2.02.2006

Update!

Many of you (more than 100) got a form email saying your question was deleted. I'm real sorry I had to do it; it's not a comment on your question but more on my lack of time.

As the blog readership increased, the mail and comment volume quadrupled...in two months. What was just a an hour or two was almost six today. That can't continue.

I'll be answering almost no questions posted to the comment trail. I won't even automatically see them anymore.

I will try to answer questions emailed to me. It will be VERY helpful if you're new to the blog if you search the archives first. Google can help. Enter "miss Snark" and the topic, like "writers conferences" and you'll be surprised what pops up.

We need an index, and I'm working on it but it's not coming any time soon.

Meanwhile, I'm taking a short break to catch up on the real work.

Thanks for your patience. I'm glad to have this many readers, commenters, and convivial keyboard killers on the other side of the screen.

Back on Monday!

57 comments:

Miss Audrey said...

Back on Monday? OMG! What am I to do? I live to read my daily blog entries in here! I'm lost, I say, lost! That's like the NYTimes saying that they will be back on Monday! Killer Yap, HELP! Tell me it isn't so!

"Go write you nitwit." Says I to myself. Okay, I guess. Maybe I will, But I did so enjoy reading!

Poloman9 said...

Here here

Eva said...

I knew something had to give. She can't go on like this forever. And neither can we!

I'm following her lead and going to grade papers (ugh).

Karenee said...

The time spent here is extremely valuable. Thank you for your incredible dedication to this blog, Miss Snark!

Oh, no! What will I do now?
...
Wait for it
...
Write? Heh.
*sigh* Back to the novel-that-needs-more-conflict. Yeehaw!

Kayla said...

Enjoy your break, Miss Snark. :)

Anonymous said...

hahahaha How will I survive getting a rejection for my blog question?

Anonymous said...

S.O.S! (Save Our Snark) Please read the archives before asking questions, as requested.

Miss Snark has covered many topics: Following directions, formats, fonts, fresh ideas, fiction genres, non-fiction, mailing procedure, postage/IRCs, SASE, stationery supplies, cover letters, bios, queries, equeries, synopses, first pages, chapters, full manuscripts, submission requirements, prologues, endings, titles, acknowledgments, point of view, voice, verb tenses, modifiers, spelling, characters, conferences, critiques, book reviews, editing, polishing, rewrites, rejections, alien arrivals, bunny slippers vs. stilettos, backup keyboards, cabana boys, Crapometer, George Clooney, Killer Yapp, gin, wild escapades, life in NYC, smoking, Snarkese, slushpile, nitwits, whiners, egomaniacs, publishing rights, copyright, resources, reference materials, agents, editors, publishing house hierarchy, predators & scams, vanity press, POD, bookstores, foreign & domestic sales, contracts, advances, fees, royalties, cover art, blurbs, marketing, blogs, websites, professionalism, etiquette, networking, amateur errors, bribery & much more. A true Snarkopedia! Clear examples. Excellent links. Beware of Kitty's humor & Mr. December's hard body in comment trails.

Emelle

December Quinn said...

Beware of Kitty's humor & Mr. December's hard body in comment trails.


LOL! Thanks for the giggle!

Have a good break, Miss S!

Catja (green_knight) said...

Priorities. Ah, yes.

I'm sorry to hear Miss Snark has become victim of her own success.

Looking forward to future posts.

Anonymous said...

Oh, pooey. But we have to Support Our Snark.

--Lizzy

LJCohen said...

Miss Snark,

You are a victim of your own success! Thank you for this blog and I will satisfy myself with whatever tidbits you leave for us here in your spare time.

Best to you and the yap-ster. (Hey--when he's sleeping, is he the 'napster'?)

:)
ljcohen

Adam said...

Hmmm...

I just started reading this week and was enjoying the commentary.

Take some time off. Collect your senses.

