Monday, March 20, 2017

6 Reasons you heard no

1. Grammar mistakes I haven't seen since 4th grade.
How you will avoid this: If you know you're weak in the fundamentals of sentence construction, take a class. Proper grammar is essential. You don't have to use it, but you have to know it. And if you use bad grammar it should be on porpoise. Like for a laugh. Or to make a point. Or to convey a character's voice.


2. The premise of the novel was so distasteful I wouldn't even want to know the writer, let alone work with him/her.
How you will avoid this:  Hard to say. You might run the idea past some readers and watch their reaction. Otherwise resign yourself to Lysol-scented replies.


3. You flat out told me you disregarded the query guidelines.
The problem isn't that you did so; I get queries every day that do. It's that you added "I don't have time to do this kind of folderol" which tells me you're impatient and convinced you're right about everything (including stuff you don't know anything about.) This bodes ill for your career path in a new industry. Make no mistake about it: being published is a job. Being a writer might be about art, but once you want to be published, it's a business. Would you hire a person who flat out told you the job application was beneath them?

How you will avoid this: if you don't follow the directions, keep it to yourself. If you think agents are witless, mercurial, and savage beasts, put here on this earth solely to torment writers, well you're right of course, but keep it out of your query. In other words, pretend to be a polite person I'd want to work with.


4. Misused words/homonyms
I literally stop reading your work if I see more than three of these in the pages you include with your query. I've ranted about this at length in other blog posts. No matter how good your story is, I can't read it if I'm frequently drawn out of the narrative by thinking "wait, she means alley here, not ally."

How you will avoid this: Have a beta reader who could double as a grammar velociraptor. Pay someone if you have to.  Spell czech Will Not Help You!


5. Pages are not compelling
Your pages need to entice me to read more. It doesn't have to be with some sort of wildly dramatic event, although that usually works pretty well. This is more like you create a world I want to see more of, a world I want to explore with you.  Dennis Lehane is a master of this.

How you will avoid this: study a novel that you love. When I say study, I mean close study, as in typing it out in its entirety or reading it aloud yourself.  Watch for how the writer entices you to read more. Then do that. All great artists learn from those who came before. What you're doing is the equivalent of art students sitting in museums re-creating the paintings of the great masters.

One of my favorite pieces of writing advice is from Elmore Leonard: Take out everything that sounds like writing.  Here's an example "his gaze wandered to the television."  


6. Your query was brilliant; your pages not so much.
A good query entices me to read the pages you include. Those pages have to be as good or BETTER than the query. I don't request a manuscript if the pages don't entice me, no matter how good the query is.

How you will avoid this part one: Have someone read your pages. If they ask to read more, you're on the right track. If they don't, you know you need to do some work.

How you will avoid this part two: don't ever send a prologue if it's markedly different in tone and voice from the book you describe in your query. It will just confuse me. Send it ONLY with a full manuscript request.

61 comments:

Colin Smith said...

6. Your query was brilliant; your pages not so much.

I would think the pages should always be better than the query. The query's like the dissolvable stitches on your appendix operation. Or the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. Which works for me because I LOVE medicine. Always have. One of the fun parts about being sick when I was a child was when the doctor prescribed penicillin. The pink stuff. Man... I would ask my mum if it was time for another dose! This explains a lot, doesn't it...

Back to the point. The query's like the overture to the opera. Like the sample at the deli bar. Like the appetizer to the meal. In other words, you don't want to go home talking about the overture, or the sample, or the appetizer. You want to go home talking about the opera, the Philly cheese steak sandwich (or veggie sandwich in my case), or the meal. But the overture, the sample, and the appetizer should be good enough to make you want to stay for more.

Time for tea! :)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

So bad grammar is okie dokey provided you are a swimming creature that sharks somewhat fear? Got it.

And the query can be border line horrible provided the pages are amazing? That would be comforting, but I suspect I am reading too much into this.

Kitty said...

