Sunday, July 26, 2015

Week in Review delayed; also Monday's post

Monday update:
I'm back in NYC but oh man, the traveling and conference have really caught up with me.
I've got a bunch of work I need to attend to before getting back to blog posts,
so I'll probably not have a new post ready till Tuesday.

I will say that the highlight of the conference for me was getting to meet several
of the blog readers in person.

Now, off to work, and see you back here with fresh rantings on the morrow.

Sunday post:
I've been traveling today.
The WIR is delayed.


Christina Seine said...

Happy travels! Hope you had a great time at the conference!

Megan V said...

Travel safely QOTKU! I hope you enjoyed your time at the Midwest Writers Conference and look forward to reading the Week in Review.

In the spirit of WIR, I spent this morning listing the things I heard in court this week.

Among them was this:

"My client cannot be here today because he's studying abroad down under."

In short, word choice—it's important.

Unknown said...

Oh noooooo!

I heard rumors of great white shark migrations but Lo and behold it's true! Straight from the Sharks mouth!

I've been watching too many documentaries on the nature channel... Back to the seventh level of editing hell. :)

Donnaeve said...

I hope your travels went well, and from the sound of it you're back, safe and sound - and recuperating.

We await, at the Queen's leisure. :)

Scrambled3ggs said...

Safe travels. :-)

Colin Smith said...

I kinda figured that was the case. From the tweets I read you were a sensation in Muncie! I hope you are refreshed and ready for a week of blogging, reading comments, and all that agenty stuff you do in between times. ;)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Oh to be a sensation in Muncie, surely a dream come true. To be a sensation anywhere would be a dream come true for me.
Rest well my friend and renew.

Anonymous said...

You could just skip a week, you know. The world wouldn't end. Well, mine wouldn't.

Hope you survived the niceness of the Midwest. I'll be expecting extra snarl this week as an antidote.

Craig F said...

Yes, relax and recover. At least they get Glenlivet in Indiana. There isn't that much more to do.

At least there is an airport in Muncie. To visit friends in Wisconsin I have to fly to Chicago and take a shuttle for four hours.

Amy Schaefer said...

It's late on a Sunday; this looks like an easily hijackable thread.

News: I accepted an offer of representation on Friday.

(I needed to share this with you, my vommenting friends, because you a)are my beloved writing community, and b) my family, excited though they are, don't really get it.)

Happy Sunday to all!

Christina Seine said...

Oh my gosh congratulations! =O

*pops bottle of champagne and starts handing out glasses*

Colin Smith said...

Woohooo Amy!! I guess that means your exile on Carkoon is over.

Seriously, Congratulations!! Remember us when you're famous. ;)

Dena Pawling said...

Yay Amy!!! Congrats!!!

Megan V said...

CONGRATS Amy! That's fabulous! Way to go! :D

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

AMY, AMY, AMY, AMY a year's worth of exclamation points for you !!!!!!!!!!!!

Cindy C said...

Congratulations, Amy!

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Congratulations, Amy!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Woohoo Amy!! Congrats! What wonderful news.

Calorie Bombshell said...

Amy - Congrats!! Hope to see your novel soon! Who's the lucky agent?

Adib Khorram said...

Wow! Congrats, Amy!

I am firing off a virtual confetti cannon for you right now.

Beth H. said...

Congratulations, Amy!!

Craig F said...

Congratulations Amy,

Hope it feels as good as running a quartering wind with the sails pulled tight and all the lines humming in anticipation.

Anonymous said...

Amy, I am so thrilled for you. Good job!

Janice L. Grinyer said...

YAY Amy!!!! This is terrific news - and a hearty congrats!

Anonymous said...

Amy, that is such awesome news!! Congratulations!

It's funny, I can't even say "what a nice surprise" because it's not surprising at all that an agent has decided to rep one of the talented writers over here. The surprise is that more of you aren't agented. (Is that a word? It looks weird.)

*throws confetti*

*pops cork off virtual champagne*

Raises a glass: To Amy, and many years of publishing success!

Amy Schaefer said...

Thank you, all. I'm still in a bit of a state of shock over here. What am I going to do with myself now that I don't have to write query letters anymore? Oh, that's right - keep writing, revising and writing some more.

So really, nothing has changed. I'll still be here, 40+th commenter as usual, participating in the serious stuff and the nonsense, and cheering all of us on.

And thanks again for being excited for me; I knew I could count on you guys.

Christina Seine said...

Of course Amy we all will be expecting an invitation to your book launch party on Paradise. =D

And what you said about family being excited but not quite understanding, I hear you. Sure they're excited, of course, but unless you've refreshed your phone 3000+ times to see if an agent responded to you yet, you'll never *quite* get it. =)

Karen McCoy said...

Oh my goodness, Amy, that's fantastic!

Happy travels for the shark, too. May the waters be clear.

John Frain said...

Amy! Yessssss.

'Nuff said.

Theresa said...

Congratulations, Amy! What a celebratory weekend you must be having.

Craig, there are many airports in Wisconsin. They just aren't very big.

I could do with some extra shark snark this week. I'm on vacation with only my iPad and have no writing projects in front of me. That may not be a good thing.

Sam Hawke said...

Wooooooooooooooooo Amy! Congratulations, what awesome news!! I hope there is some kind of detailed giddy blog post coming to give us all the goss. :)

LynnRodz said...

