I got cybersquatted.
And it made me cranky. Very, very, very cranky - but it all worked out in the end. Phew!
So here's what happened. I finally decided to get working on my website that is actually listed on the jacket flap of my book but doesn't exist yet. Oops.
To be fair to myself, this was a crazy busy year, the kind where I didn't have time to do frivolous things like: going to the bathroom (at least not until I was doing the pee dance), sleeping, grocery shopping, cooking meals for my family, shaving my legs, doing laundry, buying new underwear which I desperately needed since I wasn't doing laundry, posting on my blog, learning how to create a website, etc.
But anyway, I went to bluehost.com to buy my domain name and have them host my site, carolbaickermckee.com, which my lawyer husband had assured me could not be used by anyone else as my name is utterly unique, thanks to some Ellis Island goofy spelling plus the magic of marital hyphenation. (I think there are only about 30 people in the entire world with "Baicker" in their name, all related to us, and I'm certain there are only 5 Baicker-McKees and they all live in my house.) And it's against the law to buy someone else's name that you have no legitimate connection to. But someone had already bought my name anyhow! And put up a horrible website that was all links to commercial websites, including from the homepage some porn-ish sights about cheating wives and Russian girls.
I about had a heart attack. Then I called my husband and told him he was in BIG trouble. (Not that I have much leverage as an Angry Woman anymore, not since I gave up stuff like grocery shopping, shaving my legs, and washing the family's underwear. What could I threaten to do? Lose the number of our favorite take out pizza place? Convince Kmart to stop selling him new Fruit of the Looms?)
So then I didn't know what to do! But now I've figured it out, and I'll tell you, in case it happens to you. First, go to a whois site, like betterwhois.com and it will tell you who has registered your domain name and who owns the website. And then use the contact info to visit the owners' websites, in my case a giant buy-lots-of-domain-sites company. And then write them a fierce letter telling them they are violating Section 43(d) of the Lanham Act (read about it here), and that you'd like them to immediately shut down the website and un-register the domain name. Next, get your husband to take out all the inflammatory language so that the email is merely firm but polite. Then wait a few hours for an email that says, "Don't know what you're talking about. We don't own that domain name." And then check and discover your name is now magically available and the horrid website has disappeared and no one has to sue anyone! And your husband isn't it deep doo-doo anymore! Finally, quick, quick, quick, register the name, get someone to host it, and start working away on your site (more on the adventures of that soon).
In more fun news, I'm working on content for my website, including a printable Mimi paperdoll. This is because I have always loved paperdolls. My plan is to have one page to print on cardstock that will have Mimi, Bunny and Frank dolls, as well as other things that work well on stiffer paper, like a yogurt cup that Frank can be inserted into after assembly, a book cover or two, a bowl of cereal with a separate teeny tiny spoon and a banana, complete with smidge, maybe a twinkle star night light, some forks - stuff like that. And then another page that can be printed on regular paper (or maybe a lightweight photo paper - that might be nice) with outfits for Mimi and Bunny (and maybe a collar and leash for Frank?), and interior pages that can be assembled with the book covers on the previous page to make little miniature books, which I also love. Any other great ideas/requests for cool features?
Off to my tree house to work on revisions to my parenting book!