<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Writing the Book 

Well, this morning I finally got caught up on all the emails that have been piling up. It seemed to take forever, and I apologize to those of you who wrote me that it took me (in some cases) several days to get back to you. I used to try to answer each email as soon as I found it, usually within 24 hours. But, as you know, I have been behind in just about everything I have been doing lately. I cited a couple of the reasons, but one of them has also been the weather. We have had a lot of thunderstorms lately, sometimes every day for a while. That shuts me down completely, of course.

But, it's finally back to business as usual. I have winnowed down some of the subscriptions of newsletters, though I still have to get a few more done. That in itself takes time, especially since I work with a very slow dial-up connection. But, that's just part of living in such a rural area. We have only one local number for the entire area. That's the biggest part of the reason I do all my online activity early in the morning. As people sign on, the connection continually gets reset, getting slower and slower. Sometimes you can't even sign on in the evenings at all. You just get a busy signal. Early morning offers the fastest connection speed, so that's when I do all my online work.

I have been giving the book project more thought lately. I have been hoping to start that now that I have talked to several people in the activist community and read different books to see what has and hasn't been done. Now, I am coming to you to ask your opinion on how this book should be written. I would love to get some feedback from as many of you as possible.

On the one hand, there are those that are saying that I have most of my writing done - just to organize and flesh out what is already on the blog here.

On the other, there are those that are telling me that it would be better to write this in such a way as that it is my story, but in a fictionalized way. The obvious recommendations for doing this is that there can be no one trying to sue me or come after me in any other manner, screaming, "But that's not true! You can't say that!" It would also be preferable in that the events that happened could be told without strict remembrances on exactly when an incident occurred and would also open up the door to stories that I haven't told because I didn't have enough evidence to back them up.

See, I have been very careful to only report things I saw firsthand, with very few exceptions. However, there are many other things that have happened that I haven't told, simply because I couldn't prove them - things that others told me that they witnessed. I knew when I started with my sworn statement that I might have to defend it in a future court date, so I was very careful in what it alleged. I made sure I could back up the allegations there. Same with the stuff I have written here. But, these things are by no means the whole story...

I am just one guy. I may have seen a lot, since I worked in different sectors for so many years, but I am still only one guy who worked for one company. There are many others that I talked with over the years that also had stories to tell. These, for the most part, I have never gone into. If the book is told from a fictionalized viewpoint, I would feel more comfortable including them. I had thought about telling my personal story of the things that I went through, coupled with the story of just one little chicken. I wanted to bring those two characters together later in the book. I have some that agree with that and think it's a great idea.

I have pretty much decided to do it this way for those reasons. It would still be my story of real events, but I would be allowed a little more leeway in telling it. But, I want to hear what you think about this. What would you be more likely to buy and read? I can do it either way. I could (if there is enough interest in the first one) write more than one. Some of you have been reading this blog from the beginning. We have exchanged many emails about many things. We have gotten to know each other. We value each others' opinions. That's why I am coming to you. I want to know what you think.

Write me and let me know what you think, okay?
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