astrothsknot: (tara agression)
( Jul. 9th, 2010 03:27 am)
Oh for fuck's sake. Whatever made Blizzard/Activision think this was a good idea? facebook is not WoW.
astrothsknot: (niki dark glasses)
( Apr. 13th, 2010 11:37 pm)
Escape Magazine (home of Zero Punctuation) has a newsletter issue about fanfic

There's even fic about yoghurt.
astrothsknot: (Default)
( Jan. 23rd, 2009 10:06 pm)
Gakked from another blog Time's article on the publishing world's evolution into free, digital media. It even mentions fanfic, as the model that this evolution will follow.

Dear IT Support:

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a
distinct slow down in the overall performance, particularly in the Flower
and Jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 un-installed many other valuable programs, such as
Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed undesirable
programs such as: Football 5.0, Rugby 4.3 and Cricket 3.0.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs; it simply crashes the system. I've tried
running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, to no avail. What can I do?

Signed, Desperate


Dear Desperate:

First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband
1.0 is an Operating System.

Try entering the command: C:/I-THOUGHT-YOU-LOVED-ME to download Tears 6.2,
which should automatically install Guilt 3.0. If that application works as
designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications
Jewellery 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to
default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0, or Beer 6.1.

WARNING: Beer 6.1 is a very nasty program that will create Snoring Loudly.

CAUTION: Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law. This is not a
supported application and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory
and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying
additional software to improve memory and performance. I personally would
recommend Hot Food 3.0 and Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck, IT Support


Dear IT Support,

18 months ago, I upgraded to Girlfriend 1.0 from DrinkingMates 4.2, which I
had used for years without any trouble. However, there are apparently
conflicts between these two products and the only solution was to try and
run Girlfriend 1.0 with the sound turned off.

To make matters worse, Girlfriend 1.0 is incompatible with several other
applications, such as LadsNightOut 3.1, Football 4.5, and Playboy 6.9.
Successive versions of GirlFriend proved no better.

I tried a shareware program, Slapper 2.1, but it had many bugs and left a
virus in my system, forcing me to shut down completely for several weeks.

Eventually, I tried to run GirlFriend 1.2 and Girlfriend 1.0 at the same
time, only to discover that when these two systems detected each other they
caused severe damage to my hardware.

I eventually upgraded to Fiancée 1.0, only to discover that this product
soon had to be upgraded further to Wife 1.0. While Wife 1.0 tends to use up
all my available resources, it does come bundled with FreeSexPlus and

Shortly after this upgrade, however, I found that Wife 1.0 could be very
unstable and costly to run. Any mistakes I made were automatically stored in
Wife 1.0's memory and could not be deleted.

They then resurfaced months later when I had forgotten about them.

Wife 1.0 also has an automatic Diary, Explorer and E-mail filter, and can,
without warning, launch TurboStrop and Multi-Whinge. These latter products
have no Help files, and I have to try to guess what the problem is.

Additional problems are that Wife 1.0 needs updating regularly, requiring
ShoeShop Browser for new attachments and Hairstyle Express which needs to be
reinstalled every other week. Also, when Wife 1.0 attaches itself to my Audi
TT Convertible hard drive, it often crashes.

Wife 1.0 also comes with an irritating pop-up called MotherInLaw, which
can't be turned off.

Recently I've been tempted to install Mistress 2005, but there could be
problems. A friend of mine has alerted me to the fact that if Wife 1.0
detects Mistress 2005, it tends to delete all of your Money before
uninstalling itself'.

astrothsknot: (Default)
( Aug. 18th, 2006 01:22 am)

I seem to be ranting again. I'm sick of watching critics rip apart TV and those who watch it.


astrothsknot: (Default)
( Jul. 16th, 2006 08:33 pm)

A wee bitty rant on award shows, and why they are all bullshit

astrothsknot: (Default)
( Feb. 11th, 2006 01:54 pm)
Not always what they seem

Things tend not to be what they seem. I buy Trail and SFX on a regular basis. Now most of you guessed by now that I’m a writer, and what I write is SF thrillers.

Like most writers I have never been published. Like most writers, I’d love to be. But it’s a hard field to break into and as time goes on, it’s getting harder. While there will always be a place for printed books, it’s not going to be as big a place, which will make it harder for untried authors to break in. this of course puts more pressure on trad publishers. It’s more imperative than ever for them to make money in a dwindling market.

