Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pet Peeves

I collect pet peeves like some people collect stamps. Here are just a few:

People who intentionally and/or irresponsibly misrepresent facts to make their arguments. See Rush Limbaugh, Michael Moore, and anyone who has criticised the legal justice system based on the McDonald's case.

Queries that begin with a rhetorical question. Or queries that misspell my name, for that matter.

The 4-5-1 formation for soccer, unless you're Barcelona.

Editors who take six months and more to respond to your submission, and then don't have the dignity to apologize. And before you say turnaround is fair play, I always apologize in advance to authors when I've taken a long time in responding to a project.

Small people who use really big umbrellas. You know who you are.


Ryan Field said...

One of mine is overweight people who wear tight, low rise jeans and have muffin tops.

As for the editors taking their time...I've been an unagented writer for fifteen years. I'm used to it. What I don't like are 90 day clauses in contracts, which means I don't get paid until 90 days after the book is released.

December/Stacia said...

Oh, thank you for number one! Stuff like tht drives me crazy.

Shell said...

How about people who forward e-mails without checking first to see if it's just an urban legend? Very irritating.

Jonathan Lyons said...

I'd even say forwarded email is generally irritating (non-work related).

December/Stacia said...

Ugh, yes. I hate those little homilies and jokes.

Just_Me said...

Pet peeves?
1- The people who park in the drop off lane at the school halting traffic for two blocks.

2- People who flick cigarettes at you or swing cigarettes around in public, especially when they do it at thigh level for an adult/eye level for a child.

3- Forwarded e-mails in general.

4- People who don't get fantasy or sci-fi and insist on telling my book doesn't work because the goddess Diana is a myth and so I can't use her in a historical fantasy piece. Or any other random fictional character or event for that matter.

Oh! One more! My biggest pet peeve:

5- People who ask me when I'm going to get a "real" job or offer to take me to the mall to apply to work there because I'm suffering at home being a writer and Stay-at-Home Mom. Really, parenting is a full time job, the writing is freelance, and until I need more money than my husband earns I don't have a single reason to give up either.

James said...

What those small people need is a Nubrella... or maybe not.

Er, if you want to see a future pet peeve.

John said...

I don't know. I like 4-3-3 a lot less than 4-5-1. I get more peeved about keepers who hold the ball for a week and a half before their goal kicks.

Anonymous said...

Great list of pet peeves, Jonathan.

Quick question for you based on the pet peeve of editors who take 6months to respond to your submission...

What do you think is a normal response time in a situation where an established agent (but not in the Binky Urban-Andrew Wylie stratosphere) submits a nonfiction book proposal for a first time author?

I know there are tons of specifics that can influence turn-around time. But at the most general level, what kind of time frames would be considered "normal" for the editor to respond.


Jonathan Lyons said...

There are a ton of factors that can influence this, so I'm not sure if there is a "normal" situation and response time. I'll give it my best guess though - two to five weeks for your typical non-fiction proposal.

bookfraud said...

i love lists of pet peeves -- mike royko used to get readers to send them in, and he'd publish them. brilliant.

"editors who take six months and more to respond to your submission, and then don't have the dignity to apologize" amen to that.why is it so hard to reject something within a month?

in the spirit of sharing, my pet peeve are people who use umbrellas when it's snowing. feh.

Adaora A. said...

Barcelona stole Henry from Arsenal. You wound me. People are still sore about that Mr. Lyons! Not suprising that they are a pretty good team since they have got one of the best strikers in the league.

Do you get nasty replys to e-jections or snail-jections often?

Jonathan Lyons said...

Not recently (fingers crossed)

Adaora A. said...

Congrats. I'll send positive energy towards yourself and agent everywhere to only encounter reasonable prospective clients.

Wilfred the Author said...

You need a REALLY good sweeper back for the 4-5-1. I find formation in soccer to be highly dependant on the quality of your players.

I tend to start a new team with the 5-3-2 and adjust from there.

MY big pet peeve is the people that stop to chat or look around right at the top or bottom of the escaltor.

Dead Man Walking said...

Currently? People who tell me it's their right to not wear a seatbelt, ignorant of the fact they may someday be a human projectile as they crash through their own windshield and head straight for one of my children.

Catherine J Gardner said...

LOL! What about large people with small umbrellas.