What You Shouldn't Tell Our Heroine

DATE 2005

Call me a cranky M'ris -- it won't be inaccurate, certainly -- but here are two things I do not want to hear from the rest of you writer-types.

Do not tell me what a great writer you would be if only you had the time. Do not. You may note your own perceived greatness if you like -- sometimes you may even be right, which ups my tolerance for this behavior a good deal -- but have something to back it up. "I am great; see this novel?" And I will say, yes indeed, you are great, or more likely I will say, pshhhhhhhh, whatever, but still. You may also note your time crunch, and you might even get sympathy from me, depending on your circumstances. But linking the two conditionally: no. Just cut it out.

Do not tell me that your rejection letters are due to deficiencies in the editors. I may have myself that Fabulous Spaceship and Unicorn Tales doesn't seem to get any humor more subtle than a knock-knock joke. I may have noticed that said publication favors wooden characters or idiot plots or anything, anything, anything at all with the editor's pet trope of the week. But for you to declare to me that you get rejected because the editor is too blind to see your brilliance is just not okay, and you can't expect me to keep a straight face through that. That's what your momma or your best friend says to you, not what you say to the world.

Okay? Okay. So long as we're clear on that.

I finished reading Karen Traviss's City of Pearl today, and I enjoyed it and will buy the next in the series. It's crystallizing some thoughts about modern SF for me, maybe, I hope. If they form something shiny, I'll let you know. In the meantime, I'm reading Ellis Peters's The Raven in the Foregate. Again and again in these books, Peters returns to the idea that justice is not enough, that the letter of the law is not enough, that mercy is not a luxury but required in simple human interactions. It's not a bad series theme, as series themes go, and it's nice to have one.

The rest of the week...finishing the book read-through. That's the big thing. I'm hoping to be blathering about short stories this time next week. Wish me luck.

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