Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rejected, Again.

I awoke this morning to the typical shriek of my alarm clock, groped for my phone (naturally), and…yep, there it was, at long last. My rejection letter from Angry Robot Books. Something to the effect of “the writing was good, characters were good, but it just didn’t quite have that AR feel, and yes, it really is just that vague, but please feel free to query any future works with us,” blah, blah, blah. It took all my strength just to get out of bed.

I knew it was coming. When the editor posted on the main AR thread over at AW that anyone from Open Door Month who hadn’t heard back should email him, I knew it didn’t bode well for me. When he sent out mass emails saying we'd hear back in a few days, I figured that was pretty much it. I doubted I was going to get an email that read, “We loved it so much we completely forgot about it.” Yeah…no. But that didn’t keep my heart from plummeting when I read the actual rejection email.

I carefully avoided the subject with my husband when I got up, because I’m a grouch and a half anyway in the mornings and bursting into tears or somehow blaming it all on him was surely not going to help things. He still doesn’t know, and I’m sorry about that, David. I love you! So I got into my car, put “Someone Like You” on repeat, and damned to Hell every car I saw all the way to work.

I suck, you suck, everybody sucks but me, %$#&$ ^#$@*$ EVERYBODY!!!!

So I’m blogging about my pain and my (for the moment) utter conviction that I’m a hack and I’ll never write again, and trying to refrain from deleting everything I’ve ever written, including that biology paper I’ve been working on.

You see, real-life Becky is an even-keeled, dispassionate automaton, but virtual Becky has extreme emotional knee-jerk reactions all over the internet that she regrets ten minutes later. Real-life Becky sits very still and keeps her trap shut when she’s upset. Virtual Becky goes on rampages and killing sprees and makes bad decisions. So real-life Becky is trying very hard to keep her foul-mouthed and impulsive alter-ego under control until she calms down.

I don’t suck. I know that. Except, you know, I TOTALLY DO SUCK and I should stop submitting anything to anyone ever again. I can’t even get a short story published. I mean…I have, but not for months, and not for pay. But the version AR rejected was almost a year old, and it’s been through several betas and revisions since then, including some by the other Anxious Appliances, who are all literary geniuses. Heck, when I change a minor spelling error I look back in disgust on the previous version and hate myself for ever sending it out. I gave EoS to my coworker to read yesterday, as she is a fantasy reader. She put it on her Nook, opened it up, and didn’t move for twenty minutes. So it can’t be THAT bad, right? RIGHT?

WRONG! It SUCKS and you KNOW IT! It’s cliché and stupid and tropic and everybody hates it except non-writer people who don’t know any better. AAH! Give me that hard drive, I’m going to KILL IT IN THE FACE!!

Now I have to decide whether I want to rework EoS into a YA or submit it again as is. I don’t know yet, and as I mentioned before, virtual Becky makes very hasty and often very bad decisions when she's upset. So I’m going to give myself a couple of days to be sad and hate myself, and then I’ll do…I don’t know, something.

I wish I drank.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Addition to my Writing Pantheon

We welcome and beg mercy from Titivillus, the lord of typographical errors, delinquent letters, and superfluous language!

Legends say he lurks in monasteries, whispering into scribes' ears and filling his sack with the errors they make. No doubt we've all had run-ins with this mischievous "patron demon of writing errors," but perhaps by including him in my list of patron saints, gods, and spirits of writing, he will be appeased and leave us in peace?

He is known by other names throughout the world as well:

Chochlik Drukarski - Poland;
Tryckfelsnisse - Sweden;
Trykkleif - Norway;
Sætternissen - Denmark;
Painovirhepaholainen - Finland;
Gazapos - Spain;
A Nyomda ördöge - Hungary;
and Druckfehlerteufelchen - Germany.

No wonder, with crazy, unpronounceable words like those!!

Check out my whole list HERE, and, as always, feel free to contact me if you know of a writing-related patron, deity, etc. that I've left out.