I just hope you don't completely stop doing an occassional nitwit column.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark,

I've been reading you for a long time; I'm an assistant in a literary agency and your blog has been a great part of my professional education, so thank you.

I've always been astonished at how much you offer here; one question answered every few days would seem to me to be a more than generous contribution of your time and knowledge.

I hope you'll continue to blog, of course, but I hope you'll do so only on your own terms without feeling that you have to be available for 100 questions or more a week!

Have a wonderful, restful weekend.

SAND STORM said...

What a wuss! A measley six or seven hours a day and she calls it quits. Sure go make money, slop back the gin but be back here monday or the Yapp gets it see!

Flem Snopes said...

...don't completely stop doing an occassional nitwit column.

Yes, don't quit blogging, just slow down. Too often blogging is, as Wonkette says, "like jumping up and down on one leg for two years."

I appreciated your friendly note informing me my question had been deleted. Much better than the auto-rejection I got from a major house earlier this week beginning, "Dear Flem Snopes." Sheesh. It's "Mr. Snopes" to you, dear.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Oh, dear, Snarkie withdrawl! What will I do?

I'm filling the Goats' water. Bill he is eyeing me suspiciously.

Bill E.: You don't look right today?

Me: I don't? I look as I do every morning at 5 AM.

Bill E: I don't mean blury eyed, and I'm not talking about your mismatched sox either. You look distracted.

Me: Who me? distracted? No, I'm paying attention. I haven't spilled a drop. see?

Bill E: Ok, so what's wrong? Fess up!

Me: How does one fess?

Bill E: Spill it!

Me: [Breaking into a sob] Snarkie is on vacation. . .Well, she's actually working instead of blogging. Oh Oh OH OH OH What will I do?

Tina said...

Oh no! We almost hearted Miss Snark to death!

Forgive us. But know that your wit and wisdom and warmth are still very much appreciated. Do whatever it takes to recoup -- the world would begin slouching toward nitwittery without you.

Sonarbabe said...

Awww! Okay, Miss Snark, enjoy your break (if one can, going through a slush pile) and we'll be here when you get more time. I thoroughly enjoy your blog and of the 3 ditzy questions I've had posted on your blog, I thank you for not naming me a nitwit!

Anonymous said...

Dear Miss Snark,

You are appreciated.

I heart Killer Yapp.

Anon.

Desperate Writer said...

Oh my gosh-- A form blog rejection letter. Sheesh. :)

Don't work TOO hard. Unless you have one of my queries. :)

Bourgeois Wife said...

I like this blog but, with all the grovelling, I'm finding it hard to hold down my lunch.

December Quinn said...

I like this blog but, with all the grovelling, I'm finding it hard to hold down my lunch.


Nobody's grovelling. Many of us have been reading Miss Snark for months...many of us years, even if we didn't start commenting until recently. And some have been here commenting and reading from the beginning.

We just plain adore the woman. She's funny and smart, and her posts give us something to look forward to.

Why should we not express that, and tell her to have a nice break?

How do you grovel to someone whose identity is a secret to you, anyway? It's not like we're hoping she'll hire us as Snarksistants.

It's not grovelling to hope a friend is doing OK. It's not grovelling to express that hope.

Sorry...I just think you hit a bit of a wrong note there. It came off as mean, even if you didn't intend it to.

All in Good Fun said...

Disclaimer: I usually like reading this blog. It's educational and the anonymous agent has really done a lot to demystify the process. Knowledge is power. The more writers know about how it all works, the braver they feel treating the writer-agent relationship like a business partnership instead of a lopsided "I worship at the feet of the very first agent who has pity enough to represent me" er... partnership.

However, this post reads like a Dear Potential Client letter on an agency's website. "Sorry, but our client list is currently full and, unless we fall completely in love with a project, we're just not taking on any new writers at this time. Nothing personal. All Best, Elusive Agent".

Sometimes I think agents get stuck in a rut and don't know how else to express regret.

