Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Looking Back...

Hey folks...I'm BACK!

(Hold off the applause.)

Sorry about the lapse in posting to Cobwebs Of The Mind this past week. I decided to take a break from posting in the blogs as I was getting severely pissed off with certain things I have been reading on the Internet and needed time to step away and think. Otherwise I possibly would have taken a bite out of someone's tushy - a big, nasty, rabid bite to boot.

I may still do it. But for the moment I have that simmering flame under control.

A couple of weeks ago in the Cobwebs Of The Mind Blog Review, I published the review - "Cobwebs Of The Mind Blog Review: Sharon Maas's "Down From the Garrett". Sharon then added in her Live-Journal, "Down From the Garrett" a few remarks about the review in her posts.

In this posting among other things Sharon wrote:
On Cobwebs Of The Mind, Teddy spends a lot of time musing over various aspects of the publishing industry. He comments on spam agents, cowboy publishers. He gives his view on the latest scandal to rock the industry and sheds his own special light on various issues. He's very opinionated - but his opinions are well thought out and full of a passion for finding the truth. He will never adopt a particular opinion just because it's the flavour of the day. There's integrity and strength in his words, whether he tells you what he thinks of the Anne Stuart Affair or weighs or in on the Sobol Award.

I often get the feeling that when teddy speaks, it really is The Last word on the subject.
I am opinionated, but I am certainly not the last word on any subject. But to be honest the one thing that I did decide when opening Cobwebs Of The Mind - was that above all costs, no matter what it meant in Internet popularity, was to keep my integrity. And thus the reason for this post. A bit of musing on the past and a bit of criticism and a bit of trying to understand it all.

This year I opened Cobwebs Of The Mind, starting off as an experiment in blogging. I had no clear plan where I was going to take it. Indeed, the thought process was, to just simply give another outlet for writing while I was planning, editing or otherwise working on WIP's in progress. Cobwebs Of The Mind kind of took on a life of its own. I went with the flow and tried during free time to give a serious study to the world of Internet writers, literary agents, editors and publishing.

It turned out to be a much more complicated study than at first envisioned. I did not expect the plethora of seriousness and absolute junk all mixed together. I also did not expect to find much that was worthwhile. In this, I fully and happily admit I was wrong.

What did surprise me, to be honest, are the people - writers, editors and agents - whom I have developed relationships with via email because of Cobwebs Of The Mind. I found this very loosely knit community of virtual voices at times articulate; at times compassionate; at times childish and vengeful; and at times incredibly giving. I have also discovered some of the "human" element behind the voices so respected on the Internet in regard to publishing and agents. That alone has made Cobwebs Of The Mind a worthy endeavor from my point of view.

My one big shock, and I am saddened by having to say this, came from "left field" as the saying goes. Whereas in the past I would always look at the writer's forum, Absolute Write, with a great deal of respect, that opinion has certainly changed. Absolute Write has changed. In my eyes, not for the better. Indeed many good people and writers have slowly faded from this writing forum due to a variety of reasons. It is sad. And while I would still recommend any writer who is starting off, to make a serious study of the Bewares & Background Checks board at Absolute Write, I would have to say that unless you are willing to put up with a handful of overbearing personalities, and a lot of just plain good ole' ego - be wary of the forum. It is no longer "monitored" - I would have to say the correct term here is - it is "policed" - and most certainly policed with great prejudice.

Unfortunately, I am not the only one who feels this way, for if I was I would never put this in Cobwebs Of The Mind. Certainly, not only do former members of the forum from time to time complain and leave in disgust, but it is also loosing its once "well respected" name among agents and editors as well. This is incredibly sad and should serve as a clarion call for Absolute Write. But only time will tell if it gains balance again or continues along a new path.

However, it does remain true, that there are many, many great people and writers that I have had the pleasure of meeting because of Absolute Write. Each and every one of the blogs in Cobwebs Of The Mind Blog Review Series, and those still to come, are worthy in their own right and certainly the people behind them are really incredible human beings. And there are some really great writers who are embarking upon successful careers in writing. I wish them all the best of luck.

I have also had the pleasure in Cobwebs Of The Mind Writing & Despair Series to try and combine a bit of humor and understanding of the writer's soul and fears. For me, this not only provides a somewhat creative project, but a way of trying to make us all not take ourselves too seriously. It also allows us to know that most important factor - we are not alone in our fears and angst.

Of course, the reviews of scams, literary agents, editors and publishing debates are a great source of education and amusement for me. The Cobwebs Of The Mind Super Teddy Award actually began because one day I got sick and tired of seeing the absolute junk and idiocy sometimes posted by agents and editors. The "God Complex" sometimes seems to itch at certain people and when it does simply put, someone has to say something.

The statistics for Cobwebs Of The Mind have constantly and consistently increased over the days and weeks and months. Though I do not watch the stats on a daily basis I do know that each month brings an ever more amount of people reading, commenting and sending in private emails. The community grows and as it does so does interest and the endless search for information.

I can only continue to attempt to bring information, good, bad or neutral to the readers of Cobwebs Of The Mind. Whereas I will miss a great deal, and I will certainly be wrong in my opinions from time to time, I do hope that most of the information, laughter and reviews at Cobwebs Of The Mind will continue to help, educate and inform the writers and would-be-writers out there.

I wish each and every one of you a year of great strides in writing and publishing.

Posted On: Cobwebs Of The Mind

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