I remember Janet saying that (more often than not) an A+ query usually meant so-so pages.

Colin Smith said...

Oh... and did you notice part 2 of #6? Some years ago the advice was "Don't write a prologue. Ever. Just don't." This later became, "Don't send a prologue as part of your pages. At least make us believe for a while that your novel doesn't have one." Now it's, "If you send a prologue with your pages, make sure it's the same tone as the rest of the novel."

Are we seeing a renaissance of the prologue? Is the prologue respectable again? Will we all soon be required to write prologues to be seen as credible writers? :)

Colin Smith said...

Elise: I don't know about horrible, but the job of the query is to make the agent read the pages. So I guess a query that says, "Read the pages and I'll send you a bottle of whiskey and $100" might do the trick just as well... ;)

Theresa said...

It's great to see these important points all lined up in a handy list.

Wisconsin is in for a real taste of spring today, so I'm aiming to get enough book proposal work done that I can justify a good long walk.

Happy Monday everyone.

Donnaeve said...

"In other words, pretend to be a polite person I'd want to work with."

I think the chickens will come home to roost, eventually with this one.

Colin That is quite bizarre. You LOVE medicine? Ick. Have you had any Robitussin lately?

Kitty said...

Donna, I was horrified when my then-teenaged children told me chugging a bottle -- an entire bottle! -- of Robitussin was what some of their classmates did to get a buzz. My two were severely asthmatic when they were young and couldn't be bribed to take even a spoonful of the "nasty stuff."

Colin Smith said...

Donna: It seems I have been blessed (at least so far) with a relatively healthy constitution, which, given that I like medicine, is probably a good thing. I'm not often sick enough to need it. Saying that, I have had Robitussin, and many of the leading brands of liquid medicine over the course of my adult life thus far, and I can't say I disliked any of them.

Lest anyone take my comment (and my previous comments in another post regarding my experiences with Percocet) to indicate that I have some kind of prescription (or Over The Counter) drug issue, I don't. I am able to take the prescribed amounts and no more. But I can understand why people get addicted to the stuff.

Kitty said...

Off the topic... The Hanover PA eagles have a new eaglet born either late last night or early this morning. This is live video of the nest. They have one more egg to hatch.

As you were.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

okeydokey. So #1 is a test?

Precaffeinated, I've found 3 misspells (and I had to look up misspell to make sure I spelled it correctly). Did I get an A? Or are here other grammer schtuff that I mished?

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Colin ...dyslexic agnostic insomniac...up all night wondering if there was a dog." HA! I also loved medicine as a kid. Especially the one that wasn't exactly doctor's orders when suffering with a bad cough: Mama's hot toddy.

I love these "how you will avoid this" lists. Janet, As always, thank you for your time.

Amy Schaefer said...

Further to #6, I think we need to be willing to put just as much effort into polishing pages as we do into polishing the query.

Colin Smith said...

Kitty: One thing I am prone to is sinus issues. If someone has a cold, I rarely catch the cold, but my sinuses will go haywire (though not as much as I get older, it seems), so there's usually a packet of Advil Cold & Sinus in the house. It's only in tablet form, but a couple of those normally clear my head; they also give me the kind of buzz you talk about.

Now, here's the weird thing. I get that same buzz from language study, or after an intense writing period. Heck, even from writing those song parodies. Any work where I have to think hard about words. I consider this a blessing, because it means if I want to get that buzz, I need to pull myself away from Netflix and actually do some writing. :)

Colin Smith said...

Melanie: I'm glad you like that. The joke is not original with me, but it's my favorite joke of all time. :)

Everyone else: Check out the end of yesterday's post to see what Melanie's talking about.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

I'm reading Elmore Leonard this week. And Graham Greene.

DLM said...

Honestly, on #4, I would not make it to TWO of those mistakes without gnashing my teeth. Three seems generous in the extreme, all things considered!