"Well, Officer. (Le Sigh.) I regret to inform you that I was not going fifteen miles over the limit in that school zone back there, and so I will have to pass on this speeding ticket just now. But thanks, and best luck placing it elsewhere."

"Mother, darling. I'm sorry. But my plate's full enough as it is and so I'm afraid I won't be able to come home for your birthday this year. I'm flattered you've kept me in mind, but I simply cannot. You understand, I'm sure."

"Poor, starving children of Africa. I know it's a travesty that I cannot spare thirty cents a day to ensure you have proper medical treatment, schooling, and nutrition. As you're probably aware, however, I'm a slave to the trends of the industry, and in its current condition your plea for help just doesn't have enough of a hook. Please keep in mind that this is the opinion of one agent; I'm sure you'll have no problem placing your plea elsewhere. (Le Sigh.) Cheers."

Cheers, indeed, "Miss Snark"! Thanks for all the free info. Hope your time away is productive!

Bernita said...

Recently, a well-know guru suggested people stir up controversy to excite blog traffic.
May be a coincidence, but I notice a certain savor -sans faire - of snottiness here and there after that.
Someone trolling for hits?

Lisa Hunter said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Found this blog 2 wks ago and formed immediate addiction. Been wondering how MS does it, and how long she can keep it up. Been eyeing the hit register as well, and lemmetellya, it's mind-boggling. Get some rest, Snarks. You deserve it.

For those with withdrawal symptoms, check out the trail of old posts and comments. Awesome!

Anonymous said...

From a grovelling snarkling. I only found this blog two weeks ago, about the time it hit momentum. I'm glad I got to see it in full throttle; I expect it will have to change, perhaps dramatically. (To keep it up as is you'd have to hire someone to do your day job.) All the adulation is well deserved. Your voice, wit, and generosity are unique. Thank you.

Reggie said...

Thanks for the education, Miss Snark. Like you I was spending more time here than working, so it's for the best if we slow down, no committments, maybe just see each other on weekends, just give me back my key and...uh..sorry, kind of got into a familiar pattern there and forgot where I was.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Hey, it was inevitable. You're a blog-lebrity now! No worries; we understand.

(sniff)

Seriously, as the junior agent said, even a few questions answered a week would be stellar.

Thanks for all the great advice!

-S

Christa M. Miller said...

Not to mention, Miss Snark has been so very encouraging to all of us writers hoping to get a break... I think it's only right that we encourage her right back.

Have a terrific break, Miss Snark. You've earned it, a thousand times over!

Jo Bourne said...

Miss Snark

It occurs to me
we might offer some help with the index.

For instance ...



INDEX TERM -- Book Expo America

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2005/10/where-to-go-to-feed-dream.html


INDEX TERM -- Length of Synopsis

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006/01/yes-its-ok-to-ask.html

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006/01/super-short-queriesewww.html



INDEX TERM -- Outline

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006/01/outline-and-synopsis-is-overkill.html

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2005/10/synopsis-vs-outline-best-three-out-of.html

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2005/12/22-crapometer.html

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2005/08/partials-will-break-your-heart.html

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006/01/theres-more-where-that-came-from.html

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2005/10/why-copying-isnt-dirty-word.html



Would this sort of thing ... in this or another format ... be of use to you?

Would folks want to do this?

JoB

McKoala said...

Enjoy your break Miss Snark. This has been an action-packed blog recently; I don't blame you for needing a rest.

Also...inn shock here...December is a man!!! I assumed he/she was a woman (don't ask me why...the Tuesday Weld effect perhaps). I would have sped off to see his racy pic before it was deleted, had I only known.

Sorry December...

Kathleen said...

thought about you when I was at The Gin Mill, celebrating Friday...fill your gin pail and forget about us. We'll be here when you get back.
:)

ann said...

Just discovered Snarkdom. Appreciate all you do. Under that stylish exterior must beat a heart of pure chocolate.

