Baen Publisher and Authors

Humble Beginnings

I wanted to write this post for a couple of reasons. One, to counter the claim I saw recently that crowdfunding is necessary to create a debut novel, because you need money to write.  Note that the claim here is not: I need money for editing, formatting, or a cover. No, it was, I need money in order to finish writing my first novel. The second reason was to acknowledge a big influence on my publishing career, and to praise a man who has too much undeserved scorn heaped on him these days.

First of all, when I started writing Vulcan’s Kittens, which is my first published novel (I had about half of The Eternity Symbiote written prior to it, although it would be published later), I wasn’t trying to make money. As a matter of fact, I was pretty sure I’d never sell VK to, well, anyone. I wrote it because my daughter asked me to. So the idea of asking for money while I was doing it never crossed my mind. I had no idea if it was any good. I hadn’t heard of Indie Publishing, and knew that vanity publishing was not for me. While I was writing VK, I was a single mother of four, working two and sometimes three jobs, receiving no support from their father.  And it wasn’t published until after I had gone back to college full time on top of that.

The idea of crowdfunding so that I could sit at home and write in my comfy chair, or possibly go and do research in some coffeeshop with my laptop on my knee never even crossed my little brain. My office mates watched me carry a notebook or my decrepit laptop into the lunchroom, eat in five minutes, and write like mad for 45 minutes until it was time to get back to my desk. They thought I was a little crazy, but were fascinated with the idea of writing a novel. Then I’d go home, take care of my kids, and when they went to bed, I’d write for another hour before falling into bed myself. I worked weekends and wrote around the erratic schedule then. In due time – and the bulk of Vulcan’s Kittens was written during NaNoWriMo – I had a manuscript.

Now, the concept that was pitched to me last week was that in the tech industry, you release a product, and then the beta users come back with bug reports, you fix them, and so on until you have a final result. This, the aspiring author insisted, was how it should be. People who wanted to read your book should give you some money, tell you where they saw problems, and you would work on those while offering another section of the book for some more money…

This is not, I assure anyone who had a doubt, how publishing works. Don’t try it. Readers do not want to pay for the privilege of being your editor.

As for me, the story continues. With no help from any crowds, I now had a rough manuscript. I had a writing group that mentored me through short stories prior to this, and I was slowly reconnecting with them (and this blog). I had no money. The stage is set: enter, Larry Correia.

Larry Correia and Cedar Sanderson
When I say big influence, I’m not just talking metaphorically.

I don’t think I’ve told this part of my story here on the blog before. I’d discovered Larry through Baen, when they bought the rights to his previously self-published Monster Hunter International, and published it with a typically Baen all-action-all-the-time cover, and I probably bought it in Webscriptions (no money does not equal no book budget. I don’t smoke, barely drink, and most important: don’t have cable. That I could have a few new books a month through the then low price of $15 was a boon to a struggling single mum). In July of 2012, I learned that Larry would actually be in my state, and I decided that I had to go see him. There were a few problems with this plan. One, he didn’t know me from Adam (or Eve, since I’m undeniably female). Two, no money. Three, and worst of all, no car. He’d be an hour’s drive from me… I pitched the plan to a friend and mutual SFF reader, who’d never even heard of Larry Correia. He was kind enough to make it an expedition.

And this is where I first learned the true nature of Larry Correia.

You see, this wasn’t a formal signing. There just aren’t that many SFF fans in NH. So Larry’s plan was to swing by the Toadstool Bookstore in Milford, NH, sign whatever they had in stock, and go off to bigger and better events. And here this Baen Barfly – my only tie to him, I’d never talked to him before, as I try not to pester my favorite authors – was sending him a message asking when he’d be there, please, so she could meet him? He obligingly gave me a firm time, which he hadn’t planned on, and we headed south.

When I walked into the bookstore, the only person in the shop was the guy behind the counter. I approached him and asked when the signing with Larry Correia would be. He looked up from his work and said ‘oh, hey, he told me you were coming. He’s gone to lunch at the Chinese place next door, said you should come join him.’

And that is how I wound up spending an hour picking a bestselling author’s brain about selling a manuscript, self-publishing, and baby pictures (ok, that’s not really about writing, but I was delighted to get a peek at Epic Baby). And you know what? For a couple of years now, I’ve seen the casual accusations about Larry thrown around. Misogynist? Seriously? He sat there with me, never even blinked at my rampant femaleness, and gave me solid business advice, peer-to-peer. I’ve met Larry socially and professionally several times since them, and he’s always hail-fellow-well-met, with never a blink at my womanhood. It simply doesn’t matter to the man. He was more concerned with helping me get better, and be professional (the gist of our initial conversation was: treat it like a business) than he ever was with assuming I was a lesser being for my gender. It simply doesn’t matter to him. He’s always treated me and the other women who I know are mutual friends with us as: I’m his equal in capacity when it comes to writing, I might not have the experience he does, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn.

Baen Publisher and Authors
Toni Weisskopf, Larry Correia, and Mike Kupari at LTUE

It enrages me to see him treated like a woman-hater. I’ve seen him with his wife, and he’s a devoted husband, tender to her as a man should be. I’ve seen him with women like myself who have a professional relationship with him, and he’s serious when necessary, witty, and always respectful. I’ve watched him with his publisher, who is a woman, and their relationship is a blast to watch. She jokes with him, he teases her, but there is still a deep mutual respect there, one that makes his working relationship an ideal for those of us who work in this industry. I hear all the stories about editors and authors. I see the authors tossed away like used tissues. But there is a higher standard that can be had, and Toni Weisskopf exemplifies that.

His relationship with peers? Look up the Monster Hunter Nation and a phenomenon called a ‘book bomb’. I can unreservedly say that the man gives wholeheartedly. He knows this isn’t a zero-sum game, we authors aren’t competing against one another, we’re mutually feeding a hungry and growing pool of readers. When Larry knows a friend or even acquaintance needs a boost, he pitches their book. He’s not afraid to help other authors. I can’t say how much a help it is, as I’ve never been bombed, but I can say that I’ve bought several books because Larry said “this is good, and this person needs a hand.” Now, that’s how to work crowd-funding. But it takes a big pool of trust and respect, which have to be earned.

Did I become an Indie publisher  because of Larry Correia? No. But he was a huge influence as I tried to figure out if I was going to become a writer, a real professional writer. For that, I’d like to thank him profusely, and to ask:

When’s the next book out? because I can afford more books now, and I want to buy it! 


      1. because some folks are easily led. “Someone would lie about something like that, would they?” So some folks will believe them, and they will always get backup from their cohorts who will voice the lies even louder and join in the game. The “Tell a lie big enough and often enough” comes from a leftiod after all. That is another of their favorite lies … implying the Right was the side of Fascism and Nazism, when both are policies they still push forward every day. I’ve been reading your Otherwhere ost and was thinking about your lie statement and recalling Lee Stranahan, who I once got into a rather heated discussion with, I think on Patterico, but maybe somewhere else, when he was still a leftoid devote`, who was asked how he came to be more conservative over his investigation of the Black Farmers (Pigford) scandal. He was on the side of, you know, actual black farmers who were being shorted money by those scamming it, and soon only the conservatives like Patterico, and Brietbart were willing to give him voice. His reply was short and simple “The Left lies, always.”

          1. ah, missed that in the reader with the pic jumping the name out of sight.
            But it does fit, doesn’t it. You’d think someone has done something to rile y’all up for some reason (~_^)

  1. Oh man, I’d love to meet Larry someday. He seems like a really cool guy. (Unlike the people who continually claw at him. I don’t ever want to meet them.)

    As for the idea that you need money to write? Nope. All you need is time and skill. And most importantly – drive. Time you can whittle out and skill can be learned. The drive you have to provide yourself. No amount of money, time or skill is going to poke you in the butt when all you want to do is sleep or kick back and watch TV or go hang out. The drive is what makes you say ‘NOPE’ to all that, set your butt down, and get writing.

    1. Exactly! My writing time is still evolving – I may be a professional, but it’s not the only thing I do – but it’s vital to make time, or you’re not a writer. It’s not about the money.

  2. Larry also abides Matthew, Chapter 6. In a day and age when too many authors think the concepts of “charity” and “self promotion” are synonymous, Larry has never blown his own trumpet. But those of us who know the Correia family know precisely how much this man has given of himself: his time, his energy, his influence, and his coin. If karma is still a thing — and I believe firmly that it is — then the Correia enterprise is simply the visible manifestation of Larry’s admirable and continual deposits into the Bank of Good Karma.

    Meanwhile, the shitmonkeys hurl poo at him.

    I’ve experienced no small share of that myself, and I can say without reservation that the shitmonkeys are small people. Especially the ones who are Larry’s peers in the marketplace. They snipe at his skill. They snipe at his sales. They snipe at him because of who his publisher is. They snipe at him for not being part of their club. They snipe at him for his politics. They snipe because sniping is apparently the only thing they know how to contribute to the discussion.

    Larry is bigger than all of that, however. Far, far bigger. Bigger on the outside, sure. But bigger on the inside too. Where it really counts.

    I am proud to call him my friend. There’s a reason he’s in the dedication from my first published novel. Guys like Larry aren’t that common. When you are lucky enough to fall in with them, you make sure to remember. Because when the chips are down, and all the fairweather “friends” have tucked tail and run, guys like Larry are rocks in the storm.

      1. What really shows the small-mindedness of Larry’s detractors is the way they continually underrate and underestimate him. There’s this smug presumption that he’s some illiterate knuckle-dragger churning out the novel equivalent of seedy exploitation films.

        If the list of folks who praise a man’s technical writing skill includes Toni Weisskopf, Jim Butcher, and John C. Wright, he’s got serious chops.

        If a man announces his intention to beat his opponents at their own game, tells them in fine detail how he’ll beat them, and despite the warning beats them three times in a row?

        Suffice it to say that it speaks more poorly for his enemies’ intelligence and awareness than his.

        Like all bullies, they confuse humility for weakness, integrity for stupidity, and nonconformity for a threat.

        Well in this case, they’re right to feel threatened. Liars should fear the man who indisputably revealed their fraud to the world.

  3. Larry makes no secret of his hatred of social media. He uses Facebook and Twitter, but he doesn’t like it. He has special words of hatred for Facebook though.

    And yet, every time I’ve asked him a question, he’s taken the time to answer it for me. From things I asked as a journalist, to my questions as a neophyte fiction writer, he’s taken the time to answer me, and done it in such a way that I felt like his equal. No condescension at all.

    What you’ve said here about him simply fits my experiences with the man.

    Those who are yelling vile things about him? They’ve either never dealt with the man, or came at him like he was putrid and were surprised that the man refused to just sit back and take it.

    We who have talked to him like a human being know who he really is, and that’s is a generous man who all authors should try to emulate.

    Now I must run to my very first con as a guest, rather than a regular schmoe. 😀

  4. I have written and self-published four novels while working a full-time job. Most of the indie authors that I know have done the same. It’s not just possible to write a book while working a day job, it’s common.

    1. This has been my observation as well, which is why I was puzzled by the assertions that this author kept making. Sadly, some people just don’t want to work at it, they want life on the easy setting.

      1. It’s the same in any creative field. There are people who want to be rock stars, but don’t have time to learn more than three chords and can’t be bothered to talk to local club owners about playing pickup gigs. There are guys who walk around with cameras and and try to impress pretty girls into posing, but don’t have time to edit a portfolio. You always get a crowd at a gallery opening who nosh on the free wine and cheese and talk about how much better they could paint, if only they had the time (theatrical sigh).

        The proof is in the pudding. I don’t give a damn about your tattoos or your threadbare Joy Division T-shirt, show me your work. If you want to make art, make art. If you want to experience the existential angst of being an artist, fine, but don’t expect me to listen or care.

      2. True the easy setting. Which tells me their fiction — to the extent their life experience informs it — can’t be worth much, because what you get out of life is directly proportional to what you put in — including effort.


    2. Some of the reprints of Michael Crichton’s books have a short bio. Medical school, then residency, while taking a secondary degree in computer science and still cranking out a novel every few months.

      It’s the sort of thing where you don’t know whether to be envious, jealous, inspired, or just give up…

      Then he dumped medicine and computers and went back to writing while starting a new career as a Hollywood producer.

      “Gee, Michael, think of what you might have accomplished if you hadn’t kept changing career paths…”

  5. Larry is people. Unpretantious. Witty. Loves hearing stories from people, fans, fellow writers, anyone actually!
    Larry has inspired me to start writing gain. Be serious about it. Make the effort and commitment. That it is worth it.
    I have to admit that my job takes almost everything I have. My other side jobs also take my time and effort. (With a chagrined feeling because I wast a lot of time playing World of Tanks and World of Warships…warned Larry last year about it…he even made a blog post about how he had been about its addictive nature)
    I’ve made friends on Facebook with authors I like to read and talk to. Who have inspired, and recently challenged, to write everyday for 27 days. Well I have been writing, and started a blog site (just a small one so I can get used to posting on it – my first time so be gentle), and I see myself more and more as a real writer. I write because I want to. I write because I have stories and adventures, I have characters that pop out and strangle me for attention. My created character Effbe (pronounced FB, yes it’s what you think) who is my muse’s cousin and dresses in a little black dres, high heels, and pearls, constantly gets my attention like, “SQUIRREL! OH I’m so sorry let me console you by dropping top and shoving you into my huge Facebook postings!”

  6. Not an author here, unless you count academic articles that almost no one reads. But I’ve been watching Larry from the sidelines, and he’s the guy I’d like to have as my neighbor (and not just because I’d get to see him blow and shoot stuff up). I come from a different branch of Christendom, but Larry exemplifies a lot of the core of both our brands. He can be a smartass jerk at times, but only to those who ask for it repeatedly (and since he flips off all the right people, we don’t mind).

    At his core, the man gives of his money and his time. Big man, big heart, and I’m proud to say I get to be in the (very) outer orbit of star Larry.

    Plus, he writes some of the most kickass books around. and without caffeine, yet.

    1. That’s what scares me. What could Larry do if he did imbibe caffeine? That thought probably gives even Chuck Norris pause.

      1. Caffeine would create the MegaLarry, an unstoppable engine of destruction and awesomeness.

    2. Yes, he’s a living testimony, which wasn’t relevant to my post, but I’m glad you brought it it. He’s inspiring to watch, not just professionally but in living life.

    3. I think I saw something on Larry’s to the effect that the ‘caffeine’ interpretation of ‘hot drinks’ was an interpretation of a Utah university, not an official position of the Morman church. I’m pretty sure I saw him say he drinks Mountain Dew.

      1. We live in the hegemony and I asked a bishop’s assistant once about that … he was very firm that the official prohibition was coffee and tea, not caffeine. I figure the bishop’s assistant ought to know. But there are a lot of … strivers, perhaps? … who take it further to include caffeinated beverages of all sorts.

        1. I knew Berkley and Baylor were wrong, so I had to look up the name. Apparently this is a position Brigham Young University takes. I tend to drink caffeinated beverages rarely myself, so I can understand ‘not at all’. I can see that the student population of a college might be prone to caffeine habits that might not be the best long term. I can also see why BYU might want to get into the ‘in place of the parents’ stuff.

          I think dropping this back in the day may be related to some of the modern university problems. Certainly, if you are worried about male students raping female students, mixed dorms, unsecured dorms, and no curfews would seem counter-productive.

        2. Speaking as an outsider (and therefore certainly not an authority of any kind) – I always saw this prohibition as being just part of a general “do not pollute the body that God made for you” philosophy. Which certainly makes sense given the other “original Church” prohibitions of alcohol and tobacco. It logically extends to the “modern” prohibitions of other recreational drug use that are definitely not mentioned in the Book of Mormon (as they were not invented at the time). And why there is no problem (in the religion) with proper medical use of drugs.

          Reminds me of the “intervention” my family had with our LDS neighbor one time – right after we figured out that it was her that had gotten into my mom’s Lucky Strikes (she had a permanent key to the house).

          Turned out that she needed to make a tobacco poultice for a nasty sting from a yellow jacket wasp. We’d occasionally call her “Jacqueline” after that episode…

  7. Larry is good folks, and IS a great role model for how we should be working together. He’s honest, and dare I say humble too. A large part of his success is due to his ability to spin a great yarn, but at the same time he’s put in the time to develop those skills and he gives back by passing those hard learned lessons learned along to us.

  8. A writer is someone who writes. We write during our writing time, we write during commutes (if we are not driving), some dictate books while hiking, we write during lunch, we commit story-telling whenever possible. And some of us find ways to publish. Or we write for ourselves, or for our faith-groups, or as a way to pass family lore to our children. Doesn’t need crowd-funding, or a special writing shack, or much beyond burning desire and some sweat equity. Especially now.

    Great post, Cedar.

  9. Though I seem to spend a lot of time at the various Human Wave blogs, I have been writing more, finishing more, and submitting more over the past two years. Clearly you people have been a bad influence on me.

  10. Larry truly is Good People.

    I had the privilege of meeting him at a book signing just about… 3 years ago, I think. When did Monster Hunter Legion come out? Anyways, I’d never been to a book signing before, so I really didn’t know what to expect.

    Partway through, Larry started taking questions. I bit the bullet and asked if he had any tips and tricks he’d be willing to pass on to an up-and-coming writer who was just starting out. I was expecting just a quick thirty-second answer, but instead he talked for a good 20 minutes or so about the business of writing and how to be successful, but it basically boiled down to “put your butt in the chair, fingers on keyboard, and write every day.” I was kind of annoyed since that wasn’t really the answer I was looking for, but Larry right: there are not “tricks” or shortcuts when it comes to writing. Took me three (?) years to figure that out, and I’m still working on developing the discipline (in my defense, it’s nigh impossible to develop anything except insomnia when you’re doing shift work full time)

    Anyways, the book signing continued, and we had a roaring good time. And I mean that literally. I don’t think I’d ever laughed so hard before, nor have I since. People asked for all kinds of wacky dedications when it was time for him to sign their books, and he oblidged every single one of them. Even the guy who asked him to write “Glocks are superior to 1911s,” though Larry did put on the bottom of the page something to the effect of “Help! He’s holding me prisoner in his secret basement torture dungeon!” The signee thought it was hysterical.

    Once all the books had been signed, Larry still lung around for quite a while while we traded stories and even more bad jokes until the store manager finally kicked all of us out. Not because we were raising a ruckus – which honestly we were – but because a) the signing was supposed to have ended over an hour before, but mostly b) it was after closing time and the employees kinda wanted to go home.

    Good times. And like I said, that was my first and so far only book signing, but I just can’t see many authors doing what Larry did that night, from the advice to the jokes. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it to another of his signings in a couple of months. I just wish I didn’t have to fly to Boston to do it: apparently there aren’t very many sci-fi/fantasy fans in Pennsylvania, let alone Pittsburgh!

    1. Yes, I have a signed copy of MHLegion from this meeting, and it was 3 years ago. I’ve met many more authors in the years since then, but Larry’s something special.

      Funny, there’s a SF con in Pittsburgh (I know because I got an email out of the blue asking me to be an author guest, which I had to sadly decline due to scheduling conflicts) so there must be *some* fans.

      1. Huh. According to my Google-Fu, Wizard World comes to Pittsburgh in September. How ’bout that? In my defense, I just moved out here from Philly and am still getting the lay of the land.

  11. I was privileged to sit next to Larry during a coffeeklatsch at Renovation when he was up for the Campbell award. He was great. The absolute highpoint of the Con.

    There are no writers in my family, but many artists. Knowing them has given me a good definition of artist. I think it applies to writers too. An artist is someone who does art just because it is in them and must get out. There are talented people, stars in school art classes, who never do art once they graduate. I don’t care if they sculpt like Michelangelo, they’re not artists.

    Writers write. The more they write the better they get. So keep writing!

  12. Larry sounds like Arlen Andrews, whom I’ve known over 35 years, and _many_ of the other authors I have known through Con’s. I’ve enjoyed meeting Joe “Forever War” Haldeman, Orson Scott Card, and many others. It’s what draws me to Con’s.
    As to “just write,” I wish that I had more “free time.” Being in a Nursing Home (I’m about 90% Paraplegic), I’m at the mercy of others. In spite of that constraint, I published “The Man Who Was A Santa Claus,” (c9ver by Cedar) and am about to publish Three Recipes for Single/Handicapped (covers by Cedar), due out 8/29/15. So, you can find time if you want to bad enough. I’m also working on _10_ kindle recipe books that will be the recipe categories from the paper cookbooks. Plus, I’m working on another Children’s/YA book, and a novel. (All the expenses of the new work, is paid for by the earlier works. So, forget “paid to write.” Especially since 10% of The Man profits go to send free copies to Children’s Hospitals in in ConUS. (10 so far, and ~100 left to go.)

  13. I met Larry at a book signing near home, he came across as having great knowledge and as a great guy. He signed my copy of his self published novel. Nothing I have ever heard about him has changed my opinion that he is a quality guy.

  14. Dang Pittsburgh is the closet place to me to have a con. Would’ve loved to meet you and get a signed copy. On the other hand Cedar all of the photos you have been posting have gotten me to pick my camera up again.

  15. October 27.
    Is it worse that I have a reminder set on my phone, or that I didn’t need to look at it?

  16. I was wondering why a picture of me was floating around Facebook. O_o

    I’ve known Larry since I moved to Utah in 2006. He wasn’t the New York Times Bestselling International Lord of anything back then. He had yet to meet Wendell, and instill his lifelong love of the manatee. He was just Larry, a guy working two jobs and trying to get a novel published. He had little to show for his efforts but a stack of rejection letters.

