This storm worm is not bringing your computer Valentine's Day love

I’m seeing a number of warnings about the Valentine’s Day Storm Worm. This worm is similar to a Trojan horse because it gets the recipient of an email to click on a link with an IP address. Once you click, your computer is subject to control by someone else, exposing you to security risks that can bring future misery to your life. In one example, the email message subject line will read “with love.exe” .Other creative subject lines may pose as a Valentine’s Day message. This worm which also appeared in 2007 is sending you anything but love. ...more

Expert weighs in on liability for bloggers

Martin H. Samson, a partner in the New York law firm of Davidoff Malito & Hutcher LLP, is a top authority on Internet Law. He authored the Internet Library site comprising extensive analysis of over 430 court decisions shaping the law of the Web. Samson also publishes the newsletter Internet Law Update. After reading my Dec. 21 post, 'Blogs move beyond original concept, some carry liability for authors,' Samson generously shared additional information about the subject of liability. ...more

Bookstore moments yield wisdom for authors

A couple days ago I finished up an interview and dropped by a bookstore on my way home. I’ve been visiting bookstores in a purely clinical way lately. Rather than wandering around mindlessly and coming out with a bag of books, I’ve been studying the way books are arranged in stores and especially the way they’re categorized. Either way, I still come out with a bag of books. When I visit stores I talk to people. I’m in the process of formatting my nonfiction manuscript, and this time, I’m doing my homework ahead of time. ...more

Can a generalist survive today’s writing market?

Publishing has increasingly become a forum for experts. If you are a weight-loss guru, a financial expert or a spiritual sage and, more importantly, if you have succeeded in making money off your area of expertise, you automatically have an edge in pitching an article or even a book. And this phenomenon isn’t confined to nonfiction—look at Patricia Cornwall who, after working as technical writer and analyst in a medical examiner’s office, parlayed that experience into best-selling crime novels. But there are writers like me who for whatever reason decline to focus on a specialty area. ...more

Message boards useful to writers if you hit ‘delete’ on politics

Message boards are a great resource for writers—you do a story about kumquats you look for a hobby group. Need to know about the effects of a disease or medical treatment? People are inexplicably eager to share. Amazing what grass roots research, a simple search in cyberspace, can do for you. But I also come across messages that I suspect are placed by political plants. Read more at Creative Writer US. ...more

Networks that pay off for freelance writers

I get email frequently from different people but with the same question. How do I get started in freelancing? I always view these with frustration, because there’s no easy answer and of course because there’s so much information about this on the Web free of charge. But one of the first things I point an aspiring freelancer to is a network. You can do one physically or on the Web. You can do one as part of an organization or a commercial group. You can even start one yourself. ...more

Letters from soldier in WWI draw readers to episodes posted on blog

Bill Lamin found letters written by his grandfather Harry Lamin during World War I. Bill created a blog, WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier, posting each letter on the day it was written almost a century ago. The result has amazed him. He’s received so many letters and email messages he had to create another blog just for those. He doesn’t mind the hard work though, noting in a message to readers at the letters blog, “Finally, I do really welcome comments and emails. They have made all the hard work well worthwhile.” ...more

Great marketing Web sites for writers

The Web is a great resource for writers because so many professionals make information available free. I’ve come across some sites that are useful to me, and hopefully, they’ll be useful to you as well. Most writers focus on process and that’s the way it should be. But if you want to sell your work, or if you want to market your book, information from insiders comes in handy. It's true that I spend time speaking at events like the presentation I did for a civic group here in Florida. But sometimes you can devote an hour or two on the Web and accomplish just as much. ...more

Seinfeld may want to apologize to author Lapine

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has been very outspoken about accusations of plagiarism levied against his wife Jessica by author Missy Chase Lapine. During appearances on TV shows, Seinfeld has implied Lapine is a “wacko” and among other things, he called the author “angry” and “hysterical.” An attorney for the Seinfelds said Lapine’s claims were “unfounded and untrue.” Both authors’ books deal with getting children to eat healthy foods, even if they’re picky eaters. After reading Lapine’s legal complaint, I’d have to say she provides some very persuasive evidence. ...more

Blogging can cause a heart attack?

A story in the New York Times (Jan. 7) reveals the founder of GigaOm, a hot blog in the tech industry, recently had a heart attack. And although associates of Om Malik say the 41-year-old writer also smoked cigars and cigarettes, a friend of his notes the stress created by Malik's successful blog. I have to admit, blogging can be stressful. The Florida blog I write really creates headaches at times because the readership grew so rapidly and this increased not only my email but also many interesting calls about possible stories. (Note: I definitely prefer email). ...more