Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

No respect, I tell ya!

There was a thread on Forward Motion a few days back that has been bothering me. The discussion concerned response times and the seeming indifference and lack of courtesy of a lot of editors. I started thinking about how much alike writers and librarians are. Members of both professions tend to undervalue themselves and their work. The vast majority of people that you ask will tell you that they think libraries are essential, yet the library's budget is always the first to be cut and the last to be raised. I maintain that writers, too, are essential. Writers illuminate and disseminate their cultures' mythologies. Writers are the part of the societal organism that dreams, along with artists, sculpters, musicians, etc.

You would think that people this important would be valued and respected, yet Western cultures, American in particular, fear knowledge. Those who preserve and/or make knowledge available are often treated with disdain and are always looked upon as something strange and alien.

The Herbert S. White, Dean of the Library School at the University of Indiana, spent a long and distinguished career trying to convince librarians to stop acting like sheep and to stand up for ourselves. It is time for writers to do the same thing. We should expect a minimum of courtesy and consideration. We should demand reasonable treatment: acknowledgement of submissions, reasonable response times, notification if the response time will be exceeded. That is little enough to ask.

Many magazines are now no longer even giving estimated response times. There is also a growing trend toward not sending rejection notifications. The guidelines say that you may assume rejection if you haven't heard in a certain period of time.

That is unacceptable. I refuse to allow anyone to treat me this way. Anyone who cannot extend me the least courtesy will see no submissions from me. I realize that this policy will lose me some sales. So be it. There are more important things than sales, and self-respect is one of them. This is a lesson that I learned at great cost. It almost cost me my life. As a human being, I am due a certain minimum amount of respect and courtesy. I will not deal with anyone who does not think so.

So there. :P

It's alive!

I officially exist. is now viable. I have a minimal (extremely) home page up with a guestbook and counter. Got a lot of PHP scripts installed, so development should speed up. I just have to be careful that I don't use this as an excuse for self-sabotaging my writing. The mind works in mysterious ways, it's devilry to perform.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Spent the day working on Web site content. It's so easy to make a decent Web site these days. Not like the Bad Old Days of hand-coding and workarounds. Lots of good pre-made stuff available now, which is good, since I am far from an HTML wizard. I should have something rough and ready by the time the DNS updates are made and the records replicate. Also got some neat PHP/MySQL toys to play with. After tonight, I'm off until next Monday, so I'll have time on my hands ...

Got to get some writing done, too. "Bare Trees" is hanging fire and needs to get finished, and WITB is stirring around in the background, too. Excuses are too easy to come by. Write, dammit, write!

Setting up my own domain is something I have been wanting to do for a long time, but it took a while to get up the courage. Most people don't think it's such a big deal, but to me, it means that I'm saying: "Here I am!" It's an acknowledgement of writing as a lifelong passion ( and/or addiction ) and a commitment to the future. There's no turning back, now. I'm out of the closet and out in front of the world. Scary.

I have to push myself, or I'll just vegetate and dream. I have to constantly tell myself: "Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard, words on screen".

Monday, November 22, 2004

Big mistake ... Huge!

Almost didn't get anything done today. Almost didn't get to work, either.

My mistake was listening to Kate Bush's The Red Shoes. Track 2 is "And So Is Love" featuring Clapton on guitar. The last track is "You're The One" with Jeff Beck sitting in. Some of the best blues rock ever. For some reason, it hit me hard today and put me in a tailspin.

Then I had to go get the kitten off the roof. I have no Earthly idea how she got up there, but that got me moving again.

Speaking of Clapton, I heard recently that Cream is planning a reunion in 2005. That should kick ass.

In search of acceptance (and maybe a little income)

Can't concentrate on writing today (bad night, dreams again), so I am devoting today to market research. I'm way behind on that anyway. I like to identify the "perfect" markets for my stories rather than sending them out randomly. It takes a lot of work, but it's a good strategy for increasintg my acceptance rate (I hope, I hope, I hope).


Registered my domain ( over the weekend. Got a sweet deal from Las Vegas Communications Systems - $8.95 / year. Also popped for another $8.95 for private registration through Domains By Proxy. That will keep my private information out of WHOIS. Even better, FREEPGS will host the domain for FREE (except for a $3.00 one-time setup fee. 75 MB space, 2GB/month bandwidth, PHP, and MySQL. We'll see how that works out. It seemed like a good gamble to take for $20.00 ($21.15 including all taxes, etc.). Once the DNS records propagate, I'll find out. Stay tuned.