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Some kudos for authors and editors

(Just to prove I can address topics other than hobbit-loving.)

My fine editor Deborah at Scheherazade Tales posted this valid complaint to an ebook mailing list:

as a conscientious editor, I try to work with the author on a potential
manuscript by offering honest criticism and advice on how to make it
better, or at least how to make it acceptable for us. Usually authors
are thrilled that an editor goes that extra mile for them, and they
respond positively.

Once in a while, though, an author takes serious umbrage at my
suggestions, and then I'll end up sending the dreaded rejection
because the work isn't quite up to our standards as it is and the
author has demonstrated total reluctance to change a single word or
even work with an editor willing to do the improvements.

And then that disgruntled author, rejection in hand, starts
bad-mouthing not only me the editor, but the publishing company as a
whole. The e-book publishing business is tenuous enough as it is, and
all it would take is some vindictive mud-slinging to ruin a company's

Aspiring authors, look: I know you're probably the next F. Scott Fitzgerald and all, but you have to be willing to rewrite. You just have to. No one's going to want to work with you and your artistic temperament otherwise. Consider this an anti-mudslinging gesture, then: I hereby state for all the world to read that Deborah is a very reasonable and friendly editor, and has gone to serious lengths to try to get our ebooks into the hands of reviewers and readers. Your loss if you won't work with her. So there.

On cool stuff I've recently read: finally finished the colossal Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. This book was amazing. Mr. Stephenson somehow did enough research to last five lifetimes and crammed into this novel every detail of life in the Philippines, life during WWII, code-making and code-breaking, military and computer technology, and geopolitical history for most of the world, and made it funny. A couple favorite excerpts:

Later, he was to decide that Andrew's life had been fractally weird. That is, you could take any small piece of it and examine it in detail and it, in and of itself, would turn out to be just as complicated and weird as the whole thing in its entirety.

(And, for those who like a splash of slash...) One day a couple of weeks later, as the two of them sat by a running stream in the woods above the Delaware Water Gap, Alan made some kind of an outlandish proposal to Lawrence involving penises. It required a great deal of methodical explanation, which Alan delivered with lots of blushing and stuttering. He was ever so polite, and several times emphasized that he was acutely aware that not everyone in the world was interested in this sort of thing. Lawrence decided that he was probably one of those people. Alan seemed vastly impressed that Lawrence had paused to think about it at all and apologized for putting him out.

You can read the first several chapters of Cryptonomicon for free here, if you like. Also, Stephenson occasionally compares his characters to Tolkienian races ("so-and-so was like a Dwarf...so-and-so was more like a Wizard..."), which gets bonus points from me.

And, you know - what the hell - I lied - I'm going to include some hobbit-loving in this post after all. I just have to tell you about this dream I had a few nights ago:
I was naked in bed with Dominic Monaghan, to film some (nonexistent) scene where Merry is cold and needs to share a bed naked with someone for warmth, so naturally I played this character. Dom and I groped each other a few times, never ones to pass up an opportunity. Liv Tyler (as Arwen) was there too, briefly, on his other side. Billy Boyd also put in an appearance; I think we all three were in the bed at some point. Anyhoo...nice to know I'm hobbit-swapping in my sleep, eh? And last night's kinky dream was actually, as usual, about radiofreecarbon, but people get all squicked when folks talk about being attracted to their spouses, so I'll stop now.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 10th, 2003 01:30 am (UTC)
I see you're still on their front page! That must make you smile :)
Sep. 11th, 2003 12:16 pm (UTC)
Well, they still only have three titles to offer, so I guess I'll be on their front page until the catalog expands a fair amount. :)
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 11th, 2003 12:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, definitely; the editor has to work WITH you, not behind your back. They can be sneaky, sometimes, though, as it sounds like you're aware!
Sep. 10th, 2003 09:52 am (UTC)
It's so true. I think being able to accept criticism and being able to properly revise something you've written is just as important, if not more, than actually being able to write it in the first place.

Also, I want your subconscious. ;)
Sep. 11th, 2003 12:19 pm (UTC)
They say writing is rewriting, and there's a heck of a lot of truth to that...*nod*

Heheh. My subconscious, yes. Its transcript would look something like "Hobbits now yum ROTK!! hobbits hobbits."
Sep. 10th, 2003 11:53 am (UTC)
You mean you don't have dreams about dendrophilia like rest of us? Are you abnormal or something, erm... oh... I did I say dendrophilia, erm I meant shoes everyone has dreams about sniffing shoes... no no... I that's not right.. yes.. women in pvc nazi uniforms... erk that's not right either... oh bugger.
Sep. 11th, 2003 12:20 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I haven't checked a dictionary, but since dendrochronology is figuring out how old something is by counting tree rings, then dendrophilia is probably the love of trees. Could be kinkier, I suppose.
Sep. 10th, 2003 07:22 pm (UTC)
I was tempted to say: "Wouldn't you know it, but my last kinky dream was about radiofreecarbon too?" But, nothing is sleazier than making kinked-up comments about someone else's hubby, thus I'll partially refain.

Anyhoo, I think my last dream centered around Doctor Who. Kinky, it wasn't. Obsessive, maybe. Despite the attraction for Doctor 5, I have yet to kink him up in dreamland. I can control myself despite the suggestive pictures a certain someone (whom we both know) sent me of dear ole Doc 5. :)

Damn torturous Yankee... teeheehee.
Sep. 10th, 2003 07:53 pm (UTC)
Hee hee...That Yankee boy is the conveyor of more perviness than he lets on, I do declare.

I was tempted to say: "Wouldn't you know it, but my last kinky dream was about radiofreecarbon too?"

And this actually made me laugh out loud. Just wanted to reassure you of that. :D
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )