Miss Snark swills bootleg gin for a reason

If your hero smokes a Gauloise, it says something a lot different than smoking a Virginia Slim, let alone a clove fag.

If your hero drinks Laphroaig it means something a lot different than a Bud Lite.

If your hero quotes from the Book of Judith, you might also know something about him.

Here's an interesting link to a discussion of using brand and product names in writing.
And yes, I know the Book of Judith isn't trademarked.

Just cause it's fun, let's talk about SASEs again

I throw away queries without SASEs.
I've taken some heat for that.

If you think I'm being a hardass for this, so be it. But consider this: I emailed someone about five seconds ago asking for the first three chapters. Yes, I have his SASE. Yes I'll probably use it to say no after I've read the first three chapters (remember, this isn't a comment on his writing, it's a reflection of the 1% yes rate right now).

His email bounced. I can't tell why. It may be that eye and one are transposed, or there's a typo on his query letter. Who knows. I'll use the SASE t ask for chapters now, but if he had not included it, he'd never hear from me even though I tried.

This happens more than you think. When I type in an email address there are three critical chances for error: you have to make sure you don't have a typo; that you have an email address that's not subject to easy error; and that I type it correctly. If you assume that every email sent to you gets to you, you're the n1tw1t4sure@sol.com

Electronic communication isn't foolproof.
Neither is snail mail.
Putting your email address on your query letter is a very very good idea.
So is including an SASE.
Mr X has no idea how smart he was to do this.

Miss Snark invokes the S, C, T, D, V, P, P,A and A**

Dear Miss Snark,

Last Tuesday I sent off my first book proposal ( a nonfiction work on religion) to six publishers I felt would be good matches for my work. These are highly reputable publishers in the religion market (all with a number of books in the top Amazon rankings) but who are not so large that they require submissions to be sent by literary agents. I enclosed the requisite sample chapter. I then sat back for what I imagined would be a period of several weeks until the rejections came in, when I figured I would send the proposal to the second tier of publishers.

So imagine my surprise when late Friday afternoon I returned from being out all day to hear a voicemail from an editor at one of the publishers who called me the same day he received the proposal (I'm in Los Angeles, he's in New York). He stated they were very interested in the book and mentioned that he had already shown the proposal to the marketing director, who also shared his keen interest. He followed up with an e-mail, and I replied that we would talk on Monday.

Naturally, I am quite pleased. But what do I do if one of the other five publishers also expresses interest? I do not have a literary agent, and have no idea of how to go about getting one.

You're actually saying, in an email to an agent, who keeps a blog on publishing, that you have no idea how to get a literary agent?

You're what..a nitwit savant?

You can write a book but not be able to google "how to find a literary agent"?

You can write a book but not understand the concept of "research"

You can write a book and be totally unfamiliar with "Dear Miss Marion, the Librarian, how does one find a literary agent?".

How do you find out how many angels dance on the head of a pin?
That's the same way you find an agent. And you need one, now, so get busy.

** bonus points for readers who correctly interpret this
***four of you got it right, congrats.

The bonus points will be delivered by dancing angels,
those little sew and sews.

Miss Snark is interested in your views

I think this is really interesting.
Let me know what you think.

thank you, beth, for the linkage!!


Your library card is your friend

Miss Snark-

My query was rejected upon the reasoning that (among other things, such as it probably being too long) the protagonist was not admirable or sympathetic enough for readers to like or care about him.

Now I have to wonder; what makes a reader care for the protagonist? It is based upon the fact that s/he is a 'good person' (ergo, in some strange pattern of thought, equalling him to be the 'good guy'). Must there be complete definition of good guy/bad guy? Must the protagonist ride a white horse and the antagonist a black? Is this saying that current readers reject real people, as of course, none of us are really the 'good guy' in a novel sense. Do we look for stock characters? If one desires their novel to be somewhat true, or at least not feel completely fictional and unreachable, should they use these cookie-cutter characters? I believe they should not, there should be a touch of reality, no matter how much mysticism/fantasy/aliens/other worlds &c. there is in the novel. But is it mandate for the reader to love the main character? Is that the purpose of the novel? to become best friends forever with whoever the author chooses to tell the story from? Could we not find friendship and sympathy, admiration and loyalty to another? Is that too much to ask from a reader?

