Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery

Decapitated Anarchist Haiku, or A Last Note on the Nebulas

What could be more gratifying to a roomful of science fiction and fantasy writers than a New York Times article with a headline like "Anarchist’s Head Is Finally Buried, but Outcry Arises Over Timing"? I spent about an hour in the hospitality suite with half a dozen other unpublished writers, riffing goofy story premises in our respective subgenres off of it. It's hard to top the article itself, though. Why are Italy's leftists annoyed about the timing of the head's burial? Not because the head spent 70 years on display in a museum of criminology, but rather because the museum officials sent the head to its final rest without giving advance notice. That's Italian politics for you. No one will be surprised to learn that I have some new ideas for bizarre funerary rituals to put in the Little Book.

And then one of my new acquaintances noted that the headline needed only minor tweaking to be a haiku. DS and I immediately pulled out our notebooks and went to work. I don't have DS's haiku, but here's mine:

Head of anarchist
Buried at last, but too late?
No--at dead of night!

Yes, I'm already stockpiling material for International Bad Poetry Day.

In other news, one of those dreadful scammy services that spams the whole publishing industry with unwise writers' formletter queries has picked up my email address. Someone, somewhere, thinks I'm an agent or editor. Not that whoever it is seems to care much which I am, considering that the query's salutation reads, "Dear Editor or Agent." If you have ever considered paying one of these services to broadcast your query letter, don't. Just don't. Agents and editors hate mass email queries with the fiery hate of a thousand suns. The services boast about how many industry people they have contact info for, but how many of those contacts are unpublished writers like me? And although I wouldn't respond to the query by posing as an industry pro just to mess with the unwise author's head, the thought did cross my mind. (One hazard of writing an impulsive protagonist is that more peculiar impulses occur to me. I don't think it's an improvement.) If I thought of it and refrained, someone else will probably think of it and act. After all, some of these services advertise that they have over ten thousand addresses on their lists. All it takes is for one of those recipients be a scammer or a sadist to mess up a naive writer's day.
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