The home page for author Eric J. Juneau

The Final Word on The Shine Journal

I sent my last blog entry to said editor of The Shine Journal. As you could read, it wasn’t an apology, it wasn’t a redaction. It was a re-evaluation. I don’t know what I was expecting for a response, if I was expecting one at all, but I would have liked it to be a bit more magnanimous than it was. Her tone was extremely defensive and proud. Maybe it’s all the Lamebook I’ve been reading, but it feels like adolescent behavior–can’t leave an issue alone, attacks all forms of disparagement, always has to have the last word, uses too many exclamation points

The first thing she said was that she doesn’t send any contract information because it’s already there on the website to read. So the onus is on me to find all this stuff? You can’t remind the reader? You can’t even include a link to where this info is? Aren’t you the one who’s supposed to be paying me? Is it the employee’s job to find out how he’s going to get paid? Or is it the employer’s job to indicate how he will be paid? I know which job sounds better.

I don’t get what I said that was so insulting. The Shine Journal was plenty big for me… until a bigger magazine came along. Surely these people don’t believe they’re the biggest fish in the pond. They might act like you are, but if you have a simultaneous submissions policy, you have to expect this sort of thing to happen. And I might note that the big fish all have contracts. Does she know that not having contracts is not the norm? That not having contracts is kind of dangerous? That the whole point of contracts is to protect both the author and editor legally? And she said “I won’t help you out-read for yourself”. What does that even mean?

Before I regretted my words and the result they brought. Now I really don’t care if I’m blacklisted. This is not the sort of people I want to work with. And further justifies the decision I made. I have no regrets about putting The Shine Journal on my ignore list. I’m done with this immature back and forth. And that’s my final word on the subject.

Aftermath With The Shine Journal

I may have made a mistake. A big one. Maybe.

This refers to the last post I made where I compared “The Shine Journal” and “Sorcerous Signals”. First, I want to say why I said what I said. To me, the name of the name game is to get published. To get published you have to get noticed. You get noticed by getting into the big magazines. To get into the big magazines, you get into the small ones first. At least that’s my battle plan. The purpose of this blog is to track my progress and leave an account of what I did or how I did it. However, in doing so, I may have seriously sabotaged my ambitions. I made… a ‘boo-boo’.

What I wrote about “The Shine Journal” offended someone at… “The Shine Journal”. The editor wrote back to me, cited some lines I had written that described said magazine as being unprofessional. She told me that I should not judge the credibility of a magazine based on how it responds to acceptances, and should have been grateful for the acceptance. She said that “The Shine Journal” has been online three years, won awards, and was putting together a “best of” anthology. She said she does not send out contracts because she does not want to waste paper. She closed by saying that I was blacklisted from ever submitting to “The Shine Journal” again.

Of course, I never expected said person to come to this site. I always wrote this blog as if no one was reading. And unless I’ve got my Google Analytics set up wrong, no one is. The site got only 26 visits last month. Total. And yet, this one entry found its way to the editor of “The Shine Journal”. If I had published it a day later, maybe she never would have seen it. But it doesn’t matter.

What I’m saying is–everything you write on the Internet is there for everyone to see. You must expect that everyone is reading it. And thus, you must be careful of what you say. Visit Lamebook for some real life examples. A writer’s tool is his words and words can hurt. Perhaps using the word “legit” was incorrect. I did not mean to imply that “The Shine Journal” was a scam site. I’m sure it is not.

But words tell the truth, and I, as a fiction writer, have a duty to tell the truth. I never sought to besmirch “The Shine Journal”. What I did was I make an opinion. I had to make a judgement call and I called it like I saw it. That “The Shine Journal” would read such an entry, not to mention take action on it, never entered my mind. And it shouldn’t.