And is 226,000 words far too long?


Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Hit Man

Paradise Lost


Give a mouse a cookie...

Dear Miss Snark,

A writing colleague recommended me to his agent. His agent replied to my query that same day, saying she'd be delighted to read my manuscript, as my friend had spoken so highly of my work. I sent it immediately and she acknowledged receipt, saying she was looking forward to reading it. In these circumstances, how long would you expect it to take for me to hear back? Is it true that a "no thanks" in this case would be quick, as some of my friends have opined?

All the usual response times apply.
Your friend got you in. S/he didn't move you to the head of the workload.

Finding out who is responsible for that dreck

Miss Snark,

Is it possible to find out the name of an agent who helped to publish* a certain book? Let's say I really enjoy an author's books and am looking for an agent who publishes similar types of works. Is there an easy way to look up him/her? Is a novel's agent located somewhere in the book or on a resource somewhere online (besides the acknowledgements -- when the agent is lucky)?

*You know, there must be a verb I'm unaware of that captures this meaning. "The name of an agent who agented a certain book" just didn't sound right. What exactly do you call what you do in between drinking gin and blogging? (work)

The phrase is "the agent who sold the book". There's a list of who represents whom at Publishers Marketplace. It's a subscription website and worth every penny of the $20/month.

I sincerely hope you are aware of the verb "to sell" if you intend to query anyone you find there.

Add this to the list of things to quit thinking about

Dear Ms. Snark-- (no, it's not Ms. Snark)

This may seem very trite and obviously nit-picky, but what are writers if not anal?

What do you think about writers who use letterhead? In all the manuscript formatting books I have, they have the standard what-you-learned-in-high-school format for business letters, which is good, I realize. However, would it be in poor taste and/or mark me as an amateur to say, include a small, professional looking outline of a cat in the letterhead of a novel about a cat. Not something my third grade cousin would use, but something that looks decent.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, even a shot to the head with a clue gun. (especially that--so much better to be riddled by the clue gun than to walk around clue-less!)

It doesn't matter at all.
Even if you have a cat.
Not even if you have a dog.
Only if you have a photo of Mr. Clooney holding up his phone number like a jail house booking ID will I even notice.

Obsess about your writing.

I'm going to be a famous writer one day, you just wait and see Miss Snark

One of the greatest curses of all time: I hope you get what want.

People want me, but I'll deign to give you a shot

Dear Miss Snark,

I recently attended a reputable writers conference, attended by reputable agents and editors, and even participated in a manuscript critique (for a fee, of course; all monies donated to a not-for-profit). The well-known editor from one of the Big Three publishing houses who read my first three chapters, asked to see my novel when it's completed. Lots of compliments (sigh). Elsewhere, an editor at another Big Three house also asked to read my completed manuscript. She heard about it from a mutual friend in the business.

I realize these gentlemen have expressed interest, nothing more, or to put it in dating terms, have asked me to dinner, not proposed marriage. I'm wondering if when I begin to query, do I mention names and publishing houses of those editors, or is this so common, I'd be an obvious newbie nitwit for including it?

No. You don't mention it. Ever.
If your novel is good enough to draw this kind of early interest you'll do fine on your own.

The dating equivilent is "you should date me cause I won Miss Rabbitania last year". There is no way to say this without sounding like a self-congratulatory nitwit.

