ann_r_starr: (stab)
Good Forces, what a cringe-worthy event I witnessed tonight. For starters, if a woman has a fucking heart attack in the middle of your book launch, it might be more considerate to stop your reading and call an ambulance. Just a suggestion. (The woman had regained awareness by the time the ambulance arrived and seemed in good spirits - indicating that it probably wasn't a heart attack, but she was taken away for testing.)

Medical drama aside, it's more then a little crass to have as a condition of entry that every person must purchase a copy of your self published collection of poetry and short stories by members of your writing group. This wasn't a book launch, it was telemarketing in person. And if you weren't a family friend and my mother hadn't been there, I'd have told you and the other members of your group where you could shove your little pamphlet and your sales technique. Sis, Dara? If I ever pull such a stunt, shoot me. On the spot.

Finally, dear family friend, your ignorance of the real publishing world lit up like a neon fucking sign when, after boredly asking how my writing was going (while staring off into the middle distance and sipping red wine), we had the following conversation;
Me: Oh, I'm working on the second draft of my novel.
You: oh, how long is it?
Me:  About 83,000 words.
You: *long pause* And how many A4 sized, point 12 font pages is that?

I admit, my response of "164 pages and five lines on page 165," probably wasn't the most tactful or tolerant, but forces, what 'writer' doesn't know there are roughly 500 words to a typed page? Or that a manuscript is counted in words, not pages, cause different programs and printers will give a different page count? If you're going to insist on calling yourself an author, at LEAST get some idea of the business side of writing instead of fluttering about the "art of words".

And by the way, your idea of sending your printed, bound collection (of yours and other people's) stories to an editor? Is fucking stupid. You self-published, your first publication rights are gone. Your stories (even if they were actually publishable) are now worthless to an editor.

And to the lady I spoke to (before I decided that my tolerance and sanity had reached breaking point); No. Young Adult Fantasy does not mean I write about the sexual fantasies of young adults... I'd like to blame Twilight for that idea, but given the TMI life story you fed me the second I told you my name, I suspect you really are just that fucking stupid. And lady? If I had written such a half-arse short story about a random woman's sex life, I sure as fucking hell wouldn't be announcing that it was my story and what page it was on to everyone in sight.

Forces, what a waste of an evening. I left after an hour to wander the streets looking at Christmas lights and rant to mum about moronic people who insist they're capital W 'writers' and 'artists'. When the 40 of you have barely enough talent to fill a thimble between you, you're neither writers or artists. Try to actually improve rather then babble about art and your perfect prose.

Or get the fuck out of my line of work. Next time I'm staying home so I can actually get some writing done.

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Ann Rosa Starr

May 2012

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