Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Week in Review 12/6/15

Welcome to the week that was.

Sometimes the comment trail produces a nugget that just begs to be a story. The comment from Tamlyn last week was exactly that:

Growing up, the farm across the road ... had a paddock with a camel, an emu, and possibly a kangaroo. …I don't know which of them was more evil because they all were.

As it turns out the camel farm that Susan mentioned last week isn't for camel meat at all:

… Alas, work interfered, thus I missed the comments that my 'camel farm' comment generated. Sorry; I could have clarified earlier. But - on the off-chance that anyone besides me is still following this thread several days later - the camel farm across the road is for camel milk, not meat. It sells at an abominable price, $30 a litre or some such, but has been linked to improved quality of life for autistic children (my 6yo is autistic, but I can't afford the milk to try this theory) and also for the elderly - memory retention, I think? Anyway, it's a very specialised industry. No matter; I really quite like being able to look across the road and watch them from time to time :)

I echo Theresa's call to put a family papers with the local or state historical society:
An enthusiastic yes to self-published memoirs. And try to get a copy placed in a local or state historical society so future researchers will have an easier time finding it. If you've found your grandmother's or great aunt's letters and/or diaries, consider doing the same.

And Susan brought up A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
Regarding the importance of books as historical documents, I couldn't agree more. When I was little, I read "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" for the first time and was captivated by the detail Betty Smith includes in her writing.

I'm not sure if y'all know this, but I live in the very neighborhood where A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is set. In fact, Betty Smith was baptized at the church I attend. My priest showed me the baptismal records some years back, knowing I worked in publishing and had an interest. The records are in the basement, in a fireproof vault and he handled them with exquisite care. What a moment!

When I first moved in to this apartment, I'd look out my window to the fire escape and think "this is what Francie saw." The building I live in is a converted tenement, so I think it's close enough!


On Monday I was jumping up and down about the value of proof reading


Jennifer R. Donohue mentioned a common misconception about NaNoWriMo:
But I've heard tales of people who finished their NaNo masterpiece and then sent it out in December and it makes my blood run cold.
 I think the people who participate in NaNoWriMo are generally pretty savvy writers. They know not to do that. I've heard this before, but it's always third hand, and my incoming queries don't validate it at all! (whew!)


I really like this idea of targeted revisions from Leah B:
I prefer to do targeted revisions. I'll ctrl+f and highlight, say, all the adverbs in a section, then jump from highlight to highlight. Next one might be you're/your or there/they're/their, and so on. That type of revising tends to work better for me than a blanket "I'm going to take these 1500 words and make them not shit".

Jearl Rugh
asked:
Janet are you aware of tools or cheat sheets listing these kinds of vague/non action words/verbs like "would," "could," "that" "is/was" we should be ferreting our of our MS? Thanks.
I'm not, but I'll bet the blog readers are. If I had a list it would start with "that" and then run to things like "her mouth opened in a grin." Since it would be rare her ear would open in a grin, how about just "she grinned"


Adib Khorram's comment made me laugh out loud:
I tried doing the text-to-speech thing, but I found it really unnerving, because the inflections were missing and everything sounded alien to me. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact my System Voice was set to Trinoids...

And just when I think I'm be all reassuring and stuff, delicartoons says:

>There are only a few qualities I value in writers more than being meticulous

What are the other qualities? Are they qualities that can be cultivated? Can they be faked well enough? How well can you determine these qualities from a query?

Is this one more thing nascent writer should worry about?

Stop worrying. Keep writing. I value good writing. Don't worry about anything else. You are who you are. Just remember, you might think I'm too much of a pain in the ass to work with either.


On the subject of author head shots The Sleepy One said
Just wanted to note that Bill Cameron's profile photo is hilarious. It's not the professional headshot the shark mentioned in her clean-up-your-web-presence post, but it's charming and works.

That's the photo for Bill's twitter feed.
Bill Cameron being himself


The headshot on his website is a bit more…um…traditional

Bill Cameron being serious


And I have no idea what's on his head in that first shot other than it is not a cat.


Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli
added:

Like The Sleepy One said. What is that thing on Bill Cameron's head anyway? I've wondered for some time. And if we're talking professional head shots, I want Jeff Somers's photographer.
Yes, that is really Jeff Somers' headshot

That's so hilariously Jeff, isn't it?

I thought the photographer was going to lose her mind when Jeff told her what he wanted. There were literally dozens of great pictures (Jeff is a photogenic dude!) to choose from, and this is what he wanted. To this day, I torment him about it.



On Tuesday I talked about a querier who'd pretty much run out of patience with the process:

Lucie Witt said it exactly right here:

This is why you need writing friends. Not just regular old friends who know you write, **writer** friends who understand the glacial pace of everything publishing, the frustration of staring into the abyss that is the no-response means no, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, who can talk you off the ledge when you think the above mentioned email is a good idea.
I should add that I have a Shark Delay Team on standby myself.




and I liked what Donnaeve said too:
This is Writing Rage. Akin to Road Rage. As if the computer or the car has a cloaking device. We still "see," the lack of control, regardless.

and she later asked:
I'm curious, Ms. Janet, as to how you responded? Silence? Form rejection within 10 secs?

Form rejection in less than 10 seconds. Life's too short to work with people who lose their cool this early in the process.

Which is a reminder that your query #100 is Query #1 from you as far as I'm concerned.

JeffO
asked:
The question I have is, if you were to give in to curiosity and read even the opening pages of the attached manuscript, would you find a piece of genius work that has been undermined by the author's inability to condense his/her brilliant story and exquisite writing into a single-page query; or a person who just can't comprehend that either their concept or execution (or both) is mediocre at best?

Have you ever actually looked at something like this that flouts the rules, or is it always an automatic flush?

I look at stuff that "flouts the rules" all the time. The guidelines are there to help you get out of your own way; to show you what's important to me (story) and what's not (why you think I'm the cat's pajamas.) You don't have to follow them if you don't want to, but I can honestly say it improves your chances that I'll read your work if you do. Use that information as you see fit.


and this from Mark Ellis gave me the shivers:
Put me in mind of the time (true story) an agitated writer bullied his way into the monthly meeting of Willamette Writers here in Portland while some volunteers were still setting up, claiming he "needed to see a literary agent." Roughed-up a volunteer before running off into the night. Police were called, but they never found him.

I can see this as a prompt for a flash fiction contest. Agitated writer bullies way into meeting claiming a need to see a literary agent. What happens next?

Donnaeve
and Adib Khorram have MUCH to answer for when they inserted Frozen into the conversation but all I have to say is this is hilarious and that girl can really sing.

"Let It Go" via Google Translate


On Wednesday we were back to a tried and true topic: timing. The question was about sending a new manuscript out while the old one was still under consideration, and how to handle the agent still considering it.

EM Goldsmith asked
I do wonder one thing. I am writing a series of 7 books in the same way that Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, and The Belgariad by David Eddings are series. When I finish book 2, if I still have no agent (like OP), do I query both books together or separately? I can see this happening. I am 65k words into my WIP. Both books share same setting, have common characters, but are entirely different stories. They could be read independently although book 1 enhances book 2 and vice versa. I suppose this might be putting cart before horse, but I am curious.

Query one book at a time, as though it were a standalone.



Laura Mary said:
See it's posts like this I need to pin to my desk - I always feel that niggling need to explain and apologise to people who have most likely forgotten who I am, much less remember what I'm talking about.
Agent etiquette definitely seems to be a case of less is more!

DLM
has a good idea for that:
Laura Mary, just on a housekeeping note, I use the original email communications with an agent and reply/forward so they can see right there what I'm talking about (MINUS any attachments of course!). It helps me keep things straight, and provides an agent all the reference points they need inline.

That's a really good idea. I can usually check my email archives to find the conversation trail but having it right there in the new email is very helpful.



Julie M. Weathers asked about my guideline
"If you get an offer, email any agent reading your full. (You don't need to email those rejected at the query stage or didn't answer at the query stage.)"