December Quinn said...

Also...inn shock here...December is a man!!! I assumed he/she was a woman (don't ask me why...the Tuesday Weld effect perhaps). I would have sped off to see his racy pic before it was deleted, had I only known.

Sorry December...


No, no, I am a WOMAN!! I think by "Mr. December" Emelle meant the man in my old avatar.

Definitely female, me. Promise.

Crisi said...

Jo Bourne - You beat me to it ^_^ but I've been idly thinking that there needed to be a Snarkive for some time. I'd be willing to help on a project like that, though college is taking up more of my time then I'd like these days.

Anyone else want to help with an archive/index of Miss Snark's wisdom?

My e-mail is crisi83 @ gmail dot com if people want to work on this. Or if Miss Snark wants to tell me no way ^_-

Indigo Black said...

bernita
Recently, a well-know guru suggested people stir up controversy to excite blog traffic.
May be a coincidence, but I notice a certain savor -sans faire - of snottiness here and there after that.
Someone trolling for hits?


Yes I've noticed that as well. I'm trying to think of a catchy name for it so I can blog about it.

Anonymous said...

Aw, Snarklings are the sweetest! But I think that there is a difficulty in all of us volunteering to help with the archives when it comes to sorting topics and keeping things organized. It would lend itself to beaurocratic mess. I bet Miss Snark either has this well in hand or has passed it onto some eager intern of hers (which is what we do in my office--"Labor intensive, demanding attention to detail, orginizational chores...get the intern away from the copy machine, I got a job for him!").

Have a great break, Miss Snark!

Jo Bourne said...

Hi Crisi -

A snarkive seems to me both useful and an appropriate task for many hands.

Her Snarkness will doubtless decide if and how.

JoB

Jo Bourne said...

Hi B. Wife -

>>>I like this blog but, with all the grovelling, I'm finding it hard to hold down my lunch. <<<<<

Some, of course, is traditional grovel.
But most is just insider jokes.

JoB

Jo Bourne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jo Bourne said...

Hi Anon ...

>>> It would lend itself to beaurocratic mess<<<<

Of course you have spotted the basic problem. This sort of project would be the very devil to 'organize'.

Therefore, one doesn't ... organize.



If I were putting together such a project I would open Two Messages.

The first would ....

-- Post an Exemplar of the form in which index info should be reported.

-- Offer a search strategy for finding the URLs of posts that pertained to a particular subject.

-- Ask for replies that list ONLY the index terms that have been completed or are being researched.


The second message ....

-- list index terms and their citations.


Anyone who wanted to help would first check that 'what's been done' list.

Then he'd generate his contribution based on what he thinks is missing.

He'd add his term to the first message -- to the list of those completed -- so nobody would replicate his work.

He'd add the completed index term and its citations to the second message.


No assignments. No organization.

Anonymous said...

Okay, listen, I am as snardicted to this site as a writer could be, as anyone could be or is, for that matter, and have been since the beginning of the Gin Age...I think I'm just going to pop in for a quick 5-minute read and then--What the hell? It's three hours later and I've blown off what I reeeeeally need to be doing to meet my fast and furiously approaching book deadline (thus the guilt).

...But I just have to agree with my Anonymous cousin(s) above: The groveling and level of sycophantish kowtowing (or however it's spelled) among some IS slightly gag-worthy, at least. And trust me, distinguishing between that and the inside jokes is not that difficult. Maybe it's just mainly multiple cases of Newbie-Writer worship at the Altar of Snark-Supreme Knowldege, ya think? That's my theory anyway...No nego-snark intended in anything written here, btw. I'm just tripping! (Also known, perhaps, as seeing and appreciating the weird webs that humans weave...)

And finally, isn't it totally obvious that 'she' is a HE?

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Expressing one's appreciation is not groveling. It is hard for some to read the intended tone into a blog post. Some can't discern intent in real speech. Some are just congenitally cranky and jealous.

