Dec. 11th, 2009

megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
There's still time to make Tu Publishing a reality. For those who don't know, Tu Publishing is a small, independent press for multicultural genre fiction for children's and YA books. I've said before and I'll say it again, I love YA but it is a genre, especially where SF/F YA is concerned, in dire need of diversity. Such projects as Tu Publishing are definitely steps in the right direction. They're looking for $10,000 by December 14th. They already have $6502. You can donate via your Amazon account, which is even more awesome. It's the 11th so that three whole days to help out!

I know that right now a lot of us are struggling with limited funds, so coming around asking for money for a start-up small press may not seem like the best thing when there are thousands of other charities just as deserving. But by my math, that's $3,498 they need. If 3,498 people could just chip in a dollar. A single dollar, they'd get there. If 700 people (approximately) could chip in five bucks, they'd get there.

And if you can't chip in money - which a lot of us can't this season for various reasons, and that's okay - you can always help spread the word. Retweeting, reposting, and linking are free as the wind. (Thanks to [ profile] ecmeyers for the links).

And now for something less good. The NYTimes, in a moment of spectacular foolery, though that this list of gifts for POC would be a good thing. (Thanks to [ profile] karnythia for this).

What amazes me is that several human beings who ostensibly possess some common sense looked over this list and thought it would be all right to publishing on the website. It wasn't just the one person. Oh no. Several people conspired together - probably patting themselves on the back - Which leaves me baffled. On what planet is this a good list? On what planet is this not a big ol' gift-wrapped box full of CRAP.

How do you not see the condescension and aversive racism and just plain ol' boundary issues with a white person handing their unfortunate POC friend a copy of The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships by Hill Harper? Or handing hair and cosmetic products to a non-white friend as though somehow you, as a privilege white person, can instantly have insight into the kind of cultural pressure put on people of color concerning their looks by getting them a gift? Never mind that you, as a white person, probably have no idea how to navigate any other hair/cosmetic products that aren't geared toward us pinkish, caucasian folks. Never mind that giving hair and cosmetic products (unasked for) to someone you're not very intimately acquainted with is creepy and crossing a boundary.

Oh, NYTimes, I'd say I'm surprised at your failure, but I'm not. I'm just sorry that your fail is so public and so saddening, because it is. And I'm sorry that so many people have yet another instance of racefailing shoved at them - because they really shouldn't.

Oh, 2009, I'm glad you're nearly over. Because I'd really like if the Year of White People Failing could just never happen again ever.

And a special finger-waggle to fellow White Women Authors who have made 2009 so atrociously failtastic. Seriously, my fellow white ladies, can we please deal with our shit and stop making other people's lives difficult already? And if you think I'm not including myself, I am. I have a lot of work to do before I can begin to consider myself a good ally - and part of that starts with understanding that being an ally is an action you take, not a title you earn. That it is still, after all this time, NOT ABOUT ME.

So maybe we - as white women who should know better - can look back, see that we've done a lot of failing, soul-search on our own time and in our own damn spaces, dry our White Women's Tears and do better than we have been. We can't fix the past, but we sure as hell can and must do a lot better in the future.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
First with the bad this time:

Science-fiction author Peter Watts was detained and beaten at the U.S.-Canada border. Quoting from the article:

When Peter got out of the car and questioned the nature of the search, the gang of border guards subjected him to a beating, restrained him and pepper sprayed him. At the end of it, local police laid a felony charge of assault against a federal officer against Peter. On Wednesday, he posted bond and walked across the border to Canada in shirtsleeves (he was released by Port Huron officials with his car and possessions locked in impound, into a winter storm that evening). He's home safe. For now. But he has to go back to Michigan to face the charge brought against him.

This is completely unacceptable and a clear violation of civil rights. There's a defense fund for Dr. Watts and donations can be sent (according to the BoingBoing article) via PayPal to

Another good link is here about the incident, [ profile] pecunium, Root and Branch. Definitely worth you reading. Because having a different president doesn't mean that all the ugliness of the old administration is gone.

And for a bit of good. Today is Agent Appreciation Day! While I don't have an agent (but would dearly like to), I definitely enjoy seeing people share the many wonderful things their agents do for them as writers.

I may not have an agent, but I know that I've received a lot of great advice, help, and pointers from agents who went out of their way to be extra kind, even when rejecting me. They didn't have to be, but they were. I'm much better for it, and hopefully am sending out a stronger manuscript than I had in hand a year or two ago.

As a writer? I can say that such advice as "you give away too much information in the prologue" is worth it's weight in gold coming from an agent - and for such advice I'm thankful to so many. And yes, that definitely does include Colleen Lindsay. I disagree vehemently with the things she says online sometimes (still do), but I won't deny that her help was invaluable in shaping up the Tower!Guy manuscript. She didn't have to go out of her way, but she did. I'm sorry there's not a day to say "Thank you even though I'm not your client" - because I'd like to do that. I imagine I'm probably not the only unpublished nobody she's reached out to, and if you're someone who's benefitted from her free-of-charge, keen-sighted hardwork, I'd recommend sending up a flag.

I also owe thanks to other agents who rejected the Tower!Guy novel and gave bits of feedback, even if they were a sentence or two on how they felt about the protagonists or the plot or the setting. Or heck, even just some advice about the market and about who is and isn't looking for my type of book.

Like I said, you wouldn't believe the benefit of having someone say something as simple as, "Your plot slows down in the middle" or "Your protagonist cries too much". Not always easy to swallow, but they help you hone in on where you need to improve that book and whatever books you write in the future.

So to those many agents who have been so kind, who I have not thanked personally because it would clog their already crowded inboxes - I salute you.

If you do have an agent that's done you a good turn, go and add their name to the list. We need to recognize the good guys and gals in this industry.
megwrites: Shakespeared! Don't be afraid to talk Elizabethan, or Kimberlian, or Meredithian! (shakespeared!)
Yes, I'm spamming you. Don't worry, the flood should cease soon.

All this talk of Agent Appreciation Day has reminded me that I haven't updated the Query Score Card yet.

I've found another agent to submit to thanks to the SF/F agents thread at AbsoluteWrite - one caveat about the thread though. That list includes agents under the heading of SF/F who only represent paranormal or supernatural romance. Which is great, but if you're querying a space opera or a sword 'n sorcery type novel, they're not for you. So, as always, do your research!

The Card as stands:

Requests - 2 (1 full, 1 partial)

Rejections - 2

Timed Out - 0

Still pending - 4

I'm not expecting to hear from anyone before the end of the year, even those who have the full/partial in their hands. I figure with a scant two weeks to go before Christmas, a lot of people probably won't be touching queries until the New Year's Resolutions Flood comes in. Plus, holiday shopping and vacations and family time (which agents definitely deserve!), so I'm pretty much going to try to ignore my inbox except for a once daily check until 2010.

In non-query news, I've gotten nearly 5000 words on Invisible!Book, which is good and I think I know what happens after the first third of the book. I know the beginning and end and the middle is sort of going to have to come together, I think. It's the one part of the outline that is most vague for me.

Now that I don't have jury duty (it's over, yay!), I can get going on getting to chapter three, which I where I want to be by the end of this month, and thus this year. I'd like, ideally, to have the first draft of this book knocked out by Valentine's and have a second draft that's in queryable shape by the end of spring, start of summer. I think that's a reasonable time frame, all things considered.

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