The Bloody Scotland Pitch

Yesterday I went to Stirling for the Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect competition. I didn’t win or get any interest from any of the publishers or agents. The standard of competition was very high and I’m looking forward to reading the other novels that were pitched. I’m sure most of them are going to be published. I also attended the Graduates event where some of the former pitchers who now have published novels talked about the experience and read from their novels.

It was a useful experience. I got to meet other writers, some published already and some not published yet. It was nice to meet other people who’re going through the same stuff and it was encouraging to meet those who are already in the industry. I also got some useful feedback on how to tweak my query so I’ll have a better chance of landing an agent.

However it was also discouraging. I am really starting to feel like I’ve got no chance of getting a traditional publishing deal. I’m just too weird. My stories are too weird. The panel said my story was “really creative” and said that they’d “never heard anything like that before” but that didn’t seem to be entirely a good thing.

I’m also feeling like a mug for following all the writing advice I’ve seen. Because the most common writing advice is “finish your novel”. I keep hearing that no-one will take you seriously without a finished manuscript but there were 8 people pitching and I seemed to be the only one who was pitching a finished manuscript.

So where do I go from here? I’m not ready to give up on Singularity yet. I’m going to tweak the query letter and keep sending it out. I’ve been challenged by a friend to try my hand at writing more mundane crime fiction on the grounds that once I’ve been published people might be more willing to take a risk on the weirder stuff. I’m thinking about it.

I’m also thinking about self-publishing Singularity but I will regard that as admitting defeat because there’s no way I can do it professionally enough. I lack both the money and the skills. It’s going to feel like I’m failing my novel.

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Attack of the Nazi propaganda blimp

Has anyone spotted the Zeppelins yet? I ask because it’s clear that the USA is experiencing a full on incursion from a Nazi timeline. That’s the only way I can explain actual Nazi’s marching in the streets with neither hoods nor masks and then being surprised when this doesn’t go well for them.

It’s almost possible to feel sorry for these travelers from another realm trapped in a world that doesn’t work the way they thought it did. They stumble around, expecting their violence to go unpunished, expecting to be lauded for their crimes, smearing their victims with insults that the world regards as nonsensical and when all else fails pretending not to be Nazis

Almost.

Because let us not forget that these are Nazis. These are people who believe that some people aren’t people and that makes it totally ok to exterminate them. Even in their homeline they are arsholes without a single redeaming feature. They’re just used to getting away with it.

So what do we, the right thinking descendants of people who fought a war to put these arseholes back in their box, do about this?

We fight. We fight the very idea that it’s ok to be a Nazi. We enforce consequences. We remove the possibility of wearing a swastika all weekend and then pretending not to be a reprehensible piece of shit all week. When someone gets all uppity that no-one is condemning leftist violence let us pause briefly to point out all the times when people did condemn it before asking them if they have a problem condeming actual fucking Nazis. We show up to protest. We make it clear where the line is drawn and which side of it we are on.

Those of us who benefit from white privilege should weaponise that privilege. If someone has to tear down monuments then let it be those of us who will be charged with a misdemeanor not shot by some cop with a twitchy trigger finger. Let those of us who look like the imaginary Ayran master-race be the first to strike down the very idea of white supremacy.

One last thing before I let you go. While it is absolutely morally correct to punch a Nazi (but only if they really are a Nazi) it is illegal unless they attack you first. If you punch a Nazi you could be arrested, charged and convicted. So maybe don’t do it if you have people relying on you or if you can’t afford the conviction on your record.

 

More Zeppelin references

+++ZEPPELIN FORECAST FOR THAT LONDON+++

+++COUNCIL INSTRUCTS PROPERTY DEVELOPER TO INCLUDE GAY VENUE ON THE SITE OF THE JOINER’S ARMS+++TOWER HAMLETS MAYOR’S OFFICE WILL SEND IN INSPECTORS TO MAKE SURE IT IS GAY ENOUGH+++

+++LONDON MAYOR DEMANDS URGENT ACTION TO HALT THE DECLINE OF LGBT BARS+++LONDON MAYOR’S OFFICE PUSHING PLANNERS TO DO MORE TO PROTECT LGBT VENUES+++

Authorities in London are worried that the nightlife of the city is insufficiently gay and they are taking steps. That’s something I never thought I would see. For most of my life LGBT venues needed preserving from city authorities not by them.