Those of you criticizing how others choose to express their appreciation to Miss Snark would do well to find the Miss Manners web site. (Does she have one?) Learn a thing or two about how to express yourselves in an appropriate way before you attack others for their manner of expression.

Your posts exemplify the discourtesy that is endemic in the United States and Europe. In this country it is most pronounced in the Northeast and in larger cities. Say, you from New Jersey? New York? California? I'm certain you're not from East Little Village, where politeness and a smile still rule, and where people are still helpful and naturally kind.

Or, perhaps I've gotten this all wrong. Perhaps you're a practiced sycophant, and recognize sycophants when you see them? Had a lot of practice sucking up? So you know it when you see it?

These posts are not the work of civilized people. Talented? Perhaps. Nice? Maybe to their dog. Civilized? No.

Take lessons in "nice." They're usually free and not very painful.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Dear Bad Pete,

You made me giggle uncontrollably. That's not a nice thing to do to a youngish pixie trying to appear grown up.

I'm not sure I had you in mind specifically when I wrote, but at least I got a response from someone.

Before we proceed, I really must know: Do you like Goats? Ok, let's assume you do. Goats are one of the foundations of civilization. Goats reflect civilization. Heck, male goats and men are very similar. Male goats are vain, have questionable hygiene, are pushy head-butters, and respond very quickly to a wagging tail.

Civilizations aren't always civilized. Does that make sense? They may have a civil order, a structure, arts, and such. But they may be savage, barbarian, uncouth, just plain mean. To be truly civilized one must be polite, kind to old ladies and goats, not too mean to children, and like coffee ice cream. In other words: Be polite, bub. Oh, and do you live in any of those places I mentioned? Just curious.

So, now, do you know me? I don't know. Do you know any really short, scrawny, blond women who bristle at the cacophonous discord produced by the truly retromingious troglodytes of this world? Don’t you just love the word retromingious? Fun word, huh?

Shadow said...

Pete, dear; did you forget your Ritalin again?

Anonymous said...

Pixie! You pixie you! Do you know how much I like people whom I can make giggle uncontrollably at words I write? Especially at the proper points in the content, of course.

One true mark of an evolved soul, imho, is his or her flexibility--that change-your-attitude-on-a-dime response to the world. I felt a genuine burst of heart-expanding appreciation upon reading your reply late last night. It was quite fine. So a few hopefully quick responses before back to work. But first:

WHY DO YOU THINK THE DISCERNING MISS SNARK DELETED MY POST?

It's very curious to me. So okay, it was over 800 words (I checked), so was it too long? Too naval-gazing-ish? Did she (mis)interpret it as mean-spirited? It had no non-PG innuendos nor expletives. And it wasn't all that badly written, if you ask me. But then, Shadow suggests I need ritalin. Was it then just too energetic and stylistically eclectic (read, all over the place)? Ah well, there goes my first-ever post to any blog anywhere!

But briefly then, should you ever come back to read this, unless it also gets removed...

Goats: I don't actually know if I like goats because, as strange as it seems, I never think about them. The only non-homo sapiens one I seem to vaguely recall possibly ever meeting was in some pasture behind someone's house in someplace like Oregon or something, I think. It tried to mesmerize me with its yellow, rectangular-iris eyes, but yes, it did smell a bit funky and I didn't succumb. But it would appear that we are in a time of Goats Rule. And worse, brutish behavior does seem to have a long human history, sad to say. But thank you for defining 'civilized,' which was excellent, especially the laugh-worthy 'not too mean to children' part.

I am inhibited now from going on at length about anything, for fear there may be an unspoken rule against it, and of course this is all off topic to everything else this blog is about. So maybe that was the reason for removal. And practically speaking, I have other writing I'm supposed to be doing and which will at least pay me something more than zero. But this is so much fun!

