Monday, October 30, 2006

In Which People Take Adverbs Too Seriously

You're an agent. You know the power of words. But now you want to play semantical twister? Fine then. Let’s play.

Quoting you exactly: "I am not referring to Christian inspiration,(sic) which is a legitimate genre that occasionally has good writers."

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From Answers:

“oc•ca•sion•al•ly (ə-kā'zhə-nə-lē) pronunciation. The adverb ‘occasionally’ has one meaning: now and then or here and there

Synonyms: on occasion, once in a while, now and then, now and again, at times, from time to time”

Idioms: Once in a while ---- occasionally, NOT VERY OFTEN (emphasis mine), as in ‘Once in a while I enjoy going fishing.’ [Mid-1800s] Also see every now and then; from time to time.”
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The use of ‘Occasionally,’ in the context of your sentence was as an insult whether you want to admit it or not. That said, here's the implied meaning:

"I am not referring to Christian inspiration (sic), which is a legitimate genre that has good writers EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE.”

"I am not referring to Christian inspiration (sic), which is a legitimate genre that has good writers FROM TIME TO TIME.”

"I am not referring to Christian inspiration (sic), which is a legitimate genre that has good writers but NOT VERY OFTEN.”

Clear enough?

You wrote ‘Occasionally’— as opposed to: "I am not referring to Christian inspiration (sic), which is a legitimate genre that has good writers.” _PERIOD._

Just like any other 'legitimate' genre has good writers _PERIOD._

So why sandwich 'occasionally' in there at all? (Inquiring minds want to know) UNLESS it was meant as a backhanded compliment. UNLESS it was meant as a swipe. UNLESS you really do believe the Christian Inspirational (not inspiration) market has a shortage of quality writers, because that’s what ‘occasionally’ implies.

Your comment was condescending and offensive. I don’t write inspirational fiction, but if you were to substitute any other genre in your statement it would’ve been just as rude.

It is possible to make a point without insulting an entire group of writers. If you can’t see this—even after my admittedly long-winded (and yes, anal) explanation—any further clarification will be pointless.

Allow me to clarify, but thanks for the promotion to full agent. I'll let my boss know she should pay me more.

When I said:

"Christian inspiration, which is a legitimate genre that occasionally has good writers."

What I meant was:

"Christian inspiration, which is legitimate in that big chain stores seem to be stocking it, and probably has some good writers, but I'll be damned if I've ever read a piece of Christian inspirational fiction that wasn't terribly written and/or outright offensive to all other religions. But wait, I shouldn't say that on this blog, that might offend some people, so I'll just say 'occasionally.'"

In all fairness, Jewish fiction for the religious crowd (called "frum fiction" and not found in your average bookstore, unless you live in Boro Park) is pretty awful, too. It's not so much "inspirational" as it is "anxious and ridden with guilt."

Muslim religious fiction is rarely translated into English unless it has a larger political message.

I apologize for the confusion.

80 comments:

Termagant 2 said...

If you want a few examples of excellent writing in the Christian market, here are a few authors whose work can stand against anybody's (and not occasionally, either):

Shelley Bates
Karen Kingsbury
Deanne Gist
Randy Ingermanson
Tom Morrissey
Maureen Lang

and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

I write in this genre but will spare you my opinion of my own work (G). I keep on in attempts to write as well as these authors do.

T2

The Rejecter said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I just got burned by the Left Behind series. After reading a bunch of other books, I finally said, "Okay, I'll go to the bestsellers that everyone loves and maybe these will be decent." And they weren't. They were boring. Apparently the later books are better, but I'm not interested in wading through 10 books in a series because #11 has some quality.

Gerri said...

ROFLMAO!

Just one nit: occasionally is an adverb. :)

Verification: kkwkzng

That's the sound I made reading this post!

The Rejecter said...

Thanks.

CMonster said...

Oh glee, glee!

Janice Mathers said...

Hmmm. Looks like I struck a nerve.

(g)

The Rejecter scribbled ...."Christian inspiration, which is legitimate in that big chain stores seem to be stocking it, and probably has some good writers, but I'll be damned if I've ever read a piece of Christian inspirational fiction that wasn't terribly written and/or outright offensive to all other religions. But wait, I shouldn't say that on this blog, that might offend some people, so I'll just say 'occasionally.'"
==========================
Thank you. You just proved my point.

What's more, now we've graduated from insulting writers of the Christian Inspirational persuasion, to outright attacking the genre as a whole and perhaps millions of Christians as well.

BRAVA!

Now instead of it just occasionally having good writers, we've also added the old, 'it's offensive to all other religions' too.

Your true colors have come to light.

