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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Fifty fans can't be wrong

pameladean on The Rules (which aren't)

arcaedia wants to know what kind of rejections frustrate you

Robert Weinberg on how to go broke as a writer, via nihilistic_kid


"And we looked out to see our enemies and we see that you're looking all at us instead."
--Dar Williams, "The Great Unknown"

1,756 new words on Blood & Iron, counting some words that were done before bed last night and not tallied. Page 356 of 575, and I'm going to keep entering the line edits for a bit, although I probably won't write any more tonight.

I think, in the final analysis, all of my books are about the fine dividing line between necessity and tragedy, and how real life doesn't make distinctions between the two.

I reread "Babi Yar" in translation tonight. I relearned three things: Yevtushenko still makes me cry; I want to learn Russian mostly so I can read him in the original; and I hope if it ever comes down to it that I can show that man's personal courage in my convictions.

I'm also pleased he outlived Phil Ochs, although I am displeased that Phil gave up on us. If only he'd held on another thirty years. We could use him now.

Speaking randomly of people with something to say for themselves.


Around three years ago, I got a letter from a fan in Mexico. He asked me if I would like to be one of the guests of honor at a Mexican horror convention being held in October. I was flattered and wrote back and thanked him. But I was curious why they wanted me? I'm not a big name horror writer - I wish I was, but I'm not - and as far as I knew, I only had a few short stories ever published in Spanish.

The chairman of the con wrote me back. He was confused, because three of my novels had been published in Spanish, and were bestsellers in Spain and in Mexico and in most of South America. In fact, several of my books had outsold Anne Rice's work. This was news to me, and I wrote to the original publisher asking about this. A few weeks later I got a letter from the president of the company admitting that foreign rights for the books had been sold to Spain in Mexico, but he wasn't sure if they had ever actually collected the money. He would check into it. By then, I had been sent copies of the Spanish editions by the chairman of the con in Mexico and saw the books had actually been in print for two years. So, I sent a letter to the publisher and said that if I didn't see my share of the foreign rights money quickly, my lawyer would be handling future letters. I got paid very quickly. Turns out there had been a payment after all.

You're suprised? *g*

Welcome to the industry, my friend.
I'm not surprised that it's difficult, nigh impossible, to make a living as a fiction writer. That's been the case, well, probably forever, except for a tiny few at the very top of their field. Yes, it's probably worse today.

I *am* surprised that a major publisher would be that flagrantly dishonest or careless.
Happens all the time, actually. Another game is under-reporting or creatively accounting royalties, although I hear rumors that's better than it used to be. One of the many uses of SFWA's griefcom.
My muse made me write the verse of Love Me, I'm a Liberal that deals with gay marriage today. She's not a very busy little muse, but even she can make the obvious connections.
I hope you released it into the wild. *g*

I sold a short story that was obliquely about Phil a while back. It's "The Dying of the Light" at the top of links column off left, there.
*nod* I have some experience with mental illness myself (it seems, actually, to not only be epidemic in our society, but also epidemic among creative types, if I may be so arrogant as to include myself among that number), although I'll spare you my gory details too. So there's no value judgement, for me, implied in the phrase 'giving up;' sometimes it's the best option.

I just can't help but think he'd have something pithy to say about the current state of affairs.

It amazes me how much of an influence a man who has been dead for thirty years, who it sometimes seems that nobody but musicians and lingering freaked out hippie types remembers, continues to have.

Alas, "Here's to the State of George W. Bush" doesn't scan. *g*
*g* no offense taken. Your friend has good taste.

When I was growing up, my hippie mom had "Pleasures of the Harbor" on audiotape, and that got me hooked. There's a lot of Phil's music I still don't have... but then, there's a lot of it. And yes, it's hard not to evangelize!

I'm also interested in how many other folk artists are compelled to write songs about Phil. Really, he's iconic.

guess the word that sums him up for me is pure -- not even ethically or politically pure, really, but just like hitting an vein of silver must feel. The ring of the real thing, like Plath said.

Yes. I mean, when I think of a modern bard, it's Phil. He had the charisma, the good looks, and the raw, sweet power of having something to say and not being afraid to say it. He really did write--and sing--like somebody with nothing to lose.

I admire that a very great deal.
That's Phil. *g*

I'm caught again!

No, I don't think you ever told me.... but it's sort of supposed to be, so all the good.
Mek--Amber van Dyk, I mean--wrote the right hand side and I wrote the left-hand side, and we tried to get out styles to match, which was really...interesting. It's actually several different stories depending on which way you read it, which is the reason for the funky formatting. (left side then right side, right side then left side, whole thing in sequence--) *g*

It was fun to write, and I'm glad you liked you liked it!
Bob Weinberg's piece is good food to chew on. I just wish he'd concluded with his reasons for sticking with it.