Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Week in Review 12/27/2015

Welcome to the week that was!

I'm really sorry the WIR isn't on Goodreads because this review of last week's WIR by SiSi made my day:
It's got everything a great read needs. We have suspense (will Amy beat her brother home?) and mystery(who set Janet on fire?). It makes us laugh (hell is first person present tense! Colin's flash-comment! Etc.) and tugs our heartstrings (2Ns experience with Dear Sugar). There's a touch of horror (the image of Barbara Poelle unhinging get her jaw for cheese products will likely haunt my dreams tonight). There are plot twists galore as we careen from day to day and plenty of fascinating characters to keep us interested.

I gave it 5 stars before I read it. Now I give it all the stars in the sky!

nightsmusic just cracked me up with this:
I bought my sister-in-law a Nook Glowlite reader last year. It's still in the box. It makes me incredibly sad. So I had a great idea for her this year but alas, Amazon does not sell 50 pound bags of coal :( Which is very strange because they sell everything else.

and Colin and kdjames using italics for stealth mode cracked me up twice:
I am well aware of Poelle's excellent reputation. But she just seems so . . . nice. I mean, have you seen her agent photo? But now, knowing she's a Minnesotan, I can tell her smile is hiding the ability to terrify clients into meeting deadlines by threatening them with jello/whipped cream/tater tot salad. A good quality in an agent, right up there with chomping, and not to be taken lightly.
And filed under "You know you're not in New York City" is this from Janice L. Grinyer:
My husband was in the woods when he met a young couple from Vermont traveling across the US; not only traveling but living in their car. "There is a storm coming, would you like to stay with us at our home until it passes?" Needless to say, it has been a fun four days getting to know this couple, and the adventures they have had (worldwide adventures!) Once the sky cleared, they were on their way again, and we had one day off until the next wave of guests. So many stories, so much laughter; all good.

Clearly I've read too many crime novels to be a good person cause I would NOT have done this.

But on to more serious questions!

In last week's WIR Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli asked
I wondered is it possible for a book to have too much voice? It's often hard for me to get into an author's voice, especially if I love the book I just finished. I flip all over the reading spectrum. It seems some books follow trends to an extreme and it's hard for me to wrap my brain around (I hate that expression, but it fits) YA does this to me. I need to read a good old 3rd person past tense voice that is plot heavy to reset my mind. Right now I'm reading The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer and I keep asking myself why I keep reading. It feels like a giant narrated character development, the antithesis to 1st person present.

Dena Pawling contributed to the question too:
I read a book a few years ago that I loved one of the characters so much I had to stop writing my WIP and work on another ms for several months, because that character's voice crept in to my own writing of my own character of similar age, and the voice was entirely wrong for my character. That was the first YA book I ever read and got me to start reading more YA.

That's an interesting question. I've only thought of this in terms of good/bad writing. When I can't read something I think it's bad writing. That might be too facile an approach though.

I do know that after I read The Liar's Club by Mary Karr I had to stop reading for a week because everything seemed like a dirt-filled pond after reading her clear stream of freshwater prose.

Some of my clients stop reading fiction when they are in the middle of a novel so as to keep their own voice clear in their heads.

I'm not sure if that means other novels have too much voice, or just very compelling voices.

On Monday the topic was agents who do a very limited submission and then kick the client to the curb if the book doesn't sell.

Dena Pawling asked about my comment about "one more time at bat."
This line is scary -

>>Take some time and really think about what you want, cause you've got one more time at bat most likely.

Having two previous agents means you only have one more chance at an agent? Having one previous ms unsold means you have only one more chance at submitting to larger publishers? Having one previous ms unsold means you only have one more chance to sell another ms to ANY publisher?

This would definitely seem to discourage a writer from writing an off-beat ms.

I'm not sure exactly what it means, but it makes indie and/or self-publishing look like a much friendlier option.

When I get a query from a writer who has had three different agents in a short period of time, I'm ALWAYS leery. I  ask the prospect about this in detail: what didn't work with their previous agents, what they're seeking now, etc.
It's one thing if an agent dies, or retires. Authors have no control over that. A situation like that in the blog post with the questioner is also less cause for concern. But a writer who has "communication problems" with three agents, or "my agent didn't like my next work" with three agents, well, my first thought isn't that the agent was difficult.

