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Anne R. Allen explains Amazon review’s in a nutshell

Amazon Reader Reviews: 12 Things Everybody and His Grandmother Needs to Know

Important safety tip if you are a writer or know a writer. Also useful for anyone who regularly reviews books on Amazon.com–I don’t know if the same holds true for barnesandnoble.com or not, but it seems likely. I’m all for not accidentally screwing anybody.


Generation X and Abstract Rejection Letters

Generation X Doesn’t Want to Hear It

Yeah, this about covers it.

In other news, I recently received the strangest rejection letter of my life. I’m no stranger to rejection letters–they’re part of the writing game–and they come in flavors from thoughtful and encouraging feedback to “sorry for the form letter, but your work does not fit our needs at this time.”

Except for this one. This one attempts thoughtful feedback, but it appears to be about somebody else’s work. I showed it to four or five other professional writers and a professional linguist because I was worried I had somehow dropped the ball in a major way on this story and was too close to the project to be aware of it. None of them can make heads or tails of the letter, either.

Oh well. At this point, not my problem. It still falls in the category “It doesn’t matter if I get nine rejection letters, as long as the tenth publisher wants to take it.”

On the Inclusion of Naughty Bits

Tara Lynx just posted a thoughtful piece on why we write erotic romance. I can’t really think of anything to add to it. Sex is not evil; it is an important part of our physical and emotional well-being for most of us. It’s also something we put a lot of intense emotional investment into, before, during, and after the act itself. If I’m writing in a genre that’s all about emotional interactions and emotional journeys, how can I tell the whole story without including the interactions that take place during sex?

Libraries in Need: Help Replace Children’s Books, Post-Irene

I confess, I am one of those readers who hoards books. An entire wall in the guest bedroom of my home doubles as the library. I walk in there and look at my books and run my fingers over their spines feeling vaguely like Scrooge McDuck in his money bin.

So it’s particularly devastating to me to read about what the flooding Hurricane Irene caused has done to some of the public libraries in the already-saturated Northeast. In particular, someone pointed out that many libraries have lost their entire children’s books sections, because all the books were kept on the bottom shelves where the kids could reach them.

A lot of us are experiencing tough financial times right now and just trying to stay afloat, but if you can spare a few dollars, a number of places are spearheading efforts to replace some of these libraries’ collections. Here are some places you can learn more about how to help:

After Irene: A small-town Adirondack library needs your help

Helping libraries damaged by Hurricane Irene (Vermont)

Libraries in Need after Hurricane Irene (New York)

Social Commentary: How “colorblind” are we, really?

File this under “things that need saying.” And shouldn’t, dammit, because this is the twenty-first century and the United States and we’re supposed to have gotten smarter than this. But I was talking a couple of months ago with a neighbor whose nephew had just gotten suspended from school because there was some kind of a to do in the school bus, and folks looked at the one kid with dark skin who happened to be there around and decided he was the one, out of all of them, who should get suspended. “Colorblind” is great except when it stops us from seeing crap like this still happening under our noses.

And so, crossposted by permission of Neo_Prodigy:

Well There Goes The Neighborhood (from the LJ of Neo_Prodigy)

The other night I was home sitting next to the fireplace, sipping on a most exquisite glass of Chardonnay, listening to Bach as I prepared to curl up to a lovely evening with Dickens.

[Point of fact: Actually I don’t drink, I was sipping on a bottle of Coke, editing my novel Empyrea on the Macbook and rocking out to Sloan but for the sake of atmosphere and setting for this post, we’re going to roll with the former. Also as you read this imagine hearing me read this to you in a really posh upperclass British accent. You’ll understand why.]

As I prepare for such a magical evening, I was interrupted by a most disturbing commotion outside.

Outside my neighbor’s girlfriend was outside, screaming, banging and kicking at the door.


After no response the girlfriend eventually hopped in her car and took off like a bat out of hell. I swear I was clutching my pearls the entire time. My nerves are still frazzled. Clearly I’m going to have to move as this neighborhood has gone to hell since they’ve allowed those caucasians to move in.

It was fine when it was just one family. I figured my property value wouldn’t take that much of a hit, but steadily more white peepul have moved into this neighborhood and because of that, we’ve seen an increase in crime, drug use, and violence.

They aren’t like us respectable Negroes or civilized people of color. These white peepul clearly act like a bunch of savages and they are ruining this country. This nation was founded on good Native American principles and these illegal immigrants just came in and took over everything.

I had to work hard to get where I am and these white peepul get government bailouts and are always complaining how the black man or Obama is keeping them down.

They’re all so scary. [clutches pearls]

I wish we could just round them all up and send them back to Europe.

………………You know with a few exceptions.