Monday, June 2, 2008

In Belated Memoriam... Sorta.

Current Reading: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Inspirational Quote: "Quit obsessing. Write well." -- Miss Snark

An oversight on my part that needs to be corrected...

A little over a year and a week ago, the blogosphere lost one of its most treasured resources: Miss Snark.

For those of you unfamiliar with the stiletto-heeled mistress of the clue gun, Miss Snark was (and no doubt continues to be) an agent who blogged anonymously about the world of publishing. It's true that she was not the first to do so (although she was one of the first). Nor did she offer insight that could not be found in other venues (I enjoy reading agent blogs, and a list of some of them is on the sidebar).


Armored to nigh invincibility by her anonymity, Miss Snark dared to tell writers the truths they needed to hear in a voice that brooked no argument and pulled no punches. That it was often done with humor and sympathy for the poor clueless writer was only slightly less important a facet of her genius than the depth and breadth of her commitment to share all she knew about her job and her industry. She didn't attempt to be gentle. She didn't attempt to be kind (thus her nom-de-web). I like to think that, because of these things, her advice (commands, actually) penetrated the thick skulls of a few more writers than diplomacy could have reached.

I came to her blog a few months after it went dark, following a link from Writer Beware. I missed the opportunity to publicly proclaim my joining the devotion of Snarklings, but join I did. I loved reading her posts so much that I went back to the beginning and read everything. Some of it twice. In the course of a little over a month, I learned more about publishing than I had in the previous two decades. I laughed a lot, too, which would have been valuable in itself.

She has left her blog up so that her words might educate others who arrive late, and I'm glad she did. I cannot recommend reading her blog highly enough to anyone with a desire to sell their books. Go forth, ye, and be enlightened.

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