Nathan Bransford, Author

Monday, March 9, 2009

Introducing Negativity Week

Boo! You suck! Boo!!

Just kidding.

I am, however, very swamped today, and in lieu of an actual blog post please accept this haiku:

Queries pouring in
Flood, ye electrons, flood on!
My raft sprung a leak

UPDATE: litgirl01 requested a Negativity Week video. I give you.... DOG NIGHTMARES (actually it's completely hilarious)


Anonymous said...

Queries read by line,
rejections are sad.
Try, try again.


Josephine Damian said...

Nathan, off topic, but did you know you get a nice shout out in the acknowledgement section of Stuart Neville's THE TWELVE?

Marilyn Peake said...


Happy query reading!

I'm going to busy myself with writing.

Melissa said...

Queries that follow
Guidelines and no albinos
An agent can hope!

Mercy Loomis said...

Queries are the suck,
but how else to get ahead?
Ah, sweet commission.

Yvette Davis said...

I know this is bad Haiku form. I just don't like to play by the rules all the time:

Here they come
They cry by the thousands
There aren't enough I-Ching sticks to go around.

Maybe some of your query-ers should have consulted the ancient runes first?

Nathan Bransford said...

I hadn't heard, Josephine! Can't wait for it to come out. Stuart's a champ.

Merry Monteleone said...

Poor lovely Nathan
Sending you a cyber drink
and query paddle

Happy reading, and congratulations on the acknowledgement mention!!! I can't wait until Stuart's book hits shelves here.

Anonymous said...

That reminds me of one of my favorite books...
David M. Bader's Haiku U :From Aristotle to Zola, 100 Great Books in 17 Syllables

It's hilarious and a great gift!

Marilyn Peake said...

Not query ready
Tendril-wrapped in mad embrace
I dance with the Muse.

Ink said...

Spelling mistakes - oy!
and rhetorical questions...
sink, boat, and save me.

Yat-Yee said...

I think you should require all of your queries be written in haiku form.

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

Get a little rhyme in:

Queries pouring in
Flood, ye electrons, flood on!
My leaky raft spins

clindsay said...

Yat Yee -

Actually, I just held a contest where folks had to submit their queries in a haiku format. Just posted the winners. The surprising thing was just how many people were able to convey an entire book idea in such a concise way! I was super impressed with everyone's creativity!

Now, query sonnets...



Maria Schneider said...

So Nathan, apparently being nice = more queries? Uh-oh...

Jen said...

Ew, at least I'm not the only one having a bad week...It's almost full moon, that might be it.

Marilyn Peake said...

Haiku Wish for Nathan:

Queries of black ink
Dream them clear as cellophane
Gaze at the bright gem.

Martin Willoughby said...

I know I suck...every time I breathe in quickly with my lips pursed.

Jen said...

Cool, who wants to write the haiku for my assessment for my writing unit this semester? Anyone? Anyone?

Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! said...

this week I have to write a query letter.... YUCK

Litgirl01 said...

Too funny! LOL However, I would have enjoyed a negativity week video. Something really dark. :-D

Furious D said...

Since I'm bad at Haiku, here's a limerick.

There once was an agent named Nate
Reading queries 'til it was late
Then one day a feller
Sent in a best seller
And success was their fate

Not bad for something whipped up on the spot. ;)

rightonmom said...

OK, that was hilarious.
Poor dog!

Nary a query
very scary
but eat drink
and be merry.

Lupina said...

Doggy nightmare was so funny, yet felt so familiar: writing a query, typing, typing faster, faster, almost there, I've sent it, BAM! Head hits wall with another rejection. Duh, walk away, start again.

Lupina said...

Two questions for Ms. Lindsay;

1. Did you ask for more or fewer partials from the haiku queries?

2. Do you answer every query with at least a form rejection?

Thanks ever so much.

Lady Glamis said...

Ah, here's to hoping the week gets better. Last week was wonderful. Thanks, Nathan!

Marilyn Peake said...

Since we've been discussing positivity vs. negativity, I offer my Haiku on Positive vs. Negative:

Proton neutron fist
Electron spinning madly
Push-pull of power.

(Hmmmm, I might just be procrastinating on the novel I'm writing. This Haiku thing is addicting.)

Litgirl01 said...

Hilarious!!! LOL My students even got a kick out it. Thank you! :-)

clindsay said...

Lupina -

The haiku queries were just a contest. God forbid all my queries came that way. Even though some folks who commented on Nathan;s last post seem to think I am the spawn of Satan, I'm actually not that cruel! =)

If you scroll down a couple of weeks, you can actually read all the entries. There were (I think) 242 haikus in all.