 

So how will they check that the new venue is gay enough? The reader who sent me the the link imagines an undercover LGBT Inspector’s report would go something like this:

Inspector’s Report on the Joiner’s Arms:

Entered the club at 20:10., three adult males seen dancing topless on the dance floor. Two women observed kissing in booth at the back. Approached bar and was served at 20:21. Drinks on offer included 3 types of wkd, various vodkas and standard selection of lager. By 23:39 an eligible gentleman had been approached. Left club with said gentleman at 02:30 the following day.

Concluding Remarks:
The new Joiner’s Arms shows satisfactory levels of LGBT+ activity.

Recommendations:
Poppers should be offered at the bar.
Change Drag night from Tuesday to Saturday.

I’m predicting a 6.9% increase in the chance of Zeppelin sightings over London. These will be the rare rainbow Zeppelins associated with the LGBT+ future utopia that Captain Jack Harkness off of Doctor Who will be born into sometime in the future.

I, for one, welcome our fabulous overlords. It’s getting dangerously dystopian round here. Sign me up for the glitter and the loud music.

Follow the Zeppelin link to the rest of the Zeppelin posts.

+++ZEPPELIN FORECAST FOR NEW YORK CITY+++

+++AGGRESSIVE SQUIRREL TERRORISES BROOKLYN+++PROSPECT PARK ATTACKER OF FIVE STILL AT LARGE+++AUTHORITIES UNABLE TO CAPTURE ‘NINJA SQUIRREL’+++

+++HEALTH DEPARTMENT WORK ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE SQUIRREL IS RABID+++IMMUNOLOGIST SUGGEST IT MAY HAVE ‘FURIOUS’ VARIANT OF RABIES+++

A potentially rabid animal biting a person is no joking matter. However  the idea of a New York park in lockdown because of a squirrel that the authorities can’t catch is straight out of an issue of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.

The current Zeppelin forecast for New York City is 17%. This might seem low but every version of New York is pretty weird. We suggest you also keep an eye out for a curvy young canadian with buck teeth who goes by the name ‘Dorreen Green’ and clams to be studying Computer Science. Render her any assistance she requires and she will solve the crisis.

Furthermore the mention of ‘Furious Rabies’ leads to a 3% increase in the local chance of a zombie outbreak. Stay safe out there.

Further explanation of the Zeppelin Forecast is here.

Previous forecasts for Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Global and the USA/Mexico border.

+++ZEPPELIN FORECAST FOR USA/MEXICO BORDER+++

+++PRESIDENT WARNS OF FALLING PACKETS OF DRUGS+++MEXICAN CARTELS APPARENTLY THROWING CONTRABAND ABOUT+++NEW BORDER WALL TO BE POROUS TO AVOID HEAD INJURIES+++

+++ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT PRESIDENT TRUMP INFORMED REPORTERS ON AIR FORCE ONE THAT HIS PROPOSED BORDER WALL NEEDS TO BE SEE-THROUGH, OR AT LEAST HAVE HOLES IN IT, SO AMERICANS DON’T GET CRUSHED BY FALLING BAGS OF DRUGS+++

I’m not buying this story. I think the real reason for the fear of falling drugs is that they’re dropping out of Zeppelins as they transition to our reality. Therefore the current Zeppelin sighting forecast for the US/Mexico border areas is standing at 22%.

Zeppelin explanation. Previous forecasts for Alaska, Colorado and the emergency global forecast.

Hat tip to Laura Lam for posting the link to the news story to facebook and commenting that it’s getting hard to tell real news from satire.