And of course they need to get the authors as well. I’ve spoke before about the internet, and the effect it has already had on music. Why bother to try to get a record deal when you can sell your own stuff through your website, and get 100% or the profit from your cd or your download.

The arrival of the net, and ebooks has made it vastly easier to self publish, plus there are a myriad of smaller publishers on the net, who’ll give you a POD deal. I know of several. I’ll go down the ebook root when my masterpiece (!!) is done. The only thing I have to understand is that, like even most published authors, I’ll never be able to give up the day job. I shall have at best a lucrative hobby.

But that’s not the point of writing. I write therefore I am.

So, I bought this month’s SFX. In it there was a comp to get into a short story collection, that was going to be put out by Gollancz, a reputable publisher. Oooh, cool I thought. Give that a wee go. I mean, there’s not cash prize, but the exposure would be worth it. I shove up stuff on my journal all the time, to get it out there.

And then, because the devil is always in the details, I read the small print. Suffice to say that as soon as I enter, even if I don’t get my story picked, it stops being mine. They could publish it in a future anthology, and I’ll never know, and will never see any profit for it. I clean a floor, I get paid for it. Writing involved my time and effort, so I should get paid for it. Even though I do it because I have to, I still deserve to get paid. Preachers and Rabbis and Imams do what they do because they are called, and they get paid.

Why shouldn’t I?

All I’d be entitled to is my name next to the story.

This comp, and the naiveté of writers is nothing but a con. I get some folk might ok with that, on both sides, see it as an acceptable bargain. But I wonder how many have thought through the implications fully, only seen the “get published” bit.

You can never use that story again. You may have another chance to sell it, and you can’t. I don’t like never, it’s too final.

And what a find for the publisher. All those stories, for free! If the book sells, they have a lower break even point, no royalties to pay. If it doesn’t they’ve lost nothing. And all that material for future things. Automatic seller If one of the authors makes it in the future. And the author will have no call on the story.

Like I say, great business move for Gollanzc. For authors who realize what’s happening, and are fine with it, fair enough.

But the fact that it’s hidden away in the small print would suggest that most folk wouldn’t be fine with that, and they know it, and they are lying by omission and that’s wrong. They know that if they started with the truth, know one would want to enter.

That would kink the business plans.

So, I’m just saying, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.

Me? I’ll pass thank you. But hey, I did get a good fic out of it, so not all bad.
So I went belly dancing on Saturday. Well, not me exactly. It was a hafla. There was a bazaar where you could buy clothes and equipment, most of it extortionate, but undeniably beautiful. I ended up spending £18 on about five scarves, and got 3 tops for free. One of them is a beautiful beaded shalwaar type thing. I can’t get the shoulders over my shoulders, but given that I can actually see my body start to change shape….haven’t lost any weight, though I’m losing centimetres, and everywhere is starting to firm up, hopefully it won’t be long before I’m in it.

I’ve also found out that there are belly dancing lessons in my local town hall, and they’re free, so guess where I’ll be next week. I know I took it up initially to help my back take heavier weights, much the same reason I do Pilates, but like Pilates I enjoy it for its own sake. I wonder if the local class is Egyptian classic or American tribal.

I’ve been into bd since I chanced across a doc on it about 14 years ago, hosted by Suraya Hilal. But before the internet it was nearly impossible to find out stuff, and the local library wasn’t much help.

Then of course all the classes were always in the cities, not all the way out here. And there certainly wasn’t any haflas. But all that was then, and this is now. Mum decided to come along.

I think what I love about BD is its beauty. Its elegance. When you belly dance you are beautiful, whether you are on your own or in company.

It is strange though, bearing in mind the roles that we have to play now. I’m not saying that feminity is dying, but it is considered a hindrance now. “Throws like a girl,” “Big girls’ blouse”, “Ya big Jessie”. None of these things are complimentary.

Women in power move over to mirror male body language and speech patterns. Don’t believe me? Get hold of some old footage of Condoleeza Rice or Senator Clinton. Compare with now. It may be no more than we associated male mannerisms etc with calmness and success, but still.

Our definition of female is changing. I’ll be the first to admit. I’m not girly, never was. I don’t wear make up, and I don’t enjoy shopping. I have some female traits, eg I like lots of pockets in my rucksacks, I can talk to people about a variety of subjects, in that way that women do. Some of it may be to do with that like most women growing up in my generation, we were encouraged to use our brains to get ahead, not our bodies. Nobody wanted to give off the wrong signals, so no body wanted to give off any.

In essence, it seems to me that a woman’s body had to fill one of two roles. It was either functional or aesthetic. What your body was, was a comment on you. But double standards, a woman was encouraged to have the latter. She maybe got away with it if she was old or a mother, but even then, not really acceptable. My body, before I had my son was the latter, but I was not happy with it. It was only when I had put on five stone, had a child, and took up my child hood hobby of walking that I began to love my body. It’s not pretty, but it works. Hips aside, it works well.

BD for me, really joins functionality with beauty. It doesn’t matter how bad you are. The dance looks beautiful. All dance is elegant exercise, so, there’s your functionality. In fact, it’s rather Zen. By making your body work, it becomes beautiful.

Mum had expected the hafla to be populated with belly dancers that you see in films. All gauze skirts, shaking skinny little arses, despite me telling her that is not belly dancing. Instead there were women of all shapes and sizes walking around, all dressed up, and not in flimsy veils. Long gypsy skirts, short tops, the only gauze was veils for heads. There were a couple of women there fatter than my mother, and boy, could they move!

Another thing that struck me was that the glamour. Here glamour means stick thin to fit into the latest fashions. Fashion if you don’t have a perfectly flat stomach, even if there is nothing wrong with the rest of you, means you won’t fit the clothes and you won’t feel good in them.

That wasn’t a problem at the halfa. There was anyone who wasn’t dressed up, be it western dressed, or Bollywood dressed, but everyone was done to the nines and they looked great. All bright colours, lots of jewellery. That’s another difference. Everyone here opts for black when they go out. It’s like a uniform.

Black should only ever be worn by spies, ninjas and as underwear.

I thought my mother would hate the music, as she doesn’t really like anything that’s Middle Eastern. I enjoy it, even though I don’t speak Arabic or Hindi. But even she enjoyed it, a lot more than she thought she would. She was very encouraged by the variety of shapes on offer. It made her feel better in herself. It went on for hours, and we had a good table, right at the front.

Better seats than the ballet!

One of the things that impressed her most was the accessibility of dancing. Ballet is something that you have to train for years for, and really all about performance. It’s not something the average jane can do for fun. But one of the most amazing dances of the night was during the interval, when they were dancing to the filler music. An impromptu dance sprung up. It was better than anyhting that had been choreographed. Every woman was perfectly in time, with the timing better than any old time musical. It truly was poetry in motion.

And the best of it is, one day, that could be me.
astrothsknot: (Default)
( Sep. 16th, 2005 01:41 am)
Two Cute Mormons

Or why in all the nine hells do I think that a middle eastern goddess has done everything to get my attention but a) appear in my living room, but one of my books insists on opening at her photo or b) chap my door?

Since I tended to think of Gods and -Esses as more abstract concepts, other than the air I breath is Goddess, the ground I walk on, the little bastard of a squirrel who keeps coming into my kitchen and making off with cakes, is the Goddess and all the Green men and stuff in the woods and up the hills, were all part of her, as am I, the idea that a personalisation of a god(dess) wants me for a sunbeam is rather a shock, and why this one, is an even bigger WTF?!

My son worships an even further away Goddess, but a really tough kick-ass one, Pele. Saw a photo in a volcano book, said "I'm going to worship Pele" and went away happy. He's been known to open up the book at her pic and talk away to it for five, ten minutes at a time, about how he's going to leave chocolate in the national park for her, and does she like white or brown. Seemingly, he's to leave After Eights, and he's not to eat them all, but she's happy to share, and she's sorry he lives so far away.

Gotta admire that instant connection. Thinking about it, it's weird how I never questioned it for him. If he says Pele's discussing chocolate with a kid from the other side of the planet, then she is. Who am I to argue?

