Wanted: Fiction Authors

Seeking one (1) qualified writer to fill desired position. Must have not less than ten years experience, and have no less than three (3) NYT bestsellers, and short fiction sales to every (literally) pro market.

Job duties to include:

  • Working long hours for no pay on something which will likely never be read.
  • Coming to despise your own work with a hatred you previously imagined impossible.
  • Renouncing vacations, friendships and any and all free time.

Required Qualifications:

  • Must love daily, cold rejection.
  • Must enjoy ongoing criticism of work you consider personal.
  • Must embrace conflict and controversy. Candidates who have experience overreacting to perceived slights are preferred.

Compensation is DOE (and name recognition) and is not guaranteed.

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Listicles are the Worst

Every year, Lake Superior State University releases a list of words to be removed from the Queen’s English due to mis- or over-use, or general uselessness. I submit that certain phrases and expressions should be retired for the same reasons.

shut upComparing anything to the Holocaust: Mild inconveniences are not the same as being sent to slave and death camps! Even injustices applied to groups of people are not. The holocaust was the Holocaust. That’s what makes it so bad. If everything was that bad, it wouldn’t be remarkable. Also included is comparing things/people to Nazis or Hitler.

‘-gate’: I wish to god that that incident had taken place at any other hotel so people would stop with the ‘-gate’ thing. GamerGate. DeflateGate. FIND SOMETHING NEW.

Just the Worst: As with Holocaust comparisons above, no, it probably is not. I certainly understand and appreciate hyperbole, but when you can seven different things per day “Just the Worst” the impact is somewhat lessened.

Clickbait: No, not the term Clickbait. Clickbait itself. Any headline that says “you won’t believe” or tells me I “Need to” do anything. No. Stop. All you’re doing is advertising how valueless your article actually is.

WTAF: WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

What other phrases and expressions need to go?

DESR

The First Annual Deano Awards

Tired of the Hugo Awards? Ready for something new? Welcome to the First Annual Deano Awards! The rules are simple- in each category, any work by Dean (me) qualifies, and the winner is chosen by Dean (me). This way there is no room for bias, no sad puppies and I think we all agree that the result is pretty darn good. Let’s to the presentation.

Dean: Welcome to the 2015 Deano Award Show! Let’s get right to it, with the award for Best Short Story. The nominees are:

Far

Dark Night

Both by Dean E.S. Richard. Let’s see who won!

[Dramatic lights and music]

And the winner is… Far, by Dean E.S. Richard. Dean, get up here!

Dean: Wow, this is really unexpected. I’m so honored. Given the strong competition in the field, I wasn’t really sure if I would win. Hoped, of course, but thank you so much to Dean, for selecting me for this honor, and of course Dean, for putting on such a great show. This is truly an honor.

Dean: Gracious as always! Let’s move on to best Novel.

[awkward silence]

Uh… You didn’t come out with a novel this year, Dean.

Dean: I was busy!

Dean: Well, we need a novel for the award.

Dean: …maybe it should be the Dean Lifetime Achievement Award?

Dean: …says the guy without a novel out.

Dean: Hey, it’s my show, asshole.

Dean: Fine, presenting the Dean Lifetime Achievement Award…

The Deanfortythree Guide to NaNoWriMo

It’s almost NaNoWriMo! You have no clue what you’re going to write about, do you? I didn’t think so! And no clue how you’re going to pull it off? That either, I know. Well, never fear, I’m here with all the handy tips you’ll need to make it to December with whatever sanity you have intact!

Give Up Now: Let’s be honest, you’re not going to make it. Why not beat the rush and just quit now? Then take to your favorite social media platform and ridicule your friends as they toil in vain! Take pleasure in each one who fails, gives up and joins you. That is your NaNoWriMo. You’ll enjoy it 10000% more.

Do Not Plan Ahead: If you’re going to insist on going ahead with some insane word count goal, don’t plan it out. That will just drive you crazy. Wing it. Plus, you’re basically Hemmingway, Shelley, and King all rolled into one, so there you’ll be ahead of the curve by day three anyway.

Share Your Word Count: At least every hour. Everyone is waiting for those updates. Hashtag it up, too. Something like “#wordcount: 12 #writing #amwriting #NaNoWriMo #lookitme” should do it. The world awaits your brilliance.

Edit as you Go: Don’t be the dork who comes out of NaNoWriMo with a first draft. This is the GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL, not some hack crap. Make sure every sentence is perfect before moving on.

