[begin pathetic post]

"Soy un perdedor..."
Well, maybe. Don't really know yet.

I lurk around the White Wolf livejournal every Monday to read the staff meeting notes in the hopes of hearing about the novel contest. We got a little tease today when one of the staff writers noted:

No, we don't know anything new about the novel contest, yet. As I understand it, our big judge likes the submissions too much to easily decide between them all.

Now if you know Harley then you know I'm perennially disappointed in my own work. Not to skew the results, but my submission wasn’t my best writing. I know it can't be a contender. So if anyone from WW happens to be reading this, please ask Stewart to email Harley a rejection. At the very least it would put a stop to the constant wondering.

Kill the headlights and put it in neutral,
Stock car flamin’ with a loser and the cruise control …
…Soy un perdedor.
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me.

[/end pathetic post]


At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm...but I thought you WON the contest...last year? Good grief, does WW STILL have you in limbo?


Kinda glad I didn't win it...I'd be a basket case by now! :)


At 9:38 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Know that feeling, sir - and can certainly empathize. I remember submitting stuff to Palladium many, many years ago - eventually, I sent them a letter begging them to reject the submission, if only to end the agony of waiting. I think it was well over two years before a decision finally got made ...

But no need to invoke the poet known as Beck just yet, Mr. Pathetic Poster. :) They're just letting your words age like a fine wine.

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Stuart said...

Chin up, Grimmy. I know writers are the worse judge of their own work (in turns both over and under valuing its quality), but you did make it to phase three. ;)

And look on the bright side: if the entries of this roound (5?) are all so strong, maybe they'll publish more than one.

I know the suspense must be driving you crazy. When the Eberron call got stretched so long and I made the top 20+, I thought I would lose it. And I never got a call back like Marcy and Jeff. ;)

So consider yourself both fortunate and talented. You're way ahead of most of us.


At 12:40 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

Thanks for the kind words, guys. :) Just needed to vent some frustration. I am darn fortunate to have made it this far, and count my blessings (especially the vampiric sort).

Still ... I sure want to put this one to rest. >:)


At 1:56 PM, Blogger Jw said...

Any artist/writer/designer who creates something and actually believes that it's gold is not a true creative. It is in the nature of an artist to second-guess his/her work, not only because that it a sign of development and progress, but because by the time you execute an idea, you already have 15 more.

After every project I do, regardless of the medium or amount of time spent on them, I have a brief sense of accomplishment and celebration that is later consumed by a little depression and doubt. What if I had only done THIS, or I'm sure they'll notice that I messed THAT up.

So, I guess this post isn't supposed to cure your self-doubt, but maybe it makes you feel better to know that you're actually supposed to feel that way about everything you do.

Who said being a creator was all fun?

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

Well put, JW. Well put.


At 10:53 PM, Anonymous SnakeOil_Sage said...

I've been feeling a lot like you have, Harley. The last quarter of 2006 was one of my most productive as of late and while I've been as patient as I can the wait is beginning to wear me down. And it really, really doesn't help when another writer (particularly the more talented, successful ones) tell you to just get back to work, there's nothing you can do about it so why try?

And that might be easy for the folks up the ladder, but we haven't find that state of mind where we can do that yet. We're desperately hungry for our first taste of publication and no amount of patronizing will sooth it.

But at the same time, we can't cling to pessimism or adopt a "just shoot me," view of it. I can't imagine what White Wolf would think if they got a letter asking them to reject your work just to give you peace of mind, but I do know that as a sadistic bastard, I'm sure I'd be tempted to do just that.

And you wouldn't feel very good knowing that, would you? I know I wouldn't.

Hmm... I think I was trying to make a poignant remark somewhere around here. But I lost it.

Be good, write, love your wife, always think twice before opening your mouth, try to go outta life with the same number of holes you started with, live young and fast, middle aged and rich, old and annoying people by pretending to be deaf.

That should do. :)

At 9:24 AM, Blogger ec said...

Hang in, Harley. I think this situation is one of the toughest things facing a writer. In any aspect of life, "not knowing" is much much MUCH harder to deal with than bad news. Unresolved issues linger in the back of your mind, using up mental bandwidth and syphoning off creative energy.

And yet, learning how to do just that is an important part of the game. No need to tell you that--you're one of the most productive and upbeat writers I "know." (You've written, what--fifty game modules since submitting the manuscript for this novel? While, I might add, holding a demanding full time job and devoting a great deal of time to falling down on concrete.)

Admittedly, there are days when I want to write a post much like this one. WARNING: Personal anecdote coming up, of the "I feel your pain" variety.

About three years back, I got a two-book contract for a mystery series with dark fantasy elements. The first Changeling book came out in hardcover and got a lot of good reviews and respectable sales. Then I got very very ill and missed the deadline for the second book, so the publisher, who was inclined to schedule book three, decided to wait to see what the numbers looked like on returns of the first hardcover, sales of the first paperback reprint, and sales of the second hardcover. THEN they decided to wait to see what returns on the second hardcover and sales of the second paperback looked like before deciding whether to schedule a book three. I know full well that the longer the delay, the harder it will be to build a readership for this series. And of course, there's always the possibility that the series won't continue at all.

But the STORY is continuing. The characters are going about their business in the back of my head. Every now and then I hear bits of dialogue, or envision a scene. This sort of thing always happens until I have closure, one way or another. It can contribute to brain clutter, which is not conducive to productivity.

That said, I can only offer the sort of advice that makes sense to me: try to focus on the things you CAN control and don't worry overmuch about those you can't, don't get too bogged down by the frustrations inherent in this crazy business, and keep writing. That might not be particularly helpful and it's definitely hard to implement, but it's the best I've got.

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel your pain comrade. Suspense should not drag for so long. I definitely think we contestants should look into, when the dust settles, getting T-Shirts that say I SURVIVED THE NOVEL CONTEST . . . or maybe we should just start a support group.

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woops...yeah...anonymous is Josh.

At 11:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay - stop that. We have been running our business off of numbers that I derived from a database that was months out of date. There was no way for me to know, heck - I'm a writer, not a SQL DB Admin... or wait. I am.


I had a frantic weekend writing new scripts, views, etc. When you are dealing with 16 billion records, things get lost.

Better than the last job tho... This is the first "fire drill" in months, and totally my bad. Somehow better....

Anyway. Point of the post: you amaze me every day. If I had balls, I would write again. You inspire me, and keep doing what you are doing. Your worst is far beyond my best.


At 10:19 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...


Get writing. You could spit on a page and make it look better than I ever could. True story.


At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See balls, lack thereof, but... Glad to know I could be of help. :)



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