Saturday, February 25, 2006

Helpful Info

At a recent Dove Tale meeting, we were astounded and, I suspect, discomfited to learn that, for the very first time ever, the male participants outnumbered the female! Of course, we resorted to arm-wrestling to determine whose manuscript was best, drank a keg of cough syrup, force-fed ourselves nachos until we were dizzy, and slept out in the back yard. The police were called but placated. A good time was had by all.

But possibly more shocking was that I actually had some interesting resources to share with the group! To allow the shock to wear off I've waited a while to post it. You're welcome.

First, here are two blogs that, if you're considering querying agents at all, you must read. Often. They are:
  • Miss Snark, Literary Agent (there's an indexed list of her topics here) - She's an honest-to-god New York literary agent who answers readers' e-mails and talks about her views of the business and her clients. Twice a year she directly critiques queries online. This gal tells it like it is.

  • Publishing Rants - Not all literary agents are in New York. This one is in Colorado and has extremely interesting opinions on the business. She's really nice, too.
Here are a couple of other interesting people in the business, too:
  • J.A. Konrath - A successful novelist who sheds a lot of light on many aspects of the writing life.

  • Simon Haynes - An Australian SF author who is in the middle of publishing his series of books. He also develops software for writers: his free novel planning and query tracking software are also available somewhere from his blog.
Anyone else have some interesting links to share? Put 'em in the comments!

So that's the fun stuff. I also had a request to explain how I inserted a hyperlink in the comments on this blog. I'll give a short lesson in HTML here -- not wanting to insult anyone, of course; if you already know this stuff, ignore me!

The comments recognize a lot of standard HTML. That means that if you put tags around text, it'll look different. A tag is stuff surrounded by angle brackets (that is, the <> sign). On this blog, I'm going to use "[" and "]" instead of "<" and ">" because otherwise they won't show up!

For example, if you put [b] and [/b] around text, it looks bold. Put [i] and [/i] around it, it's in italics.

Links are created with the [a] tag. (Trivia: "a" is for anchor!) To create a link, do this:

[a href=""]The text of the link[/a]

Don't forget!
  • The URL you want to link to is in quotation marks.
  • You have to close the link with the [/a] tag.
  • There's a space between "a" and "href" in the first tag.
Here endeth the lesson. Any further help, let me know in the comments. And I'll try to remember to check 'em more often...


P.S. Would anyone mind if I added myself to this blog so that I can post from my own blogger account? It would save me a lot of headaches every time I want to post something...


Marianne said...

Jesus Christ, Matt! You quit your day job! Holy shit.

Welcome to the world of contract writing. It is feast or famine. I just signed a new contract for a year, so I have a job until February 2007. In the past three years, my research partner and I have finished designing and writing 7 manuals/ college courses, and we are now doing two electives. It is hell (lololol). Well, not quite. Anyway, if you need a shoulder to cry on, okay, okay, I'm exaggerating, if you want to escape the home office sometime, and talk shop, I can be pulled away from the computer with the enticement of a Tim Horton's coffee...

Good luck with all.

PS: Yes, add the link to your blog to the DT blog. (That is what you'd like to do, write, I mean right?).

BB said...

Thank goodness the women have usually out numbered the men at editing circle.
While it was fun, having to pay bail for M@ in the wee hours of the morning is something I can’t do every other week.
Obviously the balance of the universe had tilted, which resulted in a puncture in the space/time continuum. Obviously as well there can’t be too many women only too many men when it comes to balance of universal proportions. But it was fun!

BB said...

oh by the way..What can I say about Marianne's lanaguage. Well she never used such language until after last editing circle.

I am sure once we have too many women next editing balance will be restored.

Xena said...

My favourite warrier writer sites...

Now if these links don't work, M@, tell me what I didn't read correctly in your well-written explanation...

X said...

LOLOLOLOL! I guess they didn't work... my comment includes the text, but not the links. Oh well, I tried... I'll find out what I did wrong at the next editing circle you attend, M@.

Larry Keiler said...

Jesus Christ? Holy Shit?

Larry supposes they do go together somehow.

Clearly the universe has tilted.

(Larry wanted to put "do" in italics, but forgot how and can't leave the page now without losing his three lines. Oh well, he'll post as is and go back there to memorize the instructions. Hopes they don't self-destruct in 10 seconds.)

Now that M@ mentions it, since Larry is also a blogger member, perhaps he could add himself too?)(If he figures out how?)

M@ said...

Well I'm starting out in feast mode, I'll tell you that. I haven't started yet and I've already billed about 10 hours. I'm basically full-time on two different projects at the same time. Yikes.

Anyhow, I'll be taking you up on your offer of coffee etc. You know that all downtown Waterloo has free wireless internet, right? We'll have to meet there. I plan to camp out at the 1842 cafe and Symposium when I can.

As for adding me to the blog, what I mean is that my blogger account will make me an "official" poster on the blog (so when I add a blog post I don't show up as Dove Tale Writers, but as Matt). That would be the same for Larry. I can add you if you like, Larry, as long as no one minds. I just need an e-mail to send it to -- is the one in your blogger profile okay?

Xena -- common problems are:

- not closing the tag (you need an opening tag and a closing tag, like [b] and [/b], around the text)

- forgetting the > after the link in the first link tag (I do this one all the freakin' time)

- forgetting to put the link in quotation marks -- especially the second mark (I do this one a lot too)

Hard to diagnose the problem without being able to see what you posted though. Remember you can also hit the Preview button to see if whatever you did worked.

And bb -- I guess it's lucky I don't show up every session then, eh?

Larry Keiler said...

Thanks M@, the email address in Larry's blogger profile is it.

w.t. said...

You know what M@? Reading Your explanation I feel back in class having an algebra lesson staring blankly, not getting it. Is OK. Don't worry about me. Some day I may catch on. Never thought I do all the things on the computer I do now. In my very first report card it said, Netty is extremely slow... with the wish I could learn to speed it up a bit. (Intranslatable from the original Dutch.) So, did I learn? In many ways. I can be like a jet getting tasks out of the way. But truly, my mind still works slow. It ain't in no hurry. It stares out of the window to the blue sky, seeing stories in clouds, listening to birds... And did schools with no windows help? NO!!!!! It made it worse. Made me feel totally spaced out.

Interesting a male dominated editing circle. Larry should've been there. Finally it got fair. Next anthology, "Aha, MAN power!"

See, already "Jesus Christ and Holy Shit" coming out of a delicate woman's mouth... oh, oh, where are we heading?

Matt and Larry linking their blogs to the dt blog... The forest is growing. Cool.