Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday miscellany and to rant or not to . . . no just don't do it!

Hi all!  Sorry I missed my Wednesday post.  For the first time in over 20 years I was down with an ear infection and so was little blond person.  I still haven't regained full hearing in my left ear.  Instead I have that rushing sound that you get when you hold a seashell up to your ear, but at least the pain is gone.  It shames me to say that all in all my two-year-old is dealing better than I did with the various pains and annoyances that come along with this particular affliction.

Before I get down to business I'd like to say thank you to all of you who helped me through my writerly funk.  After reading most of the comments on my last post I slowly backed away from the delete key, took my daughter, myself and my Ipod for a long, contemplative walk and actually cleared the blockage.  No more bragging about word count.  I learned my lesson about doing that last Friday, but I'm happy to say I have added a bit to my WIP since then.  So thank you everyone!

Now onto business. I'm thinking this is going to become my standard Friday post, just links to interesting blog posts that I've come across over the week.  This week I also have a link to a contest for you all  (Palindrome, sorry I didn't get around to posting it on Wednesday like I said I would).

I know we all struggle with how much time we spend on our blogs versus how much time we spend on our non bloggerland life.  I thought it was interesting that agents, or at least those at Dystel and Goderich, struggle with the same thing according to this post on their blog.  If you don't follow these guys, you really should.  All of their agents do posts and they provide excellent insight into an agent's world.

Nathan Bransford did a series of posts on his blog entitled 'Be An Agent For A Day'.  He requested that his followers provide him with queries and an excerpt of 30 pages from their novels.  From those submitted he selected five queries along with their attendant excerpts, posted them on his blog and asked his followers to vote as to which query interested them enough to want to read pages.  Then he posted the excerpts and let his followers vote on what excerpt would have led them to request a full.  Though the results are in and it's too late to vote, you could still head on over there, take a walk in an agent's all powerful (or so it seems at times) shoes and see how you measure up.

Now for the contest; Palindrome over at Musings of a Palindrome is giving away some great books as a prize.  The details can be found here and today is the last day to enter, so get over there and follow her!

I've been debating about including this in my blog post for pretty much the whole last week.  I don't want to bring more attention to this particular blogger than she has already garnered for herself, but I just think the whole thing is so astoundingly awful in a 'wow, that was a humongously horrible car crash and I just can't stop staring' kind of way.

Quick bit of history.  There's a blog out there called Tales From a Rejection Queen.  I know some of you that follow me also follow her so this is probably old news to you. However, for those of you who aren't in the know, for roughly the last year and a half, the Rejection Queen, as she styles herself, has been posting her rejections complete with name and address of the agent who sent it along with her own mostly snarky comments on the rejection.  In the past quite a few commenters have cautioned her against doing this, telling her the publishing industry is a small world and she's shooting herself in her literary foot by doing this. 

Well, folks, last Friday, this blogger, in my opinion shot herself in the literary head.  She posted the rantiest of all anti agent rants, personally attacking Janet Reid and Nathan Bransford; two of, in my opinion, the most helpful and out there agents in the business.  The post went viral. She has since deleted the post, but if you care to take a closer look at this train wreck you can head over to this thread on the Absolute Write forums.  They have a link to the cached copy of the original post as well as several pages of comments on this situation. 

As I said before, I follow this blog and in the past found it sort of darkly humorous as well as sort of a way to vicariously vent my own frustrations with the querying process.  However, this was beyond the pale for me.  I couldn't believe how poisonous the post was and as I said, I don't want to call more attention to her than she's already received, but I think this can serve as an caution to the rest of us to keep our rants between ourselves and our journals or at the most our good friends or significant others.  I know the querying process can be frustrating and hurtful and at times give rise to the sort of impotent rage that I'm sure she felt when she logged on and let loose, but there are better ways to handle it than going viral.  In case you ever feel the need to splatter vitriol all over your blog, back away from the keyboard and chant the words 'Rejection Queen' to yourself until reason has reasserted itself.

Sorry I've been MIA on your blogs.  I hope to get some time tonight to catch up on all the posts I missed this week while groaning around my house with a hot compress plastered to the side of my head (not an effective treatment as it turns out).  Right now I'm going shopping for material to make a quilt for the soon to arrive newest member of the Paxton family!

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Jaydee Morgan said...

Excellent advice about backing away from the computer before losing your mind - as many of us witnessed, it's never a pretty site.

I sure hope your ear infection totally disappears soon and that you have a great weekend!

E. Elle said...

Feel better soon. Ear infections are no fun -- especially as an adult! There should be some infections reserved just for kids so you can deal with it and move on.

Thank you for the advice on ranting. I don't rant about the industry on my blog, or anywhere really, but this will keep me in check. :o)

Talli Roland said...

I hope you feel better soon!

I heard about this post but I didn't want to read it, since there's enough venom in the blogosphere already. I can't believe someone would do something so cruel to others and damaging to herself, too.

Kaylie said...

I checked out the Nathan Bransford blog. I thought it was fascinating. But it's probably tedious to read so many query letters after a while.

Shannon said...

I'm glad you didn't delete your WIP and gained some clarity. :)

As far as the Rejection Queen goes, I don't follow her blog but had heard about the post after the fact. I didn't know she targeted Nathan and Janet. Just wow. As you said, they are two of the most helpful agents out there. Sounds like the Rejection Queen needs some better meds.

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

Sad. I didn't realize the Rejection Queen's post had garnered her so much attention.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I haven't had an ear infection about 30 years. Ugh. Hope you feel better.

I haven't seen the Tales of a Rejection Queen blog. I'll check that out.

Have a good weekend!

Piedmont Writer said...

I hope you feel better soon.

And yes, swimming with 'the' shark, could be quite hurtful to ones' career.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Some people are self-destructive. Whatever sour pleasure she recieves in zinging rejecting agents is not enough reward for the damage she is doing herself in the process.

Not just with agents in general but with her own psyche. You cannot dip your hand into revenge without getting your fingers burned.

Don't worry about being MIA from your friends blogs -- except for me, I demand that you visit mine {Snicker} -- just get better and your little one sounds like a champion, Roland

Old Kitty said...


I hope you are feeling better - and I hope you had fun shopping for material for your quilt!

Congratulations with the about to arrive newest member of the Paxton family!

As for venting vitriol against agents - erm - I have to admit I was so fascinated by this I got stuck reading through the absolute write forum. I couldn't find the original post (the blogger in question took it off) but some of the AW members quoted from her original post and my goodness!!

I couldn't believe such bile!! I mean, whoa, calm down - and above all be an adult and be mature about these things and more so be a professional about these things.

Dear oh dear.

Thanks for all the links - it had me glued to the screen - something I feel sort of bad about - it was like watching someone crashing their car deliberately in slow motion just out of curiosity!

Take care

Al said...

Ack! Ear infections - Yuk!

I fully understand how you feel. I had one last year and the pain was worse that that of broken bones. You feel so helpless because you can't do anything except wait for it to improve.

We all need to remember that the web is a public forum. "Rejection Queen" will be my mantra when I am feeling snarky.

Julie Musil said...

I just found your blog. Excellent advice about rants. Plus, I read your prologue. I thought it was VERY well written! Great job.

laughingwolf said...

glad you two are on recovery road...

do let the world know when the son arrives! :)

stupid is as stupid does, as some wag observed... you're so right, shot herself in the head!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Thanks for the heads up on whats new with you and the other great bloggers you mentioned. I'd never seen anything from the Rejection Queen! Sounds crazy though.

Jen said...

Hooray for the rants working! I'm glad to see that you've started to once again move forward!!! That's exciting!

I'm sorry about your ear infection, I've never had one but I can't imagine they feel good at all!!! Feel better soon!

Tracy said...

Hi Angie, I followed you over here from your post on my blog, and this was quite an interesting first post to happen across.

For starters, sorry to hear about the ear infection. I had those ALL the time as a kid, so I know how un-fun they can be.

I think I've been past the Rejection Queen once in the past, because I do recall the snarkiness. Problem when you take on the most well-known agents (ones that would-be writers have come to respect) is it can, obviously, have a backfiring effect. Ouch!

Angie Paxton said...

Thanks, Jaydee. I hope your weekend has been fabulous so far as well!

E.Elle, I agree completely! I told my husband that mothers, especially pregnant ones should be exempt from illness.

Kaylie, I thought that experiment Nathan did was so interesting, but yeah I can definitely see how wading through tons of those each day would get old fast, especially the really badly written ones.

Roland, I actually did pay your blog a visit on Friday and left a little comment for you :) And yes, my daughter is a total champion. I need to take a page out of her book about not whining. Thankfully we'll both feeling better after about twenty four hours worth of antibiotics so my whining has passed off - mostly.

Julie, thank you so much for visiting and for the compliment! I popped over to your blog and signed up as a follower.

Laughingwolf, all of you in bloggerland will most definitely know when baby boy Paxton arrives.

Creepy Query Girl, still love that name. Thanks for stoppping by and commenting.

Jen, thanks for your sweet comments :) They made me smile.

Tracy, thanks for coming over and reciprocating on following. I suppose this post was a rather dramatic intro to my blog, but I'm not usually nearly this exciting.

Everbody else, I sent you a response via email.