I assumed I should contact any agent with the open query.
If my blatantly idiotic colleagues with the No Response Means No policy would wise up and reply to all queries, that guideline would change. As it is, most writers hear nothing from most agents. Thus, there's no obligation to keep them informed. However knowing Miss Julie is cut from Courtesy Cloth, I will say this: there's no harm in letting agents with an open query know you have an offer. The only time it's wrong wrong wrong is if the agent has passed. Then it's as if you're saying "neener neener" and that's not a good thing. Even if you want to.



Michelle Hazen
asked
This is a perspective I haven't heard! My CP has an ms out to several agents, but she has another one ready (yes, it's well edited and it's been many months) and she's seen many agents asking for something like it, so she's excited. Here's my question: is it okay to query other agents with a different ms when you already have one ms out on sub (it seems like you're totally fine with this in your post), and also, since it is in the same genre as the first, how long should you wait before querying agents with Book 2 that rejected Book 1?

I like to see at least a couple months of daylight between queries. On the other hand, I generally keep up with my queries, so you'll hear back from me pretty promptly. Some of my colleagues not so much. Thus, use YOUR clock for the countdown, NOT their reply timeline. Example: you send a query in Month 1 for book 1. You can send a query for book 2 in 90 days. That's 90 days after the first query, even if you haven't heard back on book 1 yet. It's entirely possible something in Query 2 will catch their eye particularly if "agents (are) asking for something like this" and they bite on this one without having bitten on book 1.

It's never rude to query. Never.

You can query rudely, yes, but the actual act of sending a businesslike query is never rude.

Agents who bitch about timing (why would anyone query in August/December/the day my cat died) need to get a fucking grip. This is a business and if you don't want to read your queries, don't. Don't confuse your wishes with decorum however. Some of us read queries promptly and throughout the year.


On Thursday, the topic was again timing, this one about sending pages after a conference meeting: how long does a writer have?

nightmusic read my "less than a year" comment to mean there was a deadline:
I had a query session where the agent donated their time to five out of how ever many submitted at a conference, to go over the query and first five pages with the author. What worked, what didn't, good, bad, ugly and how to work on correcting those things. It was a great opportunity and I was the only one she asked for the first fifty after I'd revised it, but life intervened and I didn't send it. That was well over a year ago so my chance is gone. All that to say, if you have that opportunity, don't squander it! Polish. Send! You just never know.

This is one of the great things about this blog for me: I get to see when what I've said isn't what I meant. This is one of those cases. Thanks nightmusic for helping me refine this.

"less than a year" was INTENDED to mean that you should not be pitching anything that's a year from being done. I didn't intend to establish it as a deadline.

So, first thing: nightmusic get that manuscript off to that agent right NOW. I want a jpg of the email!

Second, if it did take you that long, it's still ok. You might drop the agent a line every six months or so just to say you're still working on it.

I heard from a prospect yesterday (Saturday 12/5/15) that he's now ready to talk about a project that I've been waiting on for about seven years.

I have a manuscript in my to be read stack that has been percolating with my author for eight years I think.

Remember: publishing is a long game. If I'm interested in your work, I'm not going to forget. And even if I do, and even if it turns out my interest has waned it's OK to email. It's not rude. Assume you have something of value in your work. It's not rude to offer your work to an agent.


brianrschwarz has a very good litmus test for when is a project done and ready to send:
I asked the deadly question -- "When do you know its done?" And she answered "When none of your critique partners are telling you the same thing anymore."
I'm stealing that.


I love this from 2Ns

Wait a minute, wait a minute.
It’s a career not a sideline.
It’s a career not a hobby.
It’s a career not a pastime.
It’s a career not a game.
It’s a career.
Got it.


Then Friday was the writing contest, and results will be posted tomorrow.

As for Chum Bucket: I'd like nothing more than to promise a Chum Bucket in 2015. The problem is I'm still backed up on requested fulls. I just cleared the last of 2014's requests off my desk this week (it did not sit there unattended, no no no, I had multiple conversations with the author, but final disposition did not happen till this week) and I'd REALLy like to have an empty inbox on 1/1/16 if at all possible.

I do love Chum Bucket, and have missed it, but I can't do that, read manuscripts, write the week in review AND do my real work.

I am working on cloning myself though, so there's that.

Have a great week!

39 comments:

Matt Adams said...

