Monday, May 9, 2011

I can't tell if I'm part of the problem or the solution

Our job this day is to become part of the answer to the world's immense and protracted suffering rather than continuing our ancient task of being part of the difficulty.

~Hugh Prather

Via -- be warned, there are cute naked gay boys all over that link.

I do believe, strongly, in the above quote. And I try my darndest, every day, to be part of the solution. I realize that, on occasion, I fall down in this area. But I'm trying. And so I will today.

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Agent Rachelle Gardner answers a question from "A Conscientious Writer" regarding asking a published author to read your un-published work. Her answer is entirely graceful, and I'll remember this later on.

Of course, I'm so shy, I never ask anyone but good friends to read my stuff first. However, a lot of people overcome their own shyness, or maybe they're just far bolder than I any day. I used to write fanfic, and as a ff author of some popularity, I would get asked to read and beta work on the average of once a week. This quickly became too much for me, as even reading a short story and making thoughtful comments on the work could take up to an hour of my time, sometimes more. My response automatically became this: Thank you for asking. I'm glad you enjoy my work so much. Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now. Here are some places where you can go to ask for help/critique/beta readers: (insert list, complete with links). Good luck with your story!

Here is where I attempt to fold the world of fandom with that of traditional publishing. If I asked an author for their opinion of my ms and they told me they didn't have time, I would not A. Not reply to this at all, B. Beg them to reconsider, or C. Berate/threaten them.

A simple, "Thanks, anyway!" goes a long way. A was most common, but there was a lot of B. And C usually went along the lines of, "I have been a long-time reader and reviewer of your work but now I am never going to read anything of yours again!"

Some right now are thinking, "Well, that's fandom. They're all nuckin' futs." However, having been around the blogosphere for a couple of years now... There's some pretty, shall we say, quirky folks out there. I'm actually wondering how often this happens to published writers. We've all read the rejection letters they've received, and their general writing tips to other writers, and the stories of how they finally found an agent, but what about what happens when they reach that stage of popularity where requests to read ms's are rolling in? LOL. I would like to read some of that.

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Good news: Two acceptances recently. One is a reprint of a story which is a favorite of mine, and I'm thrilled that it will find a new audience to tease and seduce. The other is an unpublished short story which will appear in an anthology this fall. There's a lot to say about that one, but I'm holding off for now until more pieces are in place. There's dragons.

Sadly, I have suddenly fallen into a place of regret regarding the lost work on the destroyed USB. I can't help thinking of four short stories which I absolutely loved, and I had worked on them in bits over the course of a year. I must let go, I know!

Time for a bit of yoga before work.

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