Friday, November 20, 2009

Bunches of Stuff

I really don't want to repeat what's been said all over the I-world about Harlequin Horizons. Might be that the Harlequin response to RWA's stance hasn't hit many places yet (I haven't seen it much), so I'll talk about that.

RWA revoked Harlequin's eligibility in its entirety, which ONLY means, currently, that Harlequin cannot attend the national conference in an official capacity. Per a post at Pub Rants, Harlequin is saddened and dismayed by RWA's lack of foresight about the changing face of publishing today. Please excuse me while I projectile barf.

Interestingly, because their authors are so furious dismayed, they are taking steps to remove the Harlequin name from the venture. Okay, that's a great first step. The biggest concern has obviously been dilution of the brand, that readers will read a crappy vanity-published Horizons book and apply that crappiness to all Harlequin-branded books.

But what about the marketing propaganda on Harlequin's website? What about mentioning in rejection letters that we might want to consider Horizons as a viable option? If those things don't go away, minimum, RWA can't reverse its decision. MWA is fast on their way to the same conclusion, and SFWA has gone a step further and completely revoked the ability going forward of any Harlequin-published author to use that book to join SFWA, and they flat out stated a name change isn't good enough.

Kind of talking point is that Harlequin indicates, a few times, the possibility that books that do well through Horizons could receive a true publishing contract. Many people say "if it wasn't good enough for Harlequin proper in the first place, how is it going to become good enough?" That argument makes a lot of assumptions.

First, there's no rule that a Horizons book has to be rejected by Harlequin first. Some people might go straight to Horizons, thinking they'll prove to Harlequin that the book is good enough and boost their chances of selling it to them.

Oh, as a side note--not all people who choose vanity press are being "taken in." I knew someone who claimed she turned down an Avon contract and went with Publish America instead because she kept control of everything from the cover to the content and kept all her rights, too.

Okay, back to the editorial thing. I just got a rejection from a Harlequin imprint that praised most everything about my book, but there was one element that just didn't work for the editor, and since it's a pretty big thread in the story, she passed. (I'm agented, so she didn't suggest Horizons. :) ) Not ALL rejections are about quality. Some are about fit, especially for the series romances. Some are made because even though the book is good, the editor just doesn't want to have to read it three more times, or whatever.

Which sounds like I'm defending the whole refer-to-Horizons thing, which I'm NOT. I hate the idea. I hope they back out immediately. I can't see any benefit to anyone but corporate.

Which is one last thing I wanted to say, because even though some people have said similar things, it gets lost in the morass of commentary:

I believe this decision came from high levels in Harlequin Enterprises/Torstar, well above the editorial positions, as a money-grubbing an eager move for income to save the deep-in-the-red non-Harlequin divisions in the parent company. And maybe to support flagging sales in the nevertheless-profitable HE proper. As such, I feel terrible for the editors and hard-working people within Harlequin who truly believe in the product they create and the authors they work with, but are forced to defend this move cheerfully and passionately. I would have a very hard time believing the regular editors like this deal any better than the authors do.

Okay. Moving on.

Supernatural, why? Why NINE freakin' weeks? I can't survive without you until January 21st! And FIE on you people who posted it would return on January 14, giving false hope for a shorter hiatus!

There were a couple of things that jarred me about this episode. In the beginning, when they went after Crawley...come on, a wrinkle in the rug? You guys are NOT that sloppy. I was expecting a secondary trap. Of all times for the guys to lose their brilliance? And Sam pulling the trigger on him...again, he's not that stupid, and it made him look stupid, though Mark Sheppard is da bomb and made the whole thing smooth.

And then, at the end, when Lucifer said "Helll-o, Death" and then we went to the usual super-long commercial break and we come back and the boys are at Bobby's? But how? And okay, maybe Cas pulled them out, but if he did, where is he? Did I miss him in that too-short, too-abrupt, albeit touching final shot?

In between, though, in between...gah. They killed me.