Congrats, Amy! Didn't have time for the WIR til this morning and instead got Amy's news. Just as exciting - way to go!

Tamlyn said...

Congrats, Amy!

french sojourn said...

Amy....way to go!

This news actually made my day. Awoke to find an eight inch stress fracture in our below grade fiberglass 14 foot by 25 foot pool.(Due to drought conditions adjacent to pool.)

It is what it is, but your news lifted a rather gray cloud from my mood.

Thanks and congratulations.

Cheers Hank.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Wait a minute, you mean blog readers are people. Wow, and I thought we were floating around like a thought in a writer's mind.
Am I first on the update?

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Janet off schedule 'til Tuesday? Well boys and girls it's time to play.
Any thoughts on the amplitude of the fharquar related to the beemish of the hawksterama?

Cindy C said...

Certainly the highlight of MWW for me was meeting Janet! Since I don't have to go back to work today, thought I'd try to fill in with a mini-WIR about some of those highlights until Janet has time to get to her WIR.

WIR—Muncie Edition

Thursday—Arrived at MWW15 and met Janet! In person! She made my query MUCH better, we talked about the blog, and she was . . . nice. It made me nervous. It made others nervous too. In the long line to the bathroom I heard someone whisper, “Janet Reid was really nice to me.” We all exchanged fearful glances.

I figured that, like any good predator, she was simply learning the lay of the land. Since Midwesterners are known to be “nice,” she camouflaged herself in a Niceness Cloak to lure us all into a sense of false security. I locked and chained my hotel door.

Friday—First session of the morning was the Ask an Agent panel. My key takeaway-- regular blog readers here are getting a great education about the dos and don’ts of querying. I knew the answer to almost every question asked!

Also, Janet is hysterically funny. Also, when Brooks Sherman said at one point, “I kind of disagree with Janet here,” the audience responded with an audible gasp of fear. I wondered if maybe Janet was a comedian wrapped in a teddy bear inside a shark.

Saturday—During the “Buttonhole an Expert” session, I fought my way through the crowd to get to Janet’s table for Round 3. We had a 10 minute break before the round started, but Janet generously said, “Screw that. We’re all here” and gave us an extra 10 minutes of Sharkly wisdom.

Her speech at the closing dinner was the best I’ve ever heard (and I’ve sat through a lot of “final dinner at a conference” speeches). She was funny and honest and inspirational in a speech that showed her total devotion to her clients. It also included snake feet, curling irons, sidewalk artists, Lee Child, and elbowing Charlaine Harris out of her way.

When I left that night I was pretty sure Janet was a nice person despite her protests. But I couldn’t rule out a Cloak of Niceness so I locked and chained my hotel door just in case. Because, you know, Land Shark.

Subheader choices (all by Janet):

“Don’t tweet that.”
“We’re in it to make money!”
“Being around authors is very nerve-wracking for me.”
“Do your best work and stay the course.”
“Yeah, I can do that.”

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Awwww....bless. Janet, you work hard. We'll miss you but I understand.

2Ns: I agree. Time to play. Anyone for coffee or tea? I'm buying this round.

Tony Clavelli said...

I'll jump on that congratulations train! how about in korean-- 에이미 축하합니다!

So awesome to see it happening--a win for everyone since your book is closer to everyone's hands now!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Am I crazy or does Janet have something special going on here.
I am genuinely happy for Amy (finally a ticket off Carkoon).
SiSi, I felt like you took us all along. Makes me want to lock my door too.
I just love a good-news Monday.

Donnaeve said...

Congratulations Amy!!! But, you don't say WHO??? Who??? Who???

Owl impersonation over, tell us!!!

Colin Smith said...

I know we're all looking forward to reading Janet's comments about MWW, but how about those vommenters who were there? How about following SiSi's lead an giving us a taste of what the conference was like, what was great, what was not-so-great, and how you got on meeting QOTKU. Did you pass out, or was she... *ahem*... nice? :)

Having never been to a writing conference, I for one would be interested to read about your experience.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congratulations, Amy!!!

Sisi, thanks for the Muncie WIR - that part about the audible gasp of fear made me laugh out loud. :)

Colin Smith said...

Oh, one other thought I had: Most of us who visit this blog do so as unagented writers looking for query and industry tips. So when a regular blog reader/vommenter snags an agent, that's a sort of graduation, and certainly something that ought to be celebrated. I would like to propose 2 things:

1) If, like Amy, you secure representation, share it with us and let us celebrate with you.

2) The next writing contest should honor Amy and her agent news. Sharing the name of the agent might help (if she can do that at this stage), since Janet might use that for prompt words. In which case, I'm hoping it's Sara Crowe or Amy Boggs, and not Tina Dubois Wexler or Thao Le. ;)

Far be it from me to tell Janet what do to. I can but put my meager suggestion forward and hope it finds favor with QOTKU, and not another week in the Great Salt Mines trying to keep 10,000 mollusks hydrated. Exile sucks, folks... :)

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Amy - that is superb!

I passed on MWW for . . . reasons, but knew that everyone who got to meet the Shark would have a superb time!

I had the pleasure in Houston and can say that my current novel/series directly came out of that meeting.

My advice is to never miss a Shark sighting, you will not regret it.

And, everyone, reading the flash fic entries, WAY TO GO!


Marc P said...

Well done Amy. Fins are looking up for you! Don't cut your finger in the pool is my only advice!

LynnRodz said...

Sisi, thank you so much for the play by play. It made me wish I had made the trip. Janet is like a fairy (fairyshark/sharkfairy?). People have met her or seen her, but it's never someone you know. There's always one or two degrees of separation that keeps her a myth.

If others have met Janet and decided to write a post about it on their blogs, could you please post your links. It would be great to read everyone's experience like Sisi wrote about hers.

Amy Schaefer said...

Sisi, it sounds like you had a great weekend. You should be careful, though - you might get hired to do the WIR permanently.

Since everyone wants to know, I signed with Kurestin Armada at P.S. Literary. Sorry guys; I wasn't trying to be coy. I just wanted to keep my hijackery to a minimum. But she is fantastic and I'm thrilled, obviously.

Colin, I think I've been honored all that is necessary with these kind comments - no contest needed.

Colin Smith said...

Amy: 1) Oh please, don't deny us all an excuse for another writing contest! ;)

2) Not only is Kurestin Armada blessed to have you for a client, but she is also blessed with a name that is (hopefully) too tempting for Janet to resist... :D

Unknown said...

Lurker on the West Coast...which means I get all the news late. Congrats to Amy! Woo hoo! And I loved SiSi's WIR at the conference. But I think you can safely unlock your hotel room and go home. *smile*
Am impatiently waiting for FF results.
Have a good Monday Janet! Wait...a "good" Monday? Oh well, stranger things have happened.

Anonymous said...

"Her speech at the closing dinner was the best I’ve ever heard (and I’ve sat through a lot of “final dinner at a conference” speeches)."

I semi followed what was going on at MWW through some twitter feeds. It looked like a great conference and Janet absolutely knocked it out of the park.

1. I got up and left dinner during a keynote speech at Surrey. 1. if I spend $2,000 to go to a writer's conference I don't want a keynote speaker to inform us Americans the last decent president we voted for was JFK and we better do the right thing this time.

2. If you want a say in American politics, move to the US. Become a citizen and vote, but even then, I don't want you cramming your thoughts down my throat at a writer's conference.

I said I would never return to Surrey after that, but I might venture up there this year.

A speaker at one conference was an author who had his work accepted by the first or second agent he submitted to. He got a great deal. He understood life was hard for the rest of us, but for him it was incredibly easy. blah blah blah The crew sat at the table looking at each other. This is supposed to inspire us?

It reminded me of a letter a soldier wrote about an officer riding up and down the line giving a speech before a Civil War battle. It should have been a dramatic moment. Instead, the idiot told them they were all probably going to die, but he expected them to do their duty. That'll inspire you, by gawd!

Granted, I know some people who have secured agents on the first or second query. Both were huge books and unfinished, but that really doesn't happen often. Even they will tell you writing is hard work and though life is good, it isn't pain free.

I did realize one thing from reading the comments...I want Janet Reid for an agent! If we didn't all realize what a remarkable woman she was before, these events should remind us how fortunate we are she is so generous with us.

Ok, back in the breach for me to my scandaled rebel spy.

Once again, congratulations Amy. Janet well done. Take some time and regroup.

Julie said...

A) Please travel safely, O Megalodon!
B) On a separate matter, is anyone going to WD in NYC and flying in to JFK on Thurs, going to Roosevelt, and looking to split cab fare? :D
C) On a separate separate matter, some time ago we discussed hiring query advisors, and the fact that I had done so. That was in May.

The conference is this weekend.

Janet will be there.

My hired query fix draft - Is. Not. Done.

First, I am working past the rising bile. But Second, what the heck do I do? I hired this person, she's a friend, and the money is gone (please stop laughing at me - we all know and have long since agreed that I am the naive badger amongst the Woodland Creatures - or at least, the quiz said so about the badger, and the naive stands alone), and I haven't the faintest idea what to do.

No. That isn't quite right.

What I ought to do is to say "Forget it," take what I have, and go wait for Janet.

But then what about my friend and my money? Do I call it a do-over and let her help me with my second manuscript or something?

Because I really, really, hate conflict, and saying, "Pony up my money, I need it for NYC," is AWFULLY conflictual... isn't it?

O Great Bloggers...


Life is Good.

PS, My various - we'll call them "me-isms" and move on, shall we? - and I have agreed that we'll ignore one another for now and have called a truce. I went on vacation. Passed out unconscious against the car when I "over-ignored" them, but okay, lesson learned, we moved on, and I horseback-rode, hiked, and even went on a - um - one of them wire-thingies that you zip... oh. A zip line. :) . It was AWESOME! See it on my FB or Pinterest pages.

Anyway, it was a little bumpy until I learned to proactively throw baking soda at my kidneys and gatorade and water at everything else, and all was well. Cheers!

Oh, and please, please, please help me reach Janet in dignity - I haven't even considered the matters of a) which manuscript or both, b) Pitch? c, d, e, etc.,) What's a Pitch? How do I pitch? (Yup, I posted that video a while back, but I've slept since then...). How does a socially anxious Bear of Very Little Brain such as myself practice Pitching? And which MS's? Do I come with paper ones? And do I come with Xanax? And do I take it? Or do I hand it to the Agent in front of me before I start? (In the case of Janet, who I very much suspect now dreads meeting me with the same dread people reserve for things like root canals and homes infested with brown recluse spiders, I think I should hand her the Xanax and several bottles - or perhaps a cask - of Glenlivet). *Pant, Pant, Pant...*

The author would like to apologize for the above comments, which were posted by...