Serial Scrubbers and Other Important Questions

Remember, there is an entire blog dedicated to helping you navigate Miss Snark's blog.
It is the FAQ blog.
Here's the link

for those of you wondering about serial scrubbers, here's the post.
(thanks to the Wren)

Miss Snark is in the slush pile

1. "My unpublished credits include" unpublished credits is an oxymoron. They aren't credits if they aren't published. There are no exceptions to this. None.

2. "My book is the first/only about X". You might want to google X, and check X on Amazon. If I do it and find books that show you haven't done your research, I'm going to wonder what else you haven't done.

3. I hate response form postcards. I hate them. I hate them even more when they have little cute things like "never darken my mailbox again". Don't be stupid about your work, ok?

4. "this was edited by Y, who edited this famous writer and that one too". Having the same paid freelance editor doesn't count for much with me. Actually, it doesn't count for anything. Don't tell me who you paid to edit your work. Don't tell me you paid to have it edited at all. Make me think you might be a good writer all on your own.

5. "I know you'll like this". No you don't.

(please note the time of day this was posted.
That's when I'm reading your query letters.
Most of us are reading in the off hours, just fyi)


At the end of the day...

Courtesy of my favorite tool comes the link to NewsThinking and a post about cliches.

There are quite a few things that show up a LOT on this blog:
Nitwit, serial scrubbers, Rabbitania, "it's the writing, stupid", "setting her hair on fire".

So, what's the difference between a catch phrase and a cliche?
When does something go from cute and funny to overused and smelly?

Let me know what you think.


Yes, we are talking about you

Dearest, most beauteous Miss Snark, who is all-deserving of endless pails of gin, clue guns equipped with dilithium hyperdrives, and an immortal George Clooney love slave:

Is it considered 'common courtesy' for an editor to inform other publishers with whom Author X has published that she is considering a ms by Author X?

The long version: Author X published a novel with Publisher #1, with an options clause in the contract for 'future works' . Publisher #1 was aware of the existence of numerous previous novels by Author X, which were on submission to various other publishers. Publisher #1
required the options clause to include all genres despite only publishing one genre. Publisher #1 subsequently rejected four novels by Author X that were not within the genre, and accepted one within the genre. Author X queried Publisher #2 with one of the rejected novels, which had been written well before the contract with Publisher #1 had been signed. Publisher #2 replied with question about the status of the ms and whether it was free of an options clause.

Author replied in the affirmative. Publisher #2 then requested the full ms but noted they had already informed Publisher #1 of this request, as was common courtesy practice between colleagues.

Author X considered this a breach of privacy, not common courtesy, as Author X thinks it's none of Publisher #1's damned business what Author X does with her rejected mss.

What does the glorious Miss Snark say? (Besides "get an agent". Author X would kill for an agent, truly, but unfortunately writes for a niche market -- gay/lesbian -- and small presses don't offer advances or anything else that would interest an agent.)
many thanks, bonbons, confetti, and earnest wishes that George Clooney arrives on your doorstep soon,

I'm not sure what planet you live on if you think people in publishing don't talk to each other ALL the time about things just like this. In fact, talking about stuff is so much the norm, that not being able to talk about something is red hot news.

Given you don't have an agent, a publisher would be stupid not to make sure you're representing your situation accurately when you say you're free to publish with them. They're just avoiding problems. If you don't like it, don't take the deal.

"Expectation of privacy" is a phrase used about information on your tax returns, banking and libraries. You don't enjoy any expectation of privacy about making a business deal. We're not giving people your credit card info, we're talking about your book. We're going to talk about it to a LOT of people before you get an offer let alone accept.

Professor nitwit, you bet

Dear Miss Snark,

Just when I think I feel confident about formating, a new question crops up. I just barely started my MA classes and the first thing my professor said was that we are to use ONLY ONE space after a period. His said that is what publishers want.

I so do not care about this. This is why professors should keep their pointy little noses out of actual, yanno, real work and stick to parsing out the motivation in Jane Eyre.