Jo was so kick-ass! I loved it! The hellhounds? That action sequence was heart-pounding. And then, of course, what came after was heartbreaking. Number One and I sat on opposite couches and sobbed. I think I haven't sobbed so hard at TV since Laverne's firefighting boyfriend died. I called Number One over to cuddle with me, and she lay against me, head on my shoulder, in exactly the same position that Ellen cradled Jo. And I put my hand on her head exactly as Ellen had, and kissed her the same way, and we both sat there and sobbed. And she never left my side until it was over. And my heart still feels shredded from the power of Ellen's grief, OMG.

And Cas looked hot in that ring of fire.

And I totally buy Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer, the manipulative bastard.

And the red head-pops in the demons were cool.

And I loved Cas tossing Meg across the fire to break the circle.

Oh! And I was floored by Dean's ability to get so close to Lucifer without him knowing, to take him by surprise. Excellent foreshadowing and demonstrating his vulnerability, fallibility. Awesome.

I hated losing Ellen, and even Jo, but it didn't make me hate the writers. If they kill Van Pelt or Riggsby on The Mentalist, however, I'm totally not watching it anymore. Don't tell me if you've already watched it. Obviously, I haven't!

More Supernatural news:

I'm going to the Salute to Supernatural in New Jersey! WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!

Right now just AJ Buckley and Travis Wester (The Ghostfacers) are announced. That's cool, I haven't seen them before, but $329 is a little much for just them. I have a theory, which might be based on coincidence that I'm taking as evidence, but I'm thinking maybe the bigger names are more likely to commit if it sells out (i.e. more money for them!). So buy now!

I really hope Richard Speight Jr. will be there. He said he'd like to be, but mentioned he hoped they ask him sooner this time. ASK HIM NOW, CREATION! I wants him there! Richard is currently my very favorite celebrity of all time. Not only is he super-nice and super-smart and super-great to talk to, he did an interview with me! You'll see it up at Supernatural Sisters next Wednesday. In the meantime, head over there now to see Terri's recap of last night's episode! (Note: as of the time I wrote this, it wasn't up yet, but hopefully by the time you read this, it will be. If you're reading this at 2:15 a.m., you're more insane than I am.)

I have failed at my goals this week. I did revise Full Fusion, but I'm now 11,717 words behind my goal. Gah. If I only aim to win NaNo (50,000 words), I'm slightly ahead of goal. I might have to settle for that, and finish the last 20k in December. No reason not to, except personal accomplishment.

Which is sorely lacking this week. Back to the list: pulled EOBs but did not otherwise touch the PT bill; started to order contacts, but did not get a response, so must retry; haven't touched the website, though I did add two more things to the list of updates.

What the heck did I do this week? Grocery shopping. Bank/library/post office/Target/school errands. Boot squad meeting. Wayyyyy too much e-mailing and post-reading about the HH thing. Freelance bids and work. So, not nothing. Just all the wrong things. LOL

Okay, now this post is officially obnoxiously long. Would be nice if I blogged more frequently and less wordily, huh?



MJFredrick said...

I thought Cas pulled them out, because he was there when Lucifer was summoning Death, then Lucifer looked over and Sam and Dean were gone.

LOVED Ellen's role, and even Jo. I do wish we'd seen more of them this season, that might have made it more powerful.

NINE weeks? I hadn't counted. WAH!

Cindy Procter-King said...

Excellent points about the Horizons debacle, Natalie. Yesterday I was wondering about how the H/S editors feel about this, too. And I totally agree that taking the Harlequin name off Horizons, while a good step, isn't enough to get them back onto the list of RWA-eligible publishers. The possible wording in the rejection letters is particularly worrisome.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I thought they cut to commercial directly from Lucifer gazing up at Death, but I guess I'm remembering wrong. Wanting to know who Death was distracted me. :)

Gah, I don't know if that scene could have been more powerful! It tore me up!

Cindy, your post was part of what launched my thoughts on the HH thing. :) The poor new members of the RWA board. Talk about trial by fire!

MJFredrick said...

I'll have to watch again, but I do remember Lucifer looking toward where the boys had been and they were gone. And Cas was there for a flash.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I'm sure you're right, Mary. I remember seeing Cas in the trees, motioning to Dean and Sam to be quiet. I'll watch again for the other part. :)

But Cas wasn't with Bobby and the boys for the very end, was he? If he wasn't, I wonder where he went.