Where have all the good blogs gone?

Monday, October 15, 2007, 8:55 PM

As Ray Davies of The Kinks once asked, where have all the good blogs gone?

Well, actually, it was 'good times', not 'good blogs', but you get my meaning. As the first anniversary of my own blog approaches, I have just returned from a blogging break. As I work through my daily diet of writing-related blogs I find myself tiring of many old favourites. In particular I'm getting a little jaded with the agent blogs where I find I'm reading the same things again and again. What can often be worse are the comments, where various desperate writers (myself included) chip in with sycophancy that occasionally borders on the ridiculous.

In one example, an agent openly berated a client on their blog. While the agent didn't name the client, that client would surely have known they were being publicly ridiculed by someone they pay to act in their best interests. When one brave commenter dared to question the professionalism of this public airing of dirty laundry, a string of fellow aspiring authors pounced, defending the agent for the indefensible, presumably in the hopes of getting on the agent's good side.

I'll admit I've done it myself, hanging around agent blogs, chipping in with my comments, and sometimes erring on the side of ass-kissing. We all do it in the course of our professional lives from time-to-time, so I'm not knocking it. It's just sometimes the commenters go a tad overboard.

I believe Miss Snark was correct in taking her bows when she did, and few others are still holding my interest. One notable exceptions are the always informative and entertaining Nathan Bransford and the matter-of-fact and educational Kristen Nelson.

Over the last few weeks I've come across some other blogs, mostly by other writers, so I think a round-up of my new things-to-read-instead-of-working places is called for. In no particular order...

Josephine Damian

Forensics lady who was my most vocal advocate in the recent First Line Contest of which I was a finalist. Her blog contains book reviews, interviews and all sorts of good things. http://josephinedamian.blogspot.com/.


Another supporter during the recent contest. Here you'll find general musings, and occasional thought-provocation, on writing in general. http://jjdebenedictis.blogspot.com/.


And once again, a supporter during the contest. Okay, there may be a pattern developing here, but not ALL of them will be people who gave me their votes. Honest. Anyway, Ello is a lawyer and writer. Her posts are always thoughtful and entertaining. She also recently got into a bout of keyboard fisticuffs with some strangers over an author's petulant response to a negative review. Needless to say, she kicked her attackers' arses up between their shoulder blades. Don't pick a fight with this woman. You will lose. http://randomactsofunkindness.blogspot.com/.


Last but not least, I discovered this blog courtesy of Ello just a few days ago. Moonrat is a New York based editor at an undisclosed publisher. She posts frequently, sometimes about publishing, but more often about life in general. I have been digging back through the archives and laughing out loud at regular intervals. The most entertaining blog I've found in quite some time. http://editorialass.blogspot.com/

And that's it for now. I may have forgotten some, and if so, I'll add them as I remember. I'll also add all these to my links over on the left as and when I get time.



Blogger jjdebenedictis said...

*Conduit's 3rd favourite sycophant waves to the masses*

:-) Thanks for the mention!

3:16 AM  
Blogger Ello said...

Hey Conduit! I was just checking in to ask if you were excited about your VAn Halen/New York city trip coming up real soon and I see you've posted! So nice of you to mention me. Thank you very much. You know as the time of your trip starts coming, you know you should definitely ask for suggestions and recommendations of places to go and eat while in NYC. You will probably get too many recommendations, but it is always nice to get an inside perspective. Between Josephine, Moonrat, me and other New Yorkers out there, I bet we can get you some real fantastic places you won't want to miss!

4:39 AM  
Blogger moonrat said...

hey! thanks for the plug!

btw you've promised to rant about book selection. i'm so glad somebody else feels the way i do!

2:26 PM  
Blogger Josephine Damian said...

*Conduit's Number One favourite sycophant waves to the masses*

*Also waves Irish flag and shakes booty*

Conduit, I stopped by to comment on your comment on Kristen'e blog and what I surprise, I saw you mentioned me. Thanks for the nod.

In my opinion, I think Kristen's taste as an agent and reader is a little (I'll be kind) light. Yes, she represents my real-life friend and RWA chapter member, Linnea Sinclair, and her blog has some insighful comments, but she's not on my list for querying.

I would represent your book in a heartbeat if I was an agent.

Have you checked out agent Janet Reid's blog? Crime magazine editor Sandra Ruttan's? Crimespace webmaster's Daniel Hatadi's? Or Kathryn Harrington and Co's, my new fave blog this week?


Re: agents. Who is Ken Bruen's agent? You might try them. Have your queried Scott Miller at Trident Media? He reps lots of crime writers like JD. Rhoades.

3:21 PM  
Blogger jjdebenedictis said...

What can often be worse are the comments, where various desperate writers (myself included) chip in with sycophancy that occasionally borders on the ridiculous.

I've noticed that effect also. On certain blogs, I don't bother reading the comments because it's unlikely I'll find anything of substance there.

The positive side to noticing this effect is that I've started only commenting on blogs when I've got something of merit to say. I "chip in" a lot less.

Miss Snark did one thing very correct. By being anonymous, her only sycophants were those who adored her humour--not those who wanted to smooch up in order to get published.

6:02 PM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

I hope you haven't completely deleted all your old blogs. :)
Did you remember to get that side trip to Colorado arranged yet?

2:47 AM  
Blogger Conduit said...

Ello: Choosing places to eat may be tricky in that I'm trying to squeeze a lot in to my five days. In most cases I'm going to have to find somewhere wherever I happen to be at that moment. And given my current proposed itinerary, that could be lower Manhattan, the Village, the upper east side, the Bronx, Brooklyn Heights, or Queens.

One place I know I'll definitely be is Queens Boulevard 'cause that's where my hotel is, not far from the big shopping mall. Checking Google Earth, there appears to be a staggering number of restaurants within stumbling distance, so any recommendations there would be cool.

Josephine: Thanks for those recommendations. I've only just begun the query process, so it's very early days yet. Janet Reid does look like a good possibility, though. And a short story may be winging its way to Sandra Ruttan zine in the near future.

SS@S: You're still my no.1 girl whom I've never met. Colorado will be my next trip, promise. Just don't expect me to do any snowboarding.

Moonrat: One rant, coming up!

11:28 PM  

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