April 5th, 2006

Lunch, Remixes, and Miscellanea

Well. We've reached day 4 of the LiveJournal experiment. I think the initial euphoria has worn off. So has my hatred toward this time-sucking beast. It's cool, so long as I do it in small doses.

But they must be good doses I've been doling out, because I've now passed the 50 mark in terms of my friends. Or course, I still have a long way to go before I catch Cherie Priest. Go to this writer's blog if you want to see a friend count that boggles your mind. I think it's wicked_wish.livejournal.com. Anyway, being as we've passed the magical 50 mark, I feel it calls for a celebration. So guess what? You all get another journal entry! (cue lame applause).

Today got off to a interesting start. Every once in a while I am stricken with an unruly bout of insomnia, so the sandman didn't claim me until about 5 in the a.m. Then I had to roll out of bed about 9:00 a.m. for a lunch date in NYC. Now I'm not a morning person, so given my lack of sleep I was feeling extra grumpy today. And what better way to cheer myself up than to pay a visit to my new buddy, LJ? Right? Right.

But alas, much to my dismay I discovered one the darker sides of LJ. The pettiness. If I'm getting obnoxious anonymous replies to my posts on day 4, I'm guessing that this sort of thing is pretty rampant. Or maybe it's becasue I'm an editor. Perhaps this is a chance for all the embittered writers out there to take their shots at me. If so, go ahead. I assure you I can take it. Anyway, under the replies to my previous post, EDITORIAL PET PEEVES, some anonymous dude felt the need to point out a grammatical error in my post. Perhaps he/she took a perverse pleasure in pointing out such a mistake to an editor. Sigh. People, is this what we've been reduced to? To what end, I ask you. TO WHAT END???!!! Anyway, I answered in kind, although I tried to keep things civil under the circumstances. But I do wonder if the irony concerning Mr. Anonymous' post has struck him. He quoted me, but failed to use quotation marks as he took it upon himself to dole out a grammar lesson. Well done, old boy!

So, the quick theories about Mr. Anonymous:

1) He's angry/jealous about my position at RoF. Apparently, I pissed off a lot of people when Shawna hired me. Apparently my predecessor, Carina Gonzalez, had been assembling a host of resumes to pass along to Shawna to fill the sudden vacancy. But I had no idea about this until after the fact. I just happened to see on Ralan.com that Carina had stepped down. Seeing that no replacement had been listed, I figured the position was open. So I fired off a resume to Shawna. She got back to me the same day, we swapped emails, went through a trial-run, and here I am. So Mr. Anonymous, if you're angry at me for unknowingly cutting in line and dashing your editorial aspirations asunder, I offer you the famous words of Nelson Muntz: "Ha! Ha!"

2) He's an angry writer, sick of rejections, and sick of rejections from me in particular. So here was the opportunity he had been patiently waiting for. "Ha! Cohen slipped up. I knew he would sooner or later. Now's my chance to embarrass him for all the literary world to see. I'll expose him for the fraud he is and he'll be ruined! Ruined I tell you!" And who knows? Maybe I will be. Maybe it's nothing but downhill from here. Maybe Shawna will learn about my editorial ineptness. "Screw the fact he's found me 9 stories in under 11 months," she'll say. "The hell with how he's reduced the slush response time to under two months. His organization and prompt replies to queries? Bah! I spit on it. I already regret recommending and helping him land a position as a web editor for the magazine. What does any of this mean in the grand scheme of things? After all, he should've used the word 'fewer' on an LJ post!" Truly, this writer is most nefarious.

3) His favorite elements in fantasy stories are bars, elves, dwarves, orcs, cats, unicorns, all plunked down in hysterical settings that turn out to be nothing more dreams. After I listed these things in editorial pet peeves, in good conscience he could not less such audacious blasphemies go unanswered (anonymously). And don't even get him started on my thoughts regarding cover letters!

So. Not yet 10:00 a.m. and things were grooving along. Then I got to the train station, and when I tried to buy ticket from the machine, the stupid thing tried to charge me $32.00. New York is overpriced, but come on. But I trudged on, determined that nothing would put a damper on my day.

Not even the snow. April, and it starts snowing in NYC. Wonderful. So I buy an umbrella from one of the guys on the corner. After a block it's already turned inside out, flapping in the wind like a prehistoric bat. So I was faced with the choice of going back to haggle or trudging. Boldly, I trudged on.

I had to. For lunch. Not for the good eats, but for the company. Today John Joseph Adams (JJA) and I met up for lunch with Brandon Sanderson and his lovely fiance, Emily. JJA has met Brandon before, but this was the first time I had the pleasure. And a pleasure it was. Brandon is about the nicest guy you'll ever meet, and to those of you unaware, he's also a very talented author. Check out his fantasy novel, ELANTRIS, if you've yet to do so, and be on the look out for MISTBORN, coming out in July. In talking with him, one of the things I truly respected was his understanding of the genre he's writing in. Besides LOTR, too many people are under the false impression that fantasy began with Terry Brooks and the publication of SWORD OF SHANNARA. Not so. This is just when it became commercially viable to publishers. There is a rich history to fantasy much older than these mere 30 years (is Mr. Anonymous going to correct my math, since Shannara was published in 1977? Gosh, I don't know if I could handle a mathematical assault!) and Brandon understands this. And when you're writing in this genre, understanding its history is also a sign of respect for the literature that you're creating. So, props to Brandon.

So despite the rough start to my day, good fun was had (and I also read two solid stories for RoF on the train to and from the city--automatic passes, in case you're wondering).

So that covers lunch. On to remixes. Ever since I posted RAPTACULAR, I've been unable to stop thinking about the song I included in that post. Last night I suddenly realized why. Until I posted those lyrics, I hadn't thought about that song in months. And I accidentally left out some lyrics in the second verse. Rest assured that I've rectified the situation, and do feel free to check out the original/remix.

And finally we come to miscellanea. This post is crazy long. I still have to learn to manage my time on LJ better. Which means I am still a slave to the machine. So for now I probably won't be visiting other people's journals. It's nothing personal, just so you all know. But there are only so many hours in the day. Anything else to add before I go? Meh. I updated some of the features on the journal some more. Boring stuff. Instead, I'll be like George Costanza and get out on a high note. Later.

***Note***This document has not been checked for spelling or grammar. :)
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