Another great week, Janet. But if you do clone yourself, can she go buy Janey? That way if my fingers slip on the keyboard, I won't end up offending either of you.

This is a neat community you've built.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Oh, I'm glad the "submit my brand new NaNo project" thing is actually a myth. It's a thing I've seen repeated often, but I do agree, it seems to me that a lot of people who are successful at NaNoWriMo are pretty savvy anyway (or trying to get there).

That is amazingly cool that your priest showed you Betty Smith's baptismal records! A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN is one of those books I purchased at a yard sale at age 10 or 11 (a beautiful, to me, hardcover, with no illustrations and no dustjacket) and devoured, then read again. That book really sticks with me, and at the library, it's on my list of books I recommend to people looking for a certain thing.

I'd never heard that before about camel's milk and quality of life improvements for some populations. That's terribly interesting to the part of my brain that thought it was a good idea to get a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, and I'm going to have to read about it.

Good luck on getting your inbox cleared, Janet. Again, we appreciate the time you devote here to us!

BJ Muntain said...

Another great Week in Review. Thanks, Janet!

I just have to mention one thing. Bill Cameron, in the first picture, has his Christmas hat on - that's a felt Christmas tree on his head. In Janet's previous blog post, he had a critter hat on - one of those hats that kids wear, with the animal ears. He really rocked that. He rocks the Christmas tree, too (in the hope that candies might fall off? bacon-flavoured candies?).

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Wonderful WiR, I learn so much here. I'm tickled to be mentioned but I can't take any credit for that cool photo.

I'm grateful for QOTKU's answer to Michelle Hazen's question.

Never pitch anything that isn't a year from finished. I pitched an unfinished ms to an excellent agent. She requested I query her when I finished, it but I'm still rewriting 18 months later. I did send a follow up mail once. I figure she'll be there or someone else will when it's query time. Maybe next chum bucket I'll have something.

Nice to hear that QOTKU is stealing the captain's advice. Way to go Captain!

I also like Leah B's targeted revision idea. That's what I learned in an editing course I took recently.

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

I loved the Frozen google translation. That girl can sing. I hope she gets noticed if she hasn't already.

CynthiaMc said...

Happy Sunday, y'all!

Bummed to miss this week's contest, but opening weekend, an emergency trip to the vet with a sick kitty (on the mend now) and SEC championship kicked my butt.

I have much to be grateful for, the cat got sick on payday, the show's doing well, and Bama won, so I'll stop whining and go do my matinee now.

Dena Pawling said...


Love Jeff Somers' headshot.

Susan – my #2 is/was autistic [depending on your definition of “recovered”]. He couldn't drink milk for years and years, but now he can. Anyway, if you want to “talk”, send me an email.

Jearl Rugh – this site has a great set of lists of words to watch for in your ms

http://writershelpingwriters.net/writing-tools/

Hey LynnRodz – I didn't get exiled to Carkoon for my Chum Bucket comment!

Whew!

But I definitely understand not wanting to add more work to an already-high workload and backlog of ms to read. And I'm not a fan of you cloning yourself. The thought of TWO sharks loose in the publishing waters is right frightening. Probably best to just update the year Chum Bucket will resume to 2016.

Thanks for the great WiR and have a great week!

Elissa M said...

Angie,

I also clicked on the Google translate video that I missed during the week. This is one reason why I love the week in review; it helps me catch great comments and links I missed.

Absolutely, that woman can sing like no one's business. I'm pretty sure someone besides us knows it. That sort of talent doesn't just stay in the shower (or youtube).

Susan said...

Just looked at last week's WIR to double-check--I think the camel farm clarification should be accredited to Kae...

Janet, your story about Betty Smith made me grin like an idiot. Those are memories to be cherished!

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is my favorite book. Next to Peter S. Beagle's A Fine and Private Place, it's the only one I've read dozens of times, the only one I turn to every few years just because it brings a kind of rare comfort.

The copy I have is missing the dust jacket, but I find I prefer it that way. The address for the house in New York where I lived until I was three is scribbled in pencil on the front cover, and on the title page, my late grandmother's signature is scrawled across the top in ink. When I hold this book, I feel like I'm holding a piece of my own past. Growing up, I fell in love with this book for the story and the writing. Now that I'm older, it encompasses a sentimentality beyond any nominal value. I think that's what a truly great book does.