Personally, I hate drugs. The taste is a minor issue, but I LOATHE the effects - the bad aftertastes or *killing* your sense of taste, medicine head, that sensation of cardiac arrest Imitrex once gave me, antibiotic stomach upset, actually being under the influence. No thank you to any of that and all of it. I take drugs as a means to an end, and only when I must.

Colin Smith said...

Sorry for all the comments, but I want to mention that I will be adding this list to the Treasure Chest. It'll be an on-going list as Janet posts more like it, or people discover similar tips in the blog archive. There is a list of "25 Queries, and Why Janet Said "No" to Them All" in the Chest, which is a little more specific (i.e., talking about specific query issues).

Nicole Roder said...

"It's that you added "I don't have time to do this kind of folderol" which tells me you're impatient and convinced you're right about everything (including stuff you don't know anything abouT.)"

Wow. It's hard to believe anyone would be this dumb. But I guess if you're arrogant enough to believe you know everything, you probably think everyone else will marvel at your brilliance regardless of what you do

Nicole Roder said...

Colin--3 of my kidsjust finished a round of "the pink stuff" and they complained about the taste at every dose! I wish they had your taste in medicine!

Colin Smith said...

Nicole: I've come to discover that Melanie and I are quite the exception to the norm in this regard. Not one of my six children share my medicinal tastes. I hope your kids get better soon!

Amy Johnson said...

I was already laughing when I got to "Like for a laugh" under number 1.

Thanks for the list, Janet. I especially like when you give us how-to-avoids.

DLM said...

Nicole, it may be just as well. I drank an entire bottle of codeine cough syrup when I was little. (Poison Control's great warning was to make sure I didn't fall asleep, but this was no problem; I was up all night, rocking and rocking and rocking and rocking. I make no speculation as to causality between this incident and my later distaste for drugs ...)

Janet Reid said...

Aw geeze guyz, sorry about that first draft spelling this morning.
This post (and all posts about rejection) get written weeks before they go up so that people who received passes recently aren't double-smacked by seeing their work mentioned here the next day.

And of course, twixt writ and post, I forgot to consult Mr. Czech. He of the spellz.

Argh.

Happy Monday.

Susan said...

"One of my favorite pieces of writing advice is from Elmore Leonard: Take out everything that sounds like writing. Here's an example "his gaze wandered to the television."

This gave me pause. Dialogue, character development, and descriptions are my strong suit, but I cannot for the life of me get a proper handle on action sentences like this, particularly when they're surrounding dialogue.

How would you propose a fix for this sentence, if it's not a throwaway line and the character had to look at the television for plot purposes?

DLM said...

Susan: for one, people really don't say "gaze." We look at things, stare, glance, maybe even regard. I personally would even take "peer" over "gaze" - it's just such a schmoopy word. Plus, the example sentence just feels slow and has lots of words.

I might omit any "looking" verb at all, and describe either the color or noise on/from the TV. This would tell me it's being perceived; I don't need to be told how the perception occurs - only that the TV in question is presenting something distracting, or absorbing, or irksome, or scary.

He of the spellz. Hee!

Julie Weathers said...

1. I used to sprinkle commas like confetti. Now, it appears I've all but banished them after having my hands slapped so much. I'm working on it.

2. The Rain Crow is going to be controversial, so a lot of agents won't want it. I already know that. Cowgirls Wanted will be also. I just have to hope the story and writing rise above the politics and pc stuff.

3. I'm very good at following directions, which is why I cringe about the query widely thing. If someone say they hate historicals, I take them at their word.

4. I'm pretty good at this though my brain misfires. Using a text to speech and going over it a last time is even better. Amazon has bought out Ivona, my favorite. Curse you, Amazon. Now I'm fighting to get unsubscribed from some spider web they have set up in order to access Ivona. No thank you, I don't want all that other crap. Beta readers are the last line of defense.

5. Compelling pages. Heavy sigh. How do you know? I have a huge back and forth going with readers now. We need the set up to ground the character and reader. Get right to the action. It's going to an editor when I get the money.

6. Not even thinking about query, though RC will be done someday. It's at 120,000 words. Don't get excited. I'm chunk writing and some of that will be removed to a later volume and some will be killed off. I'm no where near done. I write what the boys in the back give me and the pieces fall into place as they will.

Anyway, I'm wasting time while my brain clears.

I hope everyone has a good day. It's time for me to go drown someone.

“The highest privilege of being a writer is being able to say, 'open your mind to me and I'll take you to another world.'”
--Alexei Maxim Russell

Janet Reid said...

"It's time for me to go drown someone."

Honest to godiva, when someone's comments on a blog make an agent want to read their work, that person shouldn't worry about stuff. Other than, yanno, writing it.

John Williamson said...

Above all else: if you get a reject, don't engage in an ad homonym attack against the agent.

Colin Smith said...

Julie W: All the best with your writing efforts. Not sure there are any agents out there interested in what you're writing, but you never know... ;)

DLM said...

John: *GROAN*

Julie, on #3 I'm the same way, but there are still quite a lot of agents who do take historical. My main issue was weeding out the ones who meant "romance with corsets", or who preferred 20th century or some other specific period.

BJ Muntain said...

Julie: I've never heard that quote before, but I love it. Thank you.

I think by 'distasteful', Janet didn't mean general politics, who won what war, how people were treated, etc. After all, Janet reps history books. There's a lot of distasteful stuff in history. 'Distasteful' would be different for different agents, probably, but I'm sure some topics like 'emotional abuse: how to use it to get what you want' probably wouldn't get someone the best agent.

Regarding medicines: I liked the pink penicillin as a kid. But I also liked the taste of soap. That latter, though, was partially out of spite - my mum had taken to washing my mouth out with soap if I talked back to her. So I decided I liked soap. So that took soap out of her arsenal. I'm sure my sisters are glad that I got rid of that particular punishment before they ever got it (I was the oldest. I got all the 'experiments'. I was also the most stubborn, the most like my dad.)

John Davis Frain said...

Nobody signs off like Julie W! Not that I want to see your epitaph, but it's gonna be a classic.

Elmore Leonard was a genius, eh! Another piece of his writing advice: Try to leave out the parts readers skip over. Granted, it's not so specific, but what a great line.

Susan, here's possibly a test for you regarding the example Elmore Leonard line. Would you say it that way? Probably not. If you're talking to your best friend, how would you say that line? Whatever it is, write it that way. See if that works.

Karen McCoy said...

Julie W: Number 5, Number 5, Number 5. I worry about this all the time. Though Janet is right--you definitely don't have to!

Grammar ain't the problem for me, so sorry, John, you won't catch me haggling over "there" and "their" (though, while teaching to this recently, I noticed that if you remove the t from both those words, you get "here" (directional) and "heir" (possession), if it helps).

Regardless, writers always expand their knowledge by making new words, even while revising old ones. It's all in the execution, after all (is it a coincidence that "execution" has a terminal connotation as well?). Another reason to love the flash contests here.

As for beginnings, I highly recommend the first few pages of Dawn by Octavia Butler as an example of what compels readers to keep moving with the story.This post from Writer Unboxed also helped me a great deal.

Almost deleted this post by accident. Thank goodness for the Undo button. Now, off to make new words! :)

Adele said...

"How you will avoid this: study a novel that you love."

So when I was new, I complained in my writing group that it was impossible to write a compelling sentence when a character was just driving somewhere. The writer whose house I was in got up and left the room. Five minutes later she came back with a James Lee Burke novel, opened it and read one sentence out loud. Dave Robichaux was driving into town.

Now, here's the thing: I don't like hot stickly climates, and I hear New Orleans is loud and jangly and I don't like that either. I am not a fan of crawdads and gators. I don't want to go to the bayou and I cringe at characters with names like Fat Daddy. This book had all of the elements. By the end of the evening I borrowed it. I took it home. I re-read the sentence. Then I read the following page. Then I went back a page or two and read towards the sentence. I read the whole chapter, then the chapter before and the one after. Then I went to the beginning read the entire book. I had to. And I didn't want to read any of it.

If a book hits you this way, do go back and write out - if not all, certainly many bits out of it. Write out chapter beginnings and endings. Write out scenes that hit you in the heart. Best training ever.

BJ Muntain said...

Regarding prologues and Adele's newbie complaint about writing a compelling sentence when a character was 'just driving somewhere' (I know that's no longer your complaint, Adele. I just wanted to comment on it.)

This is the first line of my prologue, of the first book in my series. So, possibly the first line someone will read of mine (if they read prologues and if my future agent or publisher don't make me take it or the prologue out):

"Dietrich shivered as he passed the spot on the highway where the Mounties had died."

I can't tell you if this is a good example or not, but I've had good feedback on the prologue, so I hope this opening line is as good as they say.

Sherry Howard said...

Colin I'm so glad you maintain the treasure box. Now that I'm in the query trenches I am constantly searching Janet's blog for what she said about this, that, or the other.

Case in point, I got an offer of publication for my YA through a well-respected on-line conference. (At the same time and through the same venue, I also got a full request from a legit small publisher for teen stuff.) I thought that lent this publisher some credibility and (OUCH) didn't do enough research before sending my full. Lesson learned. In my defense, I did quick research, but their website was misleading without a DEEP search. So, when they immediately (2 days) offered a contract, red flags erupted. I ransacked this blog, and found the exact red flags JR talked about. Going forward, I know to do deep research into the company BEFORE sending a full, and to not assume vetting on the part of conference hosts. I think it's a legit new publisher, not at all a vanity press, but not what I want.

Julie, do you really need to pay an editor? There are so many lovely, talented writers who do great exchanges. An editor good enough to do more than a strong beta reader does costs a fortune.

Susan said...

Thanks Diane and John. I think what trips me up is the action that accompanies the dialogue tags, particularly in reference to where someone is looking. She looks at him. He looks at his hands. She glances away, etc, etc, etc. It's hard to describe without going into detail, but I tend to like it when dialogue stands on its own, so I often have trouble with these action descriptions that often accompany the dialogue tags. I've been paying more and more attention to it in books I read, and it's pretty par for the course, but I guess when I write it myself, it doesn't feel natural. Ah, well. I'll keep practicing and deconstructing.

This morning I killed off my main character. Apparently, that's not the darling you're supposed to kill. Oops.

Lennon Faris said...

Thanks for the post. I love these.

I wish there was an app to tell you where eyeballs stopped reading. With so many agents asking for a query AND pages right off the bat, it's hard to tell where a problem might be.

Julie - "I hope everyone has a good day. It's time for me to go drown someone." - made me do a double take. I heard such a calm voice saying it, too.

Colin Smith said...

Lennon: I usually ask beta readers to let me know places where they got bored, or put the manuscript down and struggled to pick it up again.

I commented earlier about the buzz I can get from writing, which got me thinking...

It was a rather non-descript house on the seedier side of L.A.'s toughest neighborhood. Pail green peeling paint on rotting wood, steps that shrieked to take my weight, a storm door punctured with bullet holes. Inside, the curtains were drawn. On the floor, the heart-wrenching sight of people, many of them ordinary-looking, bankers, lawyers, nurses, spaced out in front of laptops. All of them aspiring writers in various stages of creative inebriation. Some were sprawled out, like the first man I encountered. He was staring at the ceiling with dilated pupils, a stupid grin on his face. I don't think he even knew I was there. His hand had a vice-like grip on a wad of paper. It seemed he had just completed a parody, a murder-mystery set at a gumbo contest. He called it "Phantom of the Okra."

