Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Expecting the Unexpected?

Two things happened to me today that were completely unexpected. Well, three if you count my husband washing all the dishes while I was out. And it's not even my birthday!



Then there was a letter WiDo's submission editor sent to me, concerning her rewrite and resubmit request to a prospective author. Although he seemed very eager to publish with WiDo, his manuscript had a few major flaws that needed correcting. We've learned it's better to ask for these corrections up front before offering a contract.

Most writers are wonderful to work with in editing but some will get stubborn when it comes to changing their masterpiece.



This particular writer's email disagreed with everything suggested and clearly stated he was not interested in a rewrite and resubmit. This is his right and choice, of course, but it's always unexpected when it happens. Usually a writer will take editorial advice and work to improve the manuscript to get another chance at a contract. Most writers are happy to get suggestions from an editor outlining the strengths and weaknesses of their submission.

His negative response was unexpected. It wasn't just negative, but highly emotional, including chastising our editor for getting the spelling wrong on one of his characters' names. A real prima donna, that one was.


The other unexpected occurrence was while I'm sitting in my "study", which is a bed in front of a second-story window. A man walks right past the window. Well, hello there!

Turns out we have these very narrow balconies outside the windows and the landlord likes to send men up there now and then to clean or paint. Unexpected!

We can never really expect the unexpected, can we? Because if we do then it's no longer unexpected. Has anything unexpected happened to you lately?


31 comments:

  1. There will always be people who think they know everything and will take no advice. We call these people unemployed.

    Finding someone unexpectedly standing outside the second floor window is enough to take 10 years off of one's life. If it was me, I would have screamed so loudly as to startle the poor worker off his narrow perch.

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    1. "There will always be people who think they know everything and will take no advice. We call these people unemployed."

      LOL, very well put!

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  2. I have a feeling that writer is going to have a difficult time in the publishing world.

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  3. The guy on the ledge would've startled me.
    I never bucked any of the suggestions my publisher made when it came to editing. I knew my manuscripts needed improvement.

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  4. The unexpected goes a long way to break the blahs. Lately I have too much of the expected...

    I would assume the tantrumy writer did not heed the universal advice to not reply to a R&R until it had a chance to sink in a bit. Most of us get a "what the..." feeling with such, but if you just sleep on it, you realize it is, more often than not, golden. If it is way off, no need to get back at all, or a polite "thank you for the consideration" will do.

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  5. I think we all need to take a little direction, otherwise we'll never grow... we all need to bend a little. People that don't want to hear how they can make something better will stagnate... have a great week xox

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  6. Wow. At least you know before signing that author what a pain in the butt he's going to be - and you can avoid that mess. I have ONE author that's always a problem and sadly the warning signs didn't appear until we were deep in the process.

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    1. Diane, VERY thankful it worked out the way it did.

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  7. More than I care to have! I kinda like things to go as planned. Dad having a heart attack was one. Co-worker dying was another, all in the same week.

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    1. Jeff, I am sorry to hear about your dad and co worker. Those kinds of unexpected events are always a shock.

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  8. I'm very open to suggestion. I know my manuscripts will benefit, they always have. But I've also known several people who refuse to listen. To them it's an insult. I don't understand why, but it does become emotional for them. Crazy!
    As for a stranger out side a second story window. OMG! That would have freaked me big time! A warning from the landlord would have been nice.!

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  9. I can be too sensitive and I could see myself believe my book is crap which is the wrong thing to do. I have had unexpected events happen. There are many good things that happen but the 3 nasty things, all in one week was a major wind storm coming through and blowing our roof away. Confirmation my mom had dementia and a drunkard in a car hitting our parked car. That was all in one week. I'll never forget that.

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  10. Life without the unexpected would be tedious, surely? Instead it's a roller coaster of good stuff and not-good stuff - the challenge lies in how we deal with all that.

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    1. Jo, So true! As we get older we tend to do whatever we can to avoid anything unexpected or troublesome, and then it's just stagnation.

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  11. Wow! Too bad for the writer that he would not take in suggestions, but better you all know that now and not after you are married so to speak! As to the man on the balcony I think I might tell my landlord that I require a notice if someone is going to be out my window.
    As to the unexpected - yep, I expect the unexpected but it does me no good. It surprises me nonetheless. Right now there is another winter storm out my office window. April 6th and it is adding to the MOUNTAINS of snow already there. I'd rather have your man.

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  12. I think you should be grateful he didn't want to make the changes. Sounds like he would have been extremely difficult to deal with. The unexpected always catches me by surprise, although by now I should know better.

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  13. Yes... Mainly that I finally found my condo in Orlando, Fl! YAY! I had almost given up the dream to have a winter escape, but now it's becoming a reality. I haven't closed yet, but I feel good about this going through.

    An annoying unexpected thing happened tonight. Some crazy propaganda blogger left annoying comments ON one a 100 of my posts! UGH... It took me over an hour to delete them. Such a waste of valuable time.

    How nice of your husband to do the dishes. That is a treat for sure!

    Hope all is well!

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    1. Michael, It's always nice when the unexpected thing is awesome! Funny that Blogger let the spammer come through. Usually they're pretty good about catching them. On my settings, I put in to approve comments after two weeks, just in case.

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  14. A man walking by your second floor window would indeed be unexpected!

    Sounds like you dodged a bullet with that author. I think it's wise to give the author a heads up about major changes before locking both parties into a contract. If they're not willing to do it, you know they're not for you.

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  15. No kidding! Your husband did the dishes without asking? Lucky you. Rarely does my husband do the dishes without asking. Of course there are seven of us and the dishwasher--the machine, that is--is broken right now. The mechanic comes Saturday. Can't wait. Something unexpected did happen. I substitute teach at my high school. A student asked me if I saw his "Student of the Month" write-up and portrait in the hallway. I hadn't. They keep substitutes VERY busy during the school day. He told me to check it out. I looked at it after school. When he was asked who was the most influential teacher he ever had, he named *me*! It blew me away! My eyes filled with tears. I thanked him profusely the next time I saw him. Totally unexpected.

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    1. Victoria, What a wonderful surprise! Usually substitute teachers aren't thought of as making such a positive impact on the students since they're short term. This boy expressed a genuine tribute to you as a teacher.

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  16. It's a shame the writer didn't understand the advantages of the editor's constructive criticism. Yay for having such a wonderful hubby! I think I would've scared the workman on the balcony more than he would've scared me, had he seen my writing attire!

    Julie

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  17. Hi Karen! I can't believe that author! I think most of us would accept a professional's advice. Hmm. All kinds.

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    1. Denise, Are you back from China? I look forward to reading about your trip!

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  18. The unexpected can startle you. I had that happend here before I got a gate and you know I live remotely. I was on my couch, when a guy appeared in the window, asking if I had any scrap metal!!!

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    1. Inger, Being as far out in the country as you are, that's even more startling than my situation. We live on a busy street, in a hotel, and I never really feel alone. Definitely not isolated.

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  19. The man walking by the window would have really scared me! I can understand the person not wanting to change their script as it's probably something so personal to them and they have it absolutely perfect in their eyes, but they definitely should be open to suggestion I think.

    Raindrops of Sapphire

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  20. That most definitely does sounds a little disconcerting when someone walks right in front of a window LOL

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  21. Sometimes it seems like the unexpected, is to be expected.

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  22. Hi, Karen. I just posted this comment on my blog in reply to your lovely one just now ... Life is truly beautiful, Karen. On my good days I agree :) Even on the bad ones, if I keep that necessary eternal perspective. It's so beautiful in Virginia right now with all the blossoming and greening trees. We're not in that awful high heat yet. I'll bet it's beautiful where you are! So glad you stopped by with your cheery comment.

    Strangely, when I then clicked on your icon to come over here, I got sent to a karenjones.com. Come into my website again and see if the same thing happens to you!

    anncarbinebest.com

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