Friday, December 17, 2004

Letters of Protest

The replies to the last couple days' posts ("Part I: An Entrepreneurial Proposal" & "Part II: An Editorial Response") have in turn sparked their own round of outcries from several heretofore unknown Political Action Committees.

From the Self-Help Authors' Tandem:

As members of "the caring profession," we have had enough of the constant defamation of our collective character by the media, starting with the charge that our raison d'etre is making "Infomercials" and hawking "product"! Indeed, we feel that our membership has proved, time and again, that we're no less deserving of being painted with the brush of the "delicate flower" than are the so-called "literary" types of the sort that your contributor (who identifies herself as "Laura") seems to represent. "Laura's" insinuation that we are somehow coarse self-promoters, or that we went to college "to learn how to become marketing gurus," is patently false, and represents a cruel bias against our membership. In fact, our affinity for the frailty of the human condition (which is what makes us self-help authorities in the first place) requires that we be able to tap into our own sensitivity/vulnerability all day long. By contrast, you literary types are only "exposed" for only as long as you're at your computers--which, rumor has it, is often just an hour or two a day. How hard can that be?

P.S. The "beasties" remark seems especially uncalled for.

From the Trade Organization Of Break-Able Devices:

To the writer who complained about wearing out 4 computer keyboards per year: in para. 5 (A) of your warranty, you'll see that neither anger management nor snow removal are listed as acceptable, reimbursable applications for our word processing products.

From the Publishers Legal Office--Printing:

Frankly we are shocked--SHOCKED!--at the insinuation by one of your contributors that we would EVER expect an author to "kick in for printing and binding." However, this might be a good time to ask: were you thinking you might want a cover for that book?


Anonymous said...

I write approximately 8-12 hours a day, 350 days a year, at about 75 WPM. Editing days are naturally slower, but believe me- you can kill four keyboards a year through normal wear-and-tear. On the upside, since I've learned all the keyboard commands my mouse is in absolutely pristine working order.

Anonymous said...

Too funny! :) "Heretofore unknown" should also include: the Unprovoked Authors of America, the Crafty Crafters of Creativity, and the Blushing Bloggers Association (Unite!).

I love this blog!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous--or AnonyMouse, shall I say?

Is your name Bill? Did I once date you? The 12 hours, the obsessive rendering of numbers (75 wpm, etc.), the sheer relentlessness of it all sound a familiar note. If so, I shall gently--in the manner advocated by the best self-help manuals--point out that although your mouse was even then in the pink of working order, the rest of you needed to get out in the fresh air once in a while. All work and no play, my dear--the gurus say--well, they have a point, don't they? As do you.

Perhaps in affectionate memory
(unless I am merely having a moment of deja vu,
a mere stroke to the brain--also possible),
Isabelle Weary

Anonymous said...

Alas, I'm not your fondly remembered Bill- at least, I wasn't equipped to be a Bill this morning, but I'll check my pants later after the kids are in bed, just in case my bits have turned inside out and rendered me masculine in the last few hours. I promise, I get out plenty- eight hours is a regular workday; it only stretches to 12 when I have 2 scripts due and I'm in the last 10,000 pages of a new novel.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you're Joyce Carol Oates, then....

Blake Hyde said...

I wore out a lot of keyboards until I bought a really good one. They're more expensive than a typical keyboard, but I recommend They make keyboards using the old IBM "buckling spring" key mechanism. They're basically identical to IBM Model M keyboards, and are durable and high-quality. They can also survive spills much more easily than a cheap keyboard. If you live with a roommate, though, or a spouse, or sensitive creatures of the furry variety, you might want to consider the effects the noise will have on them...

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Anonymous said...

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A VOCATION OF UNHAPPINESS [Courtesy Georges Simenon (1903-1985)]

"Writing is considered a profession, and I don't think it is a profession. I think that everyone who does not need to be a writer, who thinks he can do something else, ought to do something else. Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness. I don't think an artist can ever be happy."

PRACTICAL MARKETING [Courtesy Zornhau, 2005]

"They should put the 1st couple of pages up in subway adverts. Having read them several times, you'd feel compelled to try the book - if it was any good."

PLATE OF SHRIMP [Courtesy Alex Cox’s REPO MAN, circa 1984]

"A lot of people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidences and things. They don't realize that there's this like lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything. I'll give you an example, show you what I mean. Suppose you're thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly somebody will say like "plate" or "shrimp" or "plate of shrimp" out of the blue, no explanation. No point in looking for one either. It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness."