Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Noble Dawg Scammed

I hate literary scams.

My late dog Jack, a fine and noble critter who died back in May, still gets scam email to the account that I haven’t yet gotten* around to deleting. Because he “wrote” some doggerel and posted it on the International Library of Poetry website over a year ago, he still gets offers. Here's one, from the infamous Noble House, with my annotations in capital letters:
Office of the Publisher
Poetry Division
London, U.K.
17 October, 2007

Dear Jack Mushkeau,

Recently, I was discussing the appointment of this year's Poet Fellows with various editors, colleagues, and publishers.
YEAH, AND THE REST OF US ARE DODGING FLYING PIGS.
The Poet Fellowship is an elite group of international writers who share a common passion for writing.
TRANSLATION: THEY POSTED A POEM ON POETRY.COM
In recent years, the number of Poet Fellows has grown with members from all over the world. It started in London and then quickly spread to New York, Paris, and Venice . . . and now its members literally circle the globe.
ARE THERE THAT MANY PEOPLE WHO’VE BEEN TAKEN IN BY THIS CRAP?
It is with great enthusiasm that I am officially inviting you to join this legendary group as a Poet Fellow. This is a marvelous opportunity for you to finally join the upper echelon of poets and writers. We hope you choose to accept this prestigious offer.
WOW! DO THEY REALIZE THAT THEY’RE SENDING THIS EMAIL OFFER TO A YAHOO ADDRESS OF A DECEASED DOG? CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW YOU GET THIS CRAP.

Show The World Your Status As A Poet Fellow!


To commemorate your status as a Poet Fellow for 2007, we would like to offer you one of the Poet Fellow Pins at the membership price of $59.95/£29.53. This gold pin is worn by members around the world, and it is recognized as a symbol of excellence. Not only does the honour of wearing the Poet Fellow Pin bring a high level of respect in the poetic community, it was also designed by one of the premiere jewelry artists, Samantha Higgins, who has been in the business of crafting symbolic jewelry pieces for over twenty years. Her meticulous craftsmanship is highlighted in the elaborate design and exceptional detail of each piece of jewelry. Samantha Higgins used this same care and precision when she created the Poet Fellow Pin. This striking jewelry piece has the official Noble House emblem set with 24-karat gold. It is truly a masterpiece that honours your outstanding and well-deserved accomplishments.
PINNING A MEDAL ON A DOG WHO DIED AND WAS BURIED OVER 5 MONTHS AGO WON’T BE EASY. WHAT “WELL-DESERVED ACCOMPLISHMENTS”?

And That's Not All!
In honour of your distinction as a Poet Fellow, we have also commissioned special artists to design and produce a limited edition medallion--the Poet Fellow Silver Medallion. This finely-crafted display piece celebrates the outstanding men and women who represent the arts as Poet Fellows around the world. One side recognizes your Poet Fellow status, while the other side displays the flags of France, England, and the United States. If you are interested in acquiring one of these, you must place your order by the end of October. Due to the limited number of medallions, we can only guarantee their availability for a short time. Because we know how much everyone will enjoy the Poet Fellow Silver Medallion, we have decided to package it along with the 2007 Poet Fellow Pin at no extra charge. This limited edition medallion will only cost you $74.95/£36.92, and we will include the 2007 Poet Fellow Lapel Pin FREE (a $59.95/£29.53 value) with your order!

The medallion and pin come with a Certificate of Authenticity attesting to their Limited Edition status. Both are formally presented in a striking, dark brown "leather" display case. Just imagine the sense of gratification you will feel when others see this exquisite medallion and pin set honouring your poetic accomplishments. What an impressive way to show off your status as an elite member of the Poet Fellowship!
WHY NOT JUST PIN ON A SIGN THAT SAYS, “I FALL FOR SCAMS”?

Jack, I was extremely delighted with your work, and I feel you deserve this type of recognition. Many people write poetry for years and never obtain the level of artistry that is present in your work. You should be very proud of your accomplishment. We encourage you to keep striving to be the best and leading your local writing community by example. When you proudly display your Poet Fellow Silver Medallion and wear your 2007 Poet Fellow Pin, you will be recognized the world over as an elite poet with an undying passion for poetry.

Go here to accept your Poet Fellow nomination and acquire your pin and medallion.

Sincerely,
Nigel Hillary
Publisher, Poetry Division - Noble House U.K.


Earlier in the month, Jack’s poem was declared recipient of an Editor’s Choice and he was informed it was eligible for publication in the Immortal Verses series.



Just in case you don’t cough up the $49.95 for the book or the $49 for the CD, but you’d still like to read Jack’s winning poem, here it is:

Wand'ring

Wand'ring o'er the countryside
In search of the light inside
Before dusk falls at eventide.

Wand'ring through the cities grim
Past the houses neat and trim
And all the folks proper and prim.

Wand'ring through the ways unknown
My wild oats already sown
With many a growl and many a groan.

Dogging my footsteps, wagging my way
Digging up bones along the way,
Now I've said my final say.

~Jack Mushkeau
Copyright ©2007 Jack Mushkeau

(Note: Odds are good that this poem won’t really be published because there’s no way Jack can sign his name. He had a previous poem published when he was alive because I helped him hold the pencil in his paw when he initialed his proof copy.)

From the email that he received two weeks ago declaring the above poem a semi-finalist:
Jack, your poem was selected for publication, and as a contest semi-finalist, on the basis of your unique talent and artistic vision. We believe it will add to the importance and appeal of this edition. In this regard, you are under no obligation whatsoever to submit any entry fee, any subsidy payment, or to make any purchase of any kind. Of course, many people do wish to own a copy of the anthology in which their artistry appears. If this is the case, we welcome your order--and guarantee your satisfaction.

I dunno about you, but I’m pretty sure they can’t guarantee the satisfaction of a deceased mixed retriever.

I doubt that anything will add to the "importance and appeal" of a scam book.


*to Dave the Brit: Yes, I used gotten instead of got. I did it deliberately. It’s the American Way.

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2 Comments:

Blogger CountryDew said...

These scams really get under your skin, don't they. I can understand how people fall for them. They want *so badly* to be recognized. Living lives of quiet desperation, they hope a little accomplishment will bring them something - anything - that will create a change of fortune. Thank you for pointing them out, because I know there are many of them.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Serena Thomson said...

How disgusting ... !!





custom pins

7:25 AM  

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