Monday, July 25, 2011

stab stab.

The hell-divorce keeps getting more hellish.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Something awesome just occurred to me! Now that I'm no longer under contract with my previous agency, I can polish up and submit some of my short fiction! Wooo! I haven't tried to sell short fiction in about three years (and I did sell some, to small but paying markets.)

This means I can hopefully find an appreciative home for John Muir Fucks a, I mean A Light in the Merced River.


The old Men Vs. Women debate.

That same old subject came up on AW yet again (Why do more men win awards in literary and most genres of genre fiction than women?) I don't recommend you read more than the first post in the thread. It's long, and mostly full of angry female writers shrieking at other writers (non-angry female and male). This, along with the correct way of dealing with writer's block, seem to be the perennial topics on AW.

The last time I got an overload of the weird backward logic so many women use to spur their anger over the discrepancy in who wins awards, MacAllister freaked out at me and started deleting my posts. So I just stay out of those threads now, because my opinion isn't popular, and I am too outspoken and confident a debater to meekly back down and go with the status quo when I don't believe it's right.

This makes me rather unpopular among certain female writers on AW, which is kind of funny when you think about it, because aren't we all supposed to be in favor of confident, bold female writers who will stand up to anybody if they perceive a wrong? I guess you're only supposed to stand up against wrongs committed by people with penises. Huh.

Anyway, early on in the thread a writer named Lydia Netzer weighed in with her opinion, one I was astonished to read. Didn't she know that you're not supposed to admit on AW that maybe women just aren't as good (yet) at writing award-winning literary fiction? Apparently not. The thread quickly devolved into the predictable rigmarole, with some posters going so far as to compare her to notorious dickwad misogynist V. S. Naipaul. Nice, people. Really nice.

I thought Lydia's point was spot on target, and that her blog post on the subject was incredibly well thought out and helpful in gaining insight into why the discrepancy between the genders (or sexes, really, since we probably don't know the psychological genders of most writers) exists. Unlike the whole AW thread, you should read Lydia's post. Then read my response to her post here, after the jump.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Man...I hate query letters.

Well, fortunately I'm getting close to finishing Baptism for the Dead. I've been doing a lot of revising and polishing as I go, although of course there will still be plenty more to do when I finish the latest draft...but I estimate I've got about eight weeks of work left on the book. That's a great feeling!

Not so great a feeling is the realization that I've now got to craft a query letter. The last time I went through the process of writing one it was the fall of 2009. It's been almost two years and I'd forgotten how intensely I hated writing that last query letter. Uuuuugh.

Presenting more of a problem than the mere fact of query-writing is the unique theme and structure of Baptism for the Dead. It's got a whole bunch of parallels in it to a particular LDS temple ceremony, and because of that structure my protagonist/narrator has no name.

Where the hell do you start with a query letter for a book that has a nameless protagonist? Jeeze! At least with books that have named protagonists, you can start with the basic "When (protagonist's name) tries to (achieve goal), (conflict happens), and (stakes) are at stake..." and build from there.

Any ideas, party people? Help the Libster out!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How and Why I Decided to Self-Publish, and What I Expect Will Happen When I Do.

I know, I know. Those of you who know me really well, those of you who interact with me a lot on AW or who even just read my posts from time to time, surely know that I have a dim view of self-publishing, to put it mildly. You are probably picking your jaw up off the floor and looking at the calendar to determine whether we have collectively time-warped backward to April 1st.

Take a moment. Collect yourself. Then read on. I think this all makes sense, even coming from me, and so will you when you’ve read through this long post. Actually don't read through this long post. Page-down and read through only those sections (headed in bold and all-caps) which interest you. Because this blog post is a goddamn tome, my friends, and there's a lot of stuff here.

First, let me make this clear: I am NOT considering self-publishing Baptism for the Dead or any subsequent literary/contemporary novels. I am ONLY considering self-publishing my commercial historical fiction. I’ll tell you how and why I decided to look at this option with serious intent, what I expect the outcome to be, and why I am not (at this time, anyway) considering self-publishing the rest of my writing.

Read on, mi amigos.