Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday, Bloody Friday

Brace yourselves, faithful PMN round-up readers: there has been a spike in Amish romance. No, that's not the shocking part. But, ok, shock: this intelligence comes, suspiciously, mere weeks after the PMN Amish vampire contest. Clearly this is not the culmination of slowly growing interest, word of mouth, or some continuation of the trend that inspired the article that inspired the contest. Nay, this is pure plagiarism, and I won't stand for it. This must be how Jesus feels about Phillip Pullman's new book rewriting the Gospels. Or how the Nazis felt about Hemmingway lobbing grenades at U-boats. Or how Dickens would feel if he realized that people question why we should actually read his work. Or how every writer ever feels about James Patterson's 17 book, 3 year deal with Hachette, which will be completed with the help of small Indonesian children in a sweatshop.

Yea, he'll put out a lot of books. Yea, he'll make a mint doing it (probably like the money of one Dan Brown novel!). But will it be quality? Apparently nothing new is quality anymore. And maybe that's true. Spell-check has ruined us, and turned us into blobs of poar speeling edeyots. The Simpsons has trumped PhDs in English (and how!). The c-word is no longer shocking. And the Harry Potter books are the most popular books at Guantanamo.

On the other hand, people are reading on the subway (eruditely), you can start a WASP book club, and I am seriously considering adopting the word "ovablastic" (it means exactly what it sounds like it means). So maybe the quality isn't so low--something good better come out of the shame huts that are writing workshops. What else would Neil Gaiman put on his shelves? Please wipe up your book-lust drool--it's very unattractive, and may carry zombie virus. Quick, take this quiz and see how fast you could start showing zombie symptoms, so you know how much time you have left to read!

Before the zombie venom seeps into your veins, order your Christmas books and save the industry. And now that indie publishers are competing with big publishers in terms of salaries, they need your hard earned cash more than ever for "breaking even" purposes.

Order your embargoed books early for the winter season, so you can be the first kid on your block to read them. Well, first besides the New York Times, who nabbed an early copy of the Kennedy memoir. A very angry Hachette has hired a private detective to track down the leak (this is also the plot for Patterson's 13th book of 17). A great post explains what it means to embargo a book, because I had no idea what that technically "means."

For more terms that you may use but don't know, check out this vocab list. It can help you write your lit papers, in case you can't take this great model for avoiding writing a paper on The Time Machine. A time machine could also maybe help you avoid ever becoming older than your favorite novel characters--a depressing prospect. And it might stem the depression that comes from realizing that the managing editor of the New Yorker is 26, and the new books editor for the Daily Beast is 24. That's right: you. Are. Old.

Oh well. Make yourself feel better with the knowledge that The Hobbit is slowly wending its way into your movie theater. Finally. And before I leave, I pose a question for you: weekly contests, yay or nay? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I attend your blog for no other reason than those contests... and for the wealth of knowledge... and the hilarious remarks... and the rewarding comments section...

  2. Having never participated in one of the contests, you know my vote. I really dig the meat of the blog, though. Good stuff.

  3. Weekly contests are enjoyable, but not required. Feel free to only do contests when you feel inspired!

  4. And I thought Nathan was the King of Links.
    Contests? Fun, but not a necessity.

  5. The sad part is...your idea for the plot of Patterson's 13th novel is probably better than what the real thing will be. Oh, be still my jealous heart.

  6. Aw. You had to tell me I'm old right before my 25th birthday, didn't you?

    If you're up to the challenge, I know we are. Yea to contests!

  7. I enjoy reading the contest entries - so yes - although I don't participate in them.

  8. I am immensely sad because your post made me realize that I am both old seriously lacking in books in my home (as compared to Neil Gaimen).

  9. No Huzzah! :( no contest? I think my wee hope for a happy Friday (besides all the happy links keeping me from hw) have been thrown off a cliff onto sharp pointy rocks. Why not have us come up with horrible plots we may see in Patterson's upcoming marathon of books?

    I thought I felt old realizing some of my classmates were born when I was in first grade yesterday. Now I have a goal to achieve thus ensuring I rub in my own youth on others and make them feel really old. CEO of Google at 24, it could happen.

  10. I'm new to your blog (thanks to BBAW, I found you) and really enjoying it here :) "...which will be completed with the help of small Indonesian children in a sweatshop." had me laughing out loud! (at work...oops)

    Weekly contests would be great, but I'd pop in even if there weren't bookish incentives.

  11. Am I the only one that did the zombie quiz? 1 hour, 17 minutes.

    Thanks for confirming that I. Am. Old.

    Final word...Your brain > spellcheck. Don't expect common sense from a computer program.

  12. Your posts are always so much fun. I like the contests even when I'm not participating.

    So yay!

    How about asking us our favorite line from a novel or our fav secondary characters. OK, not a contest, but could be fun.

  13. I've heard such great things about your blog and finally landed on it today. Although I'm probably more of a screenwriter at heart than a novelist, I have just finished my first novel.

    So your blog is a big help along this new bumpy road. Thanks!

  14. Save The Words is a great site.
    I input 'ovablastic' at and it came up as "no results found". The c-word, however, will net you three definitons.

  15. Contests are fun, but like others said, don't need to be weekly. This is from someone who hasn't entered one of yours before, though!

  16. Patterson blows. Now he is just going to blow 17 times in 36 months.

    Neil Gaiman is so yummy I wouldn't need the library to tempt me, but it's a huge plus. He looks like a good candidate for a Kindle.

    The "old" remark was just downright mean.

  17. WASP bookclub? Gosh, I thought they all were. But maybe that's just because I'm from Utah (where, I suppose, we have to have WASM bookclubs....)
    And it's so disheartening to realize that now the Hobbit will be ruined as much as LOTR was. What characters will they change drastically this time? How about making Bard of Laketown into an evil guy, as was done with Faramir in LOTR? Or how about changing the plot completely and having the Elves revolt? Why not? After all, in LOTR, they moved the Alliance of Elves and Men 3000 years out of chronology in the story.
    Okay, I'll shut up now.

  18. I'm like Janet... I've heard great things about this blog (and let me not mention the oh-so-not-subtle nudges from Nathan Bransford on his blog) but this is the first chance I've had to get here. You are absolutely fabulous to read - Keep it up! :) And I love contests... so... yea!

  19. Weekly contests rock! They keep the contest tempo alive!
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