The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday, Muddy Sunday

by Melissa Bell

Supposed to rain here in the GTA today, folks. I hope so. I do loves me the T-storms here in the T-dot. Bonus: My next door neighbor has been building a deck in his backyard for what seems like years now. He hammers in the mornin’, and hammers in the evenin’ etc. etc. and while I admire his diligence and work ethic, I won’t miss the noise-making if the weather keeps him and his love of things hammerable quiet for the day. Unfortunately, if it rains, he’ll probably spend the day indoors installing about six hundred bookshelves. Not to sound too complainy or anything, but Mr. Next Door has been either hammering or drilling something nearly 24/7 since he first moved into the place over a year ago. These are the details of life that become magnified when suddenly working from home. Not that he can really be all that into his home improvements because his ground floor walk-out still sports vertical blinds for crying out loud! Hello, Noisy Neighbour? The 80s just called and they want their window treatment back!

But never mind him. Mind this: Our CWC guest blogger and regular comment-making reader, chumplet, a.k.a. Sandra Cormier, celebrated the release of her latest novel last week, The Space Between, from Wild Rose Press. Go, Sandra! And heartfelt congratulations!

Also: While nosing around Ms. Cormier’s blog and poking all about, I was led to the blog of “The Rejecter.” No need for me to get all unlazy-like and provide a link – google “The Rejecter” and you’ll get there all pronto-like, trust me. I learned more about the publishing industry and how literary agents work with clients in just a few hours of reading her blog than I have in years and years of…well, let’s just say that you can spend years and years working on a kick-ass novel or what-have-you – if you can’t compose a decent query letter, you’re really going to be up against it. “The Rejecter” is not for the faint of heart. But her blog is a well-wrought dose of the writing world reality. Just because you’ve quit the proverbial rat race and sold the family farm to write something that you think is going to be the solution to Man’s Eternal Struggle doesn’t guarantee that people will be throwing roses at your feet the minute you type “The End”. Now you’ve got to find someone to sell the darn thing for you. If it’s saleable, that is. And if you happen to score a sale in the “genre” of literary fiction, Novel Number 1 better kick some serious commercial butt or else there isn’t going to be anyone taking a chance on Novel Number 2, no matter how brilliant it might be or who your daddy is. And if Novel Number 1 does happen to send cash registers singing throughout the land, Novel Number 2 better be tarted up and waiting in the wings, all ready to sing out like Baby June, or you’re going to have one very, very short career as a writer.

Is it five o’clock yet? I think I need a drink or seven.


Blogger Chumplet said...

Thanks for the mention, Mel! I was pleasantly surprised to read this after your totally justified rant about Noisy Neighbour.

Yes, The Rejecter pulls no punches. There are a lot of agent blogs out there. Some are nice, some are not so nice, but they all give us an inside peek at the publishing world.

It's easy to get discouraged when they mention that only 1% of their queries are accepted. But hell, I'm a sucker for punishment and I keep on trying.

Did I mention that I really miss Miss Snark? She closed her blog, but the archives are a wealth of information.

Sun Jul 15, 01:12:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger MelBell said...

Hi Sandra,
You're welcome, of course, and thanks for stopping by! It's actually been sunny all day. :-)

I've never written a query letter. I'm going to have to learn how to do that. I'm scared because they sound so scary. I guess it's really just a matter of practice, pretty much like everything else. First things first, though - I need to finish something that requires a query letter.

Yes, heard about Miss Snark and the blog closure.

Sun Jul 15, 02:13:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

Oh, gosh. It's pouring right now!

Sun Jul 15, 03:07:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Sun Jul 15, 04:01:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

(Sorry -- deleted my first comment due to typos.)

This is fun, Mel, especially the part about your neighbour. You do notice this stuff more when you're writing at home. Our next door neighbours in Toronto took close to two years to renovate their house. They, of course, were living elsewhere.

Sun Jul 15, 04:03:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

I'd be that kind of neighbour. I've never owned, only rented, so when I do (after the literary agents come to line up at my door) I'm going to renovate everything! Not for nothing have I been watching decades of hunky model/carpenters on those home improvement shows!

Mon Jul 16, 08:30:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Hey, great post, lotsa info, Mel. Will definitely look up The Rejector. Congrats to our good friend Sandra on her novel. And hey, I'm one of those noisy neighbors!

Mon Jul 16, 12:48:00 pm GMT-4  
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Wed Jul 31, 05:43:00 am GMT-4  

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