But me? well, I suppose there's too much of the Questioner in me. It's got to satisfy the Logical side. Well, it is how I came to Paganism, in a very roundabout way. I was brought up by an atheist who gardened, ( we always had fresh veg) and took me on long walks in the country, naming the flowers and the berries and the animals, telling me off if I disturbed anything, and an agnostic who was just delighted that I was good at school, and taught me about being a strong, confident assertive woman, who was more concerned that I be myself before bowing to what anyone thought of me. Even as a child, I realised I had more in common with civilisations past that anything the school tried to imprint on me in RE. Those religious systems made a hell of a lot more sense than Judaism or Christianity, be it the myths, the rituals or the attributes of the deities. It all seemed to fit as well to modern times as it did to Rome or Greece or Persia or Egypt or India. India and Hinduism was the best example of what I had faith in, but I wasn't a Hindu. I was an Animist, I believed in an overall Divine, that was as much part of me as I was of it, and the individual deities were part of this Whole also. For prayers I had found the Desiderata and a poem by Tagore. For objects of worship, I had fantasy and pre-Raphaelite Art, particularly if it depicted a couple I believed in the sense of Otherworld that all humans have, but not many use. I scryed. Hard to fit that to any existing religion.

It was also the only System that I could find that didn't have a problem adopting Science as part of itself. There were no conflicts of fact and belief. No need to come up with increasingly strange stories in an attempt to marry the two contrasting disciplines. I hit on that at 14, four years before Tim Lovelace and Gaia Theory. You can guess the Happy Dance I did when I heard that one.

Occasionally, I found articles in the press about Wiccans, but in the days before the Internet and Google, Information was thin on the ground, and I didn't seem to be tripping over many covens when I went for a walk in the woods. At least I don't think I did, as I was sure even then, that covens needed a bit more than two people. I resigned myself to practising whatever the Hell it was that I was practising all on my lonesome, until one day, the Internet and Jeeves came and I found this list and the Pagan Federation and suddenly I wasn't alone and there were other folk, and I could give myself a label. Whoopeee, I gotta label, I gotta label! Cue Really Happy Dance!

But Life is a Journey, not a destination. And now that the damn book won't stop opening at that bloody picture, I'm not sure if I was missing something all along. I'm not even sure that she was a goddess, but for her to have attracted that much hostility from the Hebrews she must have been fairly high up in the pantheon.

Veering off into a tangent here, I had two very cute Mormons around this morning. Is it wrong to have them around your house for the simple reason they bring the pretty? Ah, well, it's not like I'm off to hell, anyway.

But at the same time, it's not a tangent. By having Jehovahs and Mormons come and "talk about Jesus" it means I can, for want of better words, defend my faith. Anything they come up with, I can shoot down, because their questions are things that I have already thought long and hard about. It always makes me laugh that these folk think that I have pulled this religion out my ass. They find it hard to answer when you say something like, "The Goddess would give me a sign, such as a butterfly landing on my hand. And then whatever was worrying me or puzzling me would solve itself, and I'd know that's what I have to do. But," I say, "you'd interpret that as a sign from God."

And they agree.

At least Mormons don't come outright and try to diminish my faith. They try to do it ever so politely. "If something is true then, it's true and if something is wrong, then it's wrong. And it doesn't really matter either way what anyone believes," was the way it was put to me today. "You know in your heart that something is true," said CM1 (Cute Mormon 1), to which I replied, "you wouldn't have found me in the wagon train, then." Having said that, if they all look like that, and allow polyandry, I'll consider it.

Jehovahs rile me for the simple reason they say straight out you're wrong, and they're right. At least you can discuss with a Mormon, and they do bring the pretty. Jehovahs send really ugly people round the door to spread their word. Hardly makes you want to talk to them. I'm shallow. That is my responsibility.

It must be easier for them to challenge people who have no real faith, and make them think about things, rather than challenge someone who already has a strong religious belief, as they will already have sought out the answers to the questions that they have to ask. I expect that in this day and age, it must be fairly easy to find those that have only questions, with no real answers. It must be more unusual to find those who have strong faith, even if it is a more alternative one.

One thing that was funny - and I do seem to like my tangents here! - is one (CM1) seemed hell-bent on converting me, but the other one CM2, for the simple reason his name escapes me. But he was the cuter one, and yeah, another tangent. I'm back. Yes, really. Shame on you!

CM2 was more interested in discussion than debate. I noticed that last week, when I was yapping to him in the street, it moved from speaking about Jesus, to very quickly being 'a life, the universe and everything' discussion. On the few times his companion wasn't cutting across him to debate, he tried to start a genuine discussion, seeming more interested in my views than CM1. He seemed genuinely more interested, full stop. I think I may be imagining this, but he seemed to be embarrassed by his colleague.

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in their car on the way back...

