January 11th, 2005

kiss my fish


While I was away, the mice did indeed come play at my personal site... I've been comment spammed! Twenty - literally - nonsense comments on EACH piece with links to on-line gambling. Bastards.

Whelp, I was considering cutting off comments there anyway, since perhaps two people have deigned to leave remarks there anyway. Good excuse to make it so. (done)

Must not get distracted updating and re-designing that until I've got some other EMG stuff out of the way, primarily: paying artists. Today's the day! Woo! Got everything I need, and I don't imagine it will take more than a few hours. Horrah. And, somewhat to my surprise, EMG has plenty of money to cover all of it. A bunch of matted prints sold at Kristen's, and some cards, while I was gone, so that was a nice little influx, and I got the checks from my credit card proxy for the pre-Christmas sales, which was Very Nice. Not as nice as some years thanks to leaving early, but still quite a chunk. I could do the year-long advertising package at Epilogue if I decided that was the way to go - though frankly, I'm not real impressed with them right now. I'm thinking a Wet Canvas sponsorship may be the better way to spend that money. (Half that money, no less) (I think I'm still nervous about the previous year's huge year-end t-shirt purchases that made paying artists empty the reserves...)

I have to sit on my hands not to go buy the Epson 4000... but I don't know many artists who work large enough to make that worthwhile, and I should beef up what I've got going before spreading myself out more. Also, I have no room for it.

Okay, having talked myself off that rooftop, it's back to work again!!
kiss my fish

Ow, my eyes... (some books to avoid)

So I got to do some reading on vacation (yay!) and I've even got that myth called 'spare time' in which to do some now.

I am appalled at the quality of writing out there. I mean, I knew there was drivel, but ouch... my eyes. I picked up a novel called the Kinvara Affairs, thinking (WRONGLY) that since the author had so many other books in this and other series that it had to have redeeming features. Fluff, I was expecting, but at least coherent, engaging fluff. I read fast, but I couldn't read fast *enough* to get through this book. The last half of the thing I took in huge skims, hoping for *anything* redeeming, since at one point it was all I had to read. The editor should be flogged. I wanted to shriek 'show, don't tell!' in the middle of the airport, and chain the author someplace cold and itchy for introducing So Many useless and unsubstantiated characters, and telling what could have been charming stories in such a dry, distant fashion. Instead of introducing characters that we'd like, and actually following them around to develop their poignant characteristics and make their lives and deaths meaningful, she just outright tells us what their personality is supposed to be. Most of the important stuff is in... ah, crud... what's that style that English teachers always tell you to avoid? Using 'were' and 'was' too much and draining all of the immediacy and connection out of the prose? Horrid.

I'm also really, seriously thinking about dropping the Luna subscription. Fairy Godmother was cute, and I have to admit I did enjoy that one, and Mountain's Call was worth a first read (though not a second). Oh, and Staying Dead was fantastic! But the latest one, Elphame, is grueling. I'm not even interested in reading the rest. There were two pages early on about how beautiful and graceful and striking the heroine is, and as soon as they gave her 'sable eyes,' (to go with the flaming red hair and amazing body - oh, and she's half-centaur and a terrible misfit and looking for her One True Destined lifemate...) I was about to fling the book across the room. *shudder* And again, every little detail spelled out in case we as readers are too daft to get subtleties. (Which were NOT subtle) Oh, and the POV switching! Gah... Within-the-scene switching, whenever 'convenient,' ie: whoever has the most angst at the moment. I skipped ahead a little further, found the mousy, healer side-kick with her amazing art talents (and probably she's 'much more beautiful than she knows') and infatuation with the heroine's brother, and gave it up. Anyone want a copy? Nearly new, I'll pay shipping if you send me back something worth reading at least once.

The next Luna book looks nearly as awful from the castlist on the back, but I will at least give it a shot before I flame it. I did want to stick the subscription out until I got Urban Shaman, but I'm just not sure I can.

I really, really, really hope I don't unknowingly know either of these authors, because these reviews are a touch harsh, but honestly, I'm inclined to lean on the editors a little, too. I hope to GOD I have an editor someday who isn't afraid to tell me, 'ya know, Ellen, this is really horrid. Could you be more cliche if you tried? Go take a nice long walk in the woods and think about what you've done, then come back and write something that people will want to read.'

Which is what I plan to do this afternoon, after finishing artists pay.
Are You Sure?


What I wrote:

Hi {name removed to protect the slim possibility of innocence},

Thank you for your interest in Portrait Adoption!

There's just one problem with your description here: the minimum submitted description fee is $15, and you entered .50.

If it was a typo, just let me know what you meant it to be, and I'll get this up for our artists to work on right away.

Be well,
Ellen Million

What I didn't write:

And if it's not a typo, what a fabulous, original joke. I'm sure that the three seconds of amusement you garnered was well worth the time I wasted answering your submission and dealing with your dumbass prank in the professional manner that it did not deserve. Thank you for channelling my energy in a totally unnecessary direction. May voracious insects lay their young under your skin.

Be well,
Ellen Million