Friday, December 07, 2007

The Tale of the Demon Stapler

So apparently I am not the smartest person in the world. By that I mean, if I were the smartest person in the world, I certainly would not hold the stapler with my two forefingers in the exact places the staple comes out while trying to fix it. Then I would punch holes in my fingers, but I wouldn't be stupid enough to do that.


If this makes any writers feel better, my boss's first concern upon learning that I'd pierced my hands was that I might get blood on the contracts, and I should move away. The second was, you know, that I'd pierced my hands.

The comments are being approved a little slowly because blogger has decided that those emails alerting me to new comments are better as a concept than as a reality. If you don't see your comment up immediately or even for a day or two, don't repost it. It's just in the pile to be approved. I do generally approve comments unless they contain anti-semitic rants or suggest things about my sexual proclivity. I would like to lay down a general rule here about plugging your blog.

Writers who plug your blog: Don't do it. First of all, I know you're doing it so that I (or other industry people who read this blog) might wander their, discover your genius, and email you with a 5-figure offer based on the novel excerpt you have up. Or worse, you're plugging your self-published book that needs sales beyond your friends and family. Well, we all know what you're doing, so stop it. Second, it looks really tacky.

If are logged in and clicking on your name leads to your own blog, I have no problem with that. If you want to post a link to your blog because it has something relevant to do with the current conversation, I have no problem with that. If you repeatedly keep adding your blog URL to the end of every comment you make, I will give you a warning, and then start rejecting your comments.

And now: pain medicine!

EDIT: If blogger insists on adding the URL for you, it's OK.


two_eyes said...

In junior year of high school, I did the same thing on the first calculus test of the year. My teacher was a trooper; she whipped out a first-aid kit and had me Neosporin'd and Band-Aid'd up before my fears of obscuring my answers with hemoglobin could be realized.

cerebralmum said...

I think that you'll find people are adding the URL when they sign off their comments because of Blogger's recent changes. There is no longer an option to add it manually along with your name if you're not a Google/Blogger user. This is happening on all Blogspot blogs, not just those where people think they might get something out of it.

Optimistically, I think it's a rebellion against this restriction of our ability to communicate across platforms rather than attention seeking: The blogosphere is alive with rants about it. I know a dozen people who've jumped ship and moved to a self-hosted blog in the last few days because of it.

Of course, you might be the exception to the rule.

Personally, I don't have a novel excerpt over at my blog, and I'll draw attention to my writing when it's ready to be seen by contacting the agents/publishers of my choosing. Has anyone ever been discovered through a comment? I doubt it.

I read The Rejector because it's funny. As a writer, I neither expect nor want anything from you.

Cross my heart.

Robin said...


And I speak from experience. Only my folly was in trying to dig out staples that had jammed in the end of my particular demon stapler.

There isn't actually an off button to engage whilst digging out stuck staples, though that would be nice. My brain off button, on the other hand, works just fine.

Though I did get to spend the entire afternoon in the principal's office that day, pretending like I wasn't listening to the office gossip. That was pretty cool.

It was hard not to staple myself again the next day.

Murphy Jacobs said...

First: Ouch. Staplers are inherently evil.

Second: Am I correct in assuming you refer to an actual link inside the comment post, and not the usual name/URL tag Blogger so kindly attaches to comments?

Put some Neosporine or something on that new piercing. You never know where those staples have been.

Amy said...

I once did the same thing, but with my thumbs instead of my forefingers. Hurts like hell, doesn't it? (Nice to know, though, that I am not alone.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I am very happy to know that I am not the only person to have stapled my fingers together like that. I feel much better.

jjdebenedictis said...

*passes you the iodine*

I wish you speedy skin regrowth and a henceforth-contritely functioning stapler.

Gina Black said...

Sorry to hear you got punctured. :(

I'm having the same problem with Blogger's comment emails too. :sigh: Plus, it didn't want to publish for hours and hours and hours today.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Umm, I think that people are leaving their url because of the unannounced change Blogger made that won't let anyone but someone with a gmail account leave a url unless they manually enter it.

A bunch of us have requested that our visitors do that, so that we can return visits. So anyone doing it here could be doing it out of what's quickly becoming a simple habit.

Shabbat Shalom--

Anonymous said...

So there I am with about fifty pieces of broken test tube stuck in my foot, and my mom is shrieking, "What are you doing!?!?! Get out, get out, you'll bleed all over the carpet!!!"

Good to see others also have their priorities in order.

none said...

Ouch. I remember doing that with my first-ever stapler. I think I was about ten.

Hurts, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

would love to hear from a tech-savvy reader on how to post comments using my name, but leaving behind the pic I have posted on my blogger account without deleting it from my blog. It's kind of creepy the way it always tags along and I'd like my comments to be text only. Anyone?

