date,
And you’ll know if you’re compatible before it gets too late!

Be the first one on your block to place your order—click today,
And the elf and fairy printers will get on it right away!
As the product of a Cuttlefish, of course you’d call it “Ink”
Really, what more could you ask for?… Well, just one more thing… the link.

Oh, and the link to the preview.

I Feel Like A Million

At some point last night, around 3 AM-ish local time, some visitor here ticked over the odometer, and The Digital Cuttlefish experienced its one millionth view.

I rather like the fact that it happened at that hour, because traffic was light, and I can look through the stats and have some idea (but not an exact idea) of the visitor… and the cool thing is, that person could have come from anywhere! Well, not *anywhere*, but at that time, I had visitors from the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, India, the UK, and The Netherlands. I forget, sometimes, that as small as this blog is, I have many more people reading it than I do students in my combined classes, on any given day (except rare days with atypically low readership).

You might remember, a little less than a month ago, Pharyngula hit 50 million views. Since that time (that is, in under a month), PZ has already had more visitors than I have had in all my time here at FtB. FtB, as a whole, has had over 130 million views, so my million views represents less than one percent of the traffic here. I am a very small cuttlefish in a moderately-sized pond.

But some days, like today, you people make me feel like a million.



So I (think I) finished all the various little “jump through this hoop!” tasks involved in publishing. I see now why publishers exist–that’s a lot of crap to wade through. But since no publisher came begging…

I just ordered the very first copy of “Ink”, to see if it is worth offering to the rest of you. (I’m also working on an E-edition, but strangely, right now the cover art is what’s getting in the way. I expect progress soon… within this lifetime.)

In 5-15 days, I’ll get that copy, and if all is well with it (hell, if all is even remotely close to well), it will be made available to both of you all of you.

It’s really strange–I swing back and forth from being incredibly proud of these verses, to being utterly ashamed of them; from delight that I wrote this or that turn of phrase, to guilt that I would dare expect anyone to pay for this tripe. I wonder if such feelings are shared by people who have publishing companies behind them.

But having just spent a couple of hours reading my own verses aloud (and enjoying it immensely), I am currently eager to see what the actual physical book looks like. And, assuming that I can figure out the problem, the E-book version should be out about the time I get (and, I hope, approve of) the dead tree version. (right now, the e-version is clipping about a fifth of my sigil off of the cover–I have no idea why.)

Funny. At one point, I thought I’d have a book out last year at this time. Silly me. But it really looks like there will be one this year. In just a week or so.

I hope.

time to eat the dog by digital cuttlefish analysis

That was the search term that led to my site today… and which, along with similar searches, has led to my site many times over the past few years, since “Time To Eat The Dog?” was included in a textbook in India.

So I googled the phrase, myself, and found… A Paper That Is Full Of Rubbish. No, really, that’s its title. Of course, all of it that I can read without paying is stuff that I wrote, myself. My post continues, for some 830 words, and the buyable paper claims to be 869 words, so maybe it’s just my post and the concluding remarks “This paper is full of rubbish!”

But hey, it got 4 1/2 stars, on 86 school views. I hope the author, Radha Acharya, is proud.

Hey, students… do your own work!

Dumb Question For You

Does anyone know what font it is that my banner is in? The “The Digital Cuttlefish” part, not the verse. It is not one I have seen anywhere but here, and I’m not the one who put my banner together, either here or at the old place.

It is not in any way an urgent question; I’m not planning to use it on anything. I’m just curious, and have wondered, off and on, for years.

See, This Is Why You Pay Professionals

…cos when you try to do it yourself, you get stuck.

I’m actually happy with my cover (don’t judge me!). But I can’t, yet, export it in 300 dpi so I can use it at Lulu.

It’s ok–this is only day two and a half of knowing of GIMP’s existence. I’m just frustrated that something that I know my nephew could do in his sleep is taking me so long. Screen shot 2013-11-04 at 9.57.58 PM
It will be done. In time for the cephalopodmas shopping rush.

I hope.

(yes, there is a back cover, too, with the cuttlefish sigil in black, facing the other direction, at the top of the page–there is room for a blurb or author’s description or whatever at the bottom, along with the required barcode. Oh, and “ink” was the working title until I found a better one. So if you have a better one, speak up.)

(I love the fact that it is a visual illusion–“The Digital Cuttlefish” looks like it is in a lighter gray than “ink”, but that’s all because the background is different. Yes, I’m a bit of a geek.)

Make It Stop!

It was such a simple project,
But I had no way of knowing
Cos it should have been a simple piece of cake
Once you give them some attention
Little projects get to growing
And they multiply the messes that they make
And they only gain momentum
So it shows no signs of slowing
And I’ll have to hit a tree if I can’t brake

So, yeah, the book. Looks like it might be in final form, ready to send off, but of course I have said that before. And it has grown since then. I really need to trim it down, cos it is currently at 403 pages. And that is without simply dumping everything into it–I was trying to be selective!

Anyway, I need help. Yes, that kind, too, but mostly I am looking for a graphics program to do the cover art. I have the elements I need, and it’s a really simple design, but I haven’t had a graphics program on my computer since SuperPaint, some two decades ago. Advice? Is there something simple online? Something inexpensive I can and should buy?

(It occurs to me that I did the cover layout for the last book, and I have absolutely no recollection of how I did it. Might even have done it in Word, for all that.)

But The Ads Are The Best Part!

There’s a psychic with an offer that is gonna change your life
And a site where Christians mingle if they’re looking for a wife
Politicians with petitions make you miss the “hanging chad”
But you’d never know that they exist, unless you read the ad

There’s a college in Virginia where they follow Jesus first
(Evolution is the enemy, and Darwin is the worst)
Where for several thousand dollars, you can claim that you’re a grad
But you’d never know it’s possible, unless you read the ad

You can tell the folks in Washington you’d like to fire them all
And replace them with a plumber, and a dancer, and Ron Paul
You can send Glenn Beck your money, just to make Obama mad
But you’d never know you’re not alone, unless you read the ad

There’s a T-shirt with a slogan that’s offensive to the right
And another that’s amusing, and exceptionally tight
You can decorate your clothing, matching every passing fad
But you’d never know it’s possible, unless you read the ad

There’s a pill to shape your body—add the muscle, lose the fat
Sure, it’s only a placebo, but there’s nothing wrong with that
You can jump-start your libido and revitalize your nads
But you’d never know it’s possible, unless you read the ads

You could make the pop-ups vanish, and there’s nothing you would miss
You could read your favorite writers in a quiet, ad-less bliss
Go ahead—you know you want to—it will really make you glad
They can do their best to irk you, but you’ll never see the ad!

In other words, our subscription, ad-free version of FtB is now up and running. Currently it’s Paypal only, but we (read: Jason) are working on opening it up for other methods.