If you like A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Joy in the Morning is equally charming. Betty Smith brings a sense of magic to ordinary life unlike any other author I know of, and I just love it. OK. Enough gushing...


Thanks for the WIR! I was out of commission this week and missed a lot, so it's nice to be able to catch up. Now to read the fabulous contest entries...

SiSi said...

I do love the WIR, especially these last few weeks when I've been crazy busy with the day job. Also--how cool that you live in the setting for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn! That's a book I reread every year or so, one of my very favorites.

I'm hoping things calm down soon so I'll be able to devote more time to the blog and the comments, my go-to for writing advice and general hilarity. How are things in Carkoon?

Julie.M.Weathers said...

What a great week in review as always. I value these because, even as much as I yapped last week, I often miss really great comments.

I love Bill Cameron so much and Jeff's autographed book to me is still a treasure that makes me laugh every time I open it. "Have a great f------ new year! Jeff Somers" Methinks he might have been drinking when he mailed me that book.

I need to do some book reviews.

I hope people will donate copies of letters, papers, journals to historical societies. My father donated a gold mine that had an interesting history behind it to Montana to be turned into a historical site. People will be able to see how a mine operated in the 1800's. A lot of the research I'm doing now is based on letters and journals. A letter from a South Carolina captain describes a snow ball fight between Georgians and Carolinians at Rappahannock Academy where 10,000 men took part in the winter of 1862-63. Officers on horseback moved their troops and rallied breaking lines.

You can't make stuff like this up. It would be lost to us if someone doesn't preserve those letters and journals.

"I'm not, but I'll bet the blog readers are. If I had a list it would start with "that" and then run to things like "her mouth opened in a grin." Since it would be rare her ear would open in a grin, how about just "she grinned" "

There are programs that do this search and destroy. I go through my manuscript, looking for words I use too often, but I just do the search feature so I can decide if I really need them or not. The problem with the programs is they don't take context into account. Sometimes you really do need that word there.

There's an Ernest Hemingway app.

I just started C.C. Humphreys' THE FRENCH EXECUTIONER. The opening line is: "It was unseasonably cold for a late May night, but the gibbet's former occupant was too dead to care and his replacement too unconscious."

I love that opening and it gave me a boost I needed. I decided to follow Hemingway's advice and write one true line at the beginning of each writing session. Once you write one true line, you know you can write and the rest will follow. After that one true line is down, I turn my hour glass over and begin.

The chapter that followed Humphreys' great opening was just as wonderful, by the way.





Kara Ringenbach said...

I missed the comment from brianrschwarz about how to know when it's done till the WIR. Sounds like a great gauge!

nightsmusic said...

Seeing as how I can't swim, I'm thinking I'd best send that request before my wading ankles are attacked by shark teeth! ;)

I will, I'll get it sent and send the .jpg, just so you know I sent it.

I missed quite a bit this week. Sometimes, I hate December. It's a month that is in no way my own to do anything with except go with the flow. Yesterday was spent with my daughters and SIL baking Christmas cookies and making...testing the Irish Whisky we made. Best part of the day, that. Then a party last night, one the night before, next weekend is another on Friday and then Holiday Nights Dinner at Greenfield Village on Saturday night...too many things, not enough time this month. So I'm doubly grateful for the WIR this week (and next) because I don't know how well I'll be able to keep up. Thank you.

Theresa said...

I SO want a head shot like Jeff Somers's.

As I head into a grading frenzy of a week, I'm buoyed by my mention in the WIR. I've been spending whatever free moments I have at the end of this semester trying to track down certain memoirs and letters, hoping enough of them exist to write what I think would be a fascinating history.

And like Janet mentioned, I am ever vigilant in deleting excessive "that"s. "Just" runs a close second.

Have a great writing week, everyone.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

To clone, or not to clone that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer a slacker’s reputation
The slings and arrows of outrageous workload,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
Clone and take a nap.

