I nearly laughed my butt off…

I read about this on the NaNoWriMo blog first, then followed the links to a thread in the NaNoWriMo forums about it, and the links to the elance site.

I gotta tell you, this whole thing just confirms sixty two ways of crazy for some people.

So, what’s this crazy thing I’m talking about? This, from the elance site:

I’m looking for someone to ghost write a 50,000 word novel for me during the month of November. Must start on November 1st and finish on November 30th. Must be able to send your written progress at least 5 days a week. No need for any editing, just g …….

Sound familiar at all? Why, could that be because it’s for a NaNoWriMo novel? You know, that insane contest that takes place in November that consists of writing 50,000 words in one month?

Gee, could it be a coincidence? Uh, yeah, I’m not that dumb, either. 😀

Then we have this bidder comment:

Hi, I have written novels for National Novel Writing Month in the past, three separate times and would be very interested in assisting you with this year’s.

Uh, yeah, dude, it’s not assisting. It’s ghostwriting. Not the same thing.

Which begs the question. Why would any sane person hire someone to write a 50,000 word novel (which, by the way, is not publishable length, even if it were edited, which it won’t be) for a writing contest that has no prize other than a silly little icon and a PDF winner’s certificate?

Seriously, why?

How stupid are you?

And now Fahim’s saying that if he’d known about it, he would have done it. laughs maniacally

shakes head Seriously, what a waste of time. And what a pathetic person.

Earthlink is dummber than a bag of hammers

I’m posting this here for those who can’t access NaNoWriMo but want to – spread the joy, spread the joy!

And why am I calling Earthlink dummber than a bag of hammers? (And yes, the misspelling is deliberate!) Because there will be something like 80,000 people signing up for NaNoWriMo, maybe more, and that’s how many people will know about Earthlink’s stubborn refusal to fix a simple problem. 80,000 people who’ll tell their friends, who’ll tell their friends, and so on. You just can’t buy bad advertising like this.

Hey Earthlink, wanna lose customers? Then keep on doing what you’re doing, cuz it’s gonna work!

From the NaNoWriMo site:

We need your help!

Posted by Chris Baty on 2005/10/13 4:40:42

Hey there! We are sad to report that Earthlink, one of the US’s largest ISPs, is allowing an internal problem to persist that makes the NaNoWriMo.org site inaccessible to their customers. We’ve contacted them about this repeatedly with no success. And we would love your help in getting the issue resolved. Russ has put together an overview of the issue, which I’ve pasted below. Please, if you have a moment today, contact Earthlink andask them in the kindest way possible to devote a smidge of their mighty resources towards fixing the problem. Together, we’ll get it taken care of!

(from Russ)
Here’s the problem: Earthlink’s DNS servers are returning an incorrect NS record for www.nanowrimo.org.

They have been doing this since September 14th.

The problem seems to have been fixed once or twice, only to break again. Sometimes the incorrect record is always returned, sometimes Earthlink alternates between correct and incorrect information.
The result of this is that most of the time Earthlink subscribers cannot access the NaNoWriMo website.

This problem extends to subscribers of other Earthlink companies like PeoplePC and MindSpring.

Many Wrimos have spent many hours of their time with Earthlink Tech Support trying to get them to fix this problem. In some cases, Earthlink staff have agreed that there is a problem, and have promised to have Earthlink technicians fix it. In some cases, Earthlink staff have blamed the victim, telling them their computer was at fault. In some cases, Earthlink staff have blamed NaNoWriMo, claiming that we are purposefully blocking Earthlink subscribers from our site (which we couldn’t do even if we wanted to).

In no cases has Earthlink actually fixed the problem.

We’re asking you, the general NaNoWriMo community, to give your Earthlink-bound brethren a hand by asking Earthlink – politely! – to fix this problem.

Here are some Earthlink tech support email addresses that you can try:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

You can also try to email, live chat, and phone links on this page:

In order to support your case, you should include the following technical information in your communication:

Here are the correct nameservers for nanowrimo.org:
% dig ns nanowrimo.org
nanowrimo.org. 2250 IN NS ns1.quickserve.com.
nanowrimo.org. 2250 IN NS ns0000.ns0.com.

Here are the incorrect nameservers that Earthlink is returning:
% dig ns nanowrimo.org @ns3.earthlink.net
nanowrimo.org. 3047 IN NS PARK10.SECURESERVER.NET.
nanowrimo.org. 3047 IN NS PARK9.SECURESERVER.NET.

We’ve checked all of the root servers for the .org TLD and none of them are wrong.

Finally, if you know someone who is having this problem, please ask them to email [email protected] We’ll send them instructions to a workaround for this issue.

Thank you!

Earthlink vs. NaNoWriMo

Earthlink subscribers are apparently STILL having problems accessing NaNoWriMo. In an effort to spread a possible solution for Earthlink subscribers, I’ve taken this solution from the NaNoWriMo site (which Earthlink subscribers can’t access, of course) and pasted it here.

Pretty much anyone who uses Earthlink can’t access NaNoWriMo.

This is because Earthlink’s DNS servers are not giving the correct IP address for NaNoWriMo.

I’ve contacted all the emails I could find for reporting this kind of thing, but I haven’t gotten any replies.

If you have any friends who are using Earthlink and are having trouble, please feel free to give them the following advice:

1. Call Earthlink Customer Service and complain bitterly.

2. Have them, or a tech savvy friend of theirs, set up alternate DNS servers so that they can access the NaNoWriMo site.

It’s possible that changing the DNS servers will not fix the problem.

This can be the case if the computer is behind a router (in which case one could try setting up the DNS servers there) or with certain firewall configurations.

That’s why step 1. is so important!!! Please focus all your frustration on Earthlink Customer Service until someone fixes this problem!!!


Good advice on setting up DNS servers on Windows can be found at http://www.mediacollege.com/computer/network/dns.html

Here are some public nameservers that can be used instead of Earthlink’s:

Level3 Nameservers (fast) (fast)

SpeakEasy Nameservers

My niece signed up for NaNoWriMo

She’s 14, and I can’t believe it!

I bullied her for five or ten minutes, went for an hour or so nap, and came back to find out she’d signed up.


I always knew I loved her, but the more I get to know her, the more I realize that she takes after me much more than her own mother . . . <ducks>