First of all, when you write a query, you're writing to me, an agent, not a publisher. Second, I don't give a flying fig about much other than spelling and grammar such that I have confidence you are the master of your art form.

When/if/should this great masterpiece garner an offer and acceptance for publication, then and only then will we begin to have fun with the style requirements.

And fyi, and fy professor's i, there is no such thing as "what publishers want". "Publishers" aren't a monolith. They EACH have their own requirements and what flies at Random House is sneeered at by ..well..others. And vice versa. They each want it done their own way and the only good thing about it is they tell you what they want, and acquisitions don't depend on it AT ALL.

Tell your professor to get back to editing his/her beloved literary magazine and terrorizing undergraduates. Leave the advice about publishing to people who actually work in the field.

You can lead a horticulture

Dear Miss Snark,

Isn't it a bit redundent to say in a query letter that you are "seeking representation"?

OF COURSE I'm seeking representation, why in the heck do you think I took the time to write this letter?

Couldn't you just jump to, "I have written an amateur dective novel of 100,000 words." And go on from there? To me it just seems that you have wasted a very valuable sentence with the "I am seeking representation."

Yes. When I wrote those sentences I was dashing them off to illustrate a point about using clauses. Were I actually writing a query letter I'd have spent more than one minute on it and I'd take out the seeking part. As you know I am a minimalist and I would have pruned as much as possible. Pruning is what makes words into art. This blog is more like a wild bamboo jungle than a bonsai garden. You want the bonsai when you query.

Express Train to Clueville

Miss Snark,

When an agent asks for the first five pages, does that mean double-spaced? YES It is my understanding that you always double-space when submitting--with the exception of the query letter and synopsis. Is this correct? YES

My prologue is two single-spaced pages. Is it ok to send a bit (as in, maybe a page) more or less than what the agent requests, so they will have a complete chapter and I can dictate the cut-off point? YES

Also, some agents ask for three sample chapters. Does that automatically mean the first three? YES Some of my favorite chapters are near the end, but I'm guessing agents want the beginning, even if they don't specify. Am I right there? YES

Thanks very much. I enjoy your blog. THANKS

Surely there is some sort of place all this information is readily available?
Why, yes, yes there is.

It's call Guide to Literary Agents, How To Write A Query Letter and Writers Market.

I'm glad to answer questions, particularly ones where there is conflicting info, or no info.

But this! This is the absolute rock bottom fundamental stuff that you can get from almost any writing reference guide.

Think of Miss Snark as the last stop on the clue train, not the tour guide to publishing.

Let me think about it

Dear Miss Snark,

When an agent asks for an exclusive on a full manuscript, do they believe they have the right to expect a "yes" if they offer representation to the author? Might they withdraw their offer if the author asks them to wait a month or two for a decision (because he's since had requests from other - preferred - agents, and wants to send them the full now the exclusive has expired, and wants to see if they make an offer)?

If you think you can shop around and do better, have at it. I might be here when you get back, but I probably won't. If I know my colleauges are saying no to you, I'm MUCH less likely to think I should say yes. And if you aren't all that eager to work with me, well, ok, there are 100 people lined up this week alone who think I'll be just dandy.

I expect people who have sent me full manuscripts are willing to sign with me. Absent any startling revelations ("oh my dog, he's really Miss Snark" or "oh dear dog, you aren't going to call me every day and review every detail of what you've done for me?") you should know you're willing to sign BEFORE I invest time reading your work.

Agents love auctions and bidding wars but only for projects they represent.

Heaven is not wired for DSL I guess

Dear Great Snarkish One,

I recently submitted a story to a literary magazine, the readership for which is very specific and exactly the one for which my story was written. The fiction editor e-mailed me back saying that she liked the work and that although she couldn't reasonably ask me to hold it for her, if I'd be willing to do so anyway she'd have a chance to talk to her managing editor and see if they had room for it in their upcoming edition. She said she'd get back to me in a couple of weeks.

