Friday, August 04, 2006

The Value of Hanging Out with Other Writers

I've been thinking a lot about writers' groups in the past couple of days, and I was just reminded of one of the best reasons to be in one...

...for the company of people who UNDERSTAND.

My friend and fellow writer Rachel was over for lunch today and, as writers often do, we got to talkin' shop. She told me about some positive rejections she got from magazine editors and how two stories came back with editor comments. I stopped her and said, "Wait. Are you saying they want to see the stories again? Like, an informal request for revisions?" "Oh, yeah," she muttered. "I should really get to those some time."

Some time, grrl! How about today!

Thing is, the other people in Rachel's life just don't really get it. There's no one who says, "Uh, yeah. You should do that. I would've! Yesterday!" Because to them, one rejection is just like another.

We all know the truth. If you get the yellow rejection from Realms of Fantasy you're moving up the ladder, that much closer to the written "I liked this, but I just bought a telepathic rabbit story. Feel free to send more when you have something new."

And We all know that when you get that last one, you send something off the next day, if you can.

Even when your spouse/lover/partner/pool boy/S.O. is extremely supportive, there's nothing quite like having another writer in your life who understands that you ARE a genius, who is, in point of fact, just waiting for some editor somewhere to recognize you for what you are. Someone with whom you can (as I like to call it) cast the rejection slips (there should be a word for this thing we all do where we ponder the meaning of cryptic wordings ala "didn't quite grab me" vs. "didn't quite work for me, alas" -- rejectomancy?)

My writers group fills this need for me. Rachel and I will just have to do lunch more often, because writers need this stuff.

Maybe even more than caffeine.


But don't quote me.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

W2W Deadline Extended

Other me would like to let any Twin Cities area residents know that the deadline for the SASE: The Write Place's "Writer to Writer" mentorship program has been extended to August 15. So, if you were thinking about signing up for a master class with HER, you can still do it!

Application and complete guidelines can be found:

/Public Service Announcement

Back to me... if you're going to be around this weekend, you can catch me on Saturday, August 5, 2006 from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, I'll be signing Tall, Dark & Dead with fellow SF/F authors Naomi Kritzer and Kelly McCullough at the Northtown Center Waldenbooks. For directions or other information call (763) 780-1264.

Wickersham Brothers

My son is currently completely obsessed with the Chuck Jones' animated TV version of "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas." "Horton Hear's a Who" has been tacked on as a bonus feature. I had vague memories of this being on TV when I was a kid (yes, I'm THAT old), but I'd completely forgotten about the song the blue gorrillas (the Wickersham Brothers -- and yes, if you don't remember they're in the book, and named) sing.

It's completely political.

Here are some sample lyrics:

We're the Wickersham Brothers.
We're vigilant spotters.
Hot shot spotters of rotters and plotters.
And we're going to save our sons and our daughters from you.
You're a dastardly, ghastardly, shnasterdly, schnook,
Trying to brainwash our brains,
With this gobbledy gook.
We know what you're up to pal.
You're trying to shatter our morale.
You're trying to stir up discontent.
And seize the reigns of government.
You're trying to throw sand in our eyes.
You're trying to kill free enterprise.
And raise the cost of figs and dates,
And wreck our compound interest rates.
And shut our schools,
And steal our jewels,
And even change our football rules.
Take away our garden tools,
And lock us up in vestibules.

When I made Shawn listen to this she said, in a horror stricken voice, "They're Republicans."

I don't know about that, but it does make me wonder what Dr. Seuss would write about if he were alive today.

Monday, July 31, 2006

An Invitation....

I just got my very first invitation to submit a short story to a vampire anthology edited by none other than Charlaine Harris. I don't have any of the details yet, except that the tentative title is BLOODY RETURNS and the theme is vampires and birthdays.

The coolest part of this is that when I got the email from Charlaine she said that the reason she thought of me is because of a nice thank-you note I'd sent after she ran a rewiew of TALL, DARK & DEAD as part of her Book Blog.

I guess my Mom was right. Being polite really does get you ahead in this world.

Honestly? I would never have believed her, except this is the second time in my life a thank-you note has played a key role in getting a gig.