When things get a little rough…

A few days ago an agent wrote on her blog about how a disgruntled writer had sent an e-mail and then, before the agent had a chance to reply, had sent a follow-up e-mail lambasting her for not responding, and labeling her as a bad agent. She concluded with, “We know we’re supposed to brush it off, but sometimes it’s hard.”

Among the comments to her post was one that suggested she should ‘suck it up’… “and if it is ‘hard’, get some tips on coping skills.”

After I digested the post and its various comments I found myself wondering about these negative aspects of the industry – the effects of unjustified criticism, misunderstandings, and yes, the rejections and bad reviews.  How should we handle such things? As writers we try hard to write with integrity and express ourselves honestly and coherently, but our words are open to evaluation. When the interpretation of our work (or actions, as in the case of this agent) seems unfair, are we obliged to ‘suck it up’?

What’s your opinion? If you’re not thick skinned when it comes to those ‘black cloud’ situations, how do you cope with them?

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Unresponsive Brain Cells Don’t Matter, Do They?

Information Overload’ is a reality. I know, because I’m afflicted. Just home from four days at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference and my fuzzy brain refuses to offer up coherent words for a timely post of writing inspiration. Not that it doesn’t contain lots of said inspiration. It does. It’s just that the great helpings of it acquired this weekend are nestled away in sluggish grey matter that refuses to release it. I need to go to bed! Hence, a shortened version of my weekend’s highlights:

Awesome Thursday Master Class on ‘Next Level Fiction’ with James Scott Bell

… who had the greatest gelskin for his laptop!

Daughter, Shari Green, winner of the SiWC Writing Contest, YA category.

There’s a brief podcast interview with Shari here.

Hundreds and hundreds of fellow writers, authors, editors, agents, and publishers making connections, attending workshops, sharing good ideas, good news, good fellowship, and good food.

Bottles of wine, late night gatherings, Tweeted directions.

(Of course there is no picture! Would you really expect one?)

A Silent Auction, huge Trade Show, books and bargains galore.

(I wanted one of everything!)

The Saturday evening Book Fair and its author book signings.

The annual rendition of “Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud” by Jack Whyte.

(Just ignore the bottle… a little pre-song fortification.)

There’s tons more, but eyes are glazing over. Have to sleep now.

To be continued….

Conference Time! Yaaaay!

Today has finally arrived! My camera and I are headed for the Surrey International Writers’ Conference with sessions today through Sunday. Talk about awesome! My choice of Master Class for this evening’s session is James Scott Bell’s “Next Level Fiction”.  Over the next three days there are more than seventy workshops to choose from, all led by great presenters. Wow! Decisions, decisions, decisions!

I received word that I had been shortlisted again as a finalist in the writing contest, so that was cool. Didn’t win… but I know someone who did, and that’s more than cool.

I’ll be back on Monday to tell you all about it and share my conference experiences and some fresh photos. (These ones are from the last time I attended.)

View from the hotel room

An Agent Retires

From today’s Publishers Lunch:

BookEnds Literary Agency co-founder Jacky Sach will retire from publishing after 10 years as an agent for “new opportunities.” Sach began her publishing career in 1985 at Berkley. BookEnds will continue operating under the ownership of Jessica Faust.”

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Back in December I copied out the Cranberry Daiquiri recipe from the BookEnds’ pre-Christmas blog entry, went about my holiday pursuits and then somehow managed to miss the initial announcement of this on the January 4 blog. Fortunately the Publishers Lunch article caught my attention.

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I met Jacky at the first writers’ conference (SiWC) I ever attended and she was the first agent to invite a submission of my first novel. Hers was also the first rejection letter I ever received. When I look back at that novel now I am overwhelmed at my audacity in thinking it was ready for an agent to see, but because of the gentle and personal nature of Jacky’s response I was encouraged to continue writing. Not all novice writers have such a good first submission experience. I hoped some day to have something else to send her way, but her retirement now precludes that.

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Whatever her “new opportunities” are, I wish Jacky continued success.