« Erratic and irritable | Main | Political poll graphs »

Some other good things

| 1 Comment

Here are a few recent good things:

  • I had a nice refreshing nap the other day.
  • My ear no longer hurts. It's still a little stuffed up, but the pain is gone. Antibiotics are very impressive. Sadly, I still need to keep taking both antibiotics for five more days, lest I contribute to the antibiotic-resistant-bacteria problem. But it sure is nice to be able to chew without pain again.
  • I bought volume 4 of the collected A Distant Soil the other day, and then realized that I didn't remember the story well enough to read it, so I've been re-reading (or at least re-skimming) the series. Science fiction! Magic! Extremely pretty androgynous bi poly people in love with each other! What's not to like? I'm falling in love with volume 2 all over again--Doran really hit her stride in those issues. (My favorite scene in the whole series may be the exchange between Kovar and D'mer right around the middle of volume 2.) Also, I'm still amazed that she can keep track of a dozen different characters in the main group of heroes, plus another dozen in the resistance group, plus half a dozen major antagonists; and this time through I'm finding it easier to distinguish all the characters from each other.

One more thing, but it's longer than will fit in a bullet item:

About a week and a half ago, I got tired of the number of bad cover letters we were getting. Mostly things like cover letters that addressed us as "Dear Sirs," and cover letters that provided detailed plot summaries. I have a form-letter response that I send to such stories (saying that we'll consider the sub, but for next time the author should read our cover letter guidelines), but I was getting tired of having to send that note--we were averaging about one submission a day with a cover letter that didn't follow our guidelines. The instructions on the submission form page say to read the cover letter guidelines--they even say it in boldface--but authors were ignoring that instruction.

So I implemented a harder-to-ignore instruction. I put a note in the cover letter text box saying to read the instructions before submitting a cover letter. And I added some JavaScript so if you click in that box and press any key, the note disappears, so it doesn't get in the way of people who do want to send us cover letters. And since the note is generated by JavaScript code, it doesn't get in the way of people with JavaScript turned off in their browsers.

It was an experiment; I half-expected that authors would just ignore that note along with the other three links on that page to the cover letter guidelines. But it seems to actually be working. After averaging one bad cover letter a day for some time before I implemented this, we've had only two bad cover letters in the past week and a half. (The second one, ironically, arrived while I was writing this entry.) I'm pleased.

And now I'm very sleepy, so I'm going to bed.

1 Comment

See I'm a lot more curmudgeonly than you are. I'd take a bad cover letter as an opportunity to reduce my reading load.

Post a comment