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Archive for June, 2010

Londoners, you rock!

June 24, 2010 8 comments

So I was on the tube today, minding my own business and being kinda after-work-grouchy (also it is actually WARM in London, which should be lovely but means that the tube is like a SAUNA only instead of the lovely woody-aromatherapy steam it’s BO-armpit steam which is not nearly as nice), when a bunch of football idiots climbed onto the tube in their football colours and sang some foreign anthem REALLY LOUD the ENTIRE WAY.  And I sat very quiet and very still while I had a little private MASSIVE HEAD EXPLOSION!!!

They even had a whistle-thingie.  And they were being LOUD and OBNOXIOUS on purpose just to annoy everyone, and you could feel the everyone in the entire carriage think that they were SO UNLUCKY to be in this particular carriage.

And this is what I love most about Londoners…

No one even looked their way.

Londoners, you guys are AWESOME.  We all know that all the shouting idiots wanted was for someone to look at them the wrong way, or to get angry, or to say something, or to ACKNOWLEDGE their sorry excuse for an existence.  They wanted to get a rise out of people and NOT ONE PERSON gave them the satisfaction.  I have never seen an entire tube carriage so interested in their newspapers.  Never seen people so intent on listening to their iPods (okay, they were totally just pretending to listen because I had my iPod volume full blast and still couldn’t hear anything above the shouting–but they were GREAT at pretending).

Ha!  Take that you annoying tube-shouters!  You are TOO BORING for us to EVEN NOTICE YOU!  Only in London could a group of strangers pull together so quickly without exchanging a single word.

Okay, so now I think I sound old and snarky but if you were there your head would have exploded as well.

Ooh! ABWP is blushing a bright red!

June 24, 2010 8 comments

Well, gee.  And here I was all ready to write a snarky post about something or other.  And then I saw that I had been awarded this lovely little award by both Bethany (my first-ever commenter and blogger-friend) and Miss Rosemary!  Thank you, thank you to you both! Everyone should check out both their blogs.

Er, and so I am required to provide seven revelations (confessions) on the personage that is (behind)  ABWP.  Here goes…

1) I like to read silly, teen books like Twilight and Harry Potter but I only take serious Cormack McCarthy, Virginia Wolf, etc books on the tube.  Because people will see.  And I am too old to be seen reading Harry Potter.

2) I am terrified of rubber bands.

3) Orange is my favourite colour, and I have orange toenails throughout the summer months.

4) I am uncommonly short.  I try to hide this with the constant use of monster heels (which sometimes get stuck in the groves of the tube escalator) to no avail.

5) I drink pints far more often than gin.  (This is totally a financial decision.  I would drink Tanqueray and Tonic all the time if it was the same price as a pint.  Because gin is way more delicious.  But times are tough.)

6)  Sometimes I can’t sleep because I worry that this MS that I am writing will end up unpublished, unread, and unfulfilled just like my first MS that is now collecting dust in a corner.  And I wonder what my life will have meant, if I cannot do just this, this one little thing that I have always wanted and that I somehow use to measure my self worth.  This is when the gin helps.

7) The human behind ABWP is fairly quiet, proper, and actually kind of a nice person (hard to believe, I know) who cares about soft, mushy things like other people’s feelings (she is only kinda snarky to very special people who know her well).  This is kind of a secret.  Don’t tell anyone.

And now I get to pass it along!  Hooray!  I’m totally mentioning people who’ve gotten it already because I like them.  So there.

1) Lynsey May – She’s got a great perspective on writing, and also has a copy day job so can relate to a lot of my copywriting rants (always appreciated).

2) MilkFever – Lisa is great for encouragement.

3) Write for your life – good info on general writing and the techie stuff like podcasts

4)  Write-or-die – straight talking,.no-nonsense account on writing books

5)  Rachelle Gardner – for a literary agent, there’s a lot of great variety on her blog (hence the mention)

6) Lua – my 2nd ever commenter, and another faithful blogger-friend who consistently posts great content and is lightning quick responding to comments.

7) I’m using this as a combined re-thanks to Bethany, my first-ever commenter (yup, we hit it right off) and Miss Rosemary for the award (I know you’ve already got one, but you totally deserve it).

OH MY GOD I HAVE NO INTERNET!

June 20, 2010 4 comments

Okay, so obviously I have internet NOW, but I was without for a while and had to console myself by writing this OFFLINE in WORD:

OH MY GOD I HAVE NO INTERNET!  I don’t know how I am going to survive I cannot do anything when I am not on the internet.  I can’t even write stuff because I need the INTERNET to research stuff to write about.

HOW DID ANYONE SURVIVE BEFORE INTERNET?

MASSIVE HEAD EXPLOSION!!!

I believe these pre-internet beings (PIB) went to an ancient construction located in a central area accessible to all the PIBs in the tribe.  This primitive construction housed the history, the secrets, even the stories of their ancestors.   This construction was known as a Library.

The PIBs would gather reverently in the library to learn the secrets of generations.  It was a place of honour and respect.  Talking, laughing, and loud noises of any kind were strictly forbidden.  Special elders of the tribe would preside over the Library and swiftly punish any who failed to respect this holy place.  These elders were known as Librarians.

Librarians were keepers of much wisdom, and were revered among the tribe.  The librarians were responsible for many great teachings, and also held the key to ancient recordings of the history and stories of the PIB tribe.  All the ancient stories were documented into separate clusters of parchment and passed down through the generations.  These recordings were known as Books.

Books came in many forms.  Some documented the history of the tribe.  These were called Encyclopaedias.  Some kept record of the tribal language.  These were called Dictionaries.  Some told of the history of the chiefs, elders, and significant tribal members.  These were known as Biographies.  Others told of the myths and legends of the tribe.  These were known as Novels.

And all the PIBs dedicated themselves to writing and reading these books, which held the secret to both their past and their future.

And one day the peaceful lives of the PIBs were interrupted by the news of a new invention that would allow them to get all this history, all this knowledge, all these stories, without ever leaving their own dwelling.  Internet.

But instead of using internet to spread their knowledge, the IBs (Internet Beings) used the new invention to watch videos of cats playing the piano.

This is why my manuscript is only half-finished.  Stupid Internet.  I vow that from now on I will turn off my browser and work seriously on—

Oh goodie!  Internet’s back!  I wonder if anyone’s posted any good cat videos on YouTube lately…

I will be happy…

Lisa at Milk Fever wrote this post about choosing what type of world we live in, and I was commenting away on my promise not to get angry, and thought I would totally bail if I only left this promise in a comment trail so I am publicly promising now…

I will choose to be friendly and happy!

Even when I am waiting for a tube that has been delayed for AGES (i.e. anything over 2 minutes) and then a tube FINALLY comes and I am thinking thank God I can finally get home, and then I can’t even get on the tube because there are SO MANY PEOPLE that even my TINY PERSONAGE cannot fit.  And then I wait for the next one and someone announces that the line is SUSPENDED because of something stupid like a fire alarm and I don’t understand why this always happens at a station that has NO OTHER LINES TO TRANSFER TO and so you have to leave and try to get a bus, but when the tube lines are down the buses are SO FULL that not only can you not get on THEY DON’T EVEN STOP!  They totally just DRIVE BUY and I SWEAR the drivers are SMIRKING AT ME AS THEY GO BY because the TOTALLY KNOW I AM SMALL ENOUGH TO SQUEEZE ON.  And then I have to walk home in STUPID HEELS and get HUGE blisters, and sometimes it rains.

Even then.

Categories: Random thoughts, writing

When writing well isn’t good enough

ABWP had a rough day yesterday.  She is still looking for a new copy day job, and has been fielding rejections.

(Also London was dark and cold, and when she tried to go running, it rained on her.)

Feedback has been this: her writing samples are good, interview responses are good, but others have more experience.

Darkness falls.

This got her thinking about her manuscript, and all the factors that go into finding an agent/publisher/etc.  ABWP has been of the firm belief that the key to getting published is to have a good story, and write it well.

But what if that is not enough?  The market is saturated?  The theme is unpopular this season?

MASSIVE HEAD EXPLOSION!!!

But then, today, London was all blue skies and sunshine.

And she thought:  I can’t change my experience.  But I can polish my portfolio.  I can change how many agencies I approach.  I can overhaul my cover letter.

And also: I can’t change the market.  But I can polish my manuscript.  I can change how many agents I approach.  I can overhaul my query letter.

And so.  The point, blogger friends, is this:

Stop stressing about the stuff you can’t change.  Do something about the stuff you can.

ABWP is still trying to follow her own advice.  But tomorrow is meant to be sunny again.  That should help.