    I, myself, had no thought of trying to be a writer. It took Larry a year of convincing to try to get me to turn the story that ultimately became Dead Six into a real book.

    So I’ve known him for a long time. I can tell you, as far as his kindness and generosity goes, you don’t know the half of it. You think Damien Walter ever dropped thousands of his own money to help a reader who was, essentially, a total stranger?

    Unlike some of the unmentionables at Tor, Larry won’t trash you on Facebook then tey to be cool with you in person, like it’s all just a big game.

    You guys don’t even know how many aspiring writers he mentors and helps, even though he’s busy all the time.

    He’s a big guy with a big personality and big opinions. He doesn’t back down and he’s not afraid to drop an unpopular opinion. Unlike the sniveling fucking cowards who snipe at him, though, he will take his detractors head on, on social media and in person. He doesn’t say stuff on Twitter that he wouldn’t say in person.

  17. I don’t know that I mentioned it, but I hate Windows 10. I was in the middle of commenting, needed to check a reference, and then the operating system with the abbreviated name of what may be a war gas – and I’m looking at you, WX – ate all my opened tabs (and I use CHROME).
    Which, actually, happens to be pertinent to the first part of your post.
    Cedar, he said with tongue FIRMLY placed in cheek, don’t you know that the un-named writer is merely following the example of Microsoft? Throw out the unfinished product, and let the end-users find the places where it is deficient?

      1. Unless they have changed enormously up in Redmond, he is also an idiot there.

        I’ve been in a lot of betas with Microsoft over the years – and I did not pay themthey paid me.

        In essence (fortunately the IRS doesn’t pick up on these things). I’d get the beta for free. As a prolific finder of the remaining bugs in whatever it was, and a really good documenter of same to where they could reproduce and pinpoint it for fixing, I got a really good discount (sometimes 100%) when the release to manufacturing happened. I figure I’ve made around $1,500 or so in “payments” like that over the years. (Which was probably just barely above minimum-wage earnings – but it was always nice to have “six months experience” on my resume when nine out of ten other developers were still trying to convince their bosses to buy them a copy.)

    1. I’m waiting on hearsay for Win10, but if I don’t hear very excellent things, my next computer will be Debian stable. I say that as someone who is more or less satisfied with some versions of Windows, and who hasn’t been assembling linux workstations since forever.

  18. I don’t know if it’s worse to live in a place that doesn’t have a con, or to live in a place where they have DRAGON CON (!!!!!!) where it’s a million degrees and yer chance of quality time with a hero is pretty doggone non-existent. (Ummm…my definition of a hero includes everybody here, by the way.)

  19. I do hope to meet him (Larry) one day, he always seems to be a great guy on the times I’ve seen him interact with others online, and on the couple of times I’ve interacted with him online.
    Of course I also want to meet you, as well as several of the other people around here. I will do whatever it takes to make the next Libertycon, unfortunately for this last one, major family issues prevented me from showing.
    I agree that this is NOT a zero sum game, the more readers we create, the bigger the market gets, so we should do everything we can to help those around us. Because we all profit from that.
    Great article, thanks.

  20. It’s nice to read some good things about networking, publishing, and meeting authors, Cedar. I’m glad that Larry Correia had such a positive influence with and for you…the old saying my husband liked went something to the effect of, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” (He was Buddhist, mostly.) Such is what I think happened there, for whatever that’s worth.

    Life, and the people who live it, are not exactly the caricatures some like to portray them as. We’re all much more complex critters than that.

    That’s why I appreciated your essay tonight, if that makes any sense. (Up too long as it is, but wanted to make sure I commented considering the Hugo Award kerfuffle/nonsense/NoAwardnoony-nanny-ness, if that last is a word — if it isn’t, it should be!)

    1. The Mad Genius Club is a post-graduate level seminar on everything. It’s exactly the type experience that the struggling gent needs, to prepare him for a focussed writers group.

  21. shrug. as far as the idiot and how to get published goes….ya just can’t fix stupid. you can laugh at it, get mad at it[you know me I tend more towards the ragey end] or you can exterminates it. Sigh as I keep telling people. I blame it on warning labels. Once there were various government mandated warning labels on every little thing….those who would have self selected for extinction….started thriving and multiplying.

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