Ok, tangent over. That damn book has fallen open again. And so, back to my earlier story of how I was called by the Goddess. In explaining how I was called by the Goddess to CM1 and 2, has parallels with realising that all along I was also being called by a specific Goddess.

When I was a teenager, I read a book, in which a woman strangles her husband with her long hair, and one of the characters comments that it was just like the Jewish demon, Lilith. They explained a bit about her being Adam's first wife, refused to be inferior to him, and legged it out of Eden by finding out God's true name. From then on, I was fascinated by this demon, I couldn't really find anything more about her, not for years, but I remained in thrall to how I imagined her to be. Lady sounded like a smart cookie. Gutsy, clever, powerful. What's Then I found a beautiful painting of her by Fay Pomerance, and noticed her beautiful long hair.

I'm a writer by nature, and found myself returning to the this demon over and over. She began to pop up in shows I watched, when I made up fanfiction in my head, she began to slot herself here and there. Hell's Debt Recovery Agent, and other things. She was always there on the edge of my mind, sneaking into my dreams.

Then the Internet arrived and I could research her better than I could with old, out of print books. I could see academic articles and other things that otherwise I wouldn't have had access to before. And I began to build up a picture of her history, developing from Goddess to Demon and back again, picking up a few more skills along the way. Even Gods, it would seem, are fans of adult education.

I never lost my fascination with Lilith. What a Goddess to aspire to!

But why on Earth would she call me? Is this close to anyone else's experience of having a direct contact with a God/ess?
astrothsknot: (Default)
( Jul. 29th, 2005 05:22 pm)
I like short stories
posted Thu, 16 Jun 2005 15:42:37 -0700

Recently I’ve found myself writing short stories again. Why, I have no idea. I
have written two since leaving school. That was ten years ago.

Now, I recall from school, that every English teacher I ever had was constantly
telling the class that Short Stories were hard to write.

At that time the was response was, “if you say so.” After all, short stories are
all you are taught to write at school. No matter how you analyse and dissect any
amount of plays and novels, all you can write for fiction is a short story. Even
the plays we wrote for school were short.

You can kind of guess the operative word here is “short”.

Now I appreciate there is a reason for that. Most of us had a hard enough time
at school writing what was expected of us. Most of our English teachers had
enough problems marking that. To expect us to write, and the teacher to mark
anything longer was impossible.

Most teenagers simply do not have the maturity or life experience to write a
novel. I, as a teenager was simply not capable of it. It took until I was twenty
four to write more than a 20 page treatment.

That’s without going into the time constraints that are placed upon students and
teachers. It can take three years to write a novel, and can become as much about
the personal journey of the author as it does about the characters created by
that author.

So back to the short story.

I must have written close on 1000 of them throughout my school career, if you
start with my award winning Primary 1 effort

“Billie had a dog called Frank. It peed on his carpet. His mum was angry. She
kicked the dog.”

It was inspired by a real life incident, and got me a gold star.

Now, in itself the short is a wonderful form. it doesn't need many characters,
it doesn’t need the characters to be developed beyond a certain level. It
doesn’t need many incidents. It can be anything from a paragraph to 30 pages
long. It doesn’t even need to have a structure. It lends itself to any genre.

Its a very flexible medium, for both writers and readers.

So what do I like about the short story as a reader?

Strangely enough, it’s their shortness. What I mean by that is their
compactness. I often don’t want to drag myself through a novel, and its comment
and backstory, even if I'm taking it chapter by chapter.

Reading a novel is a commitment. It can take months to read a novel, and you get
very involved with the characters and the plot. It’s almost like they become
close friends. They take on a reality in your mind that takes up almost of much
of your time and energy if your were to know and meet these people in the real

A short story is complete in itself, even if its a long story.

It doesn’t require any commitment on the part of the reader. You don’t have to
remember events or people over a period time, as is the case with a novel. It
can read in a very short timescale, even by a slow reader.

It can often serve as a welcome break when you’re wading through a difficult
novel, and would just like a break, to read something else, different, but
certainly not another novel. I know that feeling very well at the moment. I’m
currently trying to read Middlemarch, by George Eliot and I'm finding it hard
going. Rather than read another novel to get some rest from it, I'm reading an
anthology of horror stories, the Books Of Blood, by Clive Barker.

I like that I can just dip in and browse, start anywhere, without feeling that I
have a whole huge book to wade through. I enjoy that freedom as a reader that
short stories grant me.