Great switcheroo, rejecter. ROFL

Not.

Janice

Kimber An said...

This is so petty I could have to shake my head and surf away.

Janice Mathers said...

Kimber,

She (the one I erroneously labeled an "agent") reposted my comment. So talk to her. ROFL

Janice

Anonymous said...

Here I thought (after the word was pointed out; didn't notice it the first time) you meant "occasionally" in the same sense that every other genre "occasionally" has good writers, as in Sturgeon's law (90% of everything is crap).

I was offended by this post, yes. And I don't write inspirational fiction. (And I'm not even a fan of Left Behind.)

The Rejecter said...

I am reminded of the Simpsons "Left Below" movie spoof where the Buddhist priest is being flooded in the Apocalypse and he says, "I thought all religions were a pathway to G-d! I WAS WRONG!"

Anonymous said...

Janice, everyone is entitled to an opinion. If she's never read an inspirational novel that she liked, she's allowed to say that.

And you're allowed to say you disagree, but exploding all over the place just makes you look petty and hypersensitive.

When you make a claim, the burden of proof is on you, so give examples of writers who you think write excellent inspirational novels, like termagant2 did. Rejecter just supplied her proof of claim; simply supply yours. Fits of ill-temper are not convincing to anyone.

Janice Mathers said...

Anonymous said...Janice, everyone is entitled to an opinion. If she's never read an inspirational novel that she liked, she's allowed to say that.
================
You're missing the point. It's one thing to say you don't like inspirational books. (HECK, I DON'T LIKE INSPIRATIONAL BOOKS. ROFL) But it's quite another to imply that most of those who write them aren't good writers.

There is no burden of proof on me. The statement was a sweeping generalization on an entire group of people. If you don't like the genre that's one thing. But insulting those who write in it is completely unnecessary. And as far as "exploding" and 'looking petty' that's a matter of opinion as well. I'm not the one insulting a whole group of people or an entire religion for that matter.

Janice

Gerri said...

*pats the Janice Mathers*

Poor girl. Can't accept that so many people out there really don't like "inspirational" fiction, and therefore has to nitwit herself to someone who is trying to help writers as a whole.

It's good people like Janice Mathers exists. They remind me to thank the dogs that I got out of that religion while I still could before I turned into someone petty, small-minded, and irrational.

Janice Mathers, I do believe you need to dive under your bridge again. I'm sure there's another scapegoat coming along soon that you can pounce on.

Janice Mathers said...

"gerri" is it? Thanks for those wonderful words of advice "gerri." I'll take them to heart "gerri."

Nice name.

;-)

Janice

Janice Mathers said...

By the way, "Gerri" if you'd actually read my last comment, you'd see I'm not much of a fan of inspirational fiction either. (g)

Janice

Anonymous said...

"gerri" is it? Thanks for those wonderful words of advice "gerri." I'll take them to heart "gerri."

Nice name.


Thanks for supplying the proof for my claim that you're petty, Janice.

Janice Mathers said...

And you're not? Physician heal thyself. "gerri"

Janice

Anonymous said...

I am a Christian and have written for a Christian publisher and have a similar reaction to Christian fiction that "the rejecter" does. But, I've heard that the genre is gaining momentum and the publisher that I wrote for is actively seeking fiction. So, it stands to reason that with more people putting their oar in it's going to improve and some really great writers will probably write for it. I hope they do. But, I do see her point. I got burned on Left Behind also and haven't gone back.

merper said...

Just think of it as fan fiction that you pay to read. I don't think that sort of stuff is meant for a wider audience to begin with. You've got to believe the philosophies of the originial to like the things other people write about it.

I mean, imagine if Star Wars or Harry Potter was based of a source that wasn't copy righted. Jedi is a registered religion in some countries after all. There's already things like this:

http://www.amazon.ca/Christian-Wisdom-Masters-Dick-Staub/dp/0787978949/sr=1-5/qid=1162253620/ref=sr_1_5/702-3489946-1091234?ie=UTF8&s=books

Anonymous said...

And you're not? Physician heal thyself. "gerri"

Well, no, that wasn't Gerri. That was me, anonymous 6:47 and 7:07, again. Feel free to call me Jen.

I can't take your opinions seriously when you respond to Gerri's admittedly rude jibe by making fun of her name. That's so stupid as to be laughable.

Get back under your bridge indeed. Maybe you'll manage to write something of merit if you're not faced with the clearly overwhelming task of dealing with other people's opinions in an adult manner.

Shesawriter said...

Oh, my.

I'm a Christian and I don't read Christian fiction myself. But to be fair, I haven't really given the genre a chance. I think the last inspirational book I read was about five years ago. It was from a romance line called Love Inspired. Since I write romance, I kinda got frustrated because the hero and heroine couldn't really express or show the L-word.