Or read more about Titivillus at these sites:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Boycott Game of Thrones??

Boycott Game of Thrones!? 

Did that get your attention?  It sure grabbed mine.

I don’t believe I’ve ever been so impressed.  As I read this incredible article—and there’s simply no other word for it—I couldn’t help but answer some of the outstanding questions it posed.  

Yes, the article is on a satirical website.  But I’ve heard too many arguments just like this, and once I got going, I couldn’t shut myself off.  And—frankly—I’d already written it.  

It’s not that far off the mark from what so many crazies out there really do believe, so I decided to put it up anyway, with the disclaimer that this is a satire of a satire.  I got a whole “Inception” thing going on.


 12 Reasons to Boycott Game of Thrones in 2012

“1. Sexual abnormality, including incest and lesbianism, appears in graphic detail.
From casual rape to group orgies, each episode of Game of Thrones has something astonishing for viewers. For many children, this will be the first time they are introduced to wanton fornication. Will they choose to experiment like this in real life?”

You just ignore that MA rating on a premium cable channel.  Turn off those parental controls so the children don’t miss out on this early morning preschool adventure. Because even though Mom & Dad encourage the kids to watch any old HBO original series, this is surely the first time they’ve been exposed to “wanton fornication.”  And kids never experiment without gratuitous and explicit prompting.  And if HBO is going to market this show as a sexier "Dora the Explorer," who am I to prevent the children from watching it?

Also, I never knew that the words “appear” and “glorify” were synonyms. Thanks for clearing this up.

“2. Witchcraft is presented as empowering while Christian values are utterly insulted.
Deadly potions and menacing spirits dominate the storyline, but there is no mention of Jesus despite the fact that His love was the backbone of wisdom in the Middle Ages.”

At first I, too, thought this show was set in Europe.  I can suspend my disbelief and accept that zombies, dragons, giant wolves, decade-long-summers/winters, fictional countries, and even the thousand-foot-tall wall of ice were (and are) a part of everyday European life.  But the idea that any overland travel through one country in Europe could take a month?  Please.  I wasn’t born yesterday.

“3. There is far too much violence and this prevents the overall plot from ever becoming compelling. Do we really need to see all these bloody close-ups of beheadings and elaborate jousts? It just doesn’t contribute anything educational to the viewing experience.

If you’re watching HBO for educational reasons, you’re doing it wrong.  Although I’ve always found jousting obscene.  If the Lord wanted us to ride horses, why did He invent spaceships?

“4. Emilia Clarke is such an untalented actress that her only role in the show is to be eye candy for pedophiles.  This pretty young girl unfortunately lacks the intellect or the sophistication to appear on prime time television. The producers seem to know this and require her to disrobe in every scene. Her gentle, undeveloped teenage body does not evoke womanhood, but the innocence of a lost child, alone on the side of a highway and ripe for the picking.

Daenarys?  An innocent child ripe for the picking?  Ridiculous.  Every legal-age young woman longs for the day when her abusive older brother will force her to marry a foreign warlord in exchange for a chance to reclaim the home she cares nothing about.  And those two or three scenes where she was topless totally turned me into a lesbian for a full three weeks.  I was halfway through the divorce proceedings before its demonic effects wore off.

“5. By depicting the traditional heterosexual family unit as dysfunctional and a socialistic revolutionary army as an ideal alternative, the show reveals its underlying communist bias.
Should it come as any surprise that author George R. R. Martin, a power broker in liberal Hollywood, named the dominating spirit of these soldiers “The Red God”?”

Yes, all those homosexual families were WAY too happy and loving—TOTALLY unbelievable—and those Starks were absolute monsters.  I mean, come on…what cheated-on wife HASN’T welcomed her husband’s bastard into her home with open arms?  And are we really supposed to believe that heterosexual marriages—especially politically-arranged ones—don’t result in deliriously happy families every single time? 

“6. Actor Peter Dinklage, who plays a dwarf on the show, has become the poster child for sodomy amongst America’s youths.  Children identify with Dinklage because of his small size and comical accent, but his obsession with anal penetration crosses the boundaries into pure propaganda. How many children will watch the little man and want to try his grunty thrusts at home?”

This poses an interesting argument about whether he really is a dwarf, or if he just plays one on TV.  And I, too, share these concerns that several seconds of iffy, soft-core, maybe-sodomy-but-probably-just-doggy-style dwarf lovin’ will transform an entire generation of America’s youth into orgy-starved catamites. 

“7. At times, the series appears to be little more than an excuse to display illicit homosexual scenarios. Flamboyant costumes, effeminate longhaired men, boys shaving each other’s armpits… Add to this the voluptuous, swarmy acting style of gay porn star Kit Harington (who plays sycophant Jon Snow) and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a San Francisco bathhouse full of the apes from Star Trek.

From  Syc·o·phant: noun: a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite.

I didn’t know that “sycophant” describes someone who forswears ever having a family so he can commit himself to a lifetime of service defending his country. Although I’m sure no one in Middle Age Europe (where this story totally takes place) ever had long hair or flamboyant costumes. Codpieces, shimmering suits of armor, lacy cravats, and jester’s motley were only invented to humiliate the red man. I’m pretty sure that’s right.

Although that comment about being “transported to a San Francisco bathhouse full of the apes from Star Trek” is exquisite.  And absolutely correct. The entire Game of Thrones series is, scene-for-scene, no different than watching gay orangutans in Star Trek costumes have drunken orgies in a San Francisco bathhouse.

“8. The Irish actors willfully glamorize severe alcoholism.  The ignominy of Ireland has always been the weakness of its people when it comes to alcohol indulgence. Why must Games of Thrones attempt to find humor in such a national disgrace?”

First, I shouldn’t be surprised that someone who feels comfortable making fun of dwarves in a public forum would also be a racist.  Second, I’m getting sick of saying that this show did not take place in Europe, so there are no Irish characters in Game of Thrones.  Third, you’re right.  Every alcoholic in the show was a paragon of morality and virtue.  Drinking was never once portrayed as a vice, and it never EVER came back to bite them later.  King Robert’s death could in no way be attributed to the fact that he was stumbling-down drunk during a boar hunt. 

“9. Pet wolves and dragons mirror demonic spirit guides in pagan cosmology.
When you pair up children with conduits of divination, you are inviting them to experiment in spiritually reckless ways. Sadly, atheism and Satanism await them down this path.”

Look, you have to start teaching kids early on that pets are only to be used in Satanic rituals.  How else will they become the world’s youngest and most powerful atheist warlocks?  I can’t do this alone, people. 

“10. The show is incredibly difficult for adults to understand.  Most parents will find the thick European accents of the actors confusing. The story, vamped up from the original book, is frustrating for its leaps of logic and implausible romantic scenes. The producers of Games seem to understand this and have crafted the series so that it intentionally turns away older viewers. Should we be suspicious that they have worked so hard to have some private alone time with America’s children?”

It’s all so clear to me now.  This show must be aimed at children, because it’s just too smart and challenging for adults.  No adult wants to think.  No adult believes in implausible romance (there’s nothing more realistic than a Harlequin novel or the first few minutes of a porno).  And the British accent is harder to understand than ancient Egyptian calculus.

But you show me a child who says he doesn’t enjoy multiple convoluted plotlines, dozens of characters, hours of dialogue, and beautiful scenery, and I’ll show you a liar.  Game of Thrones might as well be a Spongebob Christmas special.

“11. There are no positive role models.  It may sound a bit old fashioned, but what ever happened to the strong male figures we had on shows like Little House on the Prairie and Touched by an Angel? Instead we have Littlefinger and androgynous Joffrey Baratheon prancing about as heroes for today’s confused young men who appear to be insanely obsessed with this outrageous series.”