After a few weeks passed, I looked her up to find her e-mail address and thank her for her consideration and withdraw my story from consideration. You know, standard SOP. My Google search pulled up news articles revealing that she had died three days after talking to me. Trouble is, I have no idea whether she passed the story on before she--um, passed on. Given the tragedy that her agency is going through, is the standard professional conduct of the "Thanks for your consideration" letter still appropriate, or would it be more respectful to silently move on? Or, since the story audience is so specific to this magazine's readership, should I file it for a year and re-submit it to them later?

Thanks oh Snarker.

Your faithful Not-quite-a-Snarkling-but-still-amused-and-enlightened-by-your-blog-reader

Oh yikes.
You write to the managing editor. You offer condolences. You don't do anything more for a bit. This isn't time sensitive OTHER than you want to get a move on with stuff.

Chances are with an unexpected staff vacancy they are not moving at full speed ahead either. If they have seen your story, this will jog their memory. If they haven't, you don't look callous.

Give them some time, then write again and explain you in the middle of things when Ms Editor passed away. They'll figure out what you mean.

Meanwhile, you write other things and query other places.

Miss Snark Challenged to a fontfight

Dear Miss Snark,

I wrote once before. You weren’t too hard on me and the comments were interesting, so I thought I’d try my luck again with something that’s been on my mind.

I don’t presume to be The Next Great Author, but I want to challenge the notion that getting published is “all about the writing”. There are some wildly successful authors who freely admit they write an outline and then relegate the actual writing to their “assistants”. And then there are some terrible writers that get published because of who they are (e.g. well known, controversial, etc.), and not how well they write. Good Lord, Snarky, there was even that thing earlier this year where four publishing executives called on a televangelist to convert him to their company’s multi-million dollar One True Book Deal.

So, I want to challenge the notion that it’s “all about the writing”. I do subscribe to that theory for unpublished authors, but would the Great and Powerful Miss Snark consider that quite often it’s “all about how many books we can sell and how much money we can make?” Two sets of rules?

The Next Great Author

Leaving the writing to assistants doesn't mean it's bad writing. Or unmarketable. James Patterson and Barbara Cartland come to mind. I don't read either of them but I respect the fact that they sell millions of books to people who like the books.

Well known people are always asked to write books. For some time it was fashionable for Sentators to write mysteries. John Kennedy didn't exactly write Profiles in Courage despite the Pulitzer he got for it but there was a reason he got it published and little of it had to do with the quality of writing (which is actually pretty good, thanks to Ted Sorenson).

All of that is true.

None of it has any relevance to you.

You are not a famous televangelist, nor are you Joe Kennedy's son, nor I presume are you James Patterson or Barbara Cartland. You are the NGA who is sending me a query letter to see if Im going to invest in your future.

To that end when I say "it's about the writing" what I mean is that it's not about the font, or the pagination or that you send the thing in express mail envelopes. Those things annoy me but if you write well enough, I'll send KY over to lick the envelopes himself.

What I intend to convey with "it's about the writing" is that I want you to obsess about the writing. I want you bleed on the page, I want your dictionary in shreds, your thesaurus begging for mercy and your prose to shine as though Grandmother Snark's parlour maid rubbed it like it was a lamp with a genie.

"It's all about the writing" is true for 83.7% of the books that are published. Do not confuse this with "it has to be good writing" cause bad writing sells, and sells well. I have no idea how that works cause I don't handle any of it. And lest you all tut tut that I sound like a snob, no no. I don't handle bad writing cause I can't tell the difference between marketable and unmarketable bad writing. Some people can. I offer up the entire career of Danielle Steele as evidence to support that statement.

We may disagree about what constitutes marketable/unmarketable, good or bad, but when we do we are talking about the writing.

There are exceptions to the rule but you aren't it.