That's lust. :-D

However, I do see commenter's point. It's about the books, not the writers. There are just as many gifted writers published in Christian fiction as there are in mystery, horror, or any other genre. I also like Anonymous's comment about Sturgeon's law that says 90% of everything being crap. LOL!

Anyway, I think it all boils down to taste and what you like.

Gerri said...

I also like Anonymous's comment about Sturgeon's law that says 90% of everything being crap. LOL!

Which is why "occasionally" is a perfectly appropriate adverb to use in the way Rejecter did.

*grin*

It's the whole "leave yourself wiggle room" theory. Maybe you the reader will be different!

turnin both cheeks said...

janice mathers! saying you don't much go in for christian inspirational fiction doesn't make you any less of a self-righteous twit.

from what i have read, i think you must be related to fiery ole cotton mather. the fact that he did not have an 's' in his name makes sense, because you are much much angrier.

btw, i'm rubber and you're glue so please be careful when you hit back with your gimpy wit.

Anonymous said...

Why are Christians so sensitive? Read the Bible. It says, "turn the other cheek."

Do you think Jesus would harass the Rejecter over an adverb? That's what the WWJD wristband is for. Consult it regularly!

bebe said...

lol. boo hoo, wah wah wah, etc.

Anyone take a look at Dinner With a Perfect Stranger? Save yourself some money and see if you can score some free Chick tracts instead...essentially the exact same thing.

My favorite Christian books are Bible Stories coloring books. I love those.

Janice Mathers said...

First we have...."Get back under your bridge indeed. Maybe you'll manage to write something of merit if you're not faced with the clearly overwhelming task of dealing with other people's opinions in an adult manner."

