I cherish all of my readers. Each in their own way. Not least the gentle Renee of reneejohnsonwrites.com fame who drew my attention to an entry of her gripe with literary agents. It’s a worthy subject. So worthy that I will replicate my answer to her here. Can’t believe I am doing this since I hate repeating myself. However, word needs to be spread.
“Renee, if there is one thing I don’t like it’s when I can’t contribute anything meaningful; throw in my penny’s worth of nothing.
I am not a writer. I just sprinkle a few words here and there. For which I do not need an agent. Being published most certainly not on my mind. However, working in the world you are referring to, it’s no mean feat to be an agent. Their inbox full to bursting point. Which is no excuse to behave as if the devil wore Prada. To answer all those (often unsolicited manuscripts) you need staff. For light relief and comfort, Renee, you may like to log on to any ordinary English employment agency’s website and what do you find? That most cheerful line of “Due to the amount of applications we will not be able to respond unless you are one of the chosen” or some such. Fuck you too. Still, at least they give you advance warning.
That’s why those who spout words for a living need to keep perspective.
Don’t know about the American market. Here we have a yearly handbook (published by McMillan) which details – at great pain – anything an agent is looking for. Who they MIGHT handle, who they might drop like a hot potato because they don’t do starch. “The Writer’s Handbook”.
I think writers are too precious. Sure, all of you think your prodigious output worthy of note. But it isn’t. There is supply and demand. And, please all of you forgive me for this: There is too much supply. I come across people who THINK they can write where I’d just like to put my editor’s pen to their prose, thin it like I’d weed my garden, and then maybe, just maybe, it might catch a reader’s interest.
Writing (for profit) is a luxury. Enjoy if you can afford it.
Anyone who only thrives on fun, games and the world being the hilarious place you claim it to be please go away now and watch the news instead.
Earlier, as promised over at Con’s, I went out. I am, always have been, an ardent believer in the powers of “walking”. Walking clears you mind, helps you memorise facts, fiction and poetry. That wonderful time when you stride or slink or stop every two seconds to admire something on the way, or have your nose and eyes up in the sky till you find yourself falling into that little excuse of a river you had forgotten about? Take my word for it: It’s good. Even when it’s bad.
This afternoon was BAD in a bad way. Have realised something about myself which I will NOT “share” this minute with anyone until my son comes home. He knows good news when he sees them in my eyes. It’s so embarrassing I might have to take my findings to my grave. That’s why you should never trust autobiographies: They are heavily edited. And biographies are next to useless – even if I say so myself since I love reading them – because I know, for a fact, that should anyone ever attempt mine, they will know little of what really went on in my head. It’ll be pure fiction. Speculation. Psycho rubbish conjecture babble.
Veering off the original subject: Parks.
To cut to the chase: I managed to make a mega arse of myself. Don’t smirk. Think back to the last time you did if you can remember it, and if you ever; the latter unlikely since most of you have managed to give me impression of being the upright wonderful human beings without a flaw to the every fibre you are (that does not include the guy who makes nuisance calls to Lady Con at 5 in the morning – maybe it’s Lord Con testing the waters. Worse ruses have been applied. Should you be interested I will re-tell a centuries old Italian novella in which a couple tested their being faithful to each other in a macabre and rather roundabout way. Let’s just say: Don’t. You’ll regret it; particularly if you are the man.)
Fresh air and movement – in the fancyful words of that detestable yet to be admired O’Hara woman as played by Vivien Leigh: Tomorrow is another day. Let’s hope it’s one during which I can mend my ways.
PS Have unearthed more material on punctuation. Magpie must have hung up his cloak since he is unexpectedly quiet on the subject. What I have found out is that in English “Doppelpunkt” (that’s Conrad) is ‘colon’. Which makes zero sense: It’s points – two of them. Double. On top of each other. Like a high rise building. Anyway this will keep since, whilst the fork ran away with the spoon, an apostrophe is unlikely to leave this country and its language’s delightful intricacies. Mwah
Doesn’t time fly when you are traipsing round the well like a dehydrated donkey in the desert. Apologies to my fan club leaving you high and dry with not even so much as a “puppy on the blog”.
Life, once more, has me in one of its vice like grips, snapping at my heels, leaving little spare capacity to take the bitch for a walk in her virtual park.
Am now convinced that scratching one’s head is an overrated activity in trying to come up with a solution to a problem. And then there is that ever present chasm between theory and practice. The theory might be perfection, putting it into practice often like trying to retrieve the cheese without the trap coming down on you. The third in this unholy trinity being “if only”, also called daydreaming; it’s the joker in the pack – the one that keeps your view firmly on the horizon.
One of the advantages of being a character in a novel: You only suffer on the page.