Monday, April 20, 2009

Back Into Normality

Back at work today. Nothing blew up in my absence and it did take me all morning to work through hundreds of emails after 12 days away. In the end, there were only a dozen or so of any note.

Unfortunately one of them was a rejection for 'Digging Up The Past', my sub for the Devil's Food Antho. Just a form pass so it'll take a quick revision and out she'll go again.

When I earlier said I didn't think I was being a good blog citizen, I was referring to my lack of reciprocating to those kind enough to visit and leave comments. My reading of others blogs has been a little stunted recently. I've even been slack in updating the blogs I frequent on my sidebar. I'm in the process of fixing that. You'll notice my blog rolls are extending quite a lot.

Now I'm back at work, I'll also be settling back into reading blogs first thing of a morning to catch up on current events and hopefully having something useful to add in way of a comment.

As I had mountains of email to trudge through this morning, and, shock horror, I had some work to do, I haven't gotten through all my feeds yet, but I thought I'd add whatever useful links I came across as I did.

From Janet Reid's excellent blog I found this quote from one Julie Weathers, "Query letters are like a good strip tease. Reveal enough to stir up the reader emotionally and leave them wanting more." - writing advise to live by. Brilliant! (And yes, I've added Julie to my blog roll - if someone can come up with writing advise like this, I want to read her daily thoughts).

A little while ago, during one of the meme things that were/are going around, I disclosed a funny and utterly stupid thing I did in the past in regards to the first manuscript I'd written. I won't rehash it her, but this post over at Et in arcedia, ego, agent Jennifer Jackson's blog, pretty much nails it. I have, on many, many, many occasions tried to push this point since I wised up and winced at my early behaviour. If you want to be a professional writer, you must act professionally. It is a given fact that we are all too close to our work to be able to give objective opinions on it. Writers never stop learning and growing in the use of the craft. Not all experimentation or plot twist will work as you envisage it. When you finish your work, let it sit before revising it - then send it to someone not related to you, and preferably living in a different suburb, if not a different state or country, to give their opinion on it. Revise some more - polish it till it shines. Remember, great writing is not written - it's rewritten. Then submit it to market as per the guidelines as stated on the target market/agents website.

Just about everyone haunts Nathan Bransford's blog now-a-days, but just in case you've been under a rock, down the coast, or just too busy (that would be me on all three accounts), Nathan has been hosting the Be An Agent for a Day series of posts. As soon as I find some time I intend to go through them and check out the queries, the responses, and Nathan's advise on them. I should be able to learn something from that lot...I hope.

And just for the hell of it - stop complaining about agents or the process. Just write. If you do this well enough, you'll find the right agent for you, but please, enough with the agent bashing I keep reading about around the place - it's not nice - and it doesn't help anyone. Feel free to vent on your own blog (god knows I do from time to time), but is there really a need to sound off on an agents blog? Besides, it's not professional and I have a sneaking suspicion agents have a long memory about such things...

Tweets - I don't get it. I know one or two of you out there partake of this particular phenomenon, but I don't get it. I sure as hell wouldn't be able to do it - look at the length of this post!

Found this post on Smoke & Mirrors, Shane Jiraiya Cummings blog. Yep, it was five days ago and I'm only now catching up. It gave me all nice and warm fuzzy feelings to see my name listed as a possible candidate for best fan writer - yeah, right! My vote goes to Chuck McKenzie. It'll be an interesting list when the nominations do come out. Any way - thanks for the mention Shane.

I also found out today the the Australian Tax Office considers writers as "Special Professionals" - as tax time is only a couple of months away, here could be some info you need to know. (Thanks to Speakeasy for the nod & reminder.)

Okay - that is more than enough for my first post back at work. There may be more tonight if I get around to doing some writing.



  1. I confess I'm a twit... I mean, I'm on twitter. I don't recommend anyone signing up as it's far too addictive.

  2. I'm not much of a twit. I have an account, but "tweet" about once a week (or less). I think it works for some people...I'd have to force myself to do more.

  3. I just can't bring myself to do it - tweet that is. I don't have enough time as it is.

    I'll stick to blogging, and when I start selling books, I'll have a website for each of those. Not sure about Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and anything else which comes along.

  4. I do tweets, which I find to be funny and not very relevant to the rest of my life. Facebook has turned into a great big, ongoing class reunion with my old high school so I enjoy that. Many people I haven't seen in almost 20 years.

  5. It's probably just the way I am, but I'm not big on the whole reunion thing. I wasn't an outcast in school or anything. It simply doesn't interest me.

    I could just imagine introducing my wife to all the girlfriends I once had - that would be an uncomfortable evening in my opinion.

  6. In hindsight I was lucky that I didn't date in my own class.

  7. I only tweet about once or twice a day, but that's mostly because I'm not at a computer with Twitter access most of the time.

    Bummer on the rejection! Good luck next time!

  8. As far as the government is concerned, my writing is a "hobby." This works in our favor, money-wise, so I don't let my feelings get hurt ; )

  9. My wife is a tax specialist. She's always finding new things for me to write off each year.

    I won't touch Facebook. I have no desire to see anybody I ever went to school with again.

    Sorry to hear about the rejection, but I know that story will find a home.

  10. JT - you should get your wife to do a big post on claims for writers - I'm sure everyone would be interested.

    Jamie - I dated lots of girls in lots of classes back in high school. In 1986 I won the School Stud award. At the time, I was very honoured (although I missed the ceremony as I was on the back of the boat making out with a new girl). Now I'm happy just to forget about that part of my life. It was the 80's and I'm just glad I managed to get through it without picking up and nasty bugs.

  11. Can't bring myself to Twitter. Thanks for the tax tip. Am going to have a look.