Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Remembering Miss Snark

American Heritage Dictionary - Anniversary (ān'ə-vûr'sə-rē) n. pl. an·ni·ver·sa·ries
The annually recurring date of a past event, especially one of historical, national, or personal importance . . . A celebration commemorating such a date.

Today is an anniversary. The first annually recurring date of an event of personal importance to me.

A year ago today Miss Snark retired.

I wasn't the first Snarkling or even the twenty-first Snarkling, although I'd hazard a guess that I was among the first hundred Snarklings.

It was the summer of 2005, and I'd decided it was time to establish a web presence. I'd selected three different blog hosts and was posting anonymously on them while I decided which to use and how to approach this thing called blogging.

I'd visited a lot of writer and publishing blogs when I first came across Miss Snark's. The link to the first of her posts that I can recall reading is here. I remember this post because I was a huge fan of Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar mysteries, and she mentioned Coben.

For a couple of months, I stopped by her site several times a week
--just to see what she was up to. It was the fifth post on this page here titled "Who's on First? No, That's on Second? What? no..That's at 1745 Broadway" that converted me into a diehard Snarkling. Her description of Random House "and all its villages" just did me in.

I began this blog at this location on September 14, 2005, and my third post here directed readers to Miss Snark's blog.

Imagine my surprise when--within hours--she had posted a comment to my post. It had never occurred to me to Google my name to see who was linking to my blog. She taught me to do that.

Over the next eighteen months, Miss Snark taught me lots of things: to overcome my natural tendency to offer up backstory, to do my research on agents, and that everything is negotiable. When I got my first contract and panicked because of language I'd never heard of before, I emailed her offline and she responded with great kindness and patience.

Although I've moved other agents and bloggers from the current list to the "Gone, But Not Forgotten" section of this blog, I could not bring myself to do the same thing to Miss Snark when she retired. Although she and her snarky voice have moved on to greener pastures, I still regularly refer newbie writers to the Miss Snark archives.

Celebrating Miss Snark and all her great advice today. Go here to post a comment to her.


Gina Black said...

I found Miss Snark pretty early on, a couple of weeks before I left for National Conference in Reno. I participated in at least two Crap-O-Meters. She was a gift to us writers.

Authoress said...

A fitting tribute. Glad I found this!

I was her very first crap-o-meter victim. My writing has never been the same. (And that's a very good thing.)


Stephen Parrish said...

Great tribute, Maya. I wasn't one of the first 100 Snarklings (maybe one of the first 100,000) but I benefitted just the same. It's hard to guage the impact she's had on the community of aspiring writers.

Maya Reynolds said...

Gina: Miss Snark was where I first saw your name. I was still lurking when you left your first comment to her. I think you WERE one of the first twenty Snarklings.

Authoress: I was in that first crap-o-meter, too. And in one of the later ones as well.

Stephen: Thanks for cluing me in to the tribute. I always appreciate your helpful emails.

Miss Snark said...

What a treat this is!
Thank you for your kind words, AND the opportunity to look back at some of those early posts.

This beats the hell outta work, for sure.

Maya Reynolds said...

MS: Talk about coming full circle. Three years later, you came back to post again ;)

Drink gin, read widely and live well.

And drop a kiss on KY's nose from Bob the cat.

Michele Lee said...

I met some really great people because of Miss Snark's blog. I should have know that you'd been there too :)

How are you doing Maya? Gonna come back to Mike's when you're done being successful ;D

Maya Reynolds said...

Michele: How kind of you to stop by.

I'm having withdrawal pangs, missing you and all the others at Mike's, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.

My deadline is 6/1; then I leave that afternoon for a week in Cincinnati on business. Hopefully, I'll be back at Mike's by 6/9.

Say hello to everyone for me. And thank you so much for your kindness. I appreciate you enormously.