Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Feeling, bitchy. Hormones, probably.

The J-man decided to watch SW The Phantom Menace last night. I watched for a while, but left when the voice in my head kept screaming, "Kill, kill, Jar-Jar Binks. Kill!"

There are no words to express my loathing for Jar Jar. And his stupid patois. "Meesuh this, and meesuh that." Ugh. Meesuh gonna barf.

Still holding out a faint hope for the last movie.

I'm wondering why some publications take so damn long to read and evaluate a [short] story? Now I understand the issue of family emergencies and all that, but why are some so slow even without familial crisis?

Don't get me wrong. In my experience the vast majority of publisher/editors respond in their stated time and keep that time under six months (usually much less). But wait times of six months or more seem just absurd.

Looking at my little submissions notebook I see a couple of stories that have been out at least eight months. Another out about five. Another that I gave up on long ago after I queried the editor twice--no response. One of the small publishers that requested the novel was supposed to respond within eight weeks. An editor sent me an email at about week seven asking if the manuscript was part of a series (indicating she'd read the entire novel). I responded and haven't heard anything since. My query a few weeks ago has been unanswered. Doesn't make the publisher look all that professional.

Now I understand the novels often have to go through several layers of editorial review, even if the original editor loved the book. I.e., that editor has to sell it to his/her boss. I'm not sure that's the case with short stories, and besides they are short stories. [Shrugs] The thing is, I can usually tell after just a page or two whether a story really yanks my chain. In many cases, it doesn't even take that long, just a few sentences in.

Now I know there are some authors who want the editor to read their entire story and they hate it when an editor chucks it after a couple of pages. Makes sense to me though. Why should the editor slog through something that clearly doesn't work for him/her?

I run into this at Critters all the time when critting first chapters. The writer, in response to some comment I made will say, "Yes, I know [character name] seems weak at this point, but just wait till she gets her powers in Chapter Twelve." Uh-huh. But in order for me to get to Chapter Twelve I need an incentive to read Chapters One thru Eleven.

If my story doesn't grab the editor early on, I don't expect the editor to suffer though a dozen more pages.

SF&F has fast turnaround times, and no doubt huge volumes of submissions, so a reasonable return is possible.

Sigh...oh, well.

Wasn't going to get political today, but...

Lest there be any doubt that Bush and the Republican party's position on the matter of Terri Schiavo is anything but a ploy to appease Christian evangelicals...

Some analysts seem to think that the Republican party is out of line with the views of most of America. A Washington Post poll found that 63 percent of American's favour removing Schiavo's feeding tube.

Oh, and regarding Dubya's flight back to D.C. to sigh the bill to save Schiavo's life...it cost the American taxpayer a pretty penny. Money that no doubt who have been better spent on many things, including better body armour for our servicemen and women in Iraq.

"Rather than incurring the cost of flying back to Washington on Air Force One -- pegged in 1999 at $34,000 an hour -- Bush could have signed the bill in Texas a few hours later without significantly endangering Schiavo's life, critics said. Not only had doctors estimated that she could live for up to two weeks without the feeding tube, but a federal judge was not expected to hear the case until today."

Got a rejection from Lost in the Dark. The editor made some helpful comments which are always appreciated. She also made the mistake of suggesting I send something else. "Okay." Hee.

Form rejection from an agent. Yawn. I keep plugging along with the agent search, but honestly, see more hope in just approaching editors on my own. Don't get me wrong. I'd love to have an agent (reputable agent). But the available pool of SF/F agents is rather small, smaller than editors.

Puttered over to see the galleys for the upcoming issue of Neverary. My article looks okay, but...now I wish I'd made it longer. I guess I should give myself a pat on the back for brevity (not my strong suit). I'm never happy with my work.

Still working on Pinocchio's Dream.




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