Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Things That Drive Me Nuts

So I'm reading Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, and it's quite good and all, but every so often she'll employ an Anglo-Canadian expression or word, even though the novel is set in the U.S. Now, Atwood is Canadian, but she knows that Americans don't say "rubbish" when they mean "garbage" and that no one down here says "bugger off" when they mean "fuck off." This kind of anomalous stuff makes me crazy.

Also driving me crazy is that fact that 30-some agents haven't responded to my January queries, making me fear they got back to their desks after the holidays, saw a thousand queries in their queue, said, "Oh, fuck" (or possibly "bugger," if they were born up there) and deleted all of them without a look. Not that there's any way of knowing that.

What's driving you nuts these days?


  1. I've used rubbish once or twice, but it's usually pirates, speaking with a british accent.

    I suggest you dig in your heals and get comfortable. I got a rejection today for a query I'd sent in July and forgot about. Agents have no respect for an author's timeframe.

  2. I go through the whole language thing a bit because two of my crit partners are Canadian and I'm not just American, but southern (Louisiana girl living in TX) so a lot of my turns of phrase are lost on them and vice versa.

    I'm surprised though that no one caught that in the editing process of the book you're reading.

  3. I'm with you Traven--just let out what hell you mean. I mean, Holy Mackerel!(whatever the hell that's suppose to mean). I'm also with you on the agent query quest--I'd love JUST A RESPONSE, you know, with a little more frequency. Yay, Nay,or Maybe. Anything'll work. By the way, I noticed your Absolute Write post about Poisoned Pen Press in December. Did you ever query them--and did they respond?

  4. My job...um, day job! Enough said.

  5. Matt - a pirate walks into a bar with a ship's wheel on his crotch. The bartender says, "Do you know you have a ship's wheel on your crotch?" The pirate says, "Ay, it's drivin' me nuts."

    Roni - copy editing appears to be a dead art. See previous post on "infer" vs. "imply."

    Ricky - not yet. Waitin' till I run out of agents.

    Lt. C - I getcha.

  6. What's driving me nuts lately?

    The snow.

    Also, getting up early, cramps, my husband in general, debt, this zit on my face (I'm pointing) and people who are curious about the genuine-ness of my boobies. ;)

  7. Such a good point. Little details like that make me nutso in books too. Or things that just don't flow or mesh with the rest of the book. I'm like - didn't anyone read this f*cking thing before publishing it?

  8. I loved that book, and as I read your post I was thinking.....but the main character is Canadian. But then, no, I remembered she was just trying to "escape" to Canada. No? It's been a long time since I read it. What drives me nuts? Work and not having enough time to write. Most agents have an auto responder for their email queries. I think it's the polite thing to do.

  9. Something that drives me nuts only when I hear or see it: American and English TV, radio, newspaper & magazine announcers/reporter when:

    They say something like: Russia did that; or Iran did this; or the USA did that; or Sweden did this, etc. These are places, they can't do anything. It's certain people within that country that does things. If it's a bad thing, this form of suggestion lodges in people's minds, that the bad things apply to every citizen of a certain country.

    Saying even "the government of Russia" for instance, seems like too much work for them sometimes.

    Right, got that off my chest; thanks for the opportunity, Travener!

    So I'll bugger off now. I mean fuck off now...


  10. See, I have a real problem with this. I say rubbish. I say bugger off. I say many other britishisms, and I'm American.

    They get said here. They get said a lot more than people think, by American-born Americans.

  11. Sierra, spending all that time on Santorini has obviously turned you into a Euromerican!

    Oh, sod it -- what do I know?

  12. I have to agree with you that it's annoying when Americans (in fiction) use British- or Canadian-isms. As for the agent search, one month is NOT a long time to hear back from agents. Hang in there!

  13. You're not helping my cause, Meghan.

  14. I've gotten a few of my queries back from January...all a waste of time because they responded within like 5 days.

  15. Loved that book. Very astute of you to pick up what you did.

    Lithuanian? Wow!

    I see your humor is still intact in the search for an agent. You must hang on to that!

  16. Sorry, Sierra! At least I didn't mention your name :)