I was driving after a rainstorm, and directly in front of me the light had changed red. The road was really slippery, and my car slid right out into the intersection. Thank goodness the intersection was clear, and so I was able to back up to where I should’ve stopped.
No problem, right?
But no, from out of nowhere comes a cop who starts writing me a ticket for running a red light. I get angry and start arguing, and pull out my phone to video the whole thing, and that makes the cop mad. The cop says it’s illegal for me to video him.
Now I am really pissed off because I know that’s false. I tell him I am gathering evidence for court because I intend to fight the ticket. I also tell him that it is not against law, and that I have the law printed out and sitting in my glove compartment. Because, in real life, I actually do! You can photograph anyone at any time in a public place. Anyone – including an officer – who tells you otherwise does not actually know what the law is.
So the confrontation has really escalated, and now the cop has his hand on his gun.
Now here’s the funny part. At this point I’ve already realized that I’m dreaming. I know, on a whim, I could have the guy struck by lightning, or sucked into a black hole, or simply delete him from my dream. I have the power!
But no, I continue arguing with the dream cop. Why? Because it’s the principle!
Finally I do wake up, and now I can’t go back to sleep, and I’m laying here in bed dictating this into my iPad.
The mistake I’d made in fiction for most of my career is to create a group of characters who all like each other. The secret, I think, is the opposite: Create a bunch of interesting characters who all hate each other. Wind them up and let them go. The story will write itself, and in the process, some of those characters will end up as friends.
So Apple decrees that if you’re going to sell a book via the iPad (or any other iOS device), they get a cut.
That’s like Microsoft saying, “Oh, from now on, anything you sell via Windows 7, we get a piece of it.” Seriously, who would stand for that? People would be up in arms. But Apple does it, and there’s a little grumbling, but they get away with it.
That’s why I’m so happy to see Amazon has stuck it to the man by going around Apple’s app store system and created a web-based app that allows you to read AND SHOP via the browser. It works offline as well.
“$9.99: The common going price for e-books before Apple and publishers colluded to drive them higher, according to a lawsuit. The class-action suit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, accuses Apple and five book publishers of fixing the prices of e-books, driving up their prices. Amazon, the humongous online retailer that had regularly sold $9.99 e-books, was then forced to raise its prices, according to the suit brought by a Seattle law firm on behalf of consumers.”