The Daily Tao of Snark

1. You are not your work

2. An agent is not a dream

3. The SASE is the path to bewilderment; as is no SASE

4. There is no why in no, there is only no

5. There is more than one path to yes, all obscure; all dangerous.

6. Nitwittery abounds.

7. The end is only the beginning.


Elektra said...

Ooh, does Miss Snark do fortune cookies?

Rashenbo said...

Yes... where is my desk calendar with my daily Tao messages!!!

Gail said...

I disagree with one and four. I think many writers would say that they ARE their work, and there IS a why to no, they just don't know what it is. An agent or editor might not know what it is either, but if they could offer one word of direction, even a negative one, they can change a writer's entire writing future.

ORION said...

I SO agree with this.
Can I cross stitch this on a pillow?

Anonymous said...


*deep breath*


*deep cleansing breath*


*deep breath; quick snort of gin*


michaelgav said...

"...if they could offer one word of direction, even a negative one, they can change a writer's entire writing future."

I've been thinking about single-word agent-to-writer direction changers.

My favorite so far is "Putrescent!" I think this one-word reply to a submission might alter my entire writing future.

My second-place entry is "Thorazine!" which would immediately cause me to wonder whether this was a manuscript-induced cry for help or a menu recommendation.

Third place is this simple alternative to a writing career: "McDonalds!"

Anonymous said...

This is the wisest thing I've ever read about the business of writing and publishing.

Miss Snark, You are the Enlightened One!

Anonymous said...

4 clarity #4 does that translate in Spanish too? Just checking:P

Anonymous said...

This would be perfect if only it were in Yoda-speak ("Do or do not, there is no try").

Can whiny winos find the why in no?

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

At the Feet of the Sage

"Little Sparrow, you are not the ink on the page. You are not the paper."

"O Great and Gracious One, are you suggesting my mind is a blank? What about those dreams?"

"We all have dreams, little one."

"But I dream about this woman with fiery eyes. She's a sharp dresser. She's elegance personified from the bow in her hair right down to her pointy-toed, stiletto heeled shoes. "

"Ah, that my little hatchling is not a dream. That is an agent. Beware the agents of the dark. Never trust an agent who wears hair ribbons and stiletto heels. Ever."

"I am warned, O Beneficent One of Great Amplitude."

"There is no volume of information we adepts leave unfathomed, my siblings half deranged first child."

"Yes, master."

"You forget the sase!"

"I'm sorry if I sound sassy, O Master of the Look. O Argent Headed Divine One, will I be as wise as you when I reach your great age."

"Not sassy, my nearly departed near relation. SASE. Society Against Stupid Executives. It is a secret society that fights the great sin of Baurism relying almost exclusively on Wickipedia. Be warned. Seek them. Join them. But never turn your back on the princesses' goat."

"But Nearly Divine Uncle of Great Girth, why can't you call that woman with the ever-changing hair and get her to publish my revelation?"

"O Dust For Brains Scion of a Nobel House, there is no why. There is only no."

"But, Great Maker of Earthly Delights and Discarder of the Refuse of Snickers Wrappers, what of the great inscription?"

"Ah. 'The paths to yes are all obscure, all dangerous.' What of it, Little Pod of Peach Pits?"

"Is there no hope in it? Does it not contain the ray of truth? The guidance of the ages? The Light that shines in slimy, under-ventilated- hall closet?"

"O Gold Fish Cracker, have you been snooping again?"

"No, Brother of my Father's Wife and son of my grandfather. I have not. It would be sin."

"Young one, nitwittery abounds. Beware. In that direction lies madness."

"But, O Uncle of large hat size and diminutive shoe size, will I succeed?"

"The end is only the beginning!"

Uncle, have you been reading fortune cookies again?

Anonymous said...

There is much wisdom there, except perhaps for #3. Or is that simply too wise for me (who always includes an SASE) to comprehend?

Sam said...

Wipes coffee off keyboard.
Wishes she hadn't read #3 after the sip.

Coffee and Snark do not mix.

Jane said...

May I have permission to quote you in speeches to writers? This is perfect.

Jane Yolen

Ray Goldensundrop said...

Zen paradox takes:

1. Work and love are the same difficult thing

2. Dreams are substance within illusion

3. Bewilderment is wisdom without time

4. No followed by why is time without wisdom

5. Danger and obscurity lead to peace

6. Enlightenment is nitwittery ascending

7. There is no end, only the journey

Extra credit: There's no beginning either

Extra virgin credit: WTF is the answer

Anonymous said...

"There is more than one path to yes, all obscure; all dangerous ..."

I like this one best. It's like adventurous or something. Like you might go there in the company of hobbits.

Anonymous said...

There may not be a why in no but a because would be much appreciated?

Anonymous said...

The danger in the one word approach to editorial criticism is that with enough examples you may find what one editor (or agent) giveth another one taketh away, leaving you back at square one, with knowledge but no wisdom (or vice-versa)

Termagant 2 said...

Miss S, I must point out a # 8 -- "being published will not validate you."

I make obeisance several times at your stilettos.