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Tag Archives: Fringe

I/we are looking for various submissions for various things, so here are some various notes for you on this various Tuesday.


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As many of you faithful readers know, I recently became the fiction editor (or Fiction Editor–I never know whether or not to capitalize that) at the Texas Observer, a print magazine based here in Austin.

We’re not open to regular submissions at present, but we are holding our first annual short story contest, aptly named the Texas Observer Short Story Prize. Our guest judge is the legendary Larry McMurtry, author of such classics as Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show, and Terms of Endearment.

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Where in God’s name did the expression “Beating a dead horse” come from? Who, when faced with a person who was forcing an issue that had already been decided, was the first to liken that situation to physically assaulting an expired pony? Did the coiner of that phrase actually picture his/her conversation partner battering a prone, lifeless horse? Terrifying.

When I first considered the idea of recycling old blog content, “beating a dead horse” is what first came to mind. It’s not really accurate, though. The issue hasn’t already been decided, which means that the horse is still alive. Recycled content is more like running a horse in a race against a class of horses that has already whupped his/her ass many times before.

I’ve got it: Recycled content is like whipping a nearly-dead horse.

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When we left Dick and Bane, they were in the initial stages of jointly ruining my department’s next issue of Fringe. A few of you guessed at what might happen next, and a couple of you got it right.

Yes, Bane did indeed write back a few days later to tell me that her agent wanted her to “shop” her story “elsewhere.” It caught me off guard … I’d heard of writers turning down acceptance before, but never did I think it would happen to me at Fringe. Especially from someone who really hasn’t published very much. In the words of my Editorial Assistant Anna, “Since when is Bane such a big deal?” Answer: she’s not.

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Sometimes I just loathe writers.

If you’re visiting our blog, odds are that you’re a writer yourself. I don’t mean to imply that I sometimes loathe you specifically. I don’t. We’ve had some lovely times together. Plus, I’m a writer myself, and a cheerleader for writers.

(And yes, I sometimes often always extra-always do loathe my writer self–but that’s a topic for a different blog post. Or for my shrink.)

(And yes, I am an actual cheerleader for writers. The pom-pons, the white tennies, shaved legs, my hair in a bow–but that’s a topic for my shrink only.)

But if you ask my editor self, he’ll tell you that it often seems like writers are out to ruin his life. This series of posts is about two of them in particular. They know who they are.

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— Let’s start where we started last week. Cooks Source issues a statement and fapology (fake apology) on their website. Meanwhile, the Brits are having a ball with this story. It’s also fun to try to find the real Cooks Source on Facebook. I would imagine that this has been the most colorful November in Judith Griggs’ life.

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