Sunday, October 13, 2013

Rochester hotel fires and pirates, arrrr

No caption needed.
 I'm in Rochester!
Check my tour schedule for what I'm doing here. I'm still trying to wake up properly from the fire alarm that went off at 8am in the hotel.
There was no fire.
But we all had to get up and go outside anyway.

When I was about 24, Mr. King and I lived on the 13th floor in a now-flattened apartment building in Center City Philly called the Bellrich. This building was famous for false fire alarms. It was home to many college students who would sometimes pull the alarms for fun, in drunkenness, or if their favorite sports team won, etc. etc. Swell times. 
We lived there for a year and I'd say we lived through, oh...maybe 40 fire alarms or so? Those were when we were home. I have no idea how many we may have missed while at work. But once it happened the first time, it was simple. You sniffed the air in the hallways. You opened your window and talked to the people above and below you to find out if there was really a fire, and then you went back to sleep. I kid you not. We could sleep right through that alarm. 

A hotel fire alarm is an entirely different thing. It is like a Clockwork Orange-type torture device alarm inside your head that you can't get away from. I'm surprised more people don't die in a year from hotel fire alarm related heart attacks. I'm writing this two hours later and I'm still edgy. 

Anyway, just like at the Bellrich, I sniffed the air and asked my neighbors, who, I might add, had time to pack all of their things and evacuate with packed suitcases while I grabbed the three most important things: computer, personalized copy of The Satanic Verses that Awesome Librarian Paige gifted me out in Portland, and my purse. Stuck on my boots and my leather, and headed out the door just to get away form the infernal sound.

Turns out, the alarm went off because someone on the 3rd floor took a shower without using the fan. 
A. I want to know why this set off a fire alarm. I do this sometimes because it's nice to have steam.
B. I want to know if this is something they know about, then why don't they fix the alarm?
C. I really just wanted to go back to bed because I had to get up at 4am yesterday to fly here and I felt sorry for myself.

And then I read that a friend of mine of Facebook got a robocall at 6:30 this morning and I decided I was the luckier one. Good sweet gods, I have a message for politicians:
Dear politicians who use robocalls,
If you call my house at 6:30 AM on a Sunday, I will not vote for you EVEN IF YOU WERE THE PERSON I WAS GOING TO VOTE FOR. Wanker.
Love, Amy

Me and Deena reflected in Pittsford B&N's
Last night was lovely at B&N Pittsford. Today is Greece Library. The week is a whirlwind of schools and libraries after that!

And I promise a picture-heavy blog or two when I get back. I have some great airplane shots and a shot of my nightstand in Portland that you may find fun. 


I had a fantastic back and forth with a sweet reader yesterday who loved a book of mine and admitted to me that he/she had downloaded it for free...but promised when "grown up" he/she would buy copies and donate them to their library.

I thought that was nice.
Except for the stealing from me part.

I want to share a particular line from our conversation with you because I think it's important. (Please, readers, use the brains here. Context is everything.)
ME: I have to have two other jobs as well as being an author so it's always a little sad knowing that people are stealing the books when I work hard to feed my kids and I work all the time so I can barely see them...   
READER: The sad part is I NEVER ever thought...I was thinking of people like GRR Martin who just don't care about getting pirated. I'm stealing from you AND I don't even have much difficulties as you. That made me feel so bad.
This sweet reader has changed his/her mind about downloading books, it seems, and I am so happy for that.

I used to care more about people stealing from me. 
I had to stop caring.
But back when I cared, I always wondered how many of the people who stole from me were younger people who had more money than I do as an adult working as much as I do to feed my family.

I heard someone from that younger generation complain on Tumblr the other day about her generation being called entitled all the time. I know this Tumblr person and I know she downloads books for free. 

News flash: If you steal from hard working people because you want stuff you can't afford, then you are entitled. 

The only person who can change that is: you.

If that piracy talk made you feel mad, just squeeze this guy.
That's what he's here for.


Joe Lunievicz said...

I just finished readingThe Dust of 100 Dogs. It is a tremendous first novel. I love that even though I knew the ending at the beginning that I still sat on the edge of my chair reading right up to the last page. I really loved this book from the history to the romance, to the Arrr of piratehood.

I've read all of your other novels (except Reality Boy but I'll pick it up when it hits the stores) and enjoyed each and every one. I've bought your books for friends and their kids and can't wait until my son is old enough (he's 11 so we're not quite there yet) to read your work.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

A.S. King said...

Hi Joe!
D100D is a crazy book and I still love it quite a bit. In fact, I was thinking of writing another historical/contemp mix again soon.

I also have an 11 year old. I keep having to tell her that she has to wait until she's about 13 or 14 for my novels. It's hard for her because I have such a large bookcase full of great YA books that she can't read. But there is so much great MG out there too, right?

Thank you so much for reading and for your support. YOU ROCK.


Anonymous said...

I just saw this post now, but I'd like add something to your talk of 'piracy'. I teach 14- to 18-year-olds, and my experience is not so much that they "feel entitled", but that it's been that this is such an obvious and almost natural thing for them to do that they don't even think twice about it. They just don't realize that they're stealing almost. Also, as it happens, a lot of their parents are doing it too and are not even thinking twice about it, which is doubly problematic, I think. School can only 'teach' them so much, and when there's no support from the parents, then, well...
And this is something that goes from reading a book for free to plagiarizing in their own papers and essays: "isn't that what you do?"
It's so damn hard for teachers to make them see that what they're doing is theft on so many different levels, and that they're just cheating themselves and their own potential and creativity too, especially when they are geting conflicting messages about it everywhere they look!

But I'll be damned if I don't point that out to them! :)