Finally, yes, I do love the word 'retromingius' but what does it mean?! I do not love my sorely insufficient Merriam's 10th, the chosen tome of most editors I work with and all I had on hand, as it was utterly void of any definition. So frustrated was I that I dashed the thing into the toilet and flushed maniacally ten times (anti-ritalin behavior, no doubt). Because, I have a fine old OED in, okay, I admit it, LA, which I cannot get to because I currently reside (permanently or otherwise, to be determined later) not there but with the wolves between the walls. Oh woe is me. retromingious. I get the retro part but never got trained in those root languages that might clue me in without a book. Maybe I'll google it. I'm sure you're just talking about unevolved trolls, however.

So, I'll CALMLY sign off now and hope that, much as I'm sure I'd enjoy it, you won't write anything back that will compel me to procrastinate further. In place of writing again on this particular thread, I give you this little item that I think you might enjoy:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1881612,00.html

Thanks for a bit of a bliss rush in reading! And no, regretfully, I don't think I do know you.

Bad but calm Pete

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Dear Bad Pete,

I don't know why Snarkie deleted your post. Was that belly-button contemplation connected with the lint I found on the carpet this morning? She may not like belly-button lint. Or, maybe it was part of her training program. You know the one? It's the Let's Teach Them to be Less Nitwitty program.

The article on Fairies: I read that already, and discussed it with my Ayisha. Fairies are nasty things. Pixies are most certainly not fairies. We're the daughters of Tanath, the daughter of Eve. We are human, though at the extreme edge of what is possible for humans. On average we pixies reach about four feet in height, have gorgeous wings, and seldom purposely seek trouble. It comes knocking all on its own.

Now Fairies are the offspring of demons and snakes. Ever read the story by Gouverneur Morris about the little people "Back There in the Grass?" Those vicious snake people are Fairies. Not human. Nope. Nasty. A Pixie's mortal enemy. (Originally published in Colliers, December 16, 1911, and reprinted in Pratt's World's of Wonder.)

Retromingious means peeing backwards. For a human to be called retromingious means either that they have "poor aim" or they are socially un-evolved.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

ok, so Pixies have difficulty with spelling. The actual title of Pratt's book is: World of Wonder. There is a signed first out there right now. Makes me jealous. I wish it was mine! I just can't justify spending that kind of money for a book I wouldn't resell. Isn't that sad?

amspeaker said...

With regards to the original topic here, I think you can lay the blame of heavier traffic over the last two weeks on Yahoo. Ms. Snark was unknown to me until they included her in their weekly picks. I've been lurking here ever since.

Anonymous said...

Yes, amspeaker, back to the original post, indeed.

It's a combination of word getting out about Miss Snark and also her willingness to answer questions and engage her readership. I personally have googled "how to get published" and the like, and you get so much crap. She really answers questions that I have (that other people ask first, thankfully!). Looking forward to an archive--it's hard to root around in the past articles for answers without guidance.

Anonymous said...

P o' P--

I would like to respond a BIT more expansively at least, but it appears the pressure is on to march directly ahead with the rest of the troops, no stepping out of line, no stepping to the side, backing up, or what have you.

Indeed.

Reminds me of that old classic, excellent, very first Superbowl ad for Apple, remember that? Hup to!

Thus the most abbreviated reply I can manage: thanks and thanks. I've got it straight now. Pixies rule! Oh and your theories on the desnarking are interesting. I would comment but...as I said above...I do have a few new ones of my own though too. Maybe later for those.

See ya 'round the blogosphere!

-BP

Anonymous said...

Question for my more techno-savvy fellow snarklings: how hard is it to put a search engine on miss snark's site that only searches the text in the blog and comments? As opposed to using google for "miss snark writing conferences" for example? Lots of false hits if the search engine is looking at the whole internet.

Anonymous said...

Is the "crapometer" still available?

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

There is a "search this blog" function at the top of the main page. Does it not search content?