Then we have... "turnin both cheeks said... janice mathers! saying you don't much go in for christian inspirational fiction doesn't make you any less of a self-righteous twit."

~~~~~~~~~~


Amazing. Chide me for being petty and a twit, and self-righteous, and then turn around and do exactly what you accuse me of. Do you see yourselves? Read your comments. Please. ROFL

Yes I'm a twit, and self-righteous and I probably kick puppies and throw rocks at tweetie birds. Any other insults? Bring them on. Sticks and stones and all that. ROFL.

But back to the point, the post was offensive. I'm not the only person who thought so.

Now, as you have told me, so now I tell you. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, and it is my opinion that the wording was insensitive. The follow up post was just as bad.

You can say what you want about me because your insults just prove that when you can't win an argument, there's always Plan B. Tell the person who's made an excellent point to go back under a bridge (that was a good one too. ROFL) or imply they have no artistic worth. But G-d forbid you actually stay on point. If you do that then you run the risk of everyone seeing that you have no argument.

I said this once, and I'll say it again, people can hate inspirational books (I don't particularly care for them myself) but implying that those who write them are somehow less talented than others is where I draw the line.

If your re-read the exchange, and the examples I supplied the use of 'occasionally' is NOT the way you're trying to twist it.

The fact that you're sitting here insulting me AND defending that unfortunate post speaks volumes.

Janice

Anonymous said...

I am a Christian and I can't stand "Christian inspirational fiction" or "Christian romance" or "Christian whatever." Everything I've picked up and skimmed through has been fairly close to rubbish.

Not to say the inspirational market is any worse than other markets. There's doo-doo everywhere.

Tom David said...

Good answer, Rejecter. My MS will be ready in 30-60 days. You're definitely going on my query list!

Shandra said...

Delurking to comment...

I'm totally agreed about the genre. I'm not sure why everyone has their knickers in a knot about this one. A) It might be new to be so mainstream but seems to me Pilgrim's Progress fits in the genre, as does Pamela, etc. so it's hardly -new- and B) Historically a hell of a lot of "inspirational" (read: moralistic) writing has not stood the test of time at all. Except to give students forced to read it moments of laughter.

So sure, there might be a gem here and there but it's an instructional genre and that basically self-selects writers that have a message to convey and often the message overshadows the writing. (As it does in a lot of abuse/incest based lit too. It's not just Christians for sure. :))

The Rejecter said...

Do not query me. You have no idea who my boss is or what she is interested in.

2readornot said...

My biggest problem with 'inspirational' fiction is the amount of preaching one has to wade through in order to find the story...granted, I haven't read any of this for over a decade (because it annoys me to no end)...but at that time, there were definitely 97% poor writers and 3% good...imho, of course ;)

Freedom of speech (and opinion), of course.

Tom David said...

K,understood, and I know. I was just excited because I was invited to a local, 'Big signing'. The buzz is subsiding. Thanks for the blog....you give great insight. Best...

Gerri said...

*pats the Janice Mathers*

Fine, fine, let me get out my college English Composition and Argument hat and tell you why your letter to Rejecter is bogus.

There's these little things called connotation and denotation. Denotation is dictionary definition. Connotation means in context.

Denotation is not a legitimate form of proof in any argument once you're past grade school, and it shouldn't even be taught as a proof there. The Janice Mathers attempt at a proof, then, can be tossed out on its ear. Meaning from the dictionary lacks the relevance given in connotation, confuses the issue with perhaps multiple meanings, and is boring as hell to read.

Connotation, i.e. the meaning of the word within context, is the important thing to understanding. What words mean in relation to each other can easily alter the meaning of the word to a non-dictionary definition. (This, btw, is why I'm always annoyed with any religious group that quotes their holy book out of context.) Also, the work as a whole needs to be considered.

And then we get to the lovely thing called euphanism, you know, where people say "passed on" or "singing with the angels" or "dirt nap" instead of "dead". In this case, the whole sentence of Rejecter's you quoted is a standard euphanism for "90% of the writers in this genre suck, and I haven't found the 10% that don't." Everyone, except evidently you, understand that. They snicker and move on, or they suggest the 10% that doesn't suck. It's like saying, "I'm sorry for your loss" instead of "damn, your relative/friend is dead. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Hated his/her guts."

The last fun part of the whole thing is the trivial matter of the topic. Here's the scenario that applies:

If Rejector says "I am not referring to science fiction,(sic) which is a legitimate genre that occasionally has good writers."

and/or

If Rejector says "I am not referring to romance,(sic) which is a legitimate genre that occasionally has good writers."

and/or

If Rejector says "I am not referring to westerns,(sic) which is a legitimate genre that occasionally has good writers."

Would you, Janice Mathers, be offended at any of those statements?

If yes, then boy, you haven't got a clue how bad the writing is out there, even the published books. *shudder* I know how bad the slush pile is. I saw my dad's books. Love him dearly, but he couldn't write, and he was too old to understand what I was trying to tell him.

If no, then you're taking offense at the religious identity of the statement, not the writer's aspect of the statement, and that pretty much lands you in petty, thin skinned, unrealistic land.

Ninty percent of writing is crap. The next 7% is only marginally better. The top 3% or so may get published, but 1% of it is crap, 1.80% of it midlist, and 0.20% is selling well to best seller material. Yes, those percents are guestimates. I guessed on the liberal side, too.

Now that I've wasted my time explaining what almost everyone else but Janice Mathers knows, I'm gonna go do something useful, like dishes. And laundry.

But hey, it's my time to waste, huh?

P.S. I don't do anonymous. If I'm gonna write something, my name goes on it.

cheek+cheek=moon said...

janice mathers!

self-righteous typically calls for moralizing, usually with a dollop of high-handedness. i was just being plain old insulting. in all fairness, i did warn you about rubber/glue.

at no point was i trying to engage you in any type of debate. i have no problem with your point. i just find your tone shrill and annoying and worth showing the brown eye.

and now i also think it's tedious. so, i concede. if it makes you feel better, you're just a twit.

Janice Mathers said...

Gerri said (after going through another litany of insults aimed at yours truly)...." "If Rejector says 'I am not referring to westerns,(sic) which is a legitimate genre that occasionally has good writers.'
Would you, Janice Mathers, be offended at any of those statements?"

Yes. In fact I said as much in my initial comment---if you bothered to read it.

This is what I said, "I don’t write inspirational fiction, but if you were to substitute any other genre in your statement it would’ve been just as rude."

Replace any genre of writers in the sentence and the insult (to the writers of that particular genre) is still the same. Unfortunate and thoughtless. Just as your insults are, Gerri. :)

Janice

Janice Mathers said...

cheek+cheek=moon, did we have a conversation before, because I just looked and this appears to be your first post in this thread. Or maybe you just donned a new alias this go round. If so, which of the above incarnations are you? :)

Janice

ello said...

Hey Gerri,

I'm with you girl, but I think you meant euphemism. I'd thought I'd point it out to you real fast before Janice gets a hold of your throat again.

And since I'm commenting, I must thank Rejecter and Janice Mathers and everyone else out there tonight for giving me the biggest laugh of the day. Ha Ha! I was laughing so hard on this one. First with Rejects response and then the continued harassment. I think Janice must be an inspirational author because the righteous response was so very personal. And she just kept getting angrier and angrier and I was laughing harder and harder.

Lighten up, Francis! The only one taking you seriously right now is Gerri and poor Gerri is only at it cause you insulted her name. Hey no offense, but insulting a person's name is so ... petty.

Imelda said...

Oh, for pity's sake! Janice, I appreciate you sticking up for writers, but I, personally, think you over-reacted. The rejecter expressed an opinion about a genre: to wit, that a lot of what is PUBLISHED in that genre does not fit her definition of good writing.

As a Christian and a writer, I do not find this offensive. Plenty of people share this opinion about all kinds of genre fiction.

Ask any group of readers, much less professionals in the field (who see a lot more of the crap than the average person and are therefore probably somewhat jaundiced), and you will probably find more than one person who thinks that most inspirational/romance/fantasy/sci-fi (fill in whichever genre you like) fiction is crap. You will also find someone who loves it and will give you an arguement.

The point is, where you have a dedicated audience who will read almost anything published on their pet subject, you will get things published that the casual reader, who does not have a vested interest in the subject or style, will find lousy. If the reader REALLY isn't interested in the subject matter, they will probably find most of it lousy.

And like as not, if they are talking about books, they will express that opinion.

So what? Those who write in the field will be used to it, believe me. If they are making a living anyway, they are in the position of being able to laugh all the way to the bank. If they are being rejected because their work really is lousy, then they need to develop a thick skin, because they'll get a lot more rejection before they succeed. Either way, a comment expressed in passing on a blog that they (okay, me, in this case) otherwise find useful is not going to send them off the deep end. Or if it is, they need to get a grip and possibly take up something that doesn't involve so much rejection.

We are all responsible for our own work and, in the end, it is our own opinion of it that really matters.

Cheers, Imelda

The Rejecter said...

Imelda,

Thanks. I try to entertain as well as inform. Sometimes my commenters do it for me.

Anonymous said...

*Frowns*

So... what's all the scrapping about, anyway? Janice, if The Rejecter falls on her sword out of shame, what are all of the rest of us going to do? Miss Snark is done posting for the day.

threepenny said...

Christians are everywhere. It's a big family. It's the only family where Anne Lamott is related to Pat Robertson. And if you've read her essays on faith, you'll see what a wide-branching tree Christianity must be to bear both of those two particular fruits.

I'll read Anne Lamott any day. Or even Marilynne Robinson's deeply Christian and deeply beautiful "Gilead." Few religious authors are so eloquent. But then again, Lamott and Robinson pursue their own aesthetics -- that is, they aren't trying to pursuade the reader; they're not trying to make a point about salvation; their intent is not to plant a seed in the reader's mind. Their writing is pure art.

Virginia Woolf had a lot to say about adhering to aesthetic. She knocked Charlotte Bronte for veering out of the fictional dream to make a personal point. The author who injects herself into the narrative "will write in a rage where she should write calmly. She will write foolishly where she should write wisely. She will write of herself where she should write of her characters." Woolf points to a POV blip in "Jane Eyre" as an example.

