Grumbling Big Time

I’m having trouble digesting that the blogosphere is still reverberating with reactions to #queryfail and the resulting backlash dubbed #agentfail. I’m not linking to these because I think it’s time the venting stopped.


It seems like everyone has an opinion on why writers are so angry at agents — Nathan Bransford, Jennifer Jackson, Johnathan Lyons, Victoria Strauss, Ginger Clark, Jessica Faust, Janet Reid, and Rachelle Gardner to name just a few of the more visible ones. Most express surprise at the intensity of the anger. I suspect there is truth in one agent’s assumption that it stems from the frustration of unsuccessful writers whose efforts at publication have been thwarted by rejections from those who are seen as the gatekeepers of the industry.


As a writer, however, I’m embarrassed at the whining, ranting and nastiness that has erupted. There are frustrations in any business. Anyone who has done her homework knows the pathway to publication isn’t a freeway. Complaining about the bumps is neither productive nor respectful of those who are trying to pave the way for us. I think, as writers, our energy is better spent focusing on what we do best – writing — and not in trying to tell agents how to do their job.


One reader on Gretchen McNeil’s blog commented, “You expect professionalism, give it.”  Well said!

This is Canadian Democracy?

I don’t do political rants. I don’t. But today’s antics by our Canadian government have me so frustrated and angry I want to scream and beat my head against a wall!


I can’t believe the man who was rejected by voters just six weeks ago, the man defeated so profoundly that he has to step down as leader of his party, is attempting to use a coalition deal to slip through the back door and become Prime Minister. What an affront to our democratic process. And how ironic is it that the coalition requires the participation of a separatist to make it work?


Today’s turmoil was reflected on the stock market, with the TSX taking the biggest one day drop ever. With the current financial uncertainty this isn’t the time to spend $300M on another election and yet it appears an election will be the only alternative to the coalition.


The situation almost leaves me speechless. Almost. There may be fodder here for fiction! 



Tuesday Twosome


I’m ranting today, not once but twice.


The first frustration is war. Since this is Remembrance Day I am remembering not one war but many. I am remembering that over a hundred thousand Canadian lives have been lost in wars. Members of my family have done their part to try and counteract oppression and preserve freedom. But when the present conflict eventually ends, another will undoubtedly rise up to take its place and the killing will continue. I’ve always believed that fighting never solves anything. It only proves who is the biggest bully. We yearn for peace but don’t know how to achieve it. If only all of mankind would stop and listen to that “still small voice”—the one telling us how real peace will be found.


The second frustration is ineffective service. I’m having wireless internet problems this week, unable to maintain and now even obtain a signal wirelessly on my laptop computer. After first contacting our server and determining that the modem is working well, I contacted the company who makes my Belkin wireless router. That person, while probably a competent technician, had such a heavy accent that I could not understand much of what he said. I struggled to decipher and comply with his various instructions but when the technician was ready to take his leave I wasn’t confident that the problem had been solved. It hadn’t. Within seconds of terminating the call, I was back offline. And so the router is disconnected and our three computers are presently taking turns accessing the internet by being directly plugged into the modem, one at a time, until I muster the courage to phone for Belkin tech support once more. I’m not ready to face that frustration again quite yet.


Instead I’m going to retreat to the kitchen and bake our Christmas fruitcakes. I don’t need a techie’s assistance to do that job successfully, and while I assemble the ingredients I’m going to listen to Christmas carols – the ones that proclaim “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men”!