Others were a little more cogent. One woman, an accountant, told me she was working on a Mary Poppins parody based on her experience moving out west. The song she was working on was about her refrigerator which had an issue with its ice dispenser. She showed me a few lines:

"My stupid California fridge expectorates in doses
"Never mind how tall my drink, or hot the weather’s closeness
"I’ve had enough, this situation stinks like halitosis
"My stupid California fridge expectorates in doses!"

Is there no help for these poor souls?

Kregger said...

BJ Muntain,

Read the sentence without "had"

Tighter?

Is "had" redundant to the sentence?

The sentence is already in past tense.

Just a thought.

Julie Weathers said...

Sherry

Books and Writers has a very good workshop. I have the first seven chapters up and have gotten some good feedback on it. Chapter one seems to be the one people are divided on and, of course, that's the most important one.

The opening lines are:

"My hair was bound up neatly off my neck as might befit a woman bound for execution. I wasn't, of course. Bankers can't kill me. They can only steal my property . . . and, for a woman of the land, that would be as good as death."

Some people feel I should jump straight to the meeting with the bankers. Others think, no, we need the set up or the rest doesn't make sense and you don't have much sense of the character.

Her father died in November 1860. SC seceded in Dec. 1860. The very successful horse farm is outside Charleston, which is now the capitol of the Confederacy, but the farm has a massive note due and bankers don't have to deal with women if they choose not to. The story starts in early April, which is just before the firing on Ft. Sumter, so it's pure chaos in Charleston.

I think I need the set up, but I envision this going before an idol panel or even an agent reading the first few pages and saying, "Man, this is boring the pee-waddling out of me."

The answer, of course is to make it not boring. Bring on the cannons!

BJ Muntain said...

Thanks, Kregger.

Julie, I like that opening line. Not only is it setup, but it's tone and character.

John Davis Frain said...

To no one's surprise here, Janet's blog has been named among the Top 101 websites for writers by Writer's Digest. Again.

However, to Janet's potential chagrin, they try to paint her as cheerful and kind. Benevolent might have even been tossed around. I never even saw the phrase "tormenting writers" in the entire write-up.

Oh, I can hear her cackling away with fins rubbing together and a masterful revenge plan coming into place for those editors at WD.

One final point: Don't kill the messenger!

John Davis Frain said...

Colin,

I would PAY to see Phantom of the Okra. I'm still laughing.

For a moment, though, I thought you were gonna give us a homonym lesson when this came early on: Pail green peeling paint...

Colin Smith said...

John: Uhhh... that was a test--that's right. Well done! You spotted the deliberate homonym error!! :D

John Davis Frain said...

I knew it, I knew it. Now how do I score free tickets for Fandom of the Okra?

Signed,
Your big fan (Phan?)

DLM said...

BJ and Kregger, I actually disagree on omitting "had" - it's tense formation. I go NUTS when authors change the rules of language just to ditch three letters, it throws me straight out of a story.

Colin, that's a great scene.

Susan, again I'd turn the tables on phrasing. "A scuff on the floor absorbed all her attention" instead of "she stared at the floor" ... It's the difference between showing and telling - between didactic and concrete. If a writer skips telling me what someone is doing, and instead shows me why they're doing it, I understand a moment more intimately. I know how it feels to be uncomfortable or ignorant in a conversation, and suddenly fixate on some detail around me.

I love love love this quote: "This morning I killed off my main character. Apparently, that's not the darling you're supposed to kill. Oops." BAAHAHAHAHA!

Spontaneous, unauthorized character suicide does suck. Not to worry, though, we all know YOU didn't really do it. They get out of hand once they get a little life in 'em, and the unexpected happens.

BJ Muntain said...

Thanks DLM! (I can never remember if your name is Diane or Diana, so I'll just use your initials. I can remember the type of beer each person in my group likes to drink and songs that each person in my choir likes to sing, but names? They just don't stick.)

DLM said...

Hee. I answer to Diane, Diana, Deanna, Deanne, Donna, Dana, DLM, and "HEY YOU" so you are fine. Mom and dad went with Diane (but it was almost Frederick Stephen!). You might remember it if you keep in mind I am NOT the goddess, nor Wonder Woman's alter ego. :P

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

I think gaze should be one of the prompt words for the next FF contest.

