Monday, April 14, 2014



First time joining in on this.

Feeling: Excitedly overwhelmed by the fact that I actually have an actual paid writing gig with deadlines and everything! And that I have to respond about another potential one (with some guy in Prague). And resentful that I have this job eating up so much time and energy every day.

Smelling: The lobby and my own coffee-breath. Sorry, not much to smell here.

Tasting: Coffee! Coffee coffee coffee. Made a perfect sized batch this morning: none went down the drain! I have a tendency to over-do things, and my instinct is to make eight-twelve cups of coffee and use it for the next couple days. I’ve been trying to improve on that lately, and it’s satisfying to have just enough. Anyway, at least I can drink my coffee instead of work coffee (which is repulsive, but necessary).

Listening: To the screaming of the wind (Country Music fans: Blown Away has been a staple of my listening diet lately, mostly because the lyrics put me in mind of the upcoming Godzilla movie). We’ve got quite the storm going on at the moment, and the building is creaking ominously. Of course, I can’t quite enjoy it as much at work, but at least I’m in the lobby with a huge window to watch. Also listening to that stupid video-advertisement that plays continuously in the lobby.

Grateful: You read the first bit about the writing gigs, right?

Reading: Lord of the Rings. Missed last year, for the first time in forever. Also perusing The Temperament God Gave You repeatedly for Melancholic life tips and slowly making my way through Introduction to the Devout Life again. Oh, and also listening to On Stranger Tides.

Loving: The photo Masha posted of my adorable niece and her dog united against her (Masha). That, and the fact that I now remember what ‘warm weather’ feels like.

Hoping: To find that new job I’m looking for in Texas.

Working on: Writing gigs. Specifically, forging better work habits, since mine are currently, to put it bluntly, atrocious. Also, being better about not letting little annoyances (like my slow and jerky work computer) get to me.

Vivat Christus Rex!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Why the 99% Failure Rate in Publishing

I found the following at the excellent John C. Wright's Blog and thought it was pretty funny.

Herewith, the rough breakdown of manuscript characteristics, from most to least obvious rejections:

1. Author is functionally illiterate.

2. Author has submitted some variety of literature we don’t publish: poetry, religious revelation, political rant, illustrated fanfic, etc.

3. Author has a serious neurochemical disorder, puts all important words into capital letters, and would type out to the margins if MSWord would let him.

4. Author is on bad terms with the Muse of Language. Parts of speech are not what they should be. Confusion-of-motion problems inadvertently generate hideous images. Words are supplanted by their similar-sounding cousins: towed the line, deep-seeded, dire straights, nearly penultimate, incentiary, reeking havoc, hare’s breath escape, plaintiff melody, viscous/vicious, causal/casual, clamoured to her feet, a shutter went through her body, his body went ridged, empirical storm troopers, ex-patriot Englishmen, et cetera.

5. Author can write basic sentences, but not string them together in any way that adds up to paragraphs.

6. Author has a moderate neurochemical disorder and can’t tell when he or she has changed the subject. This greatly facilitates composition, but is hard on comprehension.

7. Author can write passable paragraphs, and has a sufficiently functional plot that readers would notice if you shuffled the chapters into a different order. However, the story and the manner of its telling are alike hackneyed, dull, and pointless.

(At this point, you have eliminated 60-75% of your submissions. Almost all the reading-and-thinking time will be spent on the remaining fraction.)

8. It’s nice that the author is working on his problems, but the process would be better served by seeing a shrink than by writing novels.

9. Nobody but the author is ever going to care about this dull, flaccid, underperforming book.

10. The book has an engaging plot. Trouble is, it’s not the author’s, and everybody’s already seen that movie/read that book/collected that comic.

(You have now eliminated 95-99% of the submissions.)

11. Someone could publish this book, but we don’t see why it should be us.

12. Author is talented, but has written the wrong book.

13. It’s a good book, but the house isn’t going to get behind it, so if you buy it, it’ll just get lost in the shuffle.

14. Buy this book.

Vivat Christus Rex!