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Links of Love and Hate (and a Lesson Plan)

Firstly, Agog! Ripping Reads got a review in which my story was singled out as one of the favourites:

As for Ben Peek’s offering, I can only say that the writing is superb, the vision unique, and the title literal. “The Souls of Dead Soldiers are for Blackbirds, Not Little Boys.”

The whole review is pretty good, though.

Next, and still keeping with the things that people have said about me, Geoff Maloney has now compared me to a God. Yes. Seriously. A God. He also asks me to explain how I approach the US markets I'm in to help all those struggling writers that I'm not part of (yeah, I don't know what he's on about either). Because I appear to enjoy pointing out Geoff's Moronic Statements of Gross Stupidity, I'll do this for everyone out there, and for God, and the Country, and alla that shit.


Lesson One: How to Submit to America

1. Find a market. Use Ralan, perhaps.

2. Have you written a story? That's important.

3. Submit your story to the market.


Yes, we're done. Did you take notes?

Now, I know, I know, it seems so simple, doesn't it? Don't be fooled though: sometimes you can submit by email and by post. Those Americans are pretty fucked up like that.

Also, as an added hint to the Masters Class (and this one's just for you, Geoff), if you get a rejection, don't write back to the editor and tell him or her how they're wrong. In fact, unless an editor says, 'I'm buying your story,' don't ever fucking email the editor back to voice your opinion. Rejection means that you don't matter. Deal with it. Repeat the process and submit again.

Okay, that aside, I have one more quote from the Age, the link of which came from Patrick (artbroken). It pretty much sums up why Australian politics is fucked:

PRIME Minister John Howard has named Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II as the "three towering figures" of the late 20th century.

He said their moral clarity "punctured the nonsense" of left-wing apologists for communist dictatorships.

In a blistering attack on the left's role in global history, to mark the 50th anniversary of the conservative journal Quadrant, the Prime Minister last night lauded those who resisted the "stultifying orthodoxies and dangerous utopias" of Western intelligentsia.

Did you know that Quadrant was once funded by the CIA?




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Oct. 4th, 2006 12:22 am (UTC)
The Saga of Ben and Geoff continues, to much amusement of evil bunnies.

:casually pulls out a bat studdied with pieces of glass:

Ben, I have sold only one story to an Australian market. Since you're suppose to oversee struggling authors, I point to my failure and declare you to be a bad god. Stand still for a second... Ben, where are you going? Honestly, don't make me chase you.
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:02 am (UTC)
if i told you once, i told you a thousand times: if you don't pray hard enough to me and give me enough money, nothing will come true!

but i'll just keep runnin'
Oct. 4th, 2006 12:32 am (UTC)
It says something about American PR when yet another friendly flame war between Australians leads to the inevitable conclusion that Americans are fucked up.


It's a natural feeling, I know, and I shall not argue against it now, but merely retain a small hope that someday, somehow, we Americans and Australians will unite against those true fuck-ups, the Brits. Or, as substitutes, Canadians.

Oct. 4th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC)
aw. i was just messing witht he americans. tho you guys can now torture, which seems kinda fucked up...
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:13 am (UTC)
The Geneva Conventions were "vague."

I swear, he was never really elected. That's all I can say in our defense.
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
you know, i didn't realise this until much later, but even if bush didn't win that first election, he still won the popular vote by quite a margin. and isn'tt hat what democracy is all about ;)
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:19 am (UTC)
In the first election, Gore won the popular vote. In this last election, I think he wired the machines. Srsly. But yes, he did win the popular vote in the last election. *sigh*
Oct. 4th, 2006 12:37 am (UTC)
Just to be clear, the quote is from The Age.

The part about Howard being The Enemy, on the other hand, is me.
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:01 am (UTC)
yes, quite true. i fixed it up so it's clearer.
Oct. 4th, 2006 12:59 am (UTC)
That lesson plan is AWESOME. It could be a SEMINAR. You ARE a god. That writing advice HELPED ME SO MUCH. Geoff is a GENIUS to see the brilliance in you.

