Jean Marie Ward

fiction, nonfiction and all points in between
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In fact, if you aren’t in the mood for a little cranky, you might want to leave right now.
A little cranky.  I can’t complain about life in general.  Not when I’m wrestling with plot bunnies–or in this case, plot bonobos wearing baseball caps of invisibility–for My Big Fat Olympian Wedding From Hell.  But all the ducks Denny Crain hasn’t shot seem to be nibbling the parts not wrestling with over-sexed pygmy chimps.
First, I don’t know whether to be worried about Duzell the Wonder Cat.  In the way cats do, he’s just missed the litter box twice in three days–almost like a guy who overshoots the rim.  Since the litter box is downstairs, and he’s still burying his solids, I’m hoping he’s merely decided to get finicky about the litter.  Even so, it’s a nuisance, and I’ve called the vet, just in case.  Duzie never ate any of the contaminated pet foods, so the problem should be, um, general pissy-ness on his part.  But I’m a Virgo.  Worrying is part of the job description.
Second, I’m really disappointed in the Compton Crook Award.  I’d hoped to submit With Nine You Get Vanyr for consideration in the 2008 awards.  I thought it met the qualifications.  It was a first novel for both 

and me.  It should be just the ticket.
Just received word they don’t accept collaborations.  Wha?  I can understand that if the collaboration is between an experienced author and a newbie.  You wouldn’t want to judge a book written with Anne McCaffrey or John Ringo as a first effort.  But when the book was written by two newbies who planned to write as a unit indefinitely?  That’s just not fair.
I know, I probably should rejoice.  My first solo novel will be infinitely better than my first effort.  I know so much more than I did when qnotku and I wrote Vanyr–not only about writing but also about the peculiar prejudices of contest judges.  (Yes, I include myself in the peculiar part of that number.)  There is an art to contest submission, and the longer I work it, the better I’ll design my books to win.
But the ban against all collaborations is flat-out unfair.  It’s unfair to 

who will never have a book to call entirely her own.  With Nine You Get Vanyr and Highway from Hell were both written in collaboration.  Even if 

finishes They Shoot Fairy Godmothers Don’t They for her, it will still be a collaboration, which won’t qualify.  Under this scenario,

‘s freaking genius for comedy and dialogue will never, ever get the recognition it deserves.
It’s also unfair to the other submitting writers.  It’s like the bad old days before the better micro presses were recognized by Romance Writers of America.  For many years it was impossible for even the good small electronic and electronic-to-print publishers to meet RWA’s sales requirements.  That meant writers working for good small presses with professional editing were eligible to compete in the Golden Heart (RWA’s big unpublished writers contest) against people just starting out.  
With Nine You Get Vanyr has all the joy and love inherent in first novels, but I sincerely hope it’s not the best novel I ever write.  

and I never planned it to be.  It was merely the best book we could write at the time.  It should be allowed to rise or fall against others of its tribe, not dismissed on a quirk which sets up a less than level playing field for future competition.
*insert grim laughter here*  You know, the whole thing seems so very Red State–give the goods to them that has.  And I’m just ornery enough to object to something that gives me a leg up…to someone else’s detriment.

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Posted in Blog 10 years, 4 months ago at 2:40 pm.

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