Download Taylor Swift’s new song for FREE!

The following post appeared on my Facebook feed the other day, posted by an author who unabashedly leans left on the political spectrum… “Do you want to read The Room Where it Happened by John Bolton? Here it is in its entirety. Just don’t buy it and help to line Bolton’s pockets.” This post contained a PDF attachment of the digital version of the book in its entirety. In the spirit of enforcing copyright laws, Facebook quickly removed the PDF attachment, leaving anyone who clicked on her post, with a message that the contents had been removed.  

While I understand the frustrations of this person, who feels that Bolton has no right to profit from his book due to his refusal to share this information during the Presidential Impeachment trial, I am perplexed with a writer championing the idea of giving away the intellectual property of an artist… even a politician.

The issue of the unpaid artist is not a problem only with writers. This conundrum involves musicians, graphic designers, painters, photographers, and anyone providing a service that can easily be shared digitally. How often have we shared a photo that we retrieved from the World Wide Web, with little thought of where the source originated, and with even less regard to how this artist is losing profit from each click of the Download button.

“I can’t afford to pay you, but you will receive so much publicity by donating your (Insert craft here),” is a phrase often echoed by well-meaning people who think they are providing an opportunity, when in fact, they are simply perpetuating the belief that artists should be sharing their craft for free, and that the next person is the one who should be paying for their services.

This challenge for all artists is only getting worse, with the Internet providing so many avenues for the pirating of digital copies of art. While we may justify our actions by telling ourselves that the person we are stealing from is rich and will never miss our lack of contribution for their product, the truth is, it is harder today for the writer/artist/musician to profit from their craft due to the pirating of property that is done without thought or consequences. Why do we think it is OK to download the Taylor Swift song we lifted off of a questionable website? Perhaps, because we can. And is Taylor Swift really going to hurt from the one swipe of a song?

The answer is, Yes. The pirating of property from writers/artists/musicians is theft. It’s time we acknowledge this, and time to step up and pay for their services. As I embark on the publication of my first novel, I hope that literary enthusiasts will not share my property just because they may think that, “It’s just one copy.”          

Here’s a thought… Let’s think twice before hitting the Download button on the Internet when given the opportunity to receive the beauty of art for free. The writer/artist/musician deserves our respect, and just as importantly, our payment for their services.

Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Moxie Magazine. Look for her debut novel, Chasing North Star September 29, 2020. Follow Heidi at heidimccrary.net and facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor

60 Second Book Review – ME BEFORE YOU

Published in 2012, I finally got around to reading the romance novel, ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes. It’s a good thing my friend placed the book directly in my hands, because the genre, Romance Novel doesn’t set off any MUST READ flags for me.

The premise isn’t complicated – and is a straightforward “Girl meets boy in wheelchair” story. While the road, ME BEFORE YOU travels down doesn’t contain many twists and turns, it does provide an ending that avoids clichés and an eye-rolling happily ever after. Instead, it lays bare what is most important for human kindness, and the difficult task of being selfless.

ME BEFORE YOU – An entertaining and thought-provoking read. Oh…and a romance.

Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Women’s LifeStyle. Look for her debut novel, Chasing North Star in September 2020. Follow Heidi at https://www.facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor

Golf and the Covid Equation

And why the death of golf has been greatly exaggerated

“Good morning,” I said as the door opened, revealing a young woman pulling her mask up over her mouth. She hesitated, looking at the variety of golf attire, clubs, and accessories in the pro shop. As she made her way to the counter, I could see the smile in her eyes. “Welcome,” I continued. “How may I help you?”

“Hi,” she replied. “My son and I needed to get out of the house, and we’re just glad that we’re able to come here. It’s been a while.”

small child 2020IT’S BEEN AWHILE – The most spoken response in golf pro shops across the country. Well, in Michigan, anyway. While the Coronavirus has had a devastating affect on the economy at large, it has resulted in a surprising uptick for a select few businesses—one being golf courses.

Although, it didn’t start out that way. Back in early April, golf courses were on the same lockdown mandated by the Governor of Michigan, as most other businesses. But with the argument that golf is an outdoor activity that requires little to no physical interaction between players, the golf course industry was soon granted a refreshing pass by Governor Whitmer. As people rejoiced, owners of golf courses, quickly saw a return to business as usual. However, they were not prepared for what happened next…

GOLF EXPLODED.

Families that once enjoyed taking their children to the beach or bowling alley, or even the city park, were suddenly met with CLOSED signs and warning tape encasing park playgrounds. With limited options, Mom and Dad found their old clubs hiding in the basement, dusted off the driver, and said, “Kids, we’re going golfing.” And as bars struggle to remain open, young adults are finding that golfing with friends is a safe, healthy and entertaining alternative to the bar scene.

The golf industry had been declining in growth as the younger demographic chose different sports and activities from what their parents enjoyed. Many country clubs that once thrived, were struggling to remain open, and golf courses were quickly turning into housing developments.

And then came Covid-19.

Only time will tell if the growth of golf continues after the pandemic subsides, but as I send another family with young children onto the course already bustling with many other families and friends enjoying this great sport, something tells me we just might be growing the next Tiger Woods.

Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Women’s LifeStyle. Look for her debut novel, Chasing North Star in September 2020. Follow Heidi at https://heidimccrary.net/ and https://www.facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor

Now I See… A Tale of Two Salespeople

I looked at my glasses, which had just previously rested on the top of my head. With one of the temples (the arm of the glasses frame) turned at a 90 degree angle, I contemplated the chances of the temple surviving my attempt to bend it back into place. Even as it withstood the bend back, I could see the break, and knew the temple would soon snap into two detached pieces.

I have always taken my business to RX Optical, and as I talked to the salesperson at the location nearest me, I reiterated my loyalty to the store, and explained my current dilemma, and my request for a new temple.  

“I’m sorry,” she explained. “We can’t replace a part; we have to replace the whole frame.” After looking at my purchase history, she continued. “You purchased your frames in May of 2018, so your 2-year warranty has expired. You will also want a new eye exam since we request that they be made every two years. You have insurance for that right?”

She then continued to schedule an examination for me for a month down the road, even with my insistence that my frame wasn’t going to make it another 30 days, and I feared having to wear taped-up glasses. I hung up the phone, realizing that I would now be down hundreds of dollars for what I had hoped would be the replacement of a simple part.

Something wasn’t right here. I knew there was a better way for this tale to end, so I picked up the phone again. But this time, I called the RX Optical located in the Oakwood Plaza, and had the pleasure of talking with Paige Miller.  

“I’ve looked up your records,” Ms. Miller said. “And it shows that your 25-month warranty ends in just a few days, so you’re good! We have your frame in-stock so come on in whenever you want, and we’ll switch it out for you.”

I won’t remark on the first salesperson because I don’t know if she is the product of bad sales practices or more aptly, poor training.  I will however applaud the actions of Paige Miller, who didn’t feel the need to sell me a car when all I needed were new tires.

Sometimes it helps to be that squeaky wheel.

Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Women’s LifeStyle. Look for her debut novel, Chasing North Star in the fall of 2020. Follow Heidi at heidimccrary.net and facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor