Tag Archives: Best Friend

CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO: Top Ten Reasons to Love Facebook

#10. Your closest friends aren’t on Facebook anyway.

My best friend from college is not on Facebook. My brother is not. My parents are not. And yet I have no problem keeping in touch with those people, sharing photographs or other content and making arrangements for visits. Even those who do have Facebook accounts, like my wife or coworkers, don’t use Facebook as a means to interact with me. In your real relationships, Facebook is entirely superfluous.

Your fake relationships are another matter.

#9.Finding friends who aren’t your friends (or them finding you).

You’ll get requests from people you barely met, or have never met. You won’t bond with them or develop a real friendship, but you’ll be able to peruse their favorite tv shows whenever you’re tired of watching yours. At the extreme end of the spectrum are those people you’d rather have nothing to do with who find you and friend you on Facebook.

“Facebook…an easier, more subtle way to be your stalker.” Read More →

“Happily Ever After” is a lie.

Castle NeuschwansteinI love my wife. Far more than a simple blog post could possibly convey. In truth, I think she’s an incredible woman to put up with me, my constant rants, my acid temper, and particularly when I was plagued with chronic pain I know I was not pleasant to live with. I sure wouldn’t have put up with me.

Far more than just tolerating me, Megan makes my life amazing. She takes care of me, manages the house, and does amazing work at a full time job and takes classes. And somehow she manages to make me feel special and adored at the end of the day.

I’m telling you, it’s not fair in the slightest.

But we aren’t living “happily ever after”. Because it’s a lie. It’s a myth. A fairy tale, if you will.

In movies, in sitcoms, even in many books, if there’s a romance, how does the story end? In every happy ending, the guy gets the girl and they ride off into the sunset, literally or proverbially.

What they don’t show you on screen is that four hours later, the bride and groom are cranky and saddlesore. In reality, “happily ever after” is not the end of the story. It’s only the beginning.

Our first anniversary is less than a fortnight away, and I can now tell you (finally from experience) that marriage is work. We do far more poring over finances and schedules than we do snuggling or snogging, and I doubt we’re unique in that regard. A wife isn’t just a make-out buddy, she’s also a business partner. And a roommate. And a best friend.

So if you’ve ever felt friction between a business partner, or a roommate, or your best friend, imagine rolling them all into one.

Popular media has lied about this from verbal tradition to high definition. That’s because it’s easier to give fiction a satisfying end than it is in real life. Consider it: No matter how great triumph you experience in your life, afterwards you will still have to get up and go through the next day’s routine. Being elected President of the United States is arguably the highest prestige in the world. But the reward for it is arguably the hardest job in the world.

I chose Neuschwanstein Castle, pictured above, very deliberately for this blog post. It is often held as a paragon of fairy tale beauty, so much so that it’s the model for the Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle. It is featured in many other movies, and in 2007 it was a finalist for the New Seven Wonders of the World, and is now advertised as the “8th Wonder”.

It is rightly considered a work of art, but beautiful as it is, that castle is an unfinished project. Only 14 rooms were fully furnished before its commissioner, Ludwig II of Bavaria, died.

Marriage is likewise a beautiful, unfinished project.

Instead of “Failure”, let’s call it “lack of success”:

Thank you for offering your story [Woman’s Best Friend] to Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.  We’re sorry to tell you that we will not be using it; you are free to submit it elsewhere.
 Sincerely,
The Editors

Everything I write sucks.

you_suck_sadLet me try to express this as articulately as I possibly can:

AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Perfect Justice needs more warmth. Woman’s Best Friend needs more depth. New Magic needs more content. Second Chances needs a likable character. Manifest Destiny needs a reason for the reader to care.

Shadows of Prophecy needs real characters. Echoes of Prophecy needs a plot.

Fragile Gods needs a better outline.

And The God Disease just needs a better writer.

Past due events don’t show up

In the previous post, I mentioned that IGMS had not replied to Woman’s Best Friend yet and referred you to the sidebar on the right.

However, the sidebar only states, “No upcoming events.”

I guess my calendar addon doesn’t support “past due” events; it assumes if the date has passed, the event is complete. This is not the case. IGMS is due to respond to me by Mar 28th and hasn’t yet; granted, that date fell on a weekend, so if they reply on the 30th, it’s effectively the same.

But in the meanwhile I am crossing my fingers (and other extremeties I shall leave to thine imagination) that they are giving WBF more consideration than most manuscripts.

So say we all.

It was EXACTLY what I wanted to know.

Several days ago, I got the first full-text reviewed/edited copy of Woman’s Best Friend back from a Hatrack reviewer.

It was beautiful.

To fully understand my satisfaction with having my own work ripped to shreds, you must first consider the palpable frustration of a rejection letter.

The whole aggravation of a rejected work isn’t that it simply wasn’t purchased; we’ve all had dates declined, interviews we didn’t get hired, a request denied. But in most of these circumstances, it is possible to determine why. In social circumstances, you can even ask:

Why didn’t you want to go on a date with me?

The immature lady will simply not return this call. The mature gal will admit, “Because you’re creepy, clingy, needy, you have no job, and you smell funny.” This may be painful, but it gives the guy (if he is mature) the opportunity to become less creepy and needy, get a job, and bathe more before asking the next girl.

When I get a rejection letter, my brain screams at the editor:

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

Based on the number of podcasts and books-on-writing I’ve devoured, I wonder:

Was my cover letter too short? Too long? Too dry? Too arrogant? Too humble? Did I misspell the editor’s name? Did the story remind them of a worse one they read in gradeschool? A better one? Did they just buy a story like this? Did they discover a misprint? Not like the title? Were they annoyed at the shade of white I printed on? Was there a smudge on the manuscript? Did they Google me and disagree with my politics? Religion? Choice of video games?

Did I give too little description? Too much? Did they not care about the characters? Did they find an element cliche? Did they finish the first page? The second? Was the ending trite? Was there a problem with the plot? The grammar? The style? Did I use too many echoes? Was my characterization thin? Or too heavy-handed? Were my hooks too trendy? Were my paragraphs too long? Too short? Was my dialog too vague? Too precise? Too true to life to be interesting? Not true enough?

…and on and on.

The frustration is not just that the work didn’t sell; even successful writers sometimes have that happen. The frustration is that to fix it, I don’t even know where to start.

Enter the anonymous critic, willing to read the whole story and pull no punches with his opinions.

I wish I could reproduce the full text including his comments for you here, but then I would have used my First North American publication rights to the story.

Suffice to say that the first total stranger to read Woman’s Best Friend found a whole host of echoes I never noticed in myriad readings. Nor did anyone else. He found whole paragraphs which could be cut, their whole meaning still evident in the sentence preceding them.

I am now working on a 5th draft of Woman’s Best Friend, which will be much tighter and more streamlined. Then if that one isn’t good enough, a 6th, and so forth.

That’s how you become perfect.