Yours truly,
BS

aka - Bill Shakespeare
He lives in Brooklyn too, in a tree.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Oh, sorry, BTW thanks for the mention. Love the WIR

Janice L. Grinyer said...

Thank you Janet for another great WIR - helpful to us who have a busy schedule right now!

Appreciate the comment about documentation of surrounding history. No matter where you are, there is always a story that needs to be written down. But take pictures also! When we first bought our place in 2008, we explored the surrounding National forest and found most of the forgotten old homesteads from the late 1800's - early 1900's. Many were in remote locations you had to ride or hike to. Looking at county records, we were able to id original owners. I took lots of photos. After the 2012 fire, all of these cabins, hillside dwellings are gone now, leaving behind a trace of broken stone chimneys and foundations. So remember to take photos too - you never know when nature will reclaim them...

LynnRodz said...

I think I know what happened to Jeff Somers's head shot. He scheduled the photo session at his favorite bar and the photographer ended up getting as tipsy as Jeff.

Dena, are you telling me you haven't been sent to Carkoon, ever? Are you keeping Janet supplied with tequila, or what? I have to admit, I'm surprised you didn't get a 1-way ticket for your Chum Bucket comment. Hmm, could Janet be acting extra nice for Santa?

I missed quite a bit this week, so I'm grateful once again for the WIR. Thanks, Janet. It took 4 days to put up my Christmas tree, but I love it. Now, I have to start baking cookies and my social calendar sounds a lot like nightsmusic's and will continue until New Year's Day. I'm worried I won't find much time to work on my MS until the new year.

Colin Smith said...

First things first, Dena's link:

http://writershelpingwriters.net/writing-tools/

Thanks again for the WiR, Janet. Even though I read most (if not all) the comments, this is a good reminder of the things I should remember. :)

So, who's writing the sequel: A SHARK LIVES IN BROOKLYN NEXT TO THAT TREE?

John Frain said...

This is such an easy blog to fall in love with.

In our business, we often hear the phrase "this is where I quit reading."

So, I'm going to do the opposite. This is where I knew I had to keep reading:
"So, first thing: nightmusic get that manuscript off to that agent right NOW. I want a jpg of the email!"

Even better, that was the line that put a grin on my face ... because who puts a grin on their arse. (See, I'm still learning, even on a Sunday.)

Karen McCoy said...

Another great WIR--and gave me the courage to send the reminder email I'd been hesitating on. Thank you!

Colin Smith said...

John: You'd be surprised what some people will do to you when you're drunk and leave Sharpie markers lying around. Not that I have experience of such things... :)

CynthiaMc said...

When I did Romeo and Julie, our Mercurtio painted a smiley face on his fanny as an inside joke but it showed through his tights and he died onstage with his rear facing the audience. We thought we were doing the show for an audience of serial killers until he told us what he did.

Intermission's over - have to do my prison scene now.

CynthiaMc said...

Juliet - apparently my phone is an illiterate Philistine.

Donnaeve said...

There are two WOW'S in here. First WOW, like everyone else mentioned, is the fact that QOTKU lives where the author of A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN lived, or at least close by and got to see her baptismal records. That sort of experience? Priceless.

The second WOW was when I clicked on the link, and was reminded of QOTKU's wit with regard to wanting to respond to blog in what sounded like 25 G'ding, F'ing Hootnanny font (something like that) and then read TAWNA FENSKE'S comment - which was heeelarious too! STD? SDT? Hmmmm.

Tawna Fenske was reading back then? WOW and WOW.

Anywho! GREAT WIR! I won't mention the song which shall remain unmentioned, although YES, that girl could sing, but oh my word, the translation piece - hoooooot!

Donnaeve said...

Count'em, three WOW's...


And THANK YOU for the WIR! (forgot my manners - I guess I left them at Wal-Mart).

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Even with no sleep, I still love WIR. Although it is all you guys fault that I am not sleeping. Mr. Patrick Lee's fabulous trilogy made me late for work 3 x last couple weeks- still reading at 2 Am. Really great stuff that. I was introduced to his trilogy via this blog and my flash fiction win.