(Hey if you don't use the capslock key, I'm going to have to... It can indicate SARCASM. :-D)
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:15 am (UTC)
aw. i was just about to pitch it as a seminar...
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:18 am (UTC)
I don't like to put down or insult people I don't even know but whatever I read of what he writes makes absolutely no sense. Now granted, I'm a bit prejudiced but still. I just read it and think... I could never have come up with that given the same information.
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:23 am (UTC)
geoff's just a moron. it's a shame, since he can actually write, but as soon as he's able to open his mouth, he just lets big ropey strands of moronism out. it does him more harm than anything else.
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)
It's easy to see why people get shat off with you though. Your strategy is a bit passive-aggressive - you've taken up a position about "supporting local talent" that's very defensible within the parameters of your professed beliefs about the industry (which themselves provoke accusations of "social Darwinism"). From within the aegis of this tidy little ideological fortress you're free to sally forth with pointed repartee, needling the self esteem of your antagonists whilst presenting a very small target.

Flailing, floundering, capsizing and hole-digging ensues.

I'm not saying I disagree with you, per se - although I might claim you have an advantage here mainly from controlling the ground, rather than from actually being right in any definitive sense - but if I did disagree I'd certainly find you a nasty little irritant :-)
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:45 am (UTC)
you know, i try not to go after people on other blogs and in other places. i see some of it, because people send me the links, you know? but you've got to get pretty extreme for me to bother attacking you if you're outside this blog. but here, inside the blog, in what i consider my place, i feel i'm free to do and say whatever i want :)

other than that... eh. i don't get the hassle. sure, i probably do annoy people, but in the grand scheme of things, it's all a storm in a teacup.
Oct. 4th, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
Which makes you a man in a boat in a tiny teacup I guess ... ;-)
Oct. 4th, 2006 02:58 am (UTC)
yeah, but least i know i'm in the boat in the teacup. others i'm not so sure... ;)
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)

Did you know that Quadrant was once funded by the CIA?

Once funded?

There was an article somewhere, somehow, in the depths of the Internet about how the CIA in the '50s and '60s funded many small cultural and literary magazines of which Quadrant was one. They also funded some left-leaning ones (if I recall correctly.)

I think there's still a US agency funding Australian journalists through the Australian/American Friendship association (the one that has the big dinner each year that all the usual suspects attend.)

But that's just my paranoia - which is sadly going unfunded at the moment.
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:49 am (UTC)
maybe you should apply for funding?
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:54 am (UTC)
It's easy to have moral clarity when you aren't capable of complex thoughts.

OK, that was a cheap shot, and one squarely aimed at Reagan. JP II was a cunning and devious bastard.
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:58 am (UTC)
and he's still ruling from beyond the grave...
Oct. 4th, 2006 02:03 am (UTC)
Goddamn vampires.

I also like your advice to writers, not that it applies to me. Although the general prinicple is the same: write paper, send to conference, get rejected, rewrite paper or write a different paper, send to conference, rinse, lather, repeat until a paper gets accepted & etc.
Oct. 4th, 2006 02:11 am (UTC)
it really is the only advice, no matter what you write, i think. i suspect the same principles can be applied to any kind of art, such as painting, comics, whatever. these days i even think that talent, like, natural ability, comes second to your ability to just persist. i've known a few writers who had more skill than me, and they just haven't kept going, and they eventually just stopped doing it altogether.
Oct. 4th, 2006 02:17 am (UTC)
i've known a few writers who had more skill than me, and they just haven't kept going, and they eventually just stopped doing it altogether.

I nearly wrote something about "get demoralized and give up", but decided against it.

I think to succeed in the arts, (or perhaps anywhere) one needs both talent and drive. Talent alone doesn't cut it, and occassionally those with not much talent but a huge amount of drive will make it. Another way to say this is that one needs to really believe in the importance of ones own work.
(no subject) - benpeek - Oct. 4th, 2006 02:20 am (UTC) - Expand
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Oct. 4th, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
your ass!


heh. i'm sorry, i just couldn't resist.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 4th, 2006 02:27 am (UTC)
remember to clean it up before you submit it!
Oct. 4th, 2006 03:48 am (UTC)
Following Mr Maloney's lead...
Comparing Ben Peek to a god:

"Unlike a god, Ben Peek is not omniscient"
"Whereas a god is immortal, Ben Peek is an ephemeral phenomenon."

Oct. 4th, 2006 01:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Following Mr Maloney's lead...
...sniffle. how dare you make me falliable.
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