"Astonishing... If this isn't really Alice Sebold, Donna Tartt, or Barbara Vine, then Martha O'Connor is a huge new talent who is already as good as it gets."~Lee Child, author of THE ENEMY
"A debut worthy of Joyce Carol Oates."~Edmund White, author of A BOY'S OWN STORY
Here lies the ten year old KitchenAid.I swear that my poem didn't kill it. It really was the potato fire. Yes, the microwave is gone. Dead. Kaput. Deceased. R.I.P. Every time you turn it on, sparks fly out of it. Not. Good.
Inside it a fiery baked potato was made.
Perhaps it was killed by the powder from the fire extinguisher,
Perhaps it was the baking soda I used to make it cleaner.
Alas! Poor dead microwave.
Now there's no way to make the popcorn which we crave.
Our dear microwave served us well for many years,
but its fiery wrath has caused us far too many tears.
The Alliance for Children's Rights is Los Angeles County's only free legal services, information clearinghouse, and social services referral organization devoted solely to helping children living in poverty and foster care. We provide children the help and support they need to grow into healthy and productive adults. Every child we help confronts poverty on a daily basis. Their lives revolve around courtrooms, institutions, house programs, and bureaucrats. For many children, The Alliance is their last hope and line of defense. Since our founding in 1992, we have served over 30,000 children. Annually, we help nearly 6,000 children.They received a four-star (highest) rating from Charity Navigator. You can donate as well. Coz you know, donations are down at almost every charity but The Red Cross this year, and some people have bigger problems than potatoes catching fire. *off soapbox*
Martha, this is the most intense case of industry navel gazing I can imagine. Poor Sandra didn't offend anyone, she merely pointed out that she was concerned she might not find another editor that "fit" like the old one. If anything, she was complimenting the man who was her editor, and recognizing the positive way they had worked together.
Being concerned that a 29 year old editor might not fit as well is as valid as being concerned that a size 6 pair of pants might not fit well. The size 6 pair might be perfectly nice pants, but if you wear a 10, what good do they do you?
The second issue (should she have shared so much?) gets a resounding "Yes!!" from me. What's the point of a blog if you're going to skim the surface? Isn't that what mass media - newspapers, magazines - are about? Aren't blogs supposed to be more personal than that? If you castigate and excoriate the people who write what they're *really* thinking on their blog, who'll ever blog the truth? Far from Sandra sounding like a whiny writer, the responders strike me as "difficult editors". (I suspect those are the people giving 29 year-old editors a bad name ; )
I can't imagine the squirming type of feeling of not knowing whose hands your life will be placed in next. (Makes me want to not write ; ) Perhaps all the behind the-scenes people who don't feel they get enough credit are having a field day with a writer who has the guts to say she's worried. Sticking it to the talent - if you will. Seems like the kind of situation that brings out the worst in people.
Really, makes them ALL look bad - if you ask me.
"The reason he was calling me was to tell me that he was leaving the publishing company. Not because he was moving on to a new job, but because he’d had it with the business. He said he hated to use the term burned out but that’s what he was. I was stunned. I told him I understood and I do. He worked too much and he wanted a life. He doesn’t know what he’ll do but whatever it is won’t be in publishing....My reaction (without having read any of the ensuing brouhaha... and what a brouhaha it has been!):
"What worries me is the new book, Too Darn Hot, which will be published in June. Even if a new contract hadn’t come my way, this editor would’ve still been on top of things and moved the book as much as possible. As the book is finished and there’s nothing for a new editor to do on it, it’ll lie there like a lox. Unless there’s a new contract and then it’ll be different. At the moment my book is an orphan....
"Not to insult anyone, but this editor is the last of a certain breed…a gentleman and a man of experience. I don’t know for sure, but I’d say he’s in his early fifties. He mentioned the possiblitity of one editor and I asked how old the person was. Twenty-nine.
"I know any editor is probably going to be younger than I, but twenty-nine? He/she could be even younger, not only at this publishing house but almost everywhere. I’m not saying an editor of that age has to be horrible, in fact I know that someone so young could be the best editor I’ve ever had. Still, it gives me pause."
"In one post or another, you've insulted the art department, the copyeditor, your own editor, and the company itself. You haven't restrained yourself to making specific substantive complaints, either, but have gone on to imply nasty things about intelligence, general competence, and so on.In response, Scoppettone came out in full force:
"In other words, you've gone some distance towards making yourself look like what editors call a nightmare author, the kind of person who makes coming into work every day a burden rather than a pleasure."
"I've been published for many years and by many different publishers. Everyone knows I'm not a nightmare to work with.OK, I'll discuss my reaction to this reply a bit later. But onto The Snark Twist:
"If there's any nightmare around it's anyone who leaves a comment anonymously.
"Get some guts and write something with your own name. Gee whiz...maybe you're from my current publishing house. I'm shaking."
Aside from the tone (in our house, saying "shut up" is as bad as calling someone a "loser" or other nasty words my kids aren't supposed to have ever heard), I don't think this Snark post really speaks to what Scoppettone posted. Scoppettone did NOT say a young editor would be terrible; in fact, she said it might be the best thing that could have happened to her. What she did say was that it "gave her pause." If you lost a great editor like Joe Blades, wouldn't his departure give you pause? I think her statement stems from the heartbreak of losing him. (I've heard his name often over the years... in fact, he was one of the many editors who rejected my unpublished mystery. So I sort of owe him a little piece of my career, since all that rejection freed me to write The Bitch Posse. And to spare you ANOTHER lengthy digression, I'll simply link my Backstory on MJ Rose's blog.)
"Please Sandra, shut up.
"You're not, and I mean really NOT, listening when the commenter to your blog said that people would read what you wrote and pay attention. I came to your blog from GalleyCat which has a gazillion readers. Check your site stats, I bet they went through the roof.
"I beg to point out that the new editor you're assigned will most likely be less than 30, in publishing for fewer than 10 years, probably five, and the FIRST thing s/he'll do is read your blog.
"Young energetic and excited editors are exactly who you want to be friends with. They're not burned out. They may lack experience, but you've got that in abundance and can be a resource. "You'll be lucky to get an editor now whose first impression of you isn't 'she's a whiner'.
"Yes, Joe Blades leaving is a melancholy day. But, it's not the end of the world. And in fact, some of those editors over there at Ballantine, whippersnappers though they are, are pretty damn good.
"Shut up and count your blessings."
"taking controversial stands as an author, whether on your blog or elsewhere, will cost you readers. The more controversial the issues and the more intensive your commentary, the more readers you'll lose.Well, if that's the case, I'm guilty as charged. I will never shut up about stem cell research, and I will never shut up about finding a cure for diabetes. NEVER, until we've got one. If that loses me readers... well, maybe it also will gain me some, according to fellow commenter Keith Snyder:
"Ultimately, authors have to decide why they're in this business: do you want to be a commentator or do you want to sell books?"
"On the other hand, taking controversial stands may gain you readers, too. I like my artists opinionated."Hey, c'mon over here for a visit, Keith! We've got PLENTY of opinions in this neck of the woods! :o)