Surf the Internet: Inspiration is a combination of lightning striking and magic. You never know when, where or how it will hit, so maximize your chances by scouring every corner of the internet. I recommend three windows of twenty tabs apiece. You won’t miss anything THAT way.

Panic if you Fall Behind: This is the killer. You get a little behind, and you’re screwed. Cancel all your plans, and scribble furiously until you’re caught up (then make sure you edit it, as above).

 

There you go! You’re all set for a great NaNoWriMo!

In Response

I sat back, incredulous, believing only that my eyes deceived me. There was no way they were interpreting the light coming from my laptop correctly. Somewhere between that glowing screen and the synapses of my brain, the signal was jumbled. Maybe the problem lay deeper, I though, and clicked refresh. But there it was, plain as day.

Five stars.

Another one.

I dare you to review this book.

I dare you to review this book.

No. Way. Why? How? Who? Questions ran through my scrambled brain, trying to rectify the words I was reading to the apparent fact that they were about words I had written.

best things from Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and Firefly“*

A wonderful collection of characters and tales, seeded throughout with colorful snippets of “future history.”*

“skilled story-telling and imaginative world-building“*

“Humanities crowning achievement. A modern wonder of the world, surpassing the first seven.”**

They had to be talking about someone else. Not me. I had to know why. I gchatted my friend, Carey.

“You’ve been reading reviews again, haven’t you?”

Maybe.

“You’re an idiot,” she said, sending me a link to a ridiculous cat gif.

Really helpful. I pressed on in my righteous course. I had to find out who these people were and why they said these things. One of the reviews was from ‘Scott’, as if that would be his real name. I found him on Twitter, and from the looks of it, he likes sports (as if) and runs a blog where he gives thoughtful, balanced reviews to a lot of SciFi books. He even writes. Probably writing these nice reviews in order to get attention.

What a monster.

Maybe I’m crazy, I thought. Should I just leave it alone? But then- he lives not to far from here. An hours drive…

A couple minutes of Googling later, and I have his home and work address, phone numbers and a disturbingly descriptive account of an incident with a banana in grade school.

Obviously Carey was no help, so I tried Megan.

“Hey.”

“Don’t do it, you moron.”

“I haven’t even said anything yet.”

“Carey told me.”

“Already?”

“Yes. Don’t. Do. It.” More links to gifs, this one from that show, with the guy giving the side eye. Apparently it’s funny because his name is Dean.

They don’t understand. Don’t they get it? These reviews could make me. If people read them, they might buy my book, and I might make enough to write full-time. So I have to meet him. I have to know.

Maybe I should call first. Yeah, I’ll do that. The phone rings, his ringback tone is that damn Happy song, because of course it is.

“Hello?”

My blood is ice when he answers. What am I even going to say?

“Hi. Scott?”

“Yeah.”

The man’s nerve is not to be believed. He doesn’t even deny his online persona. Who does that? Monsters, that’s who.

“Hey, uh Scott. You write a book blog, right?”

“Yeah, I do.”

“What’s your review policy?”

He goes on about it for awhile, never even denying anything. He’s super pleasant the whole time.

The nerve of this guy.

“so, yeah, feel free to send it over. You have my email?”

Oh, I have your email, Scott.

The exchange rattles around in my brain for the next few days. I want more. I’m not satisfied. He needs to explain himself. I want him to say, “Yes, I’m Scott Whitmore and I gave your book five stars.”

I need to see him, face-to-face, man-to-man, and possibly several other arbitrary pairings. So it is, I am sitting in his driveway, holding my breath, ready for the exchange. I don’t know what I’m going to say, my mind is a cold London night in a fog as I walk up the drive. I exhale as my knuckles reach the door- the die is cast.

The door opens. It’s him.

“Hi, Scott,” I say.

“Do I know you?”

“It’s Dean.”

His face is blank. “You reviewed my book.”

“Oh! Hey! Yeah, man. I really liked it. What are you doing here?” I feel guilty for lying on the phone before. But I have to see it through,

“I… I wanted to know why.”

He looks puzzled. “I… I really liked it.”

Relief washes over me. “Oh. Cool.” What now? “How about the Mariners?”

“It was a fun season! Want a beer?”

Yeah, Scott. Yeah I do.

**NOTE: The people mentioned in this post are real, and are wonderful, and I don’t think Scott has a weird grade-school story involving a banana. Megan and Carey would send me gifs, tho**

*from real reviews of 3024AD.

**This one is not.