I thought a lot about it, whether or not I should reconsider what I post, my blogging style, in case someone doesn’t what I have to say. Someone with power. But that would be a policy based on fear, not on knowledge. I don’t believe I did anything wrong. I told the truth. I thought the way “The Shine Journal” handled my acceptance was not as professional as “Sorcerous Signals” did. I did not feel that they regarded me as an author, just as a contributor. I did not receive any form of contract or instruction on how I would be paid.

Think about it. If you have two job offers for the same position–one sends you a nice e-mail welcoming you to the company, here’s the company website, here’s a copy of our application policy, here’s a map of the campus, you go here to sign in, there’ll be a 2 hour tutorial before you meet your boss–and another e-mail that just says “you’re hired, see you on Thursday”. Which one sounds like the better job?

So I stand by what I said, although I’ve recast it here. You can disagree with it. You can take action on it. But you cannot and will not affect what I have to say. I find it ironic that the editor of a literary journal couldn’t handle criticism. I believe I made the right decision, both in which magazine to go with, and how I conduct myself on my blog. I can’t let the potential opposition stop me from saying what I want, as long as I’m honest and composed.

So what have we learned? Am I going to stop talking about my experiences with magazines and how they make me feel? Well… I don’t know. I’m definitely going to think more carefully about how I word my criticism, not just for the sake of my own career, but because word selection is an important skill in a writer, and should not be taken lightly.

Japan: What’s the deal with all the English?

I have a question about Japan. Now Japan is cool and everything. All my favorite stuff comes from Japan. I know that basically everything in their culture since the occupation has some American influence. But really, what’s the deal with all the English?

I mean, translation things, yes, that’s fine. But these aren’t ‘one and the same’s, these are complete replacement of basic commands with English, and no Japanese equivalent next to it. Take this screenshot from the original Metroid, the one that had a saveable game.

This is a Japanese only game, and I don’t think there’s any translation options on it. So this is the screen a native (and only a native) Japanese player would see. Anything wrong with it? There’s only freaking English on here!

Only the title, and something second to the bottom is in Japanese (and that second to last character looks like an unfound). Everything else is in English – Samus’s name, her energy, the day (whatever that is), and kill mode. This is what confuses me the most. Unless that thing above it is the translation, would a Japanese native know what kill mode is? Is it a special game mode? Is it a super hard difficulty? Will they click on it, and then suddenly delete all their games?

And this is everywhere. And it’s for important things, things that you need to know in order to proceed. Is English taught so much that an average Japanese can recognize what’s being said? Even in the 80’s? I can’t believe that. I certainly have no idea what any of that Japanese could mean, but in it’s the right places so I could guess.

Anyway, that’s just what boggles my mind. I wonder if some day it’ll be a dual-language country like Canada. They seem to like American stuff so much that they’ve become some sort of hybrid.

Words That Drive Me Crazy #1

Words That Drive Me Crazy:

Today’s entertainment headline, stuffed at the bottom where Paris Hilton news usually goes, was today’s blog fodder: Van Halen to announce their reunion tour.

When I took journalism class, there was a unit/lesson about writing headlines. Half of it is enticing the reader to read, the other half is communicating the message in the most succint way possible. All of it was about writing the truth.
Now I don’t know whether it’s the fault of the journalist, or the fault of Van Halen’s publicists (lord knows there’s nothing redeeming about their lot), but here’s a little tip about English.

If you are about to announce something, YOU’VE ALREADY ANNOUNCED IT.
This drives me nuts because it happens all the time, especially in the video game industry. David Jaffe’s about to announce God of War 2. Microsoft to announce next generation console. Nintendo to announce Wii channel update. Yeah, people, these things have already happened.
They’re not about to announce crap, it’s already been announced. I don’t know who announced it, but the point of announcing is to inform people about something new. Once it’s announced, you can’t announce it again. There’s no word such as ‘re-announcing’. That’s renouncing, that’s the opposite (although there’s plenty of things I wish people would renounce). There is only ever one announcement. So you can’t be about to announce something. It’s announced.

This concludes today’s announcement.