The author just realized how much Megalodon loathes sentences written about oneself in anything other than first person. Oh, Hell.

[SB, Seriously, Janet, understanding that you're breaking under the strain of several loads' worth of work - is it worth bringing two Queries to work on? And if I were to prioritize, should I bring the one nearer and dearer to my heart - and probably better written; or the one more likely to be chosen and to sell? Here's hoping to rub elbows with you; I'll be the one with the migraine meds always at hand. Thanks.]

PPS - Wow, that was really long for a PS. Hope you're all having a great summer. Mine was rotten in the beginning, but I think I'm pulling it out for an awesome ending! Love to chat with some of y'all. I'll read all the awesome entries, too! :D


PPPS - I can EAT again!!! (Well. If smoothies and coffee count as eating, and to me, coffee is its own food group, and smoothies is as well, so I'm good. :) )

Julie said...






Now I need to find some contact info for you so that I can find some way to gush at you. Are you on Colin's board? Hmmmm....

Oh, Gosh, Amy, I found your blog, but can't find a way to email you, so I'll say these three things. (I like the idea of saying things in threes.)

2) What's your book about?
3) I love to sail, too! Email me, please, please, please, or get on my FB or whatever, but we simply must connect in a more Janet-friendly way than me splattering all over the reef! Congrats! (((HUGS!)))

Cat's Paw

Rena said...

I also got the opportunity to meet Janet at MWW and she is just delightful. It was a last minute "Ohmygoshyouareamazing" moment, and the highlight of my weekend :)

Marc P said...

Just to echo Julie M Weather point. LUCK is a huge huge huge part of this business. Some people get deals and agents straight away. An awful lot don't... but LUCK always plays a part. What you can control is yourself and your work. Love your work and hopefully someone will love you. Writing books is like life really... if you have to be a phone t be popular it is hard to keep it up or enjoy it really on any meaningful level. Other people's definitions of success should never be your own.

Sorry that all sounds pompous.

I shall get my hat and I promise although I am from the Old Country.. I am not from Surrey.

Marc P said...

I did mean phoney there of course.. although a Phone T sounds kinda cool.

Joseph S. said...

1. Congratulations, Amy. Good news always makes me happy.
2. I'm stealing Adib's name tag idea.

Anonymous said...


"Just to echo Julie M Weather point. LUCK is a huge huge huge part of this business."

Luck does play a part in it, but the two authors who got the agents right away on partials are tremendously talented and it's not hard to see that with the writing. One is now a best selling author and the other will be. She has that same luscious style, engaging story, and characters.

Colin Smith said...

Julie W.: Anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time knows how close you and Janet are to being Agent-Client. Honestly, seeing the mutual admiration and respect between the two of you reminds me of that time at university when a group of us were playing Monopoly, and one of the girls in the group kept making eye-contact with a friend of mine. I happened to know he liked this girl, but neither of us had a clue how she felt. Except I was paying attention that night, and I saw the way she responded to his comments, her body language, and the way she looked at him. It's incredible how much a person's eyes give away--they really are a window to the soul. Anyway, after the evening's fun was over, I took my friend to one side and said, "She likes you. Go for it!" He was a bit bewildered. "Really? How can you tell?" I was bewildered. "How could you NOT tell?" Then he countered, "But what about you?" True--I was a bit taken with this young lady myself. But being a dab hand at taking rejection, and not wanting to stand in the way of a sure thing, I told him, "It's okay, really." He took her ice skating. They dated. They got engaged. They got married. Hopefully they still are today.

Julie, Janet... it's just a matter of time. :)

[I guess I need to pack for the Salt Mines now...]

Julie H: Janet has already said more than once, she would much rather do a query critique session than a pitch session. My plan would be to go to Janet first, and read her your query. Then take copious notes on what she tells you. Who knows, she might let you read BOTH queries! :)

Marc P said...

Oh no doubt Julie , talent helps too of course :) Just saying there isn't always luck in this industry as in any industry, none are meritocritous really. Will look up spelling on that one later! Just saying really talented people don't always get an agent/deal straight away and not so talented people sometimes do. Just that hard work and absolutely believing you have done your best work before subbing is the best way to go - that way you only have your luck and other peoples luck to blame, not your own lack of effort, belief etc.

Anonymous said...


No doubt about the work aspect. Diana Gabaldon tells people who want the secret of success it is writing, reading, and not giving up. Sometimes writing is like blasting it out of rocks and sometimes it flows. People don't realize that one perfect sentence may have taken hours of fiddling with to get it there.

Even so, luck is ever a fickle mistress. There are a lot of talented writers out there who aren't published.

I was asked to do stunt riding for a movie once. I declined because I thought I'd make a fool out of myself. People are trying to break into the movies any way they can and luck just dropped it in my lap. Lesson learned. When luck drops an opportunity in your lap, don't stand up.

Marc P said...

Lol. Good points Julie - I have fallen off a horse, and it hurts more than just your dignity. And all this talk of luck by the way is not to say Amy has been lucky here!! Well done to her! It's brilliant and doesn't happen in any way JUST by luck. We all know that. The luck part is AFTER all the talent stuff and work etc .. And the good luck of course goes both ways here for writer and agent. It's like a marriage in a lot of ways except for the sometime nudity. At least in England. I shall shut up now. :)

CynthiaMc said...

Congratulations, Amy! Woo hoo!

Adib Khorram said...

Well, this is sad. I spent half an hour typing up my experiences in Muncie and posted the comment and then it just vanished.

I don't remember what all I said, so I will give the highlights:

1. Why doesn't EVERYONE read Janet's blog? 95% of questions I heard at Query sessions have been covered in this pages.

2. Alec Shane caused a scandal when he said he didn't like Lee Child.

3. Wearing a joke ribbon only works if other people wear ribbons on their badges, too.

4. Thanks to Janet's advice on how to handle meeting an agent in person, I was able to successfully hoodwink people into thinking I was a normal human.


Julie said...

@Julie - I rode horses this week. Twice. It was awesome. We melded. Everyone else followed the trail. My horses ate raspberries and munched goldenrod, and when it was really obvious that we should sort of head back to my family, we did. Both of my horses liked scraping me into trees. So I took to yelping "TREE!" every time, which made my kids giggle, which was the whole point.


Colin Smith said...

Adib: *whew* I'm so glad you commented. For a moment I was worried Janet had eaten you alive, leaving only your name tag as evidence. :)

Thanks for the summary. Shame your original post was eaten. Perhaps you can post some details as time and energy permit? Sounds like you had a great time.

Marc P said...

Ps @Julie M W I have to say I really, really like the hat!

Anonymous said...


I was wrangling horses in Phoenix when I got the job offer. A lot of westerns are made in that area. A friend of mine was doing the stunts and broke her arm. She asked me if I was interested. I'm not sure why I didn't. It couldn't have been much worse than what we did every day. One of the wranglers would point his finger and say bang and the shot wrangler would fall off their horse dramatically. It used to freak people out a little, but, you know, cheap thrills.


I'm glad you had fun with your spoiled horse. Next time let him know who is boss and it will be even more fun. Getting scraped on trees is less than fun.

I'm really glad you were feeling well enough to get out with the family. That is awesome.

The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man (or woman) as the saying goes.

Anonymous said...


Which hat is that?

Julie said...

@Colin - Yeah, yup, totally, get it. Um. I talk too much, and my point is often lost in all the words.

Here's (was) my point --> At the Query Clinic / Class / Sit Up And Listen, Y'All thingie, if I bring both queries, will she move so fast that I can't keep up, and so I should really just bring one?

Because: (Point 2) --> In the Pitch Sessions / Speed Dating / Where's-the-Airsick-Bag?-Thing, (Which happens later, and during which I may or may not even meet any particular Megalodon, I have ONE Query (A) that I've worked on since the Mountains started poking through dirt, and ANOTHER Query (B) whose beak just started cracking the egg. Query (A) is much closer to my heart and probably tied to a MS that is better written - but won't sell as well. It's historical fantasy, and will be harder for me to find a good match. Query (B) is sort of like Sharknado. It was written to sell. Period. It's fun; I like the characters; it moves quickly; and I think it'll go more easily than (A). It has series potential. But I just finished it, and it hasn't been beta'd. I do love the characters, but, you know, it hasn't put its roots into me yet.

So if I work on (A) in The Lecture because it's the one I love - should I pitch it?

But if I work on (B) in The Lecture, I'll sort of be sitting on the edge of my seat because it isn't as clean as (A).

Which is why I was asking.

If you see what I mean. (Grin). I'll show up with both, probably with my white coat on and stethoscope properly tucked, staring at the powerpoint.... no. Wait.

Never mind.

You get the point.

Julie said...

@Colin - Er. Sorry. Clarification / rebuttal of my own point.

Is there enough time in the actual class to shuffle between two queries, or should I just have one sitting on the desk / laptop in front of me?


That was really what I wanted to know.

If you ever meet me, you'll find that I never arrive ANYWHERE with too little. I've been 9-11'd at multiple airports because I simply can't remember (or tolerate) packing my Swiss Army Knife. I always forget. I've left Swiss Army Knives in Buffalo and Jacksonville and once gave an x-ray watcher person heart failure over an iron bunny and a pair of knitting needles that she thought (and, looking at it, so did I) was an AK-47.

I get this from my father, who was once the source of a "Security Incident" in Tokyo. He never did tell me which of his knives they confiscated - which sort of tells me that it wasn't one of his Swiss Army knives. But whatever.

I'll have everything there.

But do I work on it all at once, was the question.
(Shuffles in seat, ankles crossed beneath chair, nibbling lip).

Marc P said...

Hey Julia the cowboy hat on I think your profile page?? I have a few hats including a stetson trilby.. but not a proper cowboy/cowgal hat.... and I want one lol. Horse Wrangling now that is what I call a proper job... far better than writing lol! Watched The Homesman last night and enjoyed it... but I do love a proper western which means that I am probably a philistine and going off piste here on this thread .. to mix my metaphors :)

Anonymous said...


I'm totally going to get the crew to have ribbons made for Surrey. We've been discussing wizard hats just because we're magic. *preens* Well, mostly we're goofy.

I'm so glad you had a good time and learned a lot. I would imagine there were gasps when Alec said that, but hey, it happens.

"Why doesn't EVERYONE read Janet's blog? 95% of questions I heard at Query sessions have been covered in this pages."


Blasphemers and blackguards.

That's a good question. A popular theory in the small southern towns is if you sit on your porch enough, you'll see everyone in town because sooner or later they will stroll by. That's kind of how it is here. Sooner or later, every known question to mankind about publishing comes up here.

Anonymous said...


Hey Julia the cowboy hat on I think your profile page?--

Ah, forgot I had that up there. I bought that when I won a "$10,000" race horse and they wanted publicity pictures for the contest. It's a Resistol 75x hat, which means it's a $750 hat, though it sold for around $500 then. It turned out the hat was worth more than the horse, which led to an interesting Julie Weathers adventure.

I later bought a 100x on close out, but it was so stiff I didn't care for it and ebayed it. I'll get one someday, but for now I'm just going to get the Resistol cleaned.

Julie said...

So. @Julie. I have a theory. This is my theory. Lurking at the WD conference is good for lurning but not good for networking. Which should be self-evident, but, is it better, in this case, as they say, to be silent and thought an idiot than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt? Or to ask, endure the neon sign over your head that says, "I DID NOT READ THE POSTS ABOUT THIS ISSUE," shrivel a little, and move on?

Shrinking Reef Sponge Who Really Ought To Be Studying For The Test (Polishing MS and QL)

Christina Seine said...

Julie - I'm flying in to JFK but on Wednesday. =\

Let's get together at the conference! Let's go to Janet's query workshop on Saturday and sit next to each other so we can be *slightly* less terrified! Let's form a Bear of Little Brain club! We can practice our pitches with each other too.

Oh. And tell your friend you need your money back. Did you SEE the room service prices at the Roosevelt?!?!? Two pancakes for $18. That's eggs and flour, guys! Did they raise Julia Childs from the tomb to make these pancakes? Are they GOLD pancakes? For $18, they should come with a bottle of champagne and be hand-delivered by Hugh Jackman with a side of kittens. GEEZ. Anyway, yeah. Get your money back.

And um ... xanax and chocolate. Just sayin'.

Julie said...

Oh. And about being at JFK on Th?

Anyone want to split cab fare? :D

Anonymous said...


Regarding Janet and I, we have had a mutual admiration thing going for a while. I am her number one fan. In the end, it comes down to business. She can't rep something she doesn't love and I can't write something I don't love.

Colin Smith said...

Julie H: I don't know why I've decided to answer you--maybe because no-one else is talking to me? :)--since I have absolutely ZERO NADA NIL conference experience. Maybe I just want to talk you down off the ledge, or at least catch you by the stethoscope as you fall. :) Whichever, it seems to me you want to take your best, most polished work. As I understand the way these things work, you're going to get every Megolodon and a thousand Microdons requesting pages just because you're there, but that in no way guarantees you'll fair any better than if you had submitted the query via the usual route. You may get a hundred salivating agents chomping at your query, and three weeks later still be waiting for a response.

So, I would take your A-query, the clean, well-dressed, CP-ed, Beta-ed, spit-and-polished query along to the show. Get some love for your work which is always good for the confidence, and most importantly, get some query tips, some writing tips, and shake some hands. You may well find your dream agent there and be one of those "how-I-met-my-agent" stories that we all grudgingly admit to enjoying. Odds are you'll come away with a lot of great information, useful business cards, and many funny stories to share.

That's my take on conferences from one who has only ever been vicariously and in my wildest dreams.

No, not that wild. :)

Marc P said...

Hey Colin what about them RedSox?

Marc P said...

Oh and thanks Julia re the hat, I'm going to reconsider my Stetson purchasing options now lol :)

Anonymous said...


I don't think you should lurk at conferences. If that's the case, I'm shot. I was quieter at Denver than I often and and missed some workshops I planned to attend due to pain. I should have passed, but decided to put my big girl panties on and go anyway and I'm thrilled I did. The crew took notes of workshops I was busy lollygagging in bed during.

That's one of the benefits of going to workshops with people you can hook up with. Lots of networking and sharing.

If you have a question, ask it. Others may know the answer already, but there are probably a lot of people who don't as well.

I just adopt the attitude, I'm just danged glad to be here, darling, and you should be, too."

It's never too early or too late for a kind word or a smile. Enjoy yourself.

Cindy C said...

Rena and Adib, sorry we didn't get a chance to meet. At least I don't think we met--I have to admit names and faces started blurring by the end. Plus I was there under my real name, Cindy Crawford. (not the supermodel one)

Julia, as someone who understands your nervousness about the query/pitch and the social situation in general, I'd say take both of your queries to your class, but pick the one you most want to work on, or the one you think needs the most help. Since you don't know exactly how the class will work, you'll have one ready and then another to pull out if you have time. My guess is that going back and forth between two might be difficult, but maybe that's just me.

And I know this is easier for me to say than for you to do, but try to relax and enjoy the opportunity. I was a nervous wreck going to my first writing conference, but much calmer this time. Everyone I met was kind and nice and helpful and A LOT like me--nervous,shy,quiet,introverted, etc. And everyone will help you calm down and/or practice your pitch. Even in the long bathroom line.

Anonymous said...


Well, not everyone needs a $1,000 hat. You can get some nice options much cheaper, especially if you buy a nice straw hat. They look good, they're cooler, and much cheaper.

