Friday, May 31, 2013

Git 'er Submitted!

In the publishing world, that's the logical followup to "git 'er done."

As e-publishers become ever more flooded with submissions, the amount of time between submission and acceptance, and acceptance and publication, keeps stretching. And stretching. How might these facts -- the glut and the resulting lag times -- be affecting writers?

I'm starting to feel increasingly desperate to turn in a piece before it meets my standards, just to get a place card in a publication queue. Other writers probably feel the same way. Quick, get it in, just get this baby in so it won't be published next fucking year . . . or the year after! 

The early days of e-publishing spoiled me. Acceptance of a manuscript often came within days, and publication, within two or three months. There were far fewer authors, too, and self-publishing was virtually nonexistent.

Now, though, there seems to be a panicked approach to authorship. Git 'er done! Git 'er in! Git on to the next one! Hustle, hustle, HUSTLE! 

The current realities of publishing have been preying on my mind. I sank hours into finessing Merman (due out this summer) after I signed the contract. This is ass-backwards for me. Fortunately, incorporating changes into the manuscript hasn't been a big deal. It wasn't as if the text was mess when I turned it in, but it wasn't the best it could be, either. I couldn't rest easy until I did more sculpting and polishing.

How many writers, I wonder, might be falling into the "git 'er done and git 'er in" mindset and NOT bothering with any further self-editing? How many rely solely on their editors to make their work presentable? I've read/tried to read a number of books lately that seemed to have been submitted before their time and then promptly forgotten about as the authors likely rushed headlong into new projects. Hurry, hurry! Publish or perish! 

The new publishing timeframe, a result of the increasing spate of new writers, might not be an issue for authors who either a.) don't depend on their royalties as a significant part of their income, or b.) don't have egos that continually need to be fed. But too many of us do depend on royalties or do have voracious egos that thrive on constant attention from the reading public.

It's a shame that speed now seems to be the name of the writing game. A frantic effort is rarely a careful one.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hop Winner!

BIG thanks to all who participated in this year's Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Reading about your feelings and experiences was just as enlightening, just as encouraging as reading all the posts. Voices united have always managed to effect change, as long as the people behind the voices exercise patience and persistence.

Speaking of which . . . I also have to applaud the efforts of the hop's organizers:  Erica Pike, NJ Nielsen (so nice to see both of you here!), K-lee Klein, Cherie Noel, and Sasha L. Miller. This was their second year of pulling this mammoth event together, and if that doesn't epitomize devotion to a cause, nothing does.

Anyway, the randomly-drawn winner of my humble giveaway is CAROLYN. I always hesitate to say "congratulations," 'cause it's not as if an ebook from me is like a free cruise. :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Exposure Therapy

We’re disgusted by them, these divisive and destructive forces called homophobia and transphobia. We don’t want them to exist any more than we want war to exist. We hope our politicians and courts and schools work assiduously to eliminate both. But what's the real silver bullet that will guarantee eradication?

I believe it's what mental health professionals call exposure therapy. Granted, that's a frustratingly slow bullet, but it's an effective one. Enough of these bullets will eventually whittle homophobia and transphobia down to a religious anachronism, a prejudice to which only the most fervent fundamentalists will cling.

So how do we allies implement this strategy? By integrating the GLBTQ people we know into our everyday activities and conversations, thus exposing our relatives, friends, neighbors, and coworkers to the nonthreatening nature of a group they might be wary of. We do it by demonstrating, without either apology or fanfare, how our lives have been enriched by these associations.

Consider the powerful movie American History X. In it, Edward Norton's character, a vicious white supremacist, is shorn of his hatred by the simple act of working with a black man in a prison laundry. Sure, the film is fiction . . . yet it isn't.  

Exposure therapy works. In terms of reorienting attitudes, it works better than classroom instruction and Constitutional amendments. How has any minority ultimately achieved genuine acceptance and respect? Primarily through this, the quiet and relentless stripping away of misconceptions born of ignorance; through believers in equality leading by example rather than strident exhortation.

So maybe, just maybe, if we think of the homophobic people in our lives the same way we think of other phobics -- those with irrational fears of airplanes or insects, water or heights -- and we try to “cure” them through exposure to what they fear, we can make significant inroads.

Even if it’s one person at a time.


If you feel like commenting on or tweeting this post (and I get ten or more responses), I'll gladly enter you into a drawing for a download of one of my m/m romance titles -- your choice. You can find them all HERE. The deadline is May 27.

Be sure to check out at least some of the other participants in the Hop Against Homophobia. Man, it's a big one!

Twitter: @HAHAT_HOP and #HAHAT