Now, there are some talented Christian inspirational writers out there. T2 mentioned a few, for starters. But the spoiled fish in the Sturgeon's 90% are the ones whose personal motivations for writing are tangled up with the act of producing a good story. There's nothing wrong the fish if you read to be reminded of your faith, but if you are looking for an aesthetic achievement... well, maybe like Rejecter, you choose something else.

Pax.

Janice Mathers said...

Ello said, "I think Janice must be an inspirational author because the righteous response was so very personal. And she just kept getting angrier and angrier and I was laughing harder and harder."

First off, I don't write inspirational fiction. I don't read inspirational fiction. I don't like inspirational fiction. But I like and respect inspirational fiction writers.

Second, I'm not angry. Believe me, if I were you'd know it. :) I have an infamous potty mouth when I'm peaved, so if I start using the F-word in every sentence, then I'm steamed1. :)

And imelda, I think over-reaction is in the eye of the beholder. As far as I'm concerned the argument is over. I say this, someone else says that, and the same words are traded over and over again, but the names change every now and then.

Now I'm just answering the many posts and incarnations of individuals 'expressing themselves.'

Rejecter, Yes, you've kept me entertained for a while. Glad to return the favor.

Anonymous said... "*Frowns* So... what's all the scrapping about, anyway? Janice, if The Rejecter falls on her sword out of shame, what are all of the rest of us going to do? Miss Snark is done posting for the day."

:) You made me smile.

Cheers,

Janice

Gerri said...

*One reality check, coming right up!*

Ya need thick skin in this business. Ya also need lots of realism. If you're getting insulted over an "occasionally", you've got issues with your ego and your self-worth.

The reality of the situation is that there are only occasionally good writers in any field, fiction or non-fiction. If you don't read in that field extensively, then you're not going to know who is good and who isn't. Rejecter has made it pretty clear throughout her blog that she doesn't read inspirational lit.

If I'd read that there are occasionally good writers in fantasy, I not only would have nodded my head in agreement, but started thinking about all the crap that I have in my personal library that got published. I have maybe 5 Must Buy Authors. Most of the rest are Eh Buy When I Have The Cash authors. Then there are the OMFG Hold My Nose And Get This Outta Here authors.

That's the stories that have been pre-screened, too. Maybe 2-3% off the top. The other 97% get rejected.

That's the reality. Smell the coffee. The truth is that there are only occasionally good writers in any genre.

The reason you're being mocked, Janice Mathers, is because you've pretty much shown yourself to be clueless about the realities of the writing end of publishing. Worse, you're persisting in being offended by this reality when a little research and understanding would make this issue much clearer to you.

You didn't make a good point. You made a point that makes you look foolish in the eyes of people who have done their research and/or homework about how things work.

Join a beginning critique group. Read through their stuff, and then imagine having to read all of those and more in order to find the one gem in the entire pile of dirt on your desk. Then you might get a glimmer of why "occasionally good writers" is nothing less than the truth.

If you're a writer, Janice Mathers, and you want to grow up to become a published writer, you're gonna have to understand that you're one lump in that pile of dirt, and when they press on you, more than likely they're gonna come away with crumbles. You need to learn what the dirt is so that you can make yourself into more, into that gem that can be faceted into a beauty...or polished, or whatever.

You're not going to be able to do so with this attitude. It's not you against them. Nor is it you against me, or you against any other responder on this post. It's about you reaching in yourself and finding the absolute best that you've got at that moment, and then putting that in comparison to writing around you, and figuring out how to make your work better. And better. And better.

You should read this article: http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/2006/09/serengeti-tale.html . Hint: you're currently a gazelle.

Not that I expect you to pay attention to a word that I type. But then again, I didn't do this for Janice Mathers. I did this for myself and people who want to grow as they write.

cheek to cheek said...

no problem, janice mathers. ;p

i was "turnin both cheeks" in my first post. at that point, i assumed you might have a sense of irony or humor or subtlety or whatever.

seeing i was wrong, i decided be a bit more explicit, i.e. "cheek+cheek=moon." the point, you see, was always that i was flashing you my big ole virtual butt.

now you seemed to have taken a xanax or a zantac or gone once round the prayer beads. me, i have a cup of tea. you still have a loony need for the last word, but i get that.

Janice Mathers said...

Gerri, Come on now. Let be real here. If I had self-worth problems and if my skin weren't thick, I would have melted at the first insulting missive you posted about me. ROFLMBO I'm shivering in my fuzzy bunny slippers. ;)

Read the exchange. My many comments were aimed at the original post in question. You saying I didn't make my point doesn't make your statement any more true than me saying it, so let's not puff ourselves up, okay? Neither one of us is the final bastion of truth. No one is. I just stated an opinion and gave examples. Whether you agree with them or not is moot.1

Opinons are like noses, Gerri, everyone has one. Or two. Or three. :)

Janice

Janice Mathers said...

"...now you seemed to have taken a xanax or a zantac or gone once round the prayer beads. "

For the record, I had a lobotomy, so I don't need drugs. What's your excuse? :)

Janice

Janice Mathers said...

Well it's been fun. Really it has. But I'm off to bed. Rejecter.Gerri, have pleasant dreams. You too Cheek. :)

Janice

Gerri said...

*pats the Janice Mathers while waltzing over the bridge*

Yup. Exactly what I expected. *sigh* So predictable. *yawn* Bored now.

Janice Mathers said...

