>*tap tap* Is this thing working?


Hello, I’m Jennifer Stevenson, and I write sexy funny fantasy-slash-romance novels. You can still get THE BRASS BED, THE VELVET CHAIR, and THE BEARSKIN RUG at bookstores everywhere. TRASH SEX MAGIC, a Small Beer Press book, is still available online. If you scrounge around you might find some of my short stories in science fiction and fantasy anthologies from the late eighties and the nineties.

I wanted to write because my whole family was bookish. From birth I was raised to be a writer. Someday. When they thought I was worthy. I did a lot of writing, mind you, but it took me forever to get around to submitting anything. So rule forty-two is, Submit something.

Well, no, rule forty-two is Write something. Oldest rule in the book.

So I wrote something and after a suitable ice age I submitted it and then I thought, well, it’s Wednesday, it can’t possibly get there until Monday, and then give ’em the rest of the week to open the box and read it, and of course they’ll want revisions, so no point in starting something new if I’m gonna get a revision letter any day now, right? After a year or two I would tire of waiting on the rejections for that manuscript. Rinse and repeat.

All you authors can stop laughing.

I had good intentions. Caution and perfectionism held me back. Lack of confidence led me to save ideas until their whiskers whitened. My dear departed mother used to say, “Do as I say, not as I do,” and I can think of no better advice to share.

So the watchword here will be, Write More.

In the interest of getting some pages done today, I close with some messages from my office walls:

“Dare to be bad.” –Bruce Worthel

“I can fix a bad page, but I can’t fix a blank page.” –Nora Roberts

“Never save bits. Put ’em in. Make a big mess.” –Gene Wolfe


  1. >How do you get the pigeon to smolder? I mean I tried smoking bacon and, first off, it took a blowtorch to light it, and then secondly the resultant conflagration seared my moustache when I tried to inhale ;-). The waiting is the worst part for me. And I must admit I was misinformed about the fame-n-fortune part too. Who tore out the pages with the other 41 rules if that is the oldest (left) in the book? Have they no respect? (But you are right). Write, submit repeat…

  2. >I like your quotes. I’m reminded of one given to me by my mentors, Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith: “It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be finished.” Write on. –Pati (done with my pages for today, and moving on to editing)

  3. >HI Jennifer,Love the rules, and it sounds like you had fun writing your books. πŸ˜€ They certainly sound fun…Love the quotes! So where are the rest of the rules hiding?I come from the point of view that if I submit something, it’s never gonna get read let alone rejected. So if I happen to receive a rejection slip, it’s a good day. Stan Schmidt from Analog used to write me the nicest rejection notes for my short sf stories. Gordon van Gelder, the same from Fantasy and Science Fiction mag. :-DAm working on my first novel submission. πŸ˜€ Rule 42!!!Cheers,Marianne

  4. >Dave? Perhaps the original 41 deal with matters other than writing? There’s always sex, murder, drinking and other lesser crimes for the Exalted One to make proclamations about before getting around to dealing with writing πŸ™‚

  5. >I would like to apologize to both Dave and Jennifer. I happened to be tracking down the quote about begin at the beginning and go on until the end, and found the King talking to Alice and the White Rabbit — and there it is!Rule Forty-two. All persons more than a mile high to leave the court.And when Alice suggests that the king invented it just now, he explains that it’s the oldest rule in the book. Whereupon Alice says that it ought to be number one.A literary echo in blogland! Kalloo, kallay. Next week we’ll hunt the bandersnatch πŸ™‚

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