Saturday, December 8, 2007

Nyet, Nein, La, Non, Nao

From the yellow boards:
I'm a newbie, but I have been writing poetry. Now I think im ready for children picture book writing. Just wondering, I like how the children book is business about. I have done some researching. I just want to know, as being a poet; I wonder, if I'm am ready to take the next step.
Other questions that have the same answer:
  • I want to know if this electrical socket is live. Should I use a fork or a screwdriver?
  • I have a rash somewhere, you know, private. But my girlfriend's on the pill, so that's ok, right?
  • I'll just put my makeup on in the car. I can drive with my knees, and what are all those mirrors for, anyway?
  • The only way to get published is to make your own rules and do things to stand out from the rest of the herd. Won't it impress an editor if I show up at her office or mail her little gifts of lingerie with my manuscript?


Anonymous said...

I don't know. John Candy drove with his knees. SMILE

Karen said...

Gently, dear. Gently. They don't know what they don't know. And what they don't know is just about EVERYTHING about publishing. At least this thought to asks someone first before stuffing his or her work into an envelope and sending it to YOU!

Karen said...

(Pardon the awful errors in that comment -- I had two kitties struggling for posession of my lab as I wrote it.)

Editorial Anonymous said...

You're right, KB.

And the answer this person received in that forum was quite gentle-- informative and encouraging. It's just too bad it wasn't to the point.

Anonymous said...

Oh my.
Let's try.
To write a YA.

Man, if I can write poetry like that, do you think I could write a novel? Say 45,000 words.

Anonymous said...

um, what are the yellow boards?

Kelly said...

I don't know, E.A. I think you should consider yourself quite lucky the yellow boards exist.

One thing I've noticed about people who *write* for children is that they are, generally speaking, a very kind bunch. I'm sure they treated this poor soul on the yellow boards generously. And, K.B. makes an excellent point. Better they ask this ill-worded, ungrammatical question over at the yellow boards before addressing their poetry to you, no?

Editorial Anonymous said...

Yes, absolutely.
This is a good example of some of the sluch you guys are swimming with, though.

Editorial Anonymous said...

Ah, slush.

Anonymous said...

To the person who asked:

The Yellow Board is

another kids' writers forum.

Anonymous said...

The yellow boards are awful. The SCBWI boards are better, but of no use to anyone but newbies. I prefer the blue boards (Verla Kay).

Anonymous said...

I can tell from the grammar that English is probably not this person's first language. My husband's isn't either, and it takes an incredible amount of courage to go on a public board and try to compose a sentence that people won't laugh at. Same with going for a job interview, or asking for directions, or calling the bank where people treat you like you're stupid because you have an accent and mix up the order of words.

You cannont possibly judge a person's talent, intelligence and drive based on one written sentence.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you emay. And Harold's.

And of course THIS blog.

Anonymous said...

Writing for publication isn't a necessary everyday task. I think it is reasonable to expect that someone who wants to write children's books should be fluent in the language.

Anonymous said...

Fluency and perfection are different. And thank goodness no one ever told that to Allen Say, or if they did, thank goodness he didn't listen.

There are people all over the world who have important things to say, and with dedication will no doubt find a way to say them.


Editorial Anonymous said...

I have family members (by marriage) who are similarly challenged in the English department. And I've been the foreigner who can't speak very well in other countries. Mastering another language is a tremendous task, and those who attempt it have my sincere admiration.
I'd never make fun of someone simply for not being fluent in a language. But this person seems not to be aware he/she isn't fluent, or thinks fluency isn't needed to write for children (or write poetry). Neither of those are mistakes of talent or drive.

Anonymous said...

Success isn’t magic or hocus pocus, the main prerequisite is that you commit to working harder than you ever thought you could or should.
Check out Jane Yolen's web site. She works at being a children's book author every day, every hour.

Anonymous said...

I want to know if this electrical socket is live. Should I use a fork or a screwdriver?

I'm just glad I swallowed my beverage BEFORE I read a:)
Made my day!

Christine Tripp

Anonymous said...

I was wondering, in what language is no = la? And I found a site that lists "no" in 520 languages. Oh, it's arabic. Thank you for the enlightenment.

In this case, maybe you should have added a Chechen no, which is "Haa-ha." But you are probably too nice for that.

Sarah Miller said...

Nevermind the fluency issue -- the real blunder here IMO is not realizing that there's a huge difference between writing poetry and writing for children.

Donna Farley said...

I don't understand why someone whose first language isn't English doesn't write in their first language and try to get published in that language?

Or, write in their mother tongue and find a translator to put the work into English before submitting it to an English-language publisher?

Carly said...

You guys are too kind. Where oh where is Miss Snark when you need her? ;)

Miss Awesome said...

If I knew editors got lingerie sent to them I'd have become one, without a doubt!

Damn, I think I missed my calling.

Anonymous said...

Well, if you see how YOUNG and beautiful many of these editors are, you might want to send the lingerie to their boyfriends. It would mean more coming from the boyfriend.

It would be a little bizarre from a writer....yes?!

When I was young and...I used to get all kinds of things from vendors and artists,around the holidays...lingerie was not one of them. It was more like can-openers, mugs... practical things for the poor in the cockroach infested apartment in New York.

Anonymous said...

But if the lingerie fits, that means the sender is a good writer, right?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:37 -- you crack me up!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:22

amanda bee said...

Not to get all literal the first time I'm reading this here bee-lawg, but I don't see any signs that this writer's challenge is English as a whole.

um S/he got I'm right twice, but smack in the middle decided to throw punctuation to the wind. S/he knew better.

dois Being as how lots and lots of native speakers of the English language succumb to tics like "as being a poet" and variations like "being as I am a poet" which cause head explody of the acute form, you know?

trĂªs Since when is poetry a precursor to picture books? That makes no type of sense in any language.

quatro Whatever the hells they were trying to ask about the children's book business, there is no question there. So you wonder if you are ready to take the next step? Do you have an ideas? Is there a book you want to write? Is there a particular reason that you want to get into picture books?

So don't give me this "not everyone is fluent in English" hooey. Nyet.

Notes from a Virtual Easel said...

So many people think that anyone with 5 minutes to spare can write a children's book or, for that matter, a poem.

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