Wait a minute. NOW you're bored? Hell, I've been bored since you first posted, but I held on because of you, Gerri. Only for you. You inspire me.

Okay, NOW I'm going to bed. I just coldn't resist. ROFL

Janice

the bitter end said...

and so, three cheeks to the wind, i snatch the last word right out from under nutty janice mathers' pillowless pallet.

happy halloween!

While Watching Hero said...

Miss Rejecter, that post kicked ass. Like four-cheese-mac-n-cheese-with- bread-crumbs-baked-on-top kicked ass. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Y'all need to learn the phrase "Don't feed the troll."

shelby said...

Well look at that. Agents, assistants, and assistants promoted to agents, have likes and dislikes just like everyone else. In fact, much like you and me, they have some strongly held feelings.

That's why they don't represent every genre.

So the take-home message here is if you want an agent who recognizes the finer elements of Christian Inspirational and don't want to risk running across someone who doesn't like it (or really doesn't like it, as the case may be), you should only query agents who list Christian Inspirational novels as works they represent.

Because chances are if they don't represent it, they don't appreciate it or are just plain uninterested in it.

Which gives them more time to represent quality, legitimate genres (kidding--KIDDING!).

Anonymous said...

Personal opinion is, as far as I know, still allowed under free speech.
NO one has to pretend to enjoy any type of literature just to pander to a certain group.

Karen

Imelda said...

Boy, am I glad I didn't try to have the last word with Janice!

Doubly noble of me, really, when, since I am in Australia, I have hours and hours of normal awake time to chime in have it still be Oct 31.

Happy Halloween, everyone! ;->

Cheers, Imelda

Anonymous said...

Janice Mathers, if your faith (both in your religion and in the genre in which you've presumably chosen to write) is so weak that one vaguely implied criticism from an anonymous blogger does this to you then I can't imagine how you survive everyday life. Aren't Christians meant to ask "What would Jesus do?" I wouldn't have thought spending hours composing offensive rants was quite His style.

Anonymous said...

It's good to see janice mathers being so amused by all the responses and telling us time and time and time again in ever angrier language just how much she's smiling. Poor cow can't get out much, so this is the only social interaction she gets. Truly, The Rejecter brings people together with the gift of laughter!

- Lurker

Ellen said...

Wow, that really hit a nerve with some people! Way to go! (Sincere admiration, much kudos, Rejecter.)

I have no problem with you expressing your opinion. Regardless of my own opinions, I'm not offended by your believing that most Christian inspirational literature sucks. I've no beef with the idea that most of all literature sucks.

I just want to read the stuff which doesn't suck.

For instance... I love C.S. Lewis's Narnia books. Until people pointed it out when I was at university, I didn't notice the Christian allegory in them, not having been raised in a Christian household. To me, that's a sign of good writing.

Whereas... I *largely* enjoyed reading Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy. I'd have loved them - only I found him too didactic for my taste. His anti-religion message got in the way of the story too much, as far as I'm concerned. I don't mind the message, just that it got in the way.

As Threepenny and Virginia Woolf say, adhere to the aesthetic. An awful lot of literature across all genres would be vastly improved if only they'd remember that simple point. If you want to use fiction specifically to make a point, don't write fiction, write a tract, and don't give fiction a bad name. That's not what it's for.

JB said...

I believe Janice when she says that she is rolling on the floor laughing (ROFL.) I don't know why.

Ann said...

I think this is sad. Everybody in this debate lost. The whole thing is petty. Why can't people disagree without tossing barbs at each other? All the angry rhetoric and name calling killed whatever points you were trying to make.

Anonymous said...

The above posts have been brought to you by the letter E, for Extremely Entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Wait. I'm confused. If you say that genre writing is crap, that's the same as slamming a religion?

I'm trying to figure out if the name "Janice Mathers" is an obscure literary reference of some sort. This comment trail is too absurd to be anything but a Halloween prank.

P.S. There's a lot of good inspirational fiction: Dante, Milton, and scores of others that aren't sold at Walmart. The problem with the new stuff is that it doesn't come anywhere CLOSE to the literary merit of the bible itself. It seems intended for an unsophisticated reader who finds the King James offputting.

Kevin said...

Whether or not Christian inspirational fiction has good writers is irrelevant. One of the best known series in this genre is the Left Behind series.

LaHay and Jenkins end this "inspirational" series with a massive act of ethnic cleansing as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ kills every non-Christian on the planet. Even if that is well written, it's highly offensive to every non-Christian reader. Could you imagine an Islamic inspirational novel that ends with Muhammad killing all Christians on the planet? Would it matter if the work was well written?

Toonses said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Honestly. How old are we? *shakes head*

That said, I don't see a problem with the original comment because it's TRUE. And guess what? It's true of ANY genre you would like to fill in. Face it, there are a LOT of bad writers that get published. That does have a lot to do with opinion, however, because I don't think there is a single book that everyone in the whole world would agree is good.

The things that you added in this post, about the intolerant, etc. can be refuted, sure, but that's not the point here. If you don't like her opinion, Janice, by all means stop reading her blog. But spare us your immature argument, please.

Rejecter - Have you tried Ted Dekker or Frank Peretti?