Top felt hats are made of cashmere and mink and you can definitely feel the difference.

Plus, ebay always has a lot of hats.

Marc P said...

Julie, I recently bought a Derby style bowler as I thought it would make me look fine and dandy. Rather like a fellow from Ripper Street or an authentic western, the sort a man might team up with a waistcoat, hang his thumbs in the pockets thereof and swagger about time garnering admiring glances. I am sad to report this was not successful, so yes.... In short I shall not outlay such expense on a cowboy hat - but shall keep my peelers peeled and see what I can grab on eBay to add to my collection! When successful I may post a pic on social media sites! Just a friendly warning! :)

Colin Smith said...

Marc: Actually, mine are black. I do have some crimson colored socks, but not red... oh, you're talking sports. Ha! Okay... um... are they basketball or... no, they're baseball, right? :D

... and some of you think I'm joking...

Marc P said...

Colin I only know to ask that question because of Robert B Parker... I am not sure what the correct answer is ... nobody ever seems to give the definitive one :)

Colin Smith said...

Julie W: I understand, and that's what's so frustrating about the two of you!!! Although, in some of my more reflective moments, I've mused whether having Janet as an agent would change things too much. I mean, clearly I don't have a fraction of the history the two of you have, but would she take the same delight in taunting me here in my exile if she was also having to represent my work to an editor? "Oh, Colin is a wonderful writer and I truly love his work. Address? Umm... yes... well, he's kind of hard to get hold of since I consigned him to rehydrating slugs in the salt mines of Carkoon for some inane suggestion he made on my blog. But he's truly one of this generations finest!"


Anonymous said...


Derby! I would instantly find an excuse to strike up an conversation with a man wearing a derby. Of course, he would probably call security, but it would be worth it.

I love derbies. Let's be bad guys.

Colin Smith said...

Marc: I think the answer is "Yay, go Red Sox!" Though I'm not sure how that's supposed to break the ice conversationally. Perhaps saying, "Actually, I'm more of a Braves guy and have a passionate loathing for any and all rivals teams," with the appropriate look of menace in your eyes might have more of an impact?

I'm not certain, though. As I've said before, this type of conversation is not my forte. :)

Marc P said...

My advice for what it is worth Colin... when two ladies are happily dancing together a tap on the shoulder can lead to an elbow in the eye! ;)

Anonymous said...


I don't think Janet would treat you any differently if you were a client except be your fierce advocate as well as bantering with you here.

Re Janet and I, we'll see what the future holds.

Marc P said...

Colin, for me I would go... 'Yeah tell me about it,' and slap him on the shoulder, or her, in a conspiratorially fait accompli way that says .. that's that sorted. Then move on to serious matters like Donald Trump's haircut.

Anonymous said...


Now who could resist this crew?

Julie said...

@Christina - Oo! Definitely!

Marc P said...

Julie -- ha that is excellent :) I would post a link to me playing on youtube wearing a hat and suspenders but thine ears and eyes would be too offended lol!! But yes.. that is a great look :)

LynnRodz said...

Julie, your story about being a stunt double reminded me that I was an extra in a film with Catherine Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni back in the day. It was funny because Marco Ferreri was the director and he would shout everything in Italian and then he had an interpreter repeating everything in French. There were a lot of South Americans playing extras as Indians so there was another interpreter repeating everything in Spanish.

I think that may have been Deneuve's only pseudo-western. Perhaps Meg Ryan took a lesson from her for Meg's famous scene in When Harry Met Sally.

<a href="”>Don't Touch The White Woman</a>

Anonymous said...

Congrats AMY!

Sorry I'm late to the party! I agree with what others have said! Considering comments of yours that I've read on here and a few short pieces under 100 words, it doesn't surprise me that your day has finally come! Looking forward to buying your book in stores someday soon!

Colin Smith said...

Julie: True... though I must say, the way she talks about us commenters, I already feel fairly seriously advocated. Which I suppose underscores what an awesome agent she would be for any of us. So, would I be willing to sacrifice my exile in Carkoon to have Janet's fierce advocacy for my work? To which I think the appropriate answer is:

Is the Pope Catholic?


LynnRodz said...

For some reason it's not taking my HTML tags. Here's the YouTube video without the link.

Anonymous said...


That had to be an experience. How funny.

Colin Smith said...

Marc: Sorry if I missed this in previous conversation, but... your a fellow Brit, yes? (Oh, okay, technically I'm an American because I've been naturalized, but it's in the blood, you know... you can take the Bulldog out of the kennel, but you can't take the kennel out of the Bulldog... umm... wait, that started out as a clever metaphor and ended up a bad Stephen King movie... sorry... you know what I mean...)

Marc P said...

Deneuve of the woman!!

Kate Larkindale said...

Congratulations, Amy! I'm late to the party, I know, but that's just because I'm in New Zealand… So allow me to be the first to congratulate you on Tuesday!

Colin Smith said...

Here y'are Lynn:

Colin Smith said...

Ooo, Kate--what's Tuesday like? How's the weather? :)

Marc P said...

Lol yes Colin I am an Englishman. A Brit... sounds I don't know... rather tacky, don't ya see? But I have tried my hand at the ex colonial lingo in my time. The Lingua Americana as it were. Top country. Top people. Been there. Loved it :)

Colin Smith said...

