Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Forget Firemen, Give me an IT Guy Any Day!

This isn't E, it's Moss from the IT Crowd. E doesn't wear ties.

After freaking out over my NaNoWriMo project and almost abandoning it, my writer friends talked me off the ledge at brunch Sunday so I buckled down Sunday afternoon and cranked out 5,000 more words to get back in the game.

Monday I lost everything I'd done Sunday.

And it was my fault.

I didn't follow the proper protocol for file naming on the laptop, there was a mixup with old folders with same names, and... *poof* all gone.

Distraught, I stumbled down to the robot lab in tears mumbling 'laptop' and 'all gone.'

After stabilizing me with a couple of hugs, E put down his chain saw or whatever he was doing, went upstairs and somehow managed to cobble together bits of files from the laptop and my memory key and was able to piece back together what I'd lost. I have no idea how he did it, but he's officially my hero!!!

So, I'm telling you, IT guys are the new firefighters. I mean what are the odds of you actually starting a 5-alarm blaze? The only accidental fire I ever started was when I tried to sterilize a sponge in the microwave (bad plan).

Having your IT guy sprint up the stairs, roll up his sleeves, tell you not to worry and retrieve your 5,000 words is priceless.

He doesn't do it for the glory or for the chicks, he does it for the Nanaimo bars. I owe him a big batch : )

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Writer Scorned

Torstar, the parent company of Harlequin has started a SHITSTORM with Harlequin Horizons which is basically a vanity publisher that Harlequin will be 'mentioning' to all writers it rejects. Nice, huh?
As if it's not bad enough to receive a rejection letter, theirs will now say, "Oh, and by the way we'd also like to rip you off by selling you a bunch of crap (overpriced useless marketing tools, editing services, etc.) to cash in on your hopeless dream of becoming a published author, you talentless LOSER."
The RWA (Romance Writers of America) has responded by telling Harlequin it will no longer receive many privileges (free rooms, space at signing tables, etc.) at the RWA annual conference. RWA does not recognize vanity publishers, so Harlequin is now out. How RWA and Harlequin are going to manage without each other is a big question mark. I am not writing for Harlequin, but the situation is of great interest to me because the publishing industry IS changing, and I think this is just the beginning of what will definitely be a rough ride. I'm really happy that RWA told Torstar where to stick their vanity press.
I'm not saying there's no place for self publishing, where a writer basically pays to have his or her book printed, but then also makes 100% of the profit. Some successful writers started this way and it is a viable route for some people. That is not what Harlequin is doing in my opinion. They are tying to cash in on their slush pile by ripping off writers who don't know better or are desperate enough to do whatever it takes to get "published."
Here's an excellent explanation of the situation from author Jackie Kessler: Harlequin Horizons vs RWA, and an update The Day After: Harlequin Blinks.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


After a shaky start due to E giving me a horrific cold with a tuberculosis-like cough he has titled J74N1, I am finally on track NaNo wise.

Of course, I've completely changed one of the characters already, despite doing a LOT of pre-planning, pre-plotting and character development. Lesson learned from the last NaNoWriMo - no plot is a HUGE problem...

I've also been reading more YA:
The Year of Secret Assignments and Wintergirls.
Also read and really enjoyed Uglies - now need to finish the series. AND, bonus! Scott Westerfeld will be at our local bookstore tomorrow. I really want to go but I don't want to cough all over him so I'll have to wait and see how I feel.

In the words of the Godfather from GK,
3 words: