Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ice Storm

Not nearly as bad as the last one - which encased us in a silver tomb and murdered our trees.
At the height of the last one, one could hear a branch fall every three minutes.
This time we were, fortunately, at the outer edge of the wing-fall, and so it was merely a winter storm, an incovenience.
Power loss, however, is more pervasive than watts and wires.
Have noticed that icy winds and freezing rain also seem to be blowing through the publishing world, more strongly than before; as certain sites express a cold contempt for writers, our clueless presumption, our ignorance.
Seems we are not only a dime-a-dozen, as a result of anyone with a PC and an idea or a dream, but we're cheap to boot.
You might find Lynn Scanlon's post interesting.


Ric said...

Ice storm looks like an interesting early March diversion from the hum-drum.

Though not enough, apparently, to prevent you from sliding down that slippery slope towards self-doubt.

Your stuff is good - very good. Only a matter of getting it in front of the right pair of eyes. And, no, you don't have to pay someone (that was just odd).

Ingest everything you've researched and stop looking for more. Just package the book up and send it out.

The first novels our fellow bloggers are publishing now are good - but yours is better.

At least the parts I've seen - but if you have an extra $300 after you pay the guy to prune the ice damage, .......

Sam said...

That ice looks deadly. Is it still frozen at your place?
Have you found any other chilly sites besides Lynn's?
I have to admit I've kept my blog hopping limited today - I'm trying desperately to catch up on work.
Hope you get some heat soon!!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Ric.
Self-doubt is always with me.
Yes, I found that a very odd post, but she likes to stir things up.
I've always done my own pruning.

No, power seems stable and the temperature rose faster than predicted.
Yep, Sam. Wylie-Merrick, for one!
Thank you!

anna said...

I'm glad you fared better in the last ice storm. We got nuthin after all the hoopla - a tiny bit of snow - some wind. I am always so worried about the power going out when it is so cold.
Ice storms can be deadly for the trees but beautiful for all that. Mother Nature doing a bit of pruning.

Marie said...

'Encased us in a silver tomb' - I like that, Bernita.

Hope the weather warms up for you soon.

Bernita said...

Last time, Anna, Mother Nature went through like a demented Paul Bunyan.
Glad you escaped.

Thank you, Marie. If nothing else, winter teaches us endurance.

ORION said...

This is SO true bernita. There is this distain, a not so tightly held contempt for unpublished writers.
It's a chilly chilly world out there. Even debut authors hit walls and feel the cold.
As my editors and agents are sending my galley out to be read and I am sending some out on my own I find certain authors gracious even in rejection ("as much as I would like to I am in the middle of my next book and I simply cannot read another"). Others ignore the request with not even a curt email-- just silence.
The eye-rolling attitude of some industry members can be dis-heartening.
Excellent post as always.

Gabriele C. said...

Sorry, but that blog post is stupid. Why should one pay 300 bucks to someone for book evalutation when there are writer's websites for do it for free on exchange basis. I can get brutally honest crits from my betas.

And remember the Crabby Cows. I have three snippet crits from them that really helped me.

Where she has a point is is that it's useful to get feedback on your book before sending it out to agents.

MissWrite said...

Ack, turn off the pictures, turn off the pictures. LOL I am so sick of ice. Thankfully we have nowhere near as much as you guys do, but man, I'm SO ready for spring. (It is March isn't it? Where's the nicer weather at? That groundhog must die!)

As for the Scannlon diatribe--I didn't read it all. I don't agree with most of it. One point I do have to grudingly agree with is don't ask anyone espeically a stranger to read and evaluate your manuscript. Two reasons.

One--it IS work. If it's done correctly, and well anyway. You might ask someone you respect for their abilities if you know them, but also keep in mind what kind of a strain it may place on your friendship if you do it all the time... friendship, or no, it is work.

More importantly--Two--opinions are like... yeah, like that, everyone has one. This is nitpicking aside and assuming your work really is publishable in its style and technicalities, one person's opinion of its quality is subjective and may or may not represent the opinion of a publisher or agent.

But that 'don't be cheap' attitude of Ms. Scannlon's that writers should PAY for someone's opionion, that's just...


Not only does 'point two' come into play there, but the scam artists that accept money for evaluating manuscripts typically have no skill and even less contact clout in the publishing industry regardless of what they say they have.

Heehee, sorry for the rant here B. Great post--scary pictures. haha

Bernita said...

Thank you, Pat.
One would think you would be entitled to professional courtesy, considering.

writtenwyrdd said...

We had about ten inches of lovely, fluffy snow. That isn't a damaging disaster like an ice storm. I hope your power outages weren't too bad.

today is gorgeous, blue clear skies and about 30 degrees. It's rising to mid-30s though, which will make all that great x-country ski snow get crusty. Since I haven't skiied in years, I guess I don't care, but it should be allowed to stay a day or two in that pristine condition.

As far as the article, I can't say I blame her. It's got to be difficult to not snarl and get cynical about yet another big-eyed supplicant asking, May I have some more? and thinking she might actually read the manuscript just because they are social.

On the other hand, how did she end up having a meal with a supplicant? She had to have known...

Bernita said...

I quite agree with you, Gabriele.
Further,I cannot see how the average book critic would carry any particular weight ( or provide a referral) with either an agent or a publisher, unless perhaps they were a Big, Big name - who couldn't be bothered even for a price.

Right, Tami.Rant on.I love it.
I wouldn't be surprised if the scam agents begin to quote her on that.

Bernita said...

I think where I part company, Written, is her assumption that writers, as a group, are all of his type.

raine said...

Those photos look very familiar.
For some reason it just pains me to hear the snapping and crackling of the branches, as if it hurts.
I'm not one to enjoy extreme heat either--but enough of the winter stuff already!

As for the article...sigh...

No, I don't think the lowly wannabees should venture onto sacred ground by imposing themselves on those who have no wish to be bothered. It's rude and inconsiderate--and yes, unprofessional.

However, I must also wonder at the seething energy behind the tirade. A simple "no" will suffice. And although I would not behave that way (I hope!), I do UNDERSTAND it. Or do people really become so disenchanted that they forget what it's like to have a dream and want it that desperately?

Ballpoint Wren said...

What beautiful photos! My favorite is the third one.

Right now we're having a big windstorm. Sunny day and one of the strongest winds I've ever seen. Mojo doesn't mind lightening but he hates this wind!

I don't think what Scanlon said was too bad, mainly because she's not pushing her services as a reviewer. And being cheap (I resemble that remark!) is only one of three reasons she claims we don't pay for reviews, the other two being fear: "fear of learning the truth about our work" and "fear of being scammed".

But I do agree with your sense of her cold contempt. "I won’t call a writer an author until he/she can actually show me a bound book or a buyable online version"... ye gad! I've read several short stories and novellas by science fiction authors who haven't published "a bound book" yet, and if the editors of Asimov's can call them 'authors', then so can I.

But then, I am probably just one of the fearfully cheap writers out there, and she probably doesn't think much of Sci Fi, either.

Bernita said...

Indeed, Raine. We are constantly advised not to take rejection personally. Perhaps others connected with the industry also need to grow thicker skins, when approached by the canaille.
And I have read advice from agents who suggest if one has connections to use them in good health.

Bernita said...

Thank you. My back garden 9 years ago, Bonnie.
Poor pup!I suppose because wind has no identifiable pattern to it.
I'm afraid I'm a cheap slut too. And am not convinced, particularly by derogatives, that a book reviewer's paid opinion should be some sort of price of admission.

Jeff said...

The pictures are pretty, although I'm sure you're ready for the arrival of some warmer weather.

Thanks for the link to Lynn Scanlon's post. I'm not familiar enough with the actual nuts and bolts of the publishing business at this point to make an educated comment. However, once I have my manuscript completed and ready to send out I'm hoping all of this information gathering will come in handy. Thanks, Bernita.

Scenic said...

I am always so cold. we had snow here in Oregon yesterday. I try to make the best of it.
With regards to the editing...I just had an ex-teacher of mine read my book. She did it for free and seemed to enjoy the process, I don't know if she was brutal enough, but without 300 extra dollars it will have to do for now.
Bernita- thanks for the pictures, I have been enjoying your post!

Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

Your photos remind me of all our years in Chicago, Bernita. The immediate aftermath of an ice storm looks magical but having to deal with the reality of it is another story entirely. I hope all is well, you have your power back by now and that there wasn’t too much damage.

Thinking of bone-chilling cold reminds me of the day before we moved from Chicago to Portland, OR several years ago. We woke up to 32-inches of snow that morning. A farewell I’ll never forget!

Scott from Oregon said...

Well, I don't know abou tno stinkin' 300 dollars, but I know dogs don't like wind because of the way it sings on wires in pitches we can't hear.

Bernita said...

Jeff,when you get to that point you could do much worse than reading carefully all of Miss Snark's archives.

Thank you, Scenic, as Gabriele and others have said, there's good, free critique sources available.

Thank you, Daisy. Yes, we're good. The wings of the Ice Dragon only brushed by us here.

True, Scott, I'd forgotten about that. And,of course, they pick up on our anxieties.

Lynne W. Scanlon said...

Hi, Bernita!

I've linked back to you and your comment about my posting. All opinions are always welcome.

Lynne AKA The Wicked Witch of Publishing at The Publishing Contrarian

PS That was some freeze! We had tremendous rain in East Hampton, NY and NYC.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Lynn.
As you can see, opinions are varied.
In spite of the wet you seem to have ignited a scorching fire.