And why isn’t watching “Dexter” more like grocery shopping?  Why isn’t the song “Get Low” more like washing my hair?  Why do twelve-year-old-boys look like twelve-year-old boys, instead of like Sean Connery?  Why isn’t my child learning more life lessons from pizza boxes?

“12. The moody, dark cinematography will make teens depressed.  Many youth subculture groups, including Goths and Skinheads, prefer to inhabit the world of the night. In darkness they find convenient cover to master their addiction to drugs and sexual violence. Does Games of Thrones actively promote marijuana usage and rape? Should parents really sit idly by as we await the answer to this important question?”

That’s right, because teenagers have to find excuses for being depressed and smoking weed.  Most of them were super happy and not at all rebellious until this show came along—a show clearly better aimed at preteens than Twilight—and none of them knew what rape was until Game of Thrones made it look so darn fun.  But you couldn’t swing a direwolf familiar at a gay family orgy/birthday party without hitting a Satanist who's sodomizing a pre-teen while toking up some Hawaii Skunk.  They call it Hawaii Skunk, too, because this show is totally set in Europe.

For the record, I am a devout Christian and there are things on the show I could do without.  I don’t enjoy looking at women’s breasts or watching simulated sex of any kind, gay or otherwise.  And I would never let my children watch this show.  But that’s the difference between being a child and being an adult, now isn’t it?  Grown-ups can do things that kids can’t. You don’t want your kids to see you having sex with your spouse, but that doesn’t mean you should stop doing it.  I can enjoy a movie, TV show, or book series without insisting they be Bible stories.  And if I was going to talk about how horrible a television show is, I’d at least watch it first.

(Once again, I must reiterate that this is a satirical reply to a satirical article, but it’s so realistic that I couldn’t resist answering it as though it were real!)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finally back!

My apologies, everyone, for ignoring my blog (and all of you) so shockingly. You know how it goes; holidays, parties, work, watching reruns of Squidbillies and Dexter. Busy, busy, busy.

So here’s a quick recap of the last few weeks:

My mother-in-law bought us a shed! Huzzah! Then David and his brother put it together, which allowed us to move the lawnmower etc. out of the garage/bar/billiard room, so we could finally finish painting & hanging up bar/billiard room-related décor. Below is a picture of the shed, a glorious little resin bug/weatherproof number. Yes, I know the placement in the yard looks random, but it’s actually the flattest part of our backyard. When I’m feeling less lazy we’ll go buy some boards and cinder blocks and move it somewhere more appropriate.

Also, I decorated both our guest bedroom & bathroom. Until now, they’ve been unadorned and uninhabited, filled with mismatched towels and excess furniture. But then I got 2 weeks off work and a free bed & desk, and I got to work. So I painted and raided several Wal-Marts’s and Hobby Lobbys's clearance sections, and ta-da! Here they are now, all blue and inviting and pretty!  They're not completely done yet (are they ever?), but that, of course, requires more money, which I do not have right now.  I especially like the rhomboid flash of light on the wall from that mirror on the bed, which I still haven't hung yet.

Also, my Mom got me a Kindle Fire for Christmas! SQUEEEEEEEE! I put the full Office app on there, so now I can work on my books whenever and wherever I like. Tis awesome. J My husband spend a few days networking it to our home computer, too, so I can watch movies/listen to music etc. on my pretty little Kindle Fire anytime I like.

I got a little more work done on Book 2. I don’t even hate it as much as I thought I did, which is nice. I’ve also discovered that there may be 4 books in the series rather than 3. Now I’m even more annoyed at Book 2, because I have SO MANY IDEAS for Book 3, but I can’t think about them too much until Book 2 is at least halfway done.

No word yet from the Angry Robots (sigh). I’ve decided that if they do pass, I’m going to do some tweaking and rework it into a YA book. I don’t think it’ll take too much tinkering, as most people who’ve read say it has something of a YA voice as it is. I just need to make it a little less sexy and make my MC a little younger.

Ok, that's all I can think of to say for the time being.  Have a great week!  :D