And BJ, You remember what brand of beer all your friends prefer? I knew we were gonna be besties.

RosannaM said...

BJ I agree with Diane that the had should stay. I think it's a fine first line. Prologues do sort of bug me, as do introductions, though. I kinda just want to jump in and be immersed.

Love the song, Colin, I'll never look at my ice maker/water dispenser the same again.

Yikes, I may need a grammar velociraptor. I never get affect/effect wrong, don't say should of, think I'm guilty of many try ands (especially since I think I actually speak this way) and am pretty unfond of lay/lie. And truly hate lain. I don't think I ever use that in speech. Will keep Janet's list very visible.

BJ Muntain said...

Thanks RosannaM. :) My prologues tend to be like the beginning of television shows used to be - kind of a background/taste for what's going to be happening, almost a teaser.

I am pretty close to a grammar velociraptor. If I don't know an answer, I know where to get it, and I will hunt it down.

Craig F said...

1) A refresher course in grammar is always a good idea. There are too many rules to not muddle them on occasion. I do consider dialogue to be exempt from most grammar rules though.

Another reason to know those rules for writers is Word 16. It will challenge you. It seems to think that a sentence isn't such unless it contains two commas. There are other strange things about it, but some of those are me.

2) The problem is that what was distasteful yesterday isn't tomorrow. Today that flavor might have social significance.

3)Yes, even purple pony tailed cowboys have to conform at times.

4) EEEK

5&6) It is a tough thing to find where your story should begin. Try to make it where something is happening. Waking on a rainy morning and building toward that scene really should be backstory.

As if writing a query isn't tough enough you should try to match the style of it to how you wrote the book. Of course if you come upon a spectacular query you still have to try it.

Someday, query fish, someday

CynthiaMc said...

Julie - Southern souls are bound to the land in a way I've never seen anywhere else. Keep it. It's who she is.

Dena Pawling said...


Colin - WHERE did you find a STORM door in LA? Especially in a seedy neighborhood. I've never seen one. And trust me, I've evicted plenty of folks from the seedier neighborhoods in LA.

Colin Smith said...

Dena: The same place as the pail green paint. ;)

CynthiaMc said...

I am a grammar velociraptor. I think that's why I get migraines.

I once met a college professor who couldn't diagram a sentence (thankfully not one of mine). That was years ago and I'm not over it yet (the heathen). Worse, he had no desire to learn. He's probably a cursive hater too.

Here's my take on Susan's hazing at the TV man:

Henry glared at the overdraft notice.

$42.50? I never -"

Why was that parrot on the telephone?

"What kind of weird game show is that?" Oh - commercial - for...a shipping service. Of course. Bye bye kitty.

Henry chuckled in spite of himself.

Was that...? He squinted at the screen and forgot to breathe. Oh,sweet Jesus, yes, it was. Myriam. In handcuffs. Again.

CynthiaMc said...

I would edit this, but Hubby says Jeopardy is not as fun if I'm not playing, so goodbye dear patio and sweet spring breeze. Have a lovely evening, everyone!

Janet Reid said...

first word in Contest #100 will be GAZE (suggested by Melanie Sue Bowles)

AJ Blythe said...

Wowzers, an awful lot of comments here and I just don't have the time to read them all.

I do love these rejection posts, though they do give me a moment's panic about my own writing. The only one I can be confident about is #2. Coincidently I judged a contest recently where I read an entry which ticked that box. The interesting thing was when I received the judges overall scoring I realised others didn't feel the same way as one judge had scored it quite high. The writing was great, it was just the content which left a bad taste.

While I couldn't read everyone's comments today I did see the last comment posted. QOTKU, are you going to be dribbling the words out for #100? A word a day until the contest launches? Certainly makes a celebration of it (and I will have to make sure I check comments throughly each day!).