Another plus for the short is that it assumes a greater level of intelligence of
its readership than novelists do. Because space is limited, it utilises greater
economy of words and plot. It only tells you what you need to know, but at the
same time it alludes to parts of the story, particularly any backstory, or in
the case of otherworldly fictions, it alludes to the kind of society its based
on. It allows the reader to work out the world for themselves.

Novels don’t do this. Certainly a novelist has more room to describe a backstory
or another world, and indeed, many novels would be incomprehensible were it not
for this, but some novelists go too far. They assume that the readership needs
every last little thing spelled out for them, going far over the score for
description, bogging the readership down in detail that has little to do with
the actual narrative and more to do with a case of artistic diarrhoea. It does
make you wonder what the editors are doing....

What do I like about it as a writer?

The list up above, my likes as a reader of the short, also hold true for me as a

But I do have to add to this a more writer-specific angle to things.

Its a great training for writing a novel. It teaches you economy. It makes you
think about every word, every scene, every character. Every plot twist.

In short - ha! - it makes you carefully consider every little aspect of your
novel. Every word is made to count. If a scene isn’t needed, then you don’t put
it in. You learn economy of words, action and character. It makes you a harsh
editor, but writers who edit themselves harshly make less work for the editor.
It also means that should you have to justify something to your own editor, you
can, because you’ve already carefully thought about why its there and what its

It teaches you how to plan and storyline far more effectively than dissecting
and discussing a million novels. If you can produce something on a small scale,
then you can certainly do it on a larger scale.

The short story is a great place for a writer to experiment with forms that they
normally would never get the chance to do so, be it in the style or the genre.
You can find out, with a relatively small effort whether or not something works
for you or your readership. It caries a similarly small risk for a publisher,
who may not want to give a sizeable advance for an experimental novel, but may
happily pay a small fee for a short story that he can use to sell an anthology
with your name, should you be ever be that famous, whilst testing the waters for
you latest style. Hell, if it doesn’t work, the anthology has plenty other
author to place around your experiment.

And this brings me to the most important facet of a short story, and for an
author, is the most important one.

Pick up any woman’s magazine. There will be at least two short stories in there,
of varying genre. Turn to the back. In the small print, there is a section about
how they welcome unsolicited shorts, standard length, £150 - £200 payable.

And this is without going into the specialist publications, such as Interzone,
the SF/Fantasy magazine.

There is a far bigger market available for short stories, than there is for
novels. Its much wider, and its far easier to break into.

This has two knock-on effects to the aspiring writer. Given that shorts are
quicker to write than novels, then you have an opportunity to earn money from
your talent quickly. Most writers have to write alongside full-time careers and
families. Short stories fit more easily into that routine, and if the necessity
of showing a return on it exists, the income from writing is realised more
quickly. The science fiction writer R. Chetwynd-Hays made over half his income
from his many short stories, whilst working in a department store all his adult

Now given that the market for getting a short story published is far bigger than
that of a novel, it means that you have more of a chance to create a name for
yourself. Don’t underestimate this in today’s sales and image-led publishing
world. Send a novel around publishing houses and agents and see how many
rejections you get.

Send the same novel around with a bio that lists what you’ve had published in
Woman’s Own or its many equivalents, and see how differently you are treated.
The publishers and the agents know you have “form.”

Your name is known, which mean it’s likely to be recognised, which equals more
likely to sell. Book publishing is an industry, like any other, and is going to
go for the known author against the unknown everytime.

Indeed, it could be your short story in a magazine that gets you the offer from
the publisher to begin with. Sarah Ash wrote several shorts for Interzone, and
got a book deal on the strength of them, when a publisher read one.

So, next time one of your brood moans over the short story they have to write
for school, remind them of a few basic facts if they are old enough to

And if they aren’t, there’s always chocolate.
astrothsknot: (Default)
( Jul. 29th, 2005 05:04 pm)

In secondary school, as part of my exams, I had to a book report. I wasn’t
allowed to do it on the book of my choice, Jephte’s Daughter, as my head of year
considered it a pot-boiler. I’d actually never heard that phrase before. To me,
a book was a book, and I either enjoyed it or didn’t. I could tell you why I
liked it or didn’t, but as far I was concerned that was the extent of the

I’d no conception of the Literati. Pity that this is no longer the case. 



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