Every now and again I run into authors who are starting out and are chasing agents. They really really really want a literary agent. They are convinced that all that stands between them and success is a literary agent. They audition for agents. They rewrite their novels at the behest of agents who have suggested that if only the thing was rewritten , maybe they'd take it on. Normally it ends in tears. For all of you who may one day be authors can I suggest you read http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004641.html#39423 in which Teresa continues to explain it all? This time, Agents.
I wish Teresa would write a book about all this stuff, so I could point people to it. So far all she's written is Making Book, which you can read about at http://nielsenhayden.com/makingbook.html and order anywhere that books are sold, which contains, amongst other things, the single best essay on copyediting I've ever read.
Too many people I've been on the phone to recently have asked me to e-mail them a link to Penguin Baseball, so I shall put it up here: http://n.ethz.ch/student/mkos/pinguin.swf. (my high score is 322.9 but really I just like the way it makes odd squeaky thump-whee noises while I'm making Very Important Phone Calls).
[Penguin Addition, because I think I think I just overloaded that site:
The link you referenced in your recent journal entry for penguin baseball didn't work for me... however, I have a link that does work, and I'm fairly confident it's the same game:
There's also another version here, with which you can get ridiculous high scores:
It was sent around by one of the editors in my office and has been entertaining us ever since. The office high-score record is somewhere in the neighborhood of 805. I feel confident that if I apply myself and practice diligently, I can beat it.
2014 Note: The above links no longer work, but the game may still be found here.
Found this article, on Albanian elective gender, quite fascinating: http://www.jolique.com/gender/crossing_boundaries.htm
I've been accumulating odd headlines recently. Sale of the emergency contraception sky rocks from a Norwegian news site is my favourite. How, I wonder, did they discover that these sky rocks had contraceptive properties? And why are they on sale? The article itself at http://pub.tv2.no/nettavisen/english/article178198.ece does not answer either of these questions.
I thought I'd published one novella and three short stories last year. I learned from http://www.locusmag.com/2004/Issues/02RecommendedReading.html the Locus recommended reading list that I'd published three novelettes and one short story -- and realised that "Monarch of the Glen" was technically 600 words away from being a novella. (There's something to be said for the IHG approach of "Long" "Medium" and "Short" fiction.)
Good (in the sense of interesting) review of Mr Punch at http://www.ninthart.com/display.php?article=772. I'm currently trying to turn it into a BBC radio play, and it's a tricky text to work with. Pretty much every word is doing something, which makes adapting it both easier and harder than one might think.