Jess

rabs said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Toonses said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kevin said...

tToonses said: "I'm out of here."

Thank God. (excuse the pun)

The Rejecter said...

PLEASE NOTE: I will not tolerate any discussion of the politics of religion on this blog. Post something bad about any religion (true or untrue) and your comment will be deleted.

Anonymous said...

It always amazes me what little things will set people off on unrelated, tangental rants -- as if the future of the whole world rested on a single word or one person's reaction.
Keep deleting, Rejecter. I like reading your blog and usually learn something from the comments.

srchamberlain said...

Dear Janice,

After careful consideration, we've decided that your didacticisms and attempts to convince us--as placed in the middle of your overly long, screechy interludes--that you're really a cosmic imp who finds all of us delightfully amusing simply do not hew closely enough to verisimilitude. Also, we find your use of retarded Internet acronyms and emoticons in every other sentence to be cloying and cliched.

Although rejection is difficult for any comment thread troll, we hope you will keep writing your screeds, and consider us for future rants.

Sincerely,

Rejecter's Readers

writtenwyrdd said...

Rejecter, I agree, the inspirational fiction is pretty bad stuff. Anytime a story takes a back seat to the theme (and yes, the religious message is almost inevitably the theme of the book)you get a crappy book.

I think the person who wrote that diatribe needed a nap...badly.

thanks for your rational response to it. Your rhino hide is showing again.

Todra said...

Okay, tons of people have already added to this blog but I would like to say, "BRAVO" to you for stating what I've said for YEARS. I hated the Left Behind series and didn't see what all the fuss was about. I should say I am an Evangelical, Christian fiction writer and I write ROMANCE. I tried to get my work published and was told that it was actually good, but because I am not a big name speaker/pastor I will not get picked up. This was by one of the top Christian publishers. I read Baby Proof (secular Chick Lit) and wondered why Christian writing can't be this good without the blatant sex and offensive words. I applaud you for breaking the sacred code and saying the truth. I will add that Karen Kingsbury rocks and a couple of others that I've picked up lately but it's far and few in between.

David said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Mathers,

I write to you out of the purest of Christian charity and concern for the welfare of a fellow writer. Please take a moment to consider how your tirades might impact your future writing career.

I believe it might be easier for a camel to pass through a needle than for you to find an agent/publisher if you don't change your ways.

Why would someone choose to work with you when you are so invested in being right? How could they expect that you would not act any differently when presented with proposed changes to a manuscript?

Just saying is all.

Termagant 2 said...

Let's face it: most of us write what we like to read. Many of us write what we hope/believe will surpass what else is out there in our chosen genre.

Bravo/a for us. That's the whole point of trying to excel, isn't it? I strive to write better fiction every time I sit down with the kids away & the TV off.

Now, that said: I write Christian fiction and I think the LEFT BEHIND series (my husband & I have a different name for it, but it's not printable) did Christian fiction a huge disservice. Yes--as I pointed out in my original post, there are many better writers in the CBA market. Don't judge all of them/us by LEFT BEHIND. Please.

Instead, pick up one book (used, if you must) by one of the aforementioned authors, and give it 30 pages without prejudging.

I think you'll be very pleasantly suprised.

T2

cudd said...

Wow... it's weird reading the battle going on in here, makes me feel like I'm back in 5th grade.

I can't see anything wrong with a statement made based on personal experience. If Rejector were being biased, then yes, there might be reason to feel there was an insult...

but she wasn't. She's just telling things as well as she's discovered. Her statement was based on reasoning. She had found great books in other genres, but not inspirational literature--not even after looking.

SO... if you really want her to say better things about inspirational fiction, do like termagant 2 did and show her where the good stuff is, or start contributing with your own stuff if you believe your excellence could help improve its image.

Arguing over it only makes you look trollish and childish.

Yahzi said...

Of course Christian inspirational literature sucks.

All propaganda sucks. All literature forced into a narrow box, confined to certain unquestionable truths, and pre-destined from the first page to trumpet the same institutionally approved insight, sucks.

It sucked when the Commies wrote it, it sucked when the Americans wrote it (remember "Reefer Madness?"), it sucked when the Catholics wrote, and it sucked when LeHay wrote it.

A slave can never be beautiful. Literature in chains is repulsive by its very nature.

If you want to read inspiratoinal Christian literature... read the Bible. Theology, while not my cup of tea, is a legitimate venue.

Propaganda, however, is an offense to everyone.

whitemouse said...

*standing ovation for Yahzi*

Anonymous said...

So, I realize that this was written a long time ago and that you probably don't ever read these comments, but I had to post.

Just wanted to let you know that I thought your reply was great. It made me laugh. (Probably because I write fantasy, not Christian inspirational.)

I do love C.S. Lewis but I don't know if he's counted in this genre, I'm not very familiar with it.

I think people are too sensitive about how they feel others view themselves. (Myself included, unfortunately, although my husband has helped cure me of that. Husband one month after wedding: You really shouldn't wear that dress. Me: But people have told me I look good in it. Husband: It's probably because they feel sorry for you.)

Anyway, thanks for the laugh.