Beverage alert

Mr. Snark,

I'm having a very strong desire to murder my agent. He hasn't sold my book yet, even though it's been sitting with editors for nine days. Nine days! It took him a whopping 25 hours (that's 1,500 minutes!) to respond to my latest email. I'm very concerned that not only is he incompetent, but he's also a bit unstable. My agent is the one responsible for my decision to end his life. I cannot decide if I should commit the homicide by cannon, butcher's knife or paper cut. Your help?

Please note that this is not for use on your blog. I value your opinion but would like you to respect my privacy.


clue: this is a joke from an associate.
All comments that didn't get that have been deleted.

Swanning around

Last night I get sucked into a discussion of how great War and Peace is and someone said sneeringly "you'd never see stuff like THAT published today", and then I find my poetic muse Miss Stander reading Proust and reminding me it wouldn't survive the Crapometer. (for those of you who've survived this long without reading ol' Marcel, the five volumes do indeed have a plot but it starts somewhere after page 200)

yea well, they're both right.

I'm ok with that.

We have NO idea what people are going to consider the great classics of this century. I only need say Melville, Caravaggio, or Richard Yates to illustrate my point.

Besides, it's not either/or. I may be reading The Inferno to get tuned up for editorial lunches, but I'm also reading Maggie Estep's latest.

Unlike almost every other art form, there's room for a lot of different kinds of taste treats at the biblio buffet. Madelines anyone?

Species Changed to Protect the Innocent!

This is pretty funny.

It does violate the rule that if you show a gun in the first act, it has to fire by the third but I can live with that.

Thanks to RB for the link


This is cool

Smart people are finding all sorts of ways to promote their books.

It's a youtube video promo. Get ready, this is the wave of the future.

Oh wait...I think I read that somewhere before!

Just a few reminders

1. Miss Snark aspires to be Queen of the Known Universe. Until her coronation, she is not responsible for problems you have with google, or blogger or firefox and other web browsers.

She appreciates you will be hopelessly morose should you be deprived of your daily dose of snark, so remember that MissSnark.com is a mirror of the blog. (Thanks to the Wren!)

2. Miss Snark is not responsible for comments made by other people on other blogs.
Killer Yapp, yes; but he is not a person.
He is a dog.
When he calls you a bitch, it's a compliment.
If someone else calls you a bitch, or an orange, or a serial scrubber, and they found you through this blog, don't write to me to complain. Well, you can if you want but see #3.

3. If you email Miss Snark and say "this isn't for the blog" what I see is "the rules don't apply to me". ALL email is blog fodder. Say it with me "ALL" . Get it?
Saying "there is an expectation of privacy" does not make it so.
EVERYTHING is blog fodder.
Especially whiny complaints.


I got your fan fic riiiiiight here

Mr Clooney and Mr Pitt Visit Miss Snark.

What Would Miss Snark Do?-updated!

I mentioned to a relative's wife at a recent wedding that I was hoping to get my novel published. She indicated that her relative by marriage, whom she knows slightly, is X, a very successful agent, and offered to intercede on my behalf but wasn't sure how to proceed. Should I simply ask our mutual acquaintance to alert Agent X that my query is on the way and to be sure to give it a look? And then should I refer to our mutual acquaintance up front in my query? Any other suggestions for maximizing this connection? Thanks.

You're joking right?

This is NOT a connection. This is the first draft of a Robert Altman movie.

Clue: "knows slightly"

Clue: "relative by marriage"

One of the surest ways to look like a nitwit is to mention anything like this. It marks you as hopelessly clue free. It marks you as someone who thinks their writing might need the assistance of an introduction cause it's not compelling enough to stand out on its own.

There is a VERY select list of people who get my attention when they are mentioned in a query.

First on the list is Grandmother Snark. Frankly, she's got carte blanche. She wants me to read the pool boy's astrologist's novel, and I'm on the couch reading right now.

Second is a select list of colleagues. About five. I read everything they send my way cause that's how collegiality works.

