Friday, October 24, 2014

Certain Things I Didn't Realize About Quoting People

I'm learning so much as I get ready to self-publish Live with Flair: Seasons of Worship and Wonder. I thought I'd make a little list of what I'm learning in case you're thinking of self-publishing anything (or writing blogs where you quote people).

1. Publishers actually own the rights to certain Bible translations. You must get permission, for example, to use the NIV 1984 edition in your published writings.

2. You must request permission from publishers to quote from material to which they own the rights because there's no set rule on "Fair Use." It's really debatable, and unless you're an expert on copyright law, I wouldn't risk it. Some publishers said, "Yes, this is Fair Use, but please cite it this way." Other publishers said, "You must pay us $ to use this quote." Believe it or not, the C.S. Lewis estate charges you to quote C.S. Lewis. I didn't realize this.

3. Poetry and music lyrics don't follow the same "Fair Use" laws. You need permission for every word you want to quote.

4. It might take several weeks to hear back from publishers about whether or not you have permission.

5. Do not trust that someone's copyright has expired. For example, Walt Whitman's poems are out of copyright and can be quoted without permission. However, W.B. Yeats is a poet whose copyright has just been extended to 2021.

Copyright law suddenly seems so interesting (and strange) to me. It's been fun talking to publishers all about Rights and Permissions.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Simple Life Pattern: Praise and Gather

This morning I read something wonderful in Psalm 142:7. David writes, "Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me."

I love that the prayer isn't just about David. His freedom isn't for him alone. When God frees him, it's for God and for others. His prayer isn't "free me so I can be free"; it's "free me so I can praise you and  let others rejoice because of it."

I also love the picture of community surrounding the one to whom God has displayed a particular work. I want to gather with others around the one in my community who showcases the goodness of God. Instead of jealousy or comparison, I want to gather and rejoice with that person who has been set free.

Finally, I love how David will experience community as part of his freedom. The isolation and loneliness leaves and a community of celebration surrounds him.

We praise; we gather: a simple life pattern for today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

You, Like This

For several years now, I've noted my favorite spot in the neighborhood in autumn. It's this tree right here:

This tree stands out against all the others. It seems whipped up with golden butter, layered with sunshine, and spun with gold. Imagine it on a bright, clear day (instead of this gloomy, dark one).

All week, I've been talking to my daughters about how they can "shine like stars" from Philippians 2:15. As I read this section of scripture, I know that when we choose not to argue or complain, and when we "hold fast to the word of life," we stand out like bright lights in a cynical generation.

I also think about those women in my life who are those shining lights for me. Finally, I think about that one shining star of a moment that comes every day, without fail, in the midst of whatever is going on in life. There you are, driving down the dark road, and the golden moment rises up in view, spun with gold and layered with sunshine.

That's what this tree invites in my heart year after year on this very week.