Went to write 100 words yesterday- wrote 46,726 instead by 9 this morning. Did not sleep. I now have 2 active WIPs and 1 WUS. That can't be healthy. I apologize for being totally incoherent, but this is what happens when too obsessed with this blog - write more, read more, sleep less. Back to my kale covered rock.

Dena Pawling said...


LynnRodz - Nope, no exile yet, altho that's probably not for the lack of trying. Colin has retained me at least once to evict certain unsavory cave dwellers, but that's the extent of my involvement, at least as of now. No promises for the future. Speculation as to why I haven't been exiled yet? Here's a few:

1. I once put all of Sean Ferrell's book titles, including an unpublished one that I included accidentally, into a 100 word flash fiction entry.

2. I've never sent her tequila or other beverages, but a few weeks ago I sent her a photo of a Shark that looked sooooooo perfect for her.

3. Maybe you're right and Sharks do believe in Santa.

4. I meet at least a few of her “rules for writers”
Be Bold - check
Be Tenacious - check
Be Rational [maybe not this one]
Be Knowledgeable [not yet but working on it]
Be Positive [does “I positively suck at this” count?]
Be Confident [does “I'm confident I suck at this” count?]
Be Ready - check
Be Reachable - check
Be Brave [maybe to a fault?]
Be Polite - check
Be Imperfect [I nail this one]
Be Wary! [maybe not this one]

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Dena, hilarious and you definitely do not suck. Not even a little. And if you ever do get exiled to Carkoon, it's not so bad here. And there's an opening at the high school ever since Colin was sent to that great slush pile beyond Carkoon so...

AJ Blythe said...

As I say each week, I'm very grateful for the WiR. Thanks, Janet. The Silly Season seems to have hit me hard this year and I've missed some posts this week (which I hate).

So many pearls of wisdom in today's post I've bookmarked it (I need a bookmark folder just for SHARK posts).

John Frain said...

Mental note: If I get lucky enough to buy Colin a drink, hide the Sharpies first! Thanks for the warning.

LynnRodz said...

Thanks a lot, E.M., like I don't feel guilty enough as it is — 46,726 words, indeed!

Dena, I'm guessing it's #1 or #3 as the reason you're still not on/in/at Carkoon. When/if I get back and find out someone is squatting my cave, now I know who/whom to call to get rid of those unsavory characters.

I think I'll go join Jeff at the bar...on second thought, I better go to bed.

Julie.M.Weathers said...

I tried to delete my comment and couldn't apologies.

I'm appropriately bowled over by A Tree Grows in Brooklyn experience. How remarkable would that be?

Adib Khorram said...

Interestingly, Scott Westerfeld's AFTERLIFE is about a girl who does NaNoWriMo, sends her MS off straight away, then lands an agent and a six-figure deal for it.

I don't think that's the source of the misconception, but rather a symptom. I wonder where it originated?

Kae Ridwyn said...

Thank you for another incredible WIR, Janet! (Although Susan's right, it was me with the camel farm across the road, and thanks for the invitation Dena, but my Mr6 has always drunk milk. Cow's, though, not camel's.) And that "Shark Delay Team" post was priceless!

@ColinSmith - you and Sharpies may just be an unwise combination, I'm thinking

and @E.M. Goldsmith, 46,726 is overwhelming, monumentally phenomenal!!! Go YOU!!! :D :D :D

Kae Ridwyn said...

(Whoops - that should have been 'overwhelmingly' - I guess I don't use those 'ly' words enough, huh?)

Jessica Snell said...

About the cheat sheets: I have my own that I've tailored over the years, but IIRC the key phrase for Google that got me what I need to get it started was "weasel words" (in combination with "writing" or "editing" or "revision").

I'm sorry I can't point to a specific site; I started working on my cheat sheet so long ago that I'm not sure which parts are mine and which parts I stole.

Tamlyn said...

I am far too happy about getting a mention in the WIR. I am also now lost in Youtube and Google Translate songs (this is a good thing).

@CynthiaMc - the different meaning of fanny across continents had me very confused for a while there -_-

Lisa Bodenheim said...

A belated yay for the WiR. Interesting that my computer woes yesterday didn't start until I clicked on the Youtube link for Frozen. And my computer froze in the middle of that beautiful singing.