Marathon casualties

I spent the weekend hunched over my laptop, putting the wraps on the layout and such for GameSpite Quarterly 2. My eyes are swimmy and my back hurts, but by gosh the book has been uploaded and proofs have been ordered (one for me, one for the copy editor). Assuming everything goes well, I expect the final result to be available August 20. (I know, that’s nearly a month from now, but it takes a couple of weeks for Blurb to print and ship the press copies.) As a special extra to make me feel doubly accomplished, I also uploaded the subscriber bonus book and ordered a proof of that.

Is it rad? YES. It is rad.

Unfortunately, since I didn’t wrap all this up until after midnight last night, I wasn’t able to put together this week’s GameSpite online update. I hope you can forgive me.

Incidentally, about two dozen people have thrown their hats in the ring as potential authors. It’s great that so many people are interested! But since I’m only looking to add a couple of contributors to the mix, now I am dreading the inevitable 20 rejection letters I will have to mail out. Something to keep me feeling nauseous while I’m on vacation, I guess. It probably wouldn’t be smart for me to relax too much, anyway; I get paranoid when things seem to be going too well.

17 thoughts on “Marathon casualties

  1. My suggestion is just to make a sketch of ToastyFrog holding a single, wilting rose, looking forlorn with the word “Sorry” underneath and email that out as a rejection letter.

  2. I just showed off volume 1 to a friend and now cannot wait to see how Volume 2 came out.

  3. How long will Quarterly #1 be available. I really want it, but my funds are limited at this time. lol

  4. I think the way it’s set up, I don’t think it’s going away any time soon. You can still get Year One, Volume One in paperback, after all.

  5. I have zero writing experience, so I wouldn’t bother trying to contribute to GameSpite. Writing has always been a weak point for me. Everything seems to always turn out to be a jumble of incoherent thoughts due to over-analysis. Whether it’s a short story, a blog post, or even this message, I’m always re-writing and second guessing myself.

    I don’t have any intent on going back to school for journalism or anything, as I’m already established in another career doing IT work… Just for the sake of self improvement, what would be a good starting point on learning how to write? At least enough to get an appreciation on what good writing is and why it’s good. I have a vague sense of quality in journalism, and could point to an article and say, “hey, this is really well written.” But I wouldn’t be able to deconstruct it, criticize it properly, nor reproduce the quality of it with my own writing.

    At 27, am I too late to learn how to make meaningful contributions to the writing world? Or is it something that you either have or you don’t? :)

  6. Hiroshi: What you want is “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser. It’s the best book I’ve ever seen on the subject. It addresses all the questions you asked specifically and give you the confidence to start writing yourself.

  7. Yes, the biggest advantage of doing these print-on-demand style is that they can be available indefinitely, which is my intent. In fact, given what Blurb charges for shipping, I kind of recommend that people wait and buy books in batches instead of getting each one singly. It’s much more economical that way.

  8. Hiroshi, other things (besides good books on writing, as Loki recommends) that could help are writing courses – they won’t make you an instantly better writing, but talking about what makes writing good, discussing approaches you can take, and sharing work with your peers for discussion are always going to be helpful things to do.
    Other than that I guess a lot of it is to just write when you can. Practice can improve most skills, especially if you’re also looking into improving your writing in other ways while doing said practice.

  9. Just to add something for Hiroshi; keep in mind that journalism is mostly about conciseness and statement of fact, there’s very little “flavor” to it. There are well written journalism articles but they’re a different beast than something that is well written for peoples’ enjoyment.

    Parish, I hope you don’t get too stressed about rejection letters; I don’t think any of your regulars would take it personally.

  10. Man, you guys need to learn that you just need passion to write in order to write.

  11. smacketh: I disagree that good journalism doesn’t have flavor. I can’t put my finger on what keeps a reader engaged. Something is there, that I would consider flavor, I would like a better understanding of.
    Pombar: I can’t go back to school for something like this. It’s just another side project in my eternal battle with being a Jack of All Trades. Before pushing myself on practicing, I do want to make sure that I’m not practicing wrong.
    Loki: Thanks! From the Amazon preview, it looks like it will definitely address some of my fears in writing.

  12. I desperately hope Parish is actually physically mailing out rejection letters.

  13. How long will you be taking submissions? I’m really interested but I’d like to write up something new.

  14. So what you’re saying, Parish, is that those of us that are buying each Issue as they come out are getting screwed down the river on shipping charges? Scandal!

  15. Hiroshi/Loki: Seconded. My wife just picked up On Writing Well recently, and it’s fantastic. If’n you’re serious, The Elements of Style is a classic must-have for the nuts and bolts stuff.

  16. For the record, there’s a lot of controversy over whether Elements of Style is worth the paper it’s printed on as far as modern writing goes. YMMV. (Not that it doesn’t contain some good basics, but it also contains a lot of over-prescriptive nonsense in a lot of folks’ opinions.

  17. Hiroshi: I didn’t mean school/university or anything. I was referring to a 10 week evening course or some such.

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