Sunday, September 9, 2007

I Blame It All On Spam!

Yesterday started out as a pretty good day. I did a little of this and that, exchanged emails with a writer friend, and with my daughter, spent some time outside, enjoying the light rain falling, came inside again and checked my email. After all, by then at least an hour had gone by since I had last checked it. A lot of emails can come in during the course of an hour. And guess what? There was a lot of email, most of it nasty spam, trying to sell me all kinds of wonder drugs, (that shall remain nameless,) to cure what ails me, and I'm not even a man! I HATE SPAM!

But wonder of wonders, there among all that spam was an email from Teri P. of Chicken Soup for the Soul, with an attachment. That meant there was a permission agreement to be signed and faxed back to them, for another Chicken Soup for the Soul Book. This one for Chicken Soup for the Soul, Celebrating People Who Make a Difference in the Lives of Others.

Now any writer who has gone through the submission process for a Chicken Soup book, knows the process. Stories are first read and rated by designated readers. Then the highest rated stories are passed on to more readers. Finally, a certain number of the highest rated stories are the finalists. At that point, Chicken Soup sends out an email informing the writer he/she is a finalist, and to please print, sign and fax back the agreement by the set date. Woo Hoo, I was a finalist again, and with a little more luck, this latest story would make it into the book.

However, I decided to dilly dally and get back to the email in the next day or so. I had nice Sunday plans, so Monday would be a good day to take care of the business of important emails from Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Meanwhile, more spam arrived that I kept deleting, and deleting, and when later I looked for the email from Chicken Soup, it was gone! Vanished into cyber space, no doubt with the spam I had so dilligently deleted! Oh my gosh, what would I do now? My evening was ruined, my Sunday would be spent worrying, my life as a writer was in jeopardy, (well, a little drama here!) and it was all because of the darn spam! I HATE SPAM!

I tried to find out if I could somehow un-delete a deleted email. But no such luck for this tech dummy. Finally, I searched my address book and found the email address for D'ette C. I worked with her on the last two Chicken Soup books. Maybe, just maybe she could help me. So, last night I emailed D'ette, apologizing profusely for bothering her, explaining my situation, and begging her to help me, if she was able to. And guess what? A little while ago, D'ette replied, telling me it was no bother, and they were always glad to help their contributors, in any way they could. And I now have Teri's email, and sent her an apologetic letter explaining to her what had happened, and asked her if she could re-send the information and contract/permission agreemnent. Hopefully, I will hear from Teri by tomorrow, and can finally complete the process as a finalist for the new Chicken Soup for the Soul, Celebrating People Who Make a Difference in the Lives of Others. Meanwhile, I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Whew, a long rant, but I'm glad I got it off my chest. Wish me luck! And did I tell you that I HATE SPAM?

Post Script: Monday morning, Sept. 10th--The email from Teri Paluso just came in. I'm back in business!


deborah wilson said...

Spam and Bulk mail -
Welcome to the Internet!
Crosses your eyes, doesn't it?
There's not too much you can do about it, you can use filters but even thats not 100%.
I never respond to any spam or bulk at all. Back in the old days, I've followed a few links within some of the spam mails, and I picked up viruses and trojans - ended up having to reformatt my computer's hard drive.
I don't use my server email to put on my blog, I always use yahoo mail. I keep my bulk mail filter on, to save for 2 weeks, just in case something important should come through and accidentally get sent to the bulk folder. If I'm expecting something important, I skim over the bulk mail until I receive what I'm looking for - otherwise, I never skim at all - I simply hit the delete button and empty everything. In one day do you know how much junk mail goes to my bulk folder? A ball park estimate is 500 pieces of mail.

I agree, it's ridiculous. Spammers that send offensive mail - they're not appreciated.

I don't use e-mail that much any more, but for business, like in your case, it's a must have.

Good luck, Renie.
(Info for photos in previous post.)

Renie Burghardt said...


I never open any spam/bulk email either, and currently do not have a spam filter, which has me mad at Norton. Last year Norton had a spam filter, then when I renewed in late July 07, it had all kinds of new features, but the spam filter was gone! I was not happy about that. If I had known that before I downloaded it, I would have switched to another virus protection. Now I'm stuck with Norton for another year.

Oh, by the way, the email from Chicken Soup, with the attachments of the contract just came in this morning, so I'm back in business. Thank you for commenting, Deborah. Spam is definately a big problem for a lot of people.


Michele L. Tune said...

Hurray, Renie! I'm so glad that SPAM lost this battle and you got your email and contract anyways! Yeah!

I hate SPAM too!

Renie Burghardt said...

Well, Spam really hasn't lost the battle, for I still get bunches of it, but at least I was able to over come this one incidence with it. And I found out that the folks at Chicken Soup for the Soul are extra nice, and most helpful.

Thank you for commenting, Michele. I hope you're having a great day today, writing the cyber highway!