Rick Bylina said...

Two more times and you've equaled my record of smart things not to do with a stapler.

With all the tears shed over the height of the query and slush piles, I never thought an agent would actually or actively troll blogs for new talent. Adding the link is like locking the car door--habit. I'll try not to sucker you into viewing my writing brillance with a link, but leave you with a warning--watch out for staple guns. They have a mind of their own. I have this scar on my ...

cerebralmum said...


The options for your comments are Google/Blogger, Nickname and Anonymous. Just select nickname if you do not want your comment to be linked to your Blogger ID.

Polenth said...

That'd be something to worry hopeful authors... the rejection slip comes back with blood stains on it. It'd work best for the horror genre, but it'd be a talking point for anyone I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

I'm not superstitious, but I can still make the observation from another view that this may be the karma you get from all the poor promising writers you've rejected over the course of your career. All the sorrow you caused. All the frustration. The monolithic reign, the cruelty. Again, I don't believe in this at all, but I know some people would easily say that you deserved it. They would tell all their friends. They would run down the streets. Conviviality! Cheers! Justice is here!

I don't represent these people. I don't know who they are. As the unbiased messenger, I will not pass judgement on them, but I'm sure they would be dancing and laughing at the fact of your pain. They would throw a party. Build effigies and stick staples in them. Sing songs about the coming together of metal and fingers, reenacting the moment. They would bring their children to the celebration, delight in the scene. What a lavish event it would be!

I'm only stating the facts, and they happen to be relevant to this discussion. "I hope your fingers get gangrene!" they might say. Well, that's not for this reporter to decide.

Travis Erwin said...

I'd forget the stapler story and start telling everyone that those two holes are puncture wounds from a snake bite.

Then concoct a good story how you ripped the beast off you finger and sucked the venom from you fingertip on the way to the hospital for antivenom.

LorMarie said...

Apologies for posting the URL to my new blog. I no longer use blogger so I had no other way of identifying myself...or so I thought. The "nickname" prompt must have been added recently. I've always thought it was common practice to sign off with a link (assuming one is a blogger as well). Honestly, I prefer if people include their links when leaving comments on my blog. But when in Rome, do as the Romans... (smile) So I'll use the old profile.

Anyway, I love your blog and hope that I can continue to leave comments.

The Rejecter said...


I don't think there's any particular connection between what we do in this life and what happens in this life to us. If that was true, bad people would get what's coming to them, and I did something really, REALLY awful as a child to get a disease.

Anonymous said...

Rejecter - After reading the comment from x, I completely, totally understand why you are anonymous.

To x: I've been rejected by a bzillion agents and yanno why? Because, early on, the writing wasn't good enough. Then later on, even when I was getting full reads and some very nice comments, along with some constructive, helpful criticism, I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The market for the novel wasn't there any more.

"Oh well, onto bigger and better things," says I.

NOT: "Whah: All agents should burn in hell because poor-little-horrible-writer-me isn't getting published. Whah."

I don't even have to read their stuff to know that your friends' (are you guys like all locked up in the same facility?) writing sucks and that's why it's not getting published.

Publishers, agents and their assistance all want to make money. Write something that will make them money and you'll get published. It's that simple.

xo A fellow writer willing to put in the time and learn.

The One and Only John said...


Schadenfreude is just as bad-karma-inducing, if not worse than anything you talked about. You are blessed if you have never been affected by bad karma. Hopefully the other shoe won't drop too hard.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I forgot that knives are sharp, electricity electrocutes people like me, and grizzly bears don't like being teased. I'm with travis erwin, blame it on a snake.

Nicholas Borelli said...

I stapled my gums a few times trying to get that stuck staple out of the Swingline. The electric staplers are brutal that way. Like machine gunning your face.

Anonymous said...

I will not pass judgement on these Schadenfreudians, I already said. What matters, though, I think, are the pathos. You know, the pathos.

Josephine Damian said...

My hot linked name is enough for me, no need for blatant self-promote.

Sound - be - interesting in your comments on other people's blogs and folks will click on your name and follow you to your blog.

Since people are forever googling their own names - the best way to get an agent (or anybody else for that matter) to visit your blog is to mention that person by name in your blog.. if you build a better mouse trap.

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

Sheesh! Everyone knows it's supposed to be OUR blood on the contract! Sorry for the staple problem. Keep away from the shredder for God's sake.

I had someone come to a blog I run today and comment under someone else's name and email address with a link that made me scratch my head - I know the "commenter" and asked, "did you really link to such and such?" Nope - in the Typepad platform you can just type any name and email and link. Until the blog owner demands authentication, which if it happens again I will. It wasn't my Kim blog. And I won't link you to it here.

Don't forget the neosporin.