Marc: Yes, I know... "Brit" does sound a little condescending, but you get used to it over here. :) I'll tell you what gave you away: "so, that's that sorted." That is so unbelievably English!


Steph said...

Congratulations Amy! (Had to sneak out of lurker-hood to say that.)

Colin Smith said...

Steph: So this community has grown to the extent that it has its own "hood" now? Wow! And "lurker-hood" doesn't sound like a good place to stay. Come on out and enjoy the fresh air! :)

Adib Khorram said...

Colin: Thankfully not! Indeed, Janet graciously agreed NOT to exile me to Carkoon, since my failure to buy her a drink was due to bad timing (the bar closed while I was listening to her speech!) rather than ineptitude. But it was a close thing.

One of the great takeaways from the conference was the mystical origin of the name Felix J. Buttonweezer, which I had been wondering about for some time.

Julie: Ribbons are the best! I have a sizable collection from all the conferences I attend for work, but the "My Ribbon Is Better Than Yours" is probably my favorite. But Wizard Hats would be awesome too.

I confess I was kind of alarmed when I arrived at the conference and the faculty/staff were NOT wearing ribbons. I had never been to a conference with no ribbons!

SiSi: I don't recall a Cindy Crawford at any of my tables or workshops, but I'm sure we passed in the hall at some point! I'm sorry I missed you. I'm pretty sure I ran into Rena at something, but did I did not make the connection with Rena from the blog. Belated hello, Rena!

Clearly a Reef Meet-Up should have been an item on the agenda.

Also, I did hear tales of woe regarding the line for the Ladies' Room.

Julia: I agree with SiSi. Everyone was very kind to me as well. I did not pitch—I only did a query critique, because I agree with Janet that pitches are the spawn of Satan—but lots of the people I met did pitch, and all agreed it was much less stressful than they were imagining it would be going in. I guess that's true of most things: the imagining is worse than the doing.

Follow the advice Janet gave in her July 22 post (10 Tips for Encountering Agents in Social Situations) and you can't go wrong. Well, I guess technically you can, especially if you tell an agent that the aliens told you to pitch your science fact manuscript as science fiction because it would sell better. (Another conference takeaway: that actually happened to Brooks Sherman!)

This time I am going to copy my post and paste it into Pages before proving my non-robot-ness. Just in case.

Colin Smith said...

Thanks for those take-aways, Adib!

I'm not sure how I feel about word processing software called "Pages." Sure, it sounds like it makes sense. But in school, "Pages" was a punishment, usually meted out by Form Monitors on miscreant students. I served as a Form Monitor to a class of 12/13 year old students, when I was in Sixth Form (17/18 yrs old). The worst punishment we could administer was "Pages" and this involved tasking the offending child with writing out a sentence of our choice a designated number of times (usually 5 or 10 pages--hence the punishment name) as homework, "I will not talk during chapel" being one of the more benign choices. I don't recall some of the more imaginative lines we would impose, but something along the lines of "I will no longer permit myself to emit verbal utterances without the direct permission of one in authority" would be more like it. The longer and more convoluted the better.

Teenagers and authority. A lesson in dystopia.

Colin Smith said...

I guess I should also say HELLO! to all the lurkers joining us as a result of seeing/hearing/meeting Janet at MWW15. I know you don't want to admit you'd never heard of this blog or Janet before last week, but that's okay. We're very non-judgmental here.

Back to the Salt Mines... :)

Colin Smith said...

Hang on, there was a point to my last comment.

OH YES! Man, I'm getting old. YES!! If you're lurking because you were at MWW15 and you heard about Janet's awesome blog, I not only want to WELCOME you but INVITE you to comment about MWW15! Join the party. Maybe if you talk, I'll stop! :D

DLM said...

Amy, WAY TO GO! Now may the next news - of your gratifying SALE - come in good, short (for publishing) time ...

Adib Khorram said...

I second the welcome to any new readers out there. MWW had 230 attendees, and all of them should now be reading this blog, of course.

I must confess, I LOVE Pages and I use it pretty much exclusively. Every time I get a Word document I cringe. It drives me batty how long it takes to load documents, count words, scroll through...ugh. And I love love love love love the built-in Time Machine functionality of Pages. I regularly back up my work, but even so, Time Machine is amazing!

LynnRodz said...

Thanks Colin, I don't know why it didn't take.

Julie, from what I remember, it was a lot of standing around in the dust and dirt, then running and standing some more.

Anonymous said...


Well, that's less than exciting, but how fun to be in a movie!

Panda in Chief said...

Gee, I couldn't make it all the way to the end of the comments, but today's takeaways (from this west coast lurker) are:
1. Congratulations Amy! Pandas are dancing in your honor. (I really wish I could put pictures in here)
2. Loved the play by plays from the recent Shark appearance at the writers conference. I almost felt like I was there.
3. I am a happy panda to be learning so much from the posts, as well as the comments.

Now to get busy to pack for summer camp on Carkoon, where all the best people hang out.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Colin, Carkoon has salt mines?

Gingermollymarilyn said...

"On the morrow" - love that, oh sharkey one!

@ Adib - Lucky lucky!! (Et al)

@ Amy - Fan****ing!!tastic! Congratulations!!

@ Sisi - Thanks for sharing your experience.

@ Christina - "Hugh Jackman and a side of kittens." - yes please!