a little perspective

in my next life, i'd like to be a critical darling

QOTD: It's all going to be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, then it's not the end.

-- the Yarn Harlot, who was herself quoting some unknown sage.

On a grander scale, everything is awesome. We are all well.

On a sometimes-life-is-a-pain-in-the-arse scale, the past couple of days have been professionally irritating and, at times, have made me truly believe that I should just give up the writing and become a welder.

Yesterday was the capper, the thing that made me throw up my hands and say "I give up." See -- I've been pitching my little heart out over the past few weeks. There have been a couple of bright spots, certainly, and I am grateful for them. But there have been a lot (a lot) of "thanks but no thanks" responses. Which is fine. I know how this works.

Yesterday, however, a "no" got under my skin. Not only was it a "no," it was also a "aren't you a cute little girl with your cute little ideas that you think big, sophisticated men and women like our readers would care about, you silly little girl." I don't mind at all being told "no." What I don't like is being condescended to.

And then I thought that maybe this un-named editor is right. And I'd like to say that I had some little epiphany where I said to myself, "Fuck him." I have not. I'm just bitter and crabby. I'm tired of having the things that I find important being poo-pooed. I'm tired of fighting to have my voice heard. I don't think that what I have to say is unimportant, I am weary of having to shout. When crap like Rhonda Byrne's "The Secret," which is such a swindle I can't even bring myself to link to it, is breaking all kinds of sales records there is something wrong with the publishing universe. It all just makes me want to bite someone. Or, at the very least, crawl under the covers and sob.

Of course I'm jealous. Not just about her sales numbers -- although those would be swell -- but about the fact that hers is the voice that is deemed worth listening to.


It'll pass. It always does. Better doors will open. Lather, rinse, repeat.

But still. Still! I want to be able to push the universe to give me what I want. Now, dammit.

As I so frequently do when trying to keep myself from complete despair, I turn to Jon Stewart, whose speech to the College of William and Mary is full of nuggets of wisdom. Like this one:

So how do you know what is the right path to choose to get the result that you desire? And the honest answer is this. You won’t. And accepting that greatly eases the anxiety of your life experience.

It's like my own personal I Ching.

Also holding off despair is Bill Bryson's The Palace Under the Alps. I hadn't even heard about this Bryson book until a week ago, when Anna of 1001 Days' (aka the Stitch Bitch) mention it . Because working for a large college has its perks, I was able to get my hands on it quickly through an interlibrary loan. Palace full of Bryson-y goodness. The only downside is that I now want to go to all of these places.

Plus, emailed to let me know that a copy of Iain Banks' latest, The Steep Approach to Garbadale, is on its way to me. (Another bonus: this interview, which I stole from Jessa.) Let it be known that Banks' book are the only ones I will order from the UK sight unseen. I *heart* Iain Banks.

Finally, if you can't at least smirk at this, then you are dead inside -- Typography meets Pulp Fiction. (from BoingBoing)


Strangely I've always found this cartoon -- -- to provide comfort in times of blah.

I'm in publishing (trade mags) and I gotta say, if I'd been able to, I'd have quit this past Tuesday and taken up house cleaning or welding or ANYTHING that wasn't publishing. Mercury in retrograde?

It's not that the publishers deem people like "The Secret" author worth listening to. It's that they think they will sell. Which is not the same thing at all. About the general public's taste, if I can borrow a phrase of yours, I got nothin. Witness the fact that horrible reality shows abound, and yet it appears that Studio 60 is about to be cancelled... it's not as good as The West Wing but it's about all I watch on network TV anymore. Bleh. There ain't no accounting for taste. Not that you don't know all this already.

In any case -- hang in.

There are very few things that I read lately that strike me as worth my time. I agree with Shelley that its all about $$$, and unfortunately the dumbest shit sells.

Somehow, I had never heard of The Secret until reading your post, but I have an annoying, new age-y relative who would love it.

From the blurb on Amazon, The Secret is begging to be mocked. Maybe write a funny send up and shop it around? :)

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