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Posts from the ‘BY THE MAD GENII’ Category

The Dangers of Critiques: A Blast from the Past

(I am hip deep in edits and my brain isn’t focusing on anything but those. So here’s a post from December 2016 about critiques. I’ll add a few additional comments at the end.– ASG)

As writers, we are going to see our work critiqued, whether we want to or not. Most of the time we don’t want to. Let’s be honest, no one likes hearing that their baby is ugly and that is what we risk when we read a critique. However, before we ever see our work in print, many of us workshop our work in critique groups or we have alpha and beta readers look it over. Then there are the editors. We trust them to tell us what is good about our work and what is bad about it.

But what do we do with that information once we get it? Read more

Shut up! shutup! shutup!

Image pixabay.

“That’s cultural appropriation! You can’t do that! Shutup shutup shutup!”

“Do you think that cultures have a right to maintain their traditions, especially ones with a well-documented history going back hundreds of years? Cultural patterns which are as much part of their culture as breathing is part of your living? Cultural behavior which defines them, without which they would stop being their culture?”

“Of course!”

“Good-o. Piss off, Asshole.” Read more

The Taste Gap & Feedback

Or, how can you tell how good your work is… or isn’t? All artists, no matter what the medium, tend to be pretty aware of the phenomenon of looking at their work and going “This is awesome! Just as good as the bestsellers, if not better by leaps and bounds!” Also, they’re aware of looking at their work and going “This is the worst thing ever! I need to hide this in a nuclear waste dump, lest it contaminate the very electrons desecrated with its presence!” In fact, most of us can cycle through both of these viewpoints multiple times on the exact same piece of work.

This is normal. I can’t tell you how to stop doing that, but I can offer some insights on how to mitigate it, and how to get better anyway. Read more

Rookie Writer, Seeking Publisher

There’s something about admitting in public that you’re a writer. People are either weirded out by it, or fascinated. I’ve made some interesting connections over the years talking about being an Indie Publisher, and I always try to help when asked honest questions. Years ago when I was newly fledged and all my feathers were still wet and pathetic, so many people helped me. Dave and Sarah, Amanda, and many others who aren’t here at the MGC too. I can’t possibly repay them for what they did for me. So what I do now is try to pass it along to others. In this instance, the person asking me for help has a demanding (to put it mildly) day job. In their shoes, I’m not sure I’d consider indie, either, and while it might sound here on the blog like I’m militantly anti-publisher, that’s not actually the case. Really, what I am is militantly independent. Period. Not just in business. Read more

The Doors of Perception

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”

– William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Payne’s gray, cold gray, pewter, silver, warm gray.

Bronze, brown ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber, copper, gold ochre, orange ochre, modern brown, raw sienna, raw umber, stil de grain brown, transparent oxide brown, Vandyke brown, yellow ochre.

One of these lists is not like the other, right? Read more

Writers, morality and the #MeToo fallout

I’ve been pondering whether to write this post for the better part of a week. I’d been hearing rumbling from traditionally published authors about a contract clause that is as evil–their words and I agree–as the rights grabbing clauses that have become common in publishing contracts. But then, several days ago, an op-ed piece appeared in the NYT and I knew what I needed to write. The clause? A morality clause. Yes, you read that right. More and more traditional publishers are now including a morality clause in their contracts. Read more

Needing Traction

I spent some time on Saturday in a large plastic water-tank (about 6000 gallons) – A tank I had inadvertently put a crack into, and was now trying to weld. The tank has been used for at least 20 years to pump muddy dam water uphill to allow garden irrigation pressure – so it had more than a token amount of silty mud in it, and we couldn’t drain the last of the water out.

We tried leverage and to use a suction cup glass transporter to pull the edges of the crack into alignment – but alas, it didn’t handle the convex surface well, and it required more force than the suction could handle. So it had to be dealt with from the inside. Read more