Third is any editor I've worked with who has read something and sent the author off to find a good agent.

Fourth are people I've worked with for years in various capacities. There are about six of them.

In other words, the connections that count aren't people who know who I am. They are people I know and have worked with. Until your relative by marriage fits that description, you thank Miss Helpful nicely then sit your happy ass down on the piano bench and tap out Variations in the Key of Clue.

And for you nit pickers in the comments section--thanks.

And for you politicians who think merit counts for 3%--there's a reason you work in politics I guess.

And connections, ie knowing an agent, can certainly warm things up, but it's when YOU have the connection. So, if you go to a conference and meet an agent, of course you mention it. If you meet an agent at the supermarket and you are both ready to hurl after walking by the meat department, mention that splendid detail by all means.

This post was from someone trying to build a bridge between two balloons..not a solid foundation and both parties are trying to escape.

Fiction novels: is there more to be said? Yes, yes there is

Dear Miss Snark:

After reading through the latest round of crapometer entries, I found a common mistake: people writing that they have a "fiction novel" I understand that this is redundant so I wanted to make sure I wasn't making the same mistake inadvertently.

The story I've written is science fiction, so if I write "I'm seeking representation for my science fiction novel, [Insert Name Here]”, is it understood that it is a "science fiction" novel, and not a science "fiction novel"?

I've sent out some query letters with "I'm seeking representation for my science fiction manuscript” to avoid the problem altogether, but that has never sounded quite right to me either. I figure I'm going to have enough problems landing an agent without turning them off on the very first sentence.

Any and all comments are greatly appreciated. (ya ya ya, they all say that till they hear the snick of the clue gun being cocked)

Even non-genrenarian Miss Snark understands science fiction novel means a novel to be shelved in science fiction.

However you're hitting yourself over the head with a brick, and while it's certainly fun to watch, I'm increasingly afraid of getting brain splatters on my poodle skirt, not to mention the actual poodle. Thus:

I'm seeking representation for my novel MISS SNARK SNEERS AT SPLATTER. It is science fiction; 300,000 words; with maps, power point presentations, and clue gun illustrations.


I'm seeking representation for MISS SNARK PEERS AT A LADDER. It is is science fiction; 300,000 words; and illuminated with illustrations of ladders, peerages, and poodles.

Get the idea?


Getting rejection letters?
Got Snarked?
"Get over it" not quite doing the trick?

Herewith a link from MB Toolbox with directions for making lemonade with all those damn lemons Fresh Direct just delivered.

Fan Fiction!

this is probably old news for many of you.

You just know there's money involved when the Wall Street Journal starts writing about it! Herewith their article on Friday about Fan Fiction!.

Link vacummed up from Media Bistro



Yesterday, some poor nitwit asked her blog readers to lobby an editor about the partial she'd just submitted. (She was surprised I'd seen it. I saw it the same way I see almost all the good stuff I talk about--a reader sent me the link).

I posted the blog entry here and invited you to tell me why it's bad idea.
You complied vociferously.


This nitwit of the week is one of many nitwits. We've ALL done nitwit things. I've been my own nitwit more than once, just today, and it's only 10am.

Here's the thing. You can recover.
This isn't death.

We all screw up.
All of us, every day.

It's what you do after you realize the great idea you had wasn't so great.
The email sent in the heat of the moment was overwrought.
What sounded funny to you wasn't heard with the same ears.
You just screwed up for whatever human reason.

Pick yourself up.
None of this "if I may have offended you" or "if I offended you".
A sincere apology is "I fucked up. I'm really sorry. I learned a lot from this. I ask your forgiveness". Those words can be really really hard to say, particularly when you are feeling attacked, and defensive.

Give yourself some down time and some perspective:
Go look at some of the wonderful art online at the Met. Here's the Temple of Dendur. Mistakes fall away in the fullness of time.

There's a reason I go to the Met at least once a week.