And yes, I do try to reply to all queries with at least a form rejection. The exceptions are: (1) if something comes with an unsolicited attachment, it gets deleted before I see it (although the sender gets a form response telling them their query has been deleted without being read) and (2) if the query doesn't follow my guidelines, the writer gets a form response telling them to re-query using my posted submission guidelines.

In essence, they get a do-over if they screw up.



Anonymous said...

Deaf Indian -- (for your query endeavor)

Bravery to you
Deaf Indian Muslim
the strong will prevail.

Marilyn Peake said...

That dog is a writer. He dreams and bashes his head against the wall.

Rick Daley said...

I know who will win Best in Show this year. That was priceless.

WORD VERIFICATION: petin. As in, nobody's petin that dog 'cause it's crazy.

I swear that's what it is. I'm not making it up.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Did you see that Galley Cat featured you because of your positivity week? Here's the link

clindsay said...

I can't stop watching the dog video!

omg...going back to watch again.

Marilyn Peake said...

One more haiku especially for Negativity Week, on the amount of negativity words can create:

Piss, spit, vinegar
Blood boils, pulse throbs, word bombs hurled
Pen beats sword, dark ink.

BronzeWord said...

probocito dog. poor thing. I hope he caught whatever he was going for. especially after that head bang!
Jo Ann Hernandez

Elizabeth said...

Awesomely dogsome.

Thomas Burchfield said...


Nice job and the 7-5-7 isn't an absolute rule, as I've seen in at least one book of classic haiku.

Reading online singes eyes
"War and Peace" on Kindle?
Some readers still have some doubts

Tricia said...

That was so doggone funny, I watched it six times, laughing in the most unbecoming way.

pjd said...

the pendulum swings
making negative progress
must be a full moon?

in the interest of NOT engaging in negativity week:
yay! negativity!
we must stay positive, even in negativity week.

K.S. Clay said...

Great vid, Nathan. The dog should have been barking, though. That's what one of my dogs used to do in their sleep. They'd have their eyes closed, kick out their legs, and let out a yip. They'd grow still. Then they'd start again. And some people say dogs don't dream.

Amber Lynn Argyle said...

This was so funny, I had to show my boys. We all had a good laugh.

Marilyn Peake said...

pjd -

Excellent idea! Yaaaaaay negativity and all-around meanness! Let's stay upbeat and positive about Negativity Week! Positivity...ooops, I mean Negativity...rules!

Lupina said...

Dear Ms. Lindsay,
No spawn of Satan would post such thoughtful answers to questions that could each have been answered in one word. Again, thanks.

The reason for question 2 was that I sent a query in January that at least came close to your guidelines -- I did read them -- and never received a response. And I felt writing you directly about it might seem like pestering. Since it seems that perhaps it never reached you, may I send again?

And Nathan, do you ever do-over?

clindsay said...

Lupina -

I got very backed up on queries when I had pneumonia in January so I may not have gotten to yours yet. I get about 400-500 a week, and was out of commission for three weeks so my inbox was really out of control.

I still have a few queries from January but should be through them by the end of the week. If you don't get a response to your query by Friday, re-query me and let me know. It's possible that it went into my spam filter but I check that pretty frequently.



Anonymous said...

Poetry sucks.

How's that for negativity week?

Anonymous said...

Yes, agreed. Poetry is essentially diahhreah (sp?) of the mind.

korastoynova said...

That doggy nightmare was hilarious! You had four of us on the floor crying with laughter! Well, I guess it's good we were crying since it's negativity week, but in laughter!

Good luck with all the queries....


Sarah said...

The dog video made my day- and it's been a long one.

Mira said...

Oh, that poor dog. I hope he got yummy treats and forgot all about the nightmare.

Nathan, I am so, so sorry. I know it's been a few days since I continued our conversation. You were probably wondering if I had given up and abandoned you - but of course not! I would never do that! The last two days just weren't interruptible, that's all.

Besides, I need more time. I want to do something really BIG to show you how much our future relationship means to me. So, I'm gathering some Gautemalan orphans to serenade you. But it's harder to find Guatemalan orphans than you might think. They're not just wandering the streets all willy nilly.

I know! Color me surprised, too!

So, I need more time. I suppose I could write a haiku about how hard it is to find guatemalan orphans, but I'm not sure I could top your creation, so maybe I'll wait.

Mira said...

