Wednesday, August 01, 2012

All-Blogging August (Plus Ask Me Anything)

This year has been a whirlwind where I've flown somewhere every single month, edited a bunch of books, ran a half-marathon, spoke at five writing conferences, attended three weddings, and started planning my own. It's been a lot of fun, but my dear and beloved blog has definitely been a casualty of this busyness, as I've barely been able to keep up with one post a month, much less the one a week I aim for. And that "dear and beloved" isn't sarcasm; I subscribe to E. M. Forster's doctrine that "I know what I think when I see what I say," and I've missed my opportunity to think out loud here.

But I am going to be home in New York for all of August! So I'm trying something slightly crazy for me:  posting every single day of the month. I want to catch up on writing about some great new books that came out this year, explain the specification experiment from June, talk about repetitions, do some Quote Files, recipes, and poetry, fulminate, ruminate, extrapolate. If you have any questions you'd like to see me answer about writing or publishing (or heck, anything else), please leave them in the comments or send them along via e-mail to chavela_que at yahoo dot com. . . . I can't promise I'll respond to everything, but I appreciate the prompts. 

Here is the best thing I saw today, just outside my building on my way to work:

A young man rides his bike on the sidewalk toward me and an older lady.
Older Lady: You should NOT ride your BIKE on the SIDEWALK! You're supposed to be on the STREET! Our traffic laws give you your own lanes -- on the STREET! 
Young Man, as he rides by: Okay, Officer!
Older Lady:  I'm not an officer, I'm a concerned citizen! SCOFFLAW!

In honor of this awesome lady with the admirable vocabulary, I challenge you to use "scofflaw" in a sentence.


  1. I suppose my question is one you've probably answered several times in the past, but I'll ask anyway: how does one get his/her foot in the door at a publishing house? Any tips on how to make oneself stand out when applying for internships or assistant positions?

  2. Lol. I can't say I've ever heard anyone use the word "scofflaw" in dialogue! She must do crossword puzzles or something. :)Although I have met her ilk many times in Germany. Like the time we were out walking with our newborn in a stroller. It had been raining forEVER, and it had finally stopped enough to take a stroll. It was August and hot. We got to the street corner and a college-aged GUY flung out his arms to stop us from walking out of the shade of the building and into the intersection. "Vorsicht!" he cried. "Die Sonne scheint!" (Careful, the sun is shining!) Um...that was the point, wasn't it? But obviously he thought we were horrible scofflaws of nature as we paraded our infant's very skin in direct sunlight for a few seconds. The horror!

  3. Love that E.M. Forster quote! I can't think of any burning questions at the moment, but I'll look forward to your month of posts.

  4. Could you maybe say something about your learning process as a young editor? The little things that matter a lot, the big things that are really simpler than you thought... how you were taught, how you have learnt... and any advice for an aspiring editor :)

  5. Is it likely that you'll ever re-open to unsolicited submissions? :)

  6. Please explain how do you find out what editors specialize in and like to acquire...Is it only by Googling...Or is there a professional source.