Friday, February 28th, 2014 by Claire | 17 Comments »
I just retrieved this from the post office. It arrived straight from Godiva, nested between still-frozen coolpaks.
I think once in my life I may have had a Godiva chocolate. One. A whole box of them is beyond dreaming. The box (which I haven’t opened yet because I’m still admiring it) came with this note:
“What better to accompany the best wines in the world than the best chocolate!”
Somebody has been reading the blog.
Somebody knows how to impress a woman.
Somebody is extravagantly thoughtful.
Somebody … didn’t sign a name.
I have my suspicions. I also have a suspicion that suspicions is all I’ll ever have when it comes to the sender of the Marvelous Mystery.
I’ll ponder the question while enjoying the world’s best combination of flavors.
I have an amazing life. Surrounded by amazing people.
Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 by Claire | 25 Comments »
Where were we now? Oh yes, back on the job in California, shortly after my trip to Ireland. Dealing with writers.
I hope not to disappoint after yesterday’s cliffhanger. But this really is about writers and not about defiance and resistance — though it is possible that my old friend Maurice could make another appearance before this story is done.
Not long after returning, I was making my way down the pile of short-story manuscripts when I ran across another from one of those “two percent” writers — the almost-wonderful ones.
This manuscript told a charming tale, perfect for the kind of magazine we were working on.
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Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by Claire | 16 Comments »
Let me tell you a story.
This may ramble a bit because it goes both into the ancient past (well, my ancient past) and into places far away. But it begins with Ms Lynn Shepherd, she of the infamous “JK Rowling should get out of the way so no-talent hacks like me have a chance,” HuffPo journalistic fart.
I never told you, but for a very short time, I was a magazine editor. I mean a very short time. We quickly ran out of ways to praise the airline whose magazine it was and the CEO lost interest.
But in the moments it lived, it took fiction submissions. And paid decently for them. Even then, fiction was dying out in magazines. Had been for decades. The golden days with golden pays of the 1920s-40s were long gone. Nobody wanted made-up stuff anymore. They wanted relevance. But we took fiction submissions.
Boy, did we ever. After our birth announcement appeared in a major writers’-market magazine, we took nothin’ but. Two-foot-tall heaps of it.
That stuff broke my heart. It freakin’ broke my heart in ways I’ll never forget.
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Monday, February 24th, 2014 by Claire | 18 Comments »
I usually ignore self-important little whiners (like this one, for instance) who think the world would be a better place — for them — if it would only run on their agenda.
I mean, seriously. Life is just too short. Anyhow, Ayn Rand, for all her personal and literary faults, said all that ever needed to be said about such types in Atlas Shrugged.
Still, it’s fun to watch a master tear self-righteous losers to pieces. To wit: Here’s successful writer Larry Correia savagely fisking a HuffPo whine-a-thon by unsuccessful writer Lynn Shepherd. Shepherd thinks that the world’s most successful writer, JK Rowling, should step aside. Quit writing. Or at least quit publishing any work for grownups. Though Shepherd (generous soul that she is) would still “allow” Rowling to write for personal pleasure, or for children — as long as never an adult-oriented Rowlingian word ever again saw print.
Why? Well, because it’s just unfair that Rowling is doing so fabulously. She needs to stop writing to give other writers a fair chance. And if Rowling really cared about writing, she’d stop doing it.
You go, Larry.
(Harvard Crimson superiority fest in that first link c/o MJR.)
Monday, February 24th, 2014 by Claire | 5 Comments »
JPFO has just announced a 25th-anniversary classic book package. It includes:
- A copy of RebelFire: Out of the Gray Zone personally autographed by me to you (or the person of your choice)
- A copy of The Mitzvah personally autographed by L. Neil Smith.
- The actual 25th-anniversary JPFO pens used to sign your books. (Two books, two pens.)
- A JPFO 25th-anniversary tee-shirt featuring a message directed at our First Amendment friends who may not understand how important the Second Amendment is for them.
The package is $72 postpaid and only 25 will be sold.
Neil and I send the books to you directly. JPFO sends the shirt.
More detail on the books here.
This benefits Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership in its 25th year. NFI on my part (unless RebelFire eventually starts earning royalties).
Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 by Claire | 12 Comments »
Good bad attitude
Thursday, I went to that place I inaccurately refer to as The Big City. Mostly it qualifies as The Big City only if you’re used to places like Chicken, Alaska, or Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.
Still, despite not being as cosmopolitan as Casper, Wyoming, or as bustling as Pocatello, Idaho, our Big City has its metropolitan moments. Not all of them good.
To wit, we were at a stoplight, third in line to make a right turn, when an elderly gent started hobbling across the street with the aid of a cane. He was moving at a pretty good clip for a bent old guy. But that wasn’t good enough for the jerk whose truck was first in line for the turn.
Honk! Honk! Honk!
Said cretin laid on the horn. Hoping to accomplish what, I can’t imagine. Did he expect the old guy to hop on his cane and fly the rest of the way across the street?
My friend L. and I were indignant and feeling very bad for the harrassed octogenarian. But he didn’t need our sympathies. As he stepped to the curb, he raised an arm high over his head and gave the truck jerk an emphatic “friendly finger” before striding onward.
Bad good attitude
The occasion for the Big City expedition was birthdays. Two friends are about to have them and a third missed hers a few months ago because she was in the hospital wishing she were dead.
So I told the three I’d take them to lunch at a lovely winery near the Big City. We’re blessed to have a gorgeous winery in this otherwise dreary working-class area and it’s always a treat to go there.
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