Why do you do it Miss Snark?

As grateful as I am -- and I am, oh yes, oh yes, I am -- I still wonder why Her Snarkiness exerts herself so on our behalf. What a load of work! But I've been reluctant to suggest any changes to the Crapometer because they're all about ME and what I want/need/wish etc.

Because in the not so distant past, and up through this very day, people have helped me. My colleagues, my clients, the readers of this blog.

I have to say no to a lot of people every day. "No thanks" without a single word of explanation about why (and no, we're not going to have the 'please comment on query letters' discussion again).

I know there are real live people behind those letters. People who wrote in early hours of the morning before the kids got up, in the ladies room on lunch hours, late at night while the laundry spins endlessly. People who want nothing more than to be writers. People who are willing to work hard, listen to advice, and start all over again when they see the purple "this is a mess" or "wtf". Start all over again after saying "thank you" and not "you stink SnarkforBrains".

The question isn't how can I. The question is, given the technology of the blogosphere we have at our disposal, how could I not.


Anonymous said...

Miss Snark, you rock!

Virginia Miss said...

What can we say, but THANK YOU

Fourteen Year Old Writer said...

Unfortunately, I spaced out and forgot all about the Crapometer. Anyway, thanks so much! You sound like a genuinely sweet person, even if you are snarkalicious. Just one question: people write in the bathroom?

Chumplet said...

Oh, jeez, now you're making me cry. I just wanna give you the biggest hug ever! I discovered your blog just last winter and because of it, I feel as if I've grown so much as a writer. We'll see if any of it takes hold. Thanks.

The Unpretentious Writer said...

This post was a very poetic thing to come across on the Internet, at this time of night.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what I was gonna say. Miss Snark, you rock. I'm all choked up.

Anonymous said...

I don't go in much for the bowing and scraping routine... but your simple statement, "how could I not?" really makes me believe you are something special, Miss Snark. Not because you are clever and witty and good at your job. Just because you must be one heck of a good person. And, these days, those can be unbearably hard to find. Thanks from the millions of minions out here.

Anonymous said...

This morning, I discovered this blogspot. I've spent the whole day here.


I agree with anon above, you rock!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Miss Snark!!!

Anonymous said...

In thanks (think I remember you like Jane Hirshfield)

even if you can't post it for some reason, hope it makes you feel as good as you've made everyone here feel

by Jane Hirshfield

Because I know tomorrow
his faithful gelding heart will be broken
when the spotted mare is trailered and driven away,
I come today to take him for a gallop on Diaz Ridge.

Returning, he will whinny for his love.
Ancient, spavined,
her white parts red with hill-dust,
her red parts whitened with the same, she never answers.

But today, when I turn him loose at the hill-gate
with the taste of chewed oat on his tongue
and the saddle-sweat rinsed off with water,
I know he will canter, however tired,
whinnying wildly up the ridge's near side,
and I know he will find her.

He will be filled with the sureness of horses
whose bellies are grain-filled,
whose long-ribbed loneliness
can be scratched into no-longer-lonely.

His long teeth on her withers,
her rough-coated spots will grow damp and wild.
Her long teeth on his withers,
his oiled-teakwood smoothness will grow damp and wild.
Their shadows' chiasmus will fleck and fill with flies,
the eight marks of their fortune stamp and then cancel the earth.
From ear-flick to tail-switch, they stand in one body.
No luck is as boundless as theirs.

Elisabeth Wilhelm said...

Miss Snark,

I think this may have been mentioned by another Snarkling, but I'll reiterate it here. You have a lot of devoted fans, the short, zit-faced, and corruptible kind.

I, along with Hope Clark, editor of FundsforWriter.com, created the Little Owl Mentoring Program (http://mentoring.absynthemuse.com) for them, because they deserve to work with fabulous, experienced writers who can gift unto their young counterparts their wisdom. Little Owl is absolutely free and all online, and we've got over 180 mentors and 190 mentees on our list.

You'd be amazed how many of the wannabe mentors who come to us say they're applying because they had helping hands when they were just starting out. Now, these mentors want to give back.

If you're inclined to doing some pimpage: We'd love to hear from experienced writers of all stripes who want to apply as mentors in our program, as well as young writers ages 13-22, who want to become mentees.

After all, the more of 'em that are thrown at us, the fewer young writers you have to shoot with your clue gun.

After all, you started off as a short, zit-faced corruptible Miss Snark too. Scary thought.

whitemouse said...


desert snarkling said...

You rock, Miss Snark.

HawkOwl said...

Awwwwwwww... You really were a Girl Sprout, weren't you?

Squarehead said...

The best you can do is go with your gut. "No thanks" ain't easy to hear, but it ain't hardly fatal.
Just doing your job with your heart in the right place. Now forget about it, get back to Snarkin'.

Frainstorm said...

Okay, I tried nineteen ways till Sunday to say what this poster said. They just said it better.

Thank you. So much. And the 14 other ways my thesaurus says I can say thanks.

Anonymous said...

That's one of the things I find continuously inspiring about this industry/hobby/way of life (however you look at writing)--the many people who have given free advice along the way. I'm quite sure that what I write isn't your genre at all, but I've still learned so much from following your blog. Thank you!

Rohit Gore said...

Hi Miss Snark,

Something that I had composed for people like you:

Gauge not thy life by the years you breathe

And not by the wealth that it shall sheath

But by the smidgens of smiles you spread

And by the merry souls you pleat as you tread


proxymoron said...

it's almost enough to make me want to join your legion of sycophants...

thanks for everything.

Harry Connolly said...

Miss Snark, you're a good egg.

writtenwyrdd said...

Ah! Scratch the Snark, find the Nice.

I didn't submit on this occasion, but thanks for putting yourself through a mental meat grinder for us. It was educational reading.

IF you should do this again, I'm on board for it.

Anonymous said...

This is a terrible confession to make. Your words made me tear up, then I thought, Wow, what a great line to use in a story. Sorry.

Huge thank you for letting us connect.

Sue said...

All I can say is, whoever bags you as an agent is the luckiest guy/gal ever!
Thanks once again, Miss Snark.

Wabi Sabi said...

I met up with a friend yesterday. He knows your blog and likes a good conspiracy theory. We spent a bit of time kicking around 'why does she do it?' We didn't get much past you're a fat, middle-aged agent bloke discovering new writers through the back door, but neither of us liked or believed our theories. And so your response to the question was timely and interesting. And the word verification has given me an idea for a short story about 'nunys'. And their bad habits.

Ric said...

Miss Snark,
For us long time readers, and I was about when you started, some million plus hits ago, you have been consistently helpful.
Even when it hurts - (I got two WTF's on the first goround).
But the key is consistency. Always good advice, always with a touch of snarkism.
May your torch shine long.

Anonymous said...

Is the Crapometer closed?

C.E. Petit said...

In the speculative fiction community, this is called "paying forward." A neopro (newly published, or about-to-be-published, writer) cannot actually pay the people who helped him/her back for that help. Instead, as the neopro becomes a well-known writer (and perhaps, eventually, eminence gris), he or she will have lots of opportunities to do for others what was done for him/her. That's paying forward.

That's exactly what Miss Snark is doing. So perhaps she would be comfortable at a science fiction convention after all!

MTV said...

"The question isn't how can I. The question is, given the technology of the blogosphere we have at our disposal, how could I not."

Very easily! But then you wouldn't be the Miss Snark we know and love.

Thanks is such a small word - and yet it encompasses all that you profess.

Bernita said...

Harry, Miss Snark Dear is not only a good egg, she is a splendid egg - and golden.

Anonymous said...

I'm a very new reader (just discovered this a week ago) and already feel I've learned invaluable lessons about querying and writing in general. A question: Why do you object to using Ms. instead of Miss? As I said, I'm a newbie so forgive me if I'm being obtuse.

Dan L. said...

So I switch to "comments" so I could write "Miss Snark rocks", but I see that other Snarklings have beat me to it. So...Miss Snark double-rocks!

ChicagoGal said...

I'm one of those people who listens to advice and starts all over again.

Your blog has made me a lot wiser and better able to critique my own work. I'm in the process of wrenching draft 1 into draft 2 and I see problems that I wasn't aware of before reading your blog.


Anonymous said...

Oh Miss Snark, I just love you. Thank you for everything!

Cheryll said...

Dear 14-yr-old-writer: yes, people write in the bathroom. Sometimes that's the only privacy!

One summer I had 5 kids in a 2-br house. The only interior door was on the bathroom. The rule was that you better not knock on that door unless you were bleeding or peeing.

I once exited said bathroom and found all my kids, plus a couple neighbors' kids and their dog, all in a line waiting for my attention!

Anonymous said...

Awh...Miss Snark, you've destroyed your image this with this post. LOL...all along we've been thinking you mean and grouchy. With this post you prove us all wrong by showing just how nice you are.

Kinda heart warming in a hell frozen over with ice sort of way.

Michele said...

To anonymous asking why she objects to "Ms" so strongly:

If her name is Miss Snark, and is prominently displayed in many places as such, why would you ever call her anything else? Calling her "Ms Snark" indicates either that you didn't pay attention to her name or that you don't think her preferences matter.

S. W. Vaughn said...

We've said it once, or twice, or five hundred and four times, and we will keep saying it 'cause it's the honest truth:

Miss Snark, you rock.

You rock SO hard.

Thank you.

mkcbunny said...

Thank you, Miss Snark, for being both helpful and honest. We're a lucky lot, and your generosity is appreciated.

Anonymous said...

True, I think folks should be eternally grateful to people like Miss Snark and Uncle Jim (James MacDonald) for the time they spend in helping others. Concealed behind stiletto heels and KY fangs is a heart of gold.

Manic Mom said...

Oh, this put a tear in my eye.

Miss Snark has heart, she has soul! Now all she needs is a pail of Gin and Georgey! And you deserve them both! Truly.