Monday, April 28, 2008

Publishing Triangle Awards announced:

Just got this news: The winners of the Publishing Triangle Awards were announced this evening in a ceremony that I was just too dog-tired to attend (not to mention the fact that every single business-appropriate article of clothing I own is now sealed in a box):
The Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry: Joan Larkin, My Body (Hanging Loose Press)

The Thom Gunn Award for Gay Male Poetry: (tie) Steve Fellner, Blind Date with Cavafy (Marsh Hawk Press); Daniel Hall, Under Sleep (The University of Chicago Press)

The Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction: Myriam Gurba, Dahlia Season (Manic D Press)

The Ferro Grumley Awards for LGBT Fiction: (tie) Peter Cameron, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Ali Liebegott, The IHOP Papers (Carroll & Graf)

The Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction: Janet Malcolm, Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice (Yale University Press)

The Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction: Michael Rowe, Other Men's Sons (Cormorant Books)

Also awarded, and previously announced:
The Publishing Triangle Leadership Award: Richard Labonte and Carol Seajay
The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement: Katherine V. Forrest

Best. T-Shirt. Ev-AH!

From the Supreme Being of T-Shirts, Threadless:

Friday, April 25, 2008

The lamentations outside my window.

I live in a neighborhood bounded by three different Eastern Orthodox churches; in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, today is Good Friday, or what they refer to as the Great and Holy Friday.

At sunset on this day, every year, my neighbors leave their homes, all dressed in black, carrying burning candles, and they have a funeral procession for Christ down the center of 31st Avenue. They sing lamentations for the death of their savior and their singing is beautiful and gut-wrenching and soul-stirring.

It is one of the very many things I will miss about this neighborhood when I leave.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The perils of packing efficiency.

This past weekend, my best friend Adrian (momma of Baby Crumpet) flew all the way out from Seattle just to help me pack. (Now THAT'S a good friend!)

While I was putzing around the junk in the living room and sorting through books to keep and books to sell and moping about having to leave this lovely apartment and doing what seemed like forty loads of laundry (all of which consisted of sheets and blankets - WTF, did I rob a Linens & Things in my sleep?), Adrian focused intently on packing up my kitchen. Everything in my kitchen. It was a miracle of efficiency. (She is a managing editor, so efficiency is to be expected.)

Fast forward to today. I come home, pull some leftover Egyptian chicken and rice out of the fridge to heat up for dinner, throw it in the oven and set the timer...wait, where's the timer? Crap. Okay, stare at my cell phone clock for fifteen minutes. Then, when I can smell the fragrant spices of the chicken, I grab the oven mitt...shit. Where's the oven mitt???

Eventually, I got the chicken out of the oven and threw it into a bowl. One of two she left me. And a mug. And an assortment of purple plastic forks and red plastic knives. And a jar of peanut butter.

Oh, that wacky Adrian. So very efficient! Heh!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Actual post about agenting. (Shocking!)

You may have noticed the dearth of actual content around here. Lest you fear I am not actually reading your queries and partials and manuscripts and thus have nothing to write about: I am. Reading your submissions, that is.

But during the time I'm not doing that, I'm trying to find a new place to live and packing up my entire apartment. That leaves little time for anything else right now, including creating actual blog content. (Unless, of course, I find an absolutely awful Craigslist ad while house-hunting. one that needs sharing immediately. This requires almost no actual brain work and apparently keeps y'all endlessly amused.)

Anyway, I suspect that things will be very quiet on the blogging front from now through the end of April. Just a heads up.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Adventures in Craigslist housing ads. Part Five: More dogs and butter.

From the same person who brought us the last Craigslist Adventure, a recently updated housing ad, one which may or may not clarify the previous ad:
My dogs and I wont butter you.
Good to know.

Nicola Griffith discusses self-sefense for women and the idiocy of Taser parties on the Huffington Post!

My good pal Nicola Griffith, writer extraordinaire (and Oranjeboom beer fan), struts her stuff on today's Huffington Post.

W000T! Go, Nicola!

The death of the semicolon in France. C'est vrai.

Only in France:
To listen to France's small but growing army of semicolon fans, the full-frontal assault on the semicolon launched by uncultured modern writers and journalists and spearheaded by those idiot Anglo-Saxons is, sadly, just another symptom of the present-day malaise of French language and culture. As the great early 20th-century Gallic novelist, essayist, playwright and Academician Henry Marie Joseph Frédéric Expedite Millon de Montherlant so succinctly put it in his Carnets: "One immediately recognises a man of judgment by the use he makes of the semicolon." M de Montherlant would not, hélas, recognise a great many men of judgment these days.
More here.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

FinePrint Literary welcomes a new client:
Ingrid Ougland Sellie

On behalf of FinePrint Literary Management, I am thrilled to be able to welcome debut YA novelist Ingrid Ougland Sellie (and her two very vocal Labrador retrievers, Max and Brandy!) into the fold as a new client.

Ingrid has a background in broadcast journalism, and has worked as a news anchor and television producer in the Seattle market. She recently turned her attention to writing full time, creating publications for non profit organizations in the Pacific Northwest. She says she began writing young adult fiction after an author friend told her to write the age she feels. Heh!

Welcome to FinePrint, Ingrid!

Adventures in Craigslist housing ads. Part Four.

Best grammatical mash-up ever in a roommate ad:
"Have one dog, no butter people."
I mentioned this to a friend last night; she - after pondering this for a while - replied: "Well, how would a dog hold a butter knife anyway?" Good point.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Word counts, redux: From the horse's mouth.

My post about word counts stirred up a lot of great commentary from a wide variety of people, both published and unpublished. Some of you had good questions, particularly about which method to use in determining your word count. So, I went straight to the best source I know: the editor.

Specifically, I went to Betsy Mitchell, VP & Editor-in-Chief of Del Rey Books (an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, for those of you who don't know). Del Rey is the second largest publisher of fantasy and science fiction in the United States as well as being an innovator in the fields of licensed media, pop culture, and manga.

I asked Betsy to answer two questions, which she kindly agreed to let me post here:
I have writers who've been asking me about how to estimate word counts. Most new authors go by their MS Word counter. Some writers are using the old pages x 250, based on 12-inch Courier text with 1" margins. Are new writers simply over-thinking this?

Betsy: Yes, they’re over-thinking. Using the MS Word counter and putting “approximately xx,xxx words” is good enough on a submission.

Along the same lines, what's your absolute cut-off, word count-wise, when deciding to look at a manuscript?

Betsy: My eyebrows start climbing to the ceiling past 120,000 words and disappear off my forehead at 180,000 or so. A manuscript that long should either be cut drastically or split into two carefully crafted parts.
And there you have it. Hope that helps! (Thanks, Betsy!)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008