Tuesday, May 16, 2017

so, I'm really behind on stuff

After being down for the count this weekend, I'm a tad behind on blog posts (as well as every other single thing on my To Do list)



To hold you over, here's one of my favorite posts: it's about That Guy at booksignings.

40 comments:

Colin Smith said...

I said it then, and I'll say it again: this one reason why I want an agent. Especially one with a gunpowder smile. :)

Have a wonderful and productive day, Janet!

Amy Schaefer said...

Janet, I'm right there with you. I need to steal a Time-Turner to get through all the tasks in my day at the moment. Or build a clone. Or run away and hide.

Good luck, and don't stress out.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Yeah. Behind on every single thing. That is my whole life. So catch up and we'll all flounder about in the Reef :)

kathy joyce said...

Janet, thanks for the post. I enjoyed the story. And...when you get swamped, it's fine to tell us, "Too busy guyz, have at it yourselves." We appreciate all you do, and if you need to cut back sometimes, that's okay. Take a deep breath!

Lennon Faris said...

Ha ha! You know it's a good post when you remember it a year and a half later just from the title. And by 'it' I mean both the story and the phrase, "I polish my smile with gunpowder." I guess that's good writing!

Glad you're feeling better, Janet. Good luck with the catch up.

Hope everyone has a happy writing day!

Kitty said...

"I've got the ideas, you write it, and we'll split the money. Win/win!"

Years ago, Mizz TNT asked me to write a book for her.
“We’ll split the money!”
“What’s it about?”
“I can’t tell you, but it will blow the lid off (the business she was in)!”
“I don’t have time to write my ideas let alone yours, especially one you won’t tell me about.”
“But it’s a guaranteed best seller!”
“Then you should write it.”
“I can’t write but you can. It’s easy for you.”

Whenever I hear someone say writing is easy, I think of the scene in the movie GET SHORTY (one of the funniest movies ever) where Bo Catlett tells Chili Palmer there’s nothing to writing a script:
There's nothin' to know. You have an idea, you write down what you wanna say. Then you get somebody to add in the commas and shit where they belong, if you aren't positive yourself. Maybe fix up the spelling where you have some tricky words . . . although I've seen scripts where I know words weren't spelled right and there was hardly any commas in it at all. So I don't think it's too important. Anyway, you come to the last page you write in 'Fade out' and that's the end, you're done.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I well remember that guy from that post.

It stirred my dreams of having that agent. Gunpowder smile indeed.

Donnaeve said...

I remember this post too. And boy, was I chatty.

Hope to never meet That Guy! Or Gal!

Here's to you catching up on all your backlog Janet! I'm behind as well, so back to it I go.

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Dear My Agent,

Just wanted you to know how much I wuv you and appreciate you.

Letting you know now, so that when you read my query letter, you'll remember what a wonderful professional relationship we're gonna have.

I look forward to you watching my back and me writing the kinds of bestsellers that will make you glad you're an agent. Or sorry, because negotiating all those lucrative deals will take lots of time. Just remember to take one day off each week to rest.

Loff, Me.

MA Hudson said...

E.M. Your comment from back then:
'It's great that there are agents like Janet who get us woodland creatures. I wonder if she can train other agents in her beautiful sharky ways?'
So prescient - isn't that part of her brief at New Leaf?

Timothy Lowe said...

That time of year...hey, a busy agent is a happy (?) agent...

Sherry Howard said...

I wonder if many people get how hard it is to maintain a blog daily.

Stephanie Artley said...

That was fantastic! I'm glad you linked to it; having happened across this blog only very recently I might never have seen it otherwise.

Colin Smith said...

Sherry: I know Dena does! And those of us who've done the April A to Z Challenge have had a taste of daily blogging. It helps if you know your audience, and have plenty of material of interest for that audience. Janet's audience is mostly writers and publishing pros, and there's clearly plenty going on at work and in her slush pile to keep the blog going. Another thing Janet has, though, is an active core of commenters who a) don't need Janet's interaction to keep conversation going, and b) can still find things to talk about when Janet's having a day off! :)

Lisa Bodenheim said...

I woke up 2 hours late. Cracking thunderstorm last night. But I did write for an hour until I fell back asleep.

Ha! Great flashback post. When I read the phrase gunpowder smile, the song Bette Davis Eyes popped into my head. Why? There's not even the same number of syllables in the two phrases. Weird.

Time for breakfast. And more caffeine before I head out for the day job.

Dena Pawling said...


As mentioned by Colin, daily blogging is a TON of work. Right now my relatively easy posts require 15-20 minutes each. During the A to Z challenge the more complicated posts were 45-60 minutes each. After this year I'll probably go back to 2x per week. I don't regret the time, but my WIP needs more attention than the time I've been giving it. I can't imagine how much time Janet spends on her posts because all of them require thought and that takes time.

So thanks Janet! You deserve some time off.


Casey Karp said...

As usual, Colin is right on the money. Twice even.

I think most of us are here because we want that gunpowder-grinned agent--and this post hit me harder today than it did when it originally ran because I've got a couple of signings scheduled. I'm already waking up in the middle of the night thinking "OMG, what if I sign something with the wrong name?" Now I can stress over That Guy showing up.

And yeah, daily blogging is a grind. I did it for the first six months, and then I had to cut back to three times a week so I could get some work done on the novels. Glad I did it, glad I'm not doing it any more.

Oh, and Janet? What they all said about healing up and catching up--consider it sixteenthed. Or thereabouts (I think there were a couple of comments that didn't mention you.)

Brigid said...

Man, John (DM) Frain, your name just keeps getting longer, doesn't it.

I miss Christina, wonder what she's up to these days. Which reminds me--I'll be around less the rest of the year. Switching back to a brick dumbphone in search of phone/life balance.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Janet, Thank you for all you do. I've said it before, as have many others, but I'll say it again: I continue to be blown away by all you give of yourself to everyone who follows your blog. I know being buried by a To Do list can feel suffocating... sometimes a shark needs to come up for air.

For those of you who expressed interest: Little Pearl (the emaciated filly we recently took in) has been turned out with the herd. A teary-eyed event as I thought we were bringing her to the sanctuary to die in peace. On my FB page.

Wishing you all a terrific day of writing.

roadkills-r-us said...

Yes! TGaB is as hysterical today as the first time I read it.That Guy shows up many places; I cannot tell you how many bits of software he promised to make me rich with, as well as songs[1], books, and so forth.

I *need* to get on a regular blog schedule. Two to three times a week would be awesome, never mind daily.

I don't sing lead, but can hide in the chorus: thanks, Janet, for all you do.

And when TG shows up,I'll ask him to leave his contact info and tell him my agent will be in touch.


[1] Especially funny since I am nowhere near a world class musician except when I hang out with one (and even they are mostly unknown).

Morgan Hazelwood said...

I've seen 'That Guy' at SFF conventions, totally blocking the author from making sales as he regales them with tales of his latest D&D game that would make a great book!

Claire Bobrow said...

I'm picturing a rock band named Gunpowder Smile, made up entirely of literary agents. Lead vocalist would be Janet, of course. Or lead guitar. I can't decide.

Now we just need some song titles.

Mark Anthony Songer said...

Maybe it was the gunpowder smile the dame at the bar flashed that should have been my first warning. I probably should have realized I was in trouble by her Eau d'Cordite perfume. No, it wasn't until her gunmetal grey eyes shot bullets through me that I realized I was in Shark infested waters with a fresh paper cut on my thumb.

Karen McCoy said...

This story never gets old. Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

Thanks, Janet, for all you do (including shooing away the riff raff!).

Janet Reid said...

Eau d'Cordite!
Ringing Estee Lauder!

Gypmar said...

"Gunpowder smile" kept reminding me of something, and I finally figured out what! A lyric from the Neko Case song "Prison Girls":

I love your long shadows
And your gunpowder eyes.

Amy Johnson said...

Janet: I'm glad you're feeling better. And thanks as always for all you do!

Melanie: Such wonderful news about little Pearl! You did it!

Claire: Song titles for Gunpowder Smile? How about a cover of the popular Is There an Inciting Incident Somewhere in Here? And the long-awaited Dear Amy: I Love, Love, Love It!

Joseph Snoe said...

I’m sure I’m misquoting him, but John Grisham once said (or came close to saying) when he receives a letter that starts “I’m a lawyer and I had a case that would make a great book for you” he tosses the letter into the trash without reading further.

Joseph Snoe said...

I’m far from the book signing stage and I don’t collect author’s autographs as a general rule, but I did at the last Southern Voices Festival. Two of the three authors signing my book misspelled my last name even after I orally spelled it for them. (and then were kind enough to write over the misspelling to get my name correct).

I was wondering if asking each person seeking an autograph to print their name on a post-it is a realistic option or if it slows things down too much. At SVF each author had an assistant who might have gotten the person’s name before they stepped up to the author.

Colin Smith said...

Both "cordite" and "gunpowder" would make excellent words for Writing Contest #100. Janet says she's picked the fifth word already... but she hasn't told us, so she could change her mind. Heck, she could change her mind about all 5 if she wants. :)

Song titles? There's always "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" by The Beatles. :)

Casey Karp said...

Joe, funny you should mention that. I recently asked for signing advice from some of the more established authors with my publisher. One of them suggested exactly that: bring a supply of post-it notes and have the signees not only print their names, but also whatever message they want you to write (assuming you personalize signatures.)

Other advice they gave, all of which sounds sensible to me: bring extra pens and water, show up early, and don't blame the store staff if nobody shows up.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

The deadly to-do list. I understand it well. This week I was felled by a freak injury that stole 3 days from me.

Don't worry about us. We're fine unsupervised. Really.

*CRASH*

This is all fine . . .

Excuse me, I'm going to go check that. It's fine. Really.

Terri

Claire Bobrow said...

Amy Johnson: love those song titles :-)

Colin: the Beatles, well of course! Very apropos.

Melanie: Go Pearl, go!

Regarding the post-it discussion, I've seen that done a lot at book signings. The bookstore staff goes down the line of attendees and writes down the names for inscription on post-it notes to hand to the author. Perhaps there could be a special detonating post-it for "That Guy"?


Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

And
c) provide her with the excellent questions that are on all our minds.

Janet Reid said...

Speaking of the contest, all five words are chosen. The fifth word was selected by popular acclaim in a blog post in April. I may have neglected to tell you that though.

And the date of the contest draws nigh.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

*quivers in fear. Loads up rodent wheel and scurries away*

Megan V said...

Oh wise QOTKU,

Shall I compare thee to a Carkoon typhoon?
Thou are neither cruel nor tempestuous
And yet the Writers woodlands quake
For thou may ne'er shared the hundredth date

Lennon Faris said...

"Draws nigh." Oh geez. I see it on the horizon. I can't look away!

Janet Reid said...

ohhh my favorite flavor of writer: nervous.

John Davis Frain said...

A guest appearance from Gary Corby in that blog post. That was fun stuff.

Janet, if you were to have a Greatest Hits release, you'd have to make it a triple album with pull-out liner notes. And even then there'd be much debate about the ones left out.