Sunday, November 16, 2008

Back on the Blog Chain: Writerly Gems

It's time once again for another (cue deep, echoing voice) Blog Chain Poooost! (end voice) This time, Michelle has asked us to share a favorite poem, quote, joke, anecdote, or anything of the sort that deals with writing, writers, the publishing industry, or the other strange and unusual tidbits that belong to our little world.

I'll share four little gems with you today. The first is the Chinese rejection letter. I don't remember exactly where I first saw this; I think it may have been in a book, which I then copied and saved. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I still have the paper. Luckily, I did some Googling and found this link, which explains the Chinese rejection letter and offers an example. (I think my version was more poetic, but that's the price you pay for convenience, I suppose.)

The second example I'd like to share with you is Nancy Fulda's "Let There Be Write," published by Strange Horizons in 2005. To respect her copyright, I'm simply providing a link instead of quoting the text, which is a writer's version of the Creation myth. I think most of us will agree with the ending.

If you're a fan of Whose Line is It Anyway?, then you can probably picture Colin Mochrie saying, "As long as there's been writers, there's been songs about writers. The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, and Sting--these are just a few of the artists who threatened to sue us if we mentioned them on the air." But I couldn't resist throwing in this video:

Finally, I'll end with a personal ancedote. In the early days of my con-attending, I'd dress up. No, not in costume, which would have been fun; I'd dress up in blazers and slacks and skirts, hoping to impress an agent with my professionalism. (These days I just dress casually, since so many of the pros do anyway.) One year at WindyCon, as I was attempting to enter the con suite, someone sitting in the hallway must have thought I didn't fit in at the con. He challenged me with the question "What is the meaning of life?" I responded, "If you have to ask, you'll never know." He acknowledged that was a good answer and let me pass. What does that have to do with writing? Well, if you have to ask, you'll never know. ;)

Anyway, I'm sure the others in this chain have plenty of other gems of their own to share, so I'll turn you over to Kate. I'll be picking the topic next time, so please check back December 1 (I'm sure I'll blog before then, but that will be my next Blog Chain entry) to see what we're discussing next!


Kate Karyus Quinn said...

OMG - those were some great links! I love:

"(13) And on the seventh day the author rested, and he looked again upon every thing that he had written, and behold, it was a piece of junk."

celticqueen said...

Okay, I am completely rolling at this line: "And on the seventh day the author rested, and he looked again upon every thing that he had written, and behold, it was a piece of junk." Holy Crap! too funny :D And the Chinese Rejection letter was priceless! Our own urban legend - sweet!! I haven't unpacked my speakers yet, so I didn't watch the video - off to do that now! Awesome post; thanks for your awesome gems!!!

H. L. Dyer said...

I'm imagining the opening bit in the same voice as "Pigs in Space." Is that right?

You are beyond awesome as always, Sandra. ;)

Anonymous said...

You've got a couple of "must bookmark" items here! Thanks for the laughs.

Nice post!


TerriRainer said...

I wore shorts and flip-flops to my first Sci-fi Con this summer!

:) Terri

Archetype said...

What a thoughtful introduction to such great pieces! Thanks for sharing!

Leah Clifford said...

I was so bummed that you beat me to Paperback Writer! I have a remix of it that I love!

Jessica Verday said...

I hereby vote that we writers need our own 'Agent Rejection Letter.' Something to send back to those that might have rejected us first, but were CLEARLY to blind to recognize brilliance. ;)

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