Saturday, March 30, 2013

A tiny ambush by the one-eyed trouser snake.

This post is brought to you in commiseration with the recent pain my effervescent friend Fizzy Grrl when she encountered a wanker at the movies.

I too have had an unexpected public encounter with a one-eyed trouser snake, back in the year 2001.

Picture it, Calgary. 2001. A young, idealistic Canuck was walking to the bus stop one summer's evening. It was balmy, the sun had only just set, so it wasn't yet dark.

I was strutting along wearing my giant headphones, filling my ears with some righteous tunes, as I am wont to do. My headphones are huge. I've rocked the giant earmuff headphones since 1999. I was feeling particularly cute that day, and was heading back home.

Basically, this:

I was about four blocks from my friend's house, and two from the bus stop, walking on the left side of the street, against the flow of traffic, because safety first.

 It was a busy road, one with a lot of street AND foot traffic, but there was no one else walking. I got to strut down the centre of the sidewalk, owning it.

When I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye.

Humanoid form.

Standing on the front lawn of a low-rise apartment building set about twenty feet back from the sidewalk.

A man.



Well. I say, 'naked,' but he was wearing socks.


He was jerking at his dick like it owed him money. Just FURIOUSLY tugging away.

Now. I suppose I should have been scared. But really, I was too shocked to outwardly react. I kept my face neutral, like 'Big deal, I've seen it all before. And again just now. Not impressed or scared. I am slightly amused at your pathetically lame show of unimpressive anatomy.'

When really on the inside I was like:


And that wasn't the worst part. The most shocking part.

The WEIRDEST part, was just before I passed him, HE TALKED TO ME.

I couldn't hear what he said over the volume of my music. But I did not respond, because I was, and still am, 100% sure that he had nothing to say to me that I would find interesting, amusing, or enlightening. Not while he had his dick in his hand. So I didn't remove my headphones, and I didn't stop.

I kept right on walking, all the while thinking:


Because how does one get to the point where they think it is okay to stand buck naked on the side of a busy street in the middle of a city, and jerk off?!

And then TALK to someone who walks by, rather than, oh, I don't know, RUN AWAY IN SHAME?!

Dude didn't follow me. Which was good. Because ew.

I suspect my getaway was cleaner than his.

To Fizz, I welcome you into the club. The 'I have been ambushed by the sight of public peen' club.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Having your cake... and eating THEIRS too.

You know what I love? CONTESTS! I've thrown a couple, participated in some, and watched even more from the sidelines.

Now that I have an agent, I'm pretty much permanently relegated to the sidelines, content to watch everyone else enter their shiny word babies. Despite not entering anymore, I still neurotically refresh the blog page announcements, hoping to see the names of people I know! Cheering friends on as they flail, and shake, and HOPE that this pitch, this query, that first page will garner some agent/ editor interest.

Because these contests are an AMAZING opportunity to get your work seen by someone who can make your dreams come true. And man, it can be hard to get in at all.

Whether it's rafflecopter with a binary grudge keeping you out; slush readers who didn't respond to your pitch; a submission window you missed, there are plenty of things that you are up against before you even get selected as a finalist.

And those don't include other people.

Other people with better pitches. Other people with edgier concepts. Other people with faster fingers, faster internet connections who fill up that sub window before your crappy laptop can even refresh the window.

You're up against SO MUCH.

And that's not counting GREEDY ASSHOLES. Writers who submit pitches for an unwritten manuscript just to see if it's worth writing. Writers who don't plan on submitting their work, but wanting free feedback about their work.

Writers who already HAVE agents.

Read that last sentence again. Because it's happened twice that I know of in the past couple contests.

*disclaimer* These aren't writers I personally know. But they were rumbled by an acquaintance of mine, and I won't put her in an awkward position by naming names here. Hopefully the offenders take this public shaming for what it is.

If you HAVE an agent, honey, you are being a HUGE, THROBBING ASSHOLE if you enter an agent-judged contest. I get it. It's exciting. You want to be a part of that! BUT HAVE SOME SELF-CONTROL! STOP being a FUCK-SHOVEL! THINK about what you are doing!

Maybe you didn't realize, but you are taking the place of someone who NEEDS that opportunity! This could have been THEIR big break, their path to a dream coming true, and YOU HAVE TAKEN IT FROM THEM because you just HAD to enter the contest, swept up in the excitement of it all. Wanting the free feedback from other agents/ people who read the pitches.

That is disgustingly selfish.

And I've seen this TWICE in the past TWO contests. But what makes me worry is that these probably aren't the only two offenders. Chances are there have been more that squeaked in there, stealing someone's place. EATING THEIR CAKE!

Writers - don't do this. Contests are an invaluable potential goldmine for getting an agent's attention. I myself found my agent from a contest. MY contest. But I didn't even enter my own contest because I thought that was douchey.

OH, how I WANTED to enter. But I exercised restrains and self control. I didn't want to take someone else's place. Block someone else's dream.

Because THAT would have been WRONG. Maybe not technically. But morally.

Writers, we need to support each other. This industry is FULL of landmines of self-doubt. Rejections. Subjectivity. Saturated genres. Agents closed to submissions. There are enough opportunities we miss out on without having to worry about others deliberately blocking our chances.

To those who have been Opportunity-Blockers, SHAME ON YOU. STOP DOING THIS!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bad Query Contest

Hey! So a few weeks ago, the Agent Jessica Sinsheimer threw a bad query contest. I sent one - because how can you resist?

There's a Bad Query Contest Tumblr that is SO WORTH checking out!

Here is mine. All grammar/ spelling mistakes are intentional. Obviously.

If you don't understand why this is a brutally bad query... then I don't know what to tell you, sweetheart.

Email Subject line:

LOOK NO FURTHER! FUTURE NYT BEST SELLING AUTHOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


 Dear Mr. Sinshammer,

You're not my 1st choice, but after not receiving any replies from the best agents out there, I decided I could do worse than to accept you as my agent. So I guess contradulations are in order!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My fictional novel is loosely based on my life as a self made drug dealer and pimp, called PIMPIN AIN'T EASY UNLESS YOUR ME.

Not only is it a novel, its a memoir, self help, history, and even cook book - if you count cooking up heroin. Because it is completley true I figured you'd be able to put it in alot of sections in the bookstore so we can sell one to everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We could even put a different cover on each so maybe some dumbasses would bi a few copies HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA and we would be rollin in the dough.

I already bought clothes for my tv appearances - I bet even Oprah will come out of retirement to have me on her show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Ihavethepeopleallpickedouttoplaymeinthemovieseriesaswell. We will be bigger than that bitch who wrote that vampire flick mostly cuz we can have lots of drugs and sex in the movie because that is what the kids like these days.
My book is being hand delivered as we speak to your personal address by one of my top ho's. She knows if you want anything extra that is your deal, and a little extra but we can work that out when you give me a big fat advance.

There's only a chapter so far, but I figured I'd give the story and you would hook me up with one of them ghost writers. I ain't got time to write the whole book at the moment on account of my community service.


Don't call before noon.

Keep it tight.