Oh, by the way, if anyone has a complaint about the fact that I'm gathering up guatemalan orphans, please address that to Nathan.

He had nothing to do with it, I just don't particularly feel like taking responsibility for my actions.


Bookish Cook said...

A coworker sent me that video. I thought it was really sad.

Nathan Bransford said...

bookish cook-

Come on, now. Who among us hasn't had a nightmare about a pack of wolves chasing us and ran straight into a wall?

Marilyn Peake said...

Bookish Cook -

I saw that video on the news and felt really badly for the poor dog.

T. Anne said...

Boo to you too! Negative or not, I'm positive this is going to be a very long week. For me anyway. Now back to the dog video!

Anonymous said...

Dang it, that happens to me all of the time. At least the poor dog wasn't dreaming he was being stuffed into an envelope because he was sleeping in a bunk bed and woke up a whole house full of people (that were not my family) yelling for them to stop. Or fall down the stairs sleep walking because you have to pee.

Kristy Colley said...

Oh Nathan that was SO hilarious!! I will be forwarding that poor dog to my entire inbox!

Lupina said...

Thank you, Ms. Lindsay. I'm so sorry you were ill. I will wait, no problem.

Writer from Hell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Writer from Hell said...

your leaking raft
this soothing grey, at ease now
i thought you were brown!

Kristan said...

lotusgirl said...

LOL! I like Negativity Week already. Bring it on!

Jude Hardin said...

Haha! I'm sure the dog was relieved that it was only a dream.

Author J.A. Konrath discusses literary agents on my blog today, so everyone please stop by and say howdy.

Tracey S. Rosenberg said...

"Query me first!" Great,
but will your query stand out...?
Include some bacon!

Anonymous said...

I hate Haiku
It is a boring poem
The change decreases sleep

Anonymous said...

How was that for neg...How the blank do you spell negativity?

Vancouver Dame said...

So far, this negativity week doesn't measure up to your standard, Nathan. Too much poetry that's not to my taste. Hope you get through the work soon.

To Jude Hardin: checked out your site and the interview with J.A. Konrath. (I follow his blog too) I like his style. Thanks for the alert in Nathan's blog.

Anonymous said...

This is a love haiku for colleen.

Colleen was pummelled
don't be sad colleen darling
you are still loved.

Scott said...

Rejected again?
Give thanks.
From pain, inspiration.

unamifyj (yoo-nam'-i-feezsh) n. 1. a word caused to mean its opposite by the addition of a single letter.

Mira said...

Well. In between my exhausting seach for guatemalan orphans, I used this as an opportunity to learn more about haiku. I thought I'd share what I found.

From wiki, the source of all things knowledgable and good:

"A haiku is an unrhyming verse form, conveying a complete image or feeling in three lines of syllables, and are usually about nature or natural things."

The form is as thus:

5 syllables
7 syllables
5 syllables

Nathan's haiku follows the form correctly. And he was able to smush and stretch the topic of queries into a nature format without hurting himself. That's a good thing.

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

Witch Haiku:

1 syllable
3 syllables
13 syllables
10 syllables (token iambic pentameter line)

Lines can be in any order, and multiple stanzas built up for longer poems. A "nonce" form I created for cute Halloween book of the same title.

For some reason, 1-3-13-10 sounds like a spell for poof! purple and white striped socks, fav attire of witches everywhere.

Mira said...

That's cool. Create your own haiku form. I like it.

Taffy said...

Thanks for the time you spend on your blog! It helps me and quite often, gives me a laugh.
Weird that you wrote a haiku...I was practicing writing haikus this weekend! Yours was GREAT!

Cat Lovington said...

I love this blog and look forward to it everyday.

davidf said...

Um, Nathan, I think that dog was having a seizure. Seriously. We're now the lucky owners of a SECOND dog to have this unfortunate disorder.

Some people have all the luck!

MarianneSullivan said...

I may not know much about being a literary agent, but I do know an awful lot about dogs. That video didn't make me laugh, that poor dog has a neurological disorder or as someone suggested was having a seizure. It seems infantile, at worst, and just lacking awareness of canine behavior at the least, for his owners to think it's funny for him to show some aggressive behavior (lunging at a phantom) and then crash into a wall.

J. M. Strother said...

I haven't laughed so hard in years. But since this is negativity week, all I can say is that video sucked. ;)

Marilyn Peake said...

davidf -

That's why I didn't find the dog video funny. It looked more like a neurological disorder, rather than a onetime event, to me. That poor dog probably has lots of incidents just like that one or worse.

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