This is ENTIRELY subjective of course. You can't change who you are or how you work with people every time you change agents. Not all agents and writers make good teams. 

I do know however that this is one thing all agents are leery of: a writer who's had several agents come's a'querying. ALL of us ask more than the usual questions here.

Jennifer R. Donohue asked:
Obviously, we writers don't want to abandon novels, especially not novels we wrote to the queried-agents-and-signed-one-on-its-basis step. So say OP writes another novel, shops new agents, some of whom rejected him/her for Offbeat Novel. Say one signs New Novel. They still probably won't want Offbeat Novel, correct? Or is that one of those "now that we're in contract together, we can devote the time to making Offbeat Novel something more salable" sort of things?

Colin Smith had a pretty good reply:
Jennifer: If you don't mind, I'm going to have a stab at this because it'll be fun to see if I'm right. Kinda like a "how much have you learned about publishing this year?" test. :) Bear in mind, I'm not an agent. I just play one in the comments. :D

So, you've written Novel A, and it has been rejected by every agent under the sun, including Agent Q. You write Novel B, and this stirs more interest. You get offers of rep, even from Agent Q. You love the way Agent Q signs her name, so you go with her. Agent Q says to you, "What else have you got?" at which you remind her about Novel A. Is Agent Q willing to invest the time to make it saleable? I think Agent Q will say either:

1) No--I turned it down because I don't think I can sell it. And that hasn't changed. Maybe in a few years there might be a place for something like this. But right now, keep writing new stuff.

2) Perhaps, but let's see how we do with Novel B first. If it makes you a hot commodity, then we can take another look at Novel A.

Chances are 1 is most likely.

That's my answer. How'd I do, All-Wise Sharksomeness? :)
Pretty well. Much of course depends on the novel and the agent, so this is not some sort of written in stone policy.

And Dave Rudden said it best:
What I have learned: Life doesn't always work out the way we plan, but it does seem to work out as long as you keep pushing forward. We just may need to take a few detours from time to time.

Tony Clavelli's comment here gave me an idea:
I wish a set of tags existed that agents could give themselves, sneak them in like post-nominal letters. This way you'd see it right there on the bio: Superagent, PNoD (for "publishes now or drops you") or Janet Reid, RFT (represents with ferocity and tenacity).

On the chance I find an agent for nextbook, I'd like one of the agent-for-life who would want my next book because they believe in the writing and the writer, rather than a quick try and then I'm gone if we don't get rich right away. I guess I'd find that out upon the offer, but I'm always a fan of extreme directness. OP's PNoD agent wasn't misleading, but it'd still be nice to know before that whiff of possibility came along and he took the gamble.

I'm updating my website (it's not done yet so don't skedaddle over to see the new paint job) and one of the things I'm adding is a bio that says pretty much just that: I expect to work with you over the course of your career, not book by book.
Thanks Tony!

Steve Stubbs asked about my example:
Great post. One question: when I lived in Manhattan I used to go east on Central Park South, but I never did go south on Central Park East. I know there was a storm there a few years ago. Did it turn the island 90 degrees?

No. If you've got Felix Buttonweezer running south on Central Park East, you've got the street name wrong. There is no Central Park East. It's called Fifth Avenue.

Buildings on the east side, Central Park on the west side of 5th Ave.

Lucie Witt said:
I'd second the importance of finding great U.S. readers for OP. Even just the immigration themes bring up important language choices. For example, I have a friend who is an attorney for a Refugee Ministry program. She would sooner cut off her pinkie toe than refer to someone as "illegal." My conservative grandparents, on the other hand, would not be okay with the "PC" language of "undocumented." 

Diction (word choice) is such a great way to indicate character. Who among us would not recognize a Julie M. Weathers comment simply by the words she uses?

This is one of the things that makes reading requested manuscripts trickier than it sounds: is the "wrong" grammar in a character's dialogue on purpose?  I've stopped assuming writers make mistakes until there are too many of them to be intentional.

And Emi PdeS cracked me up with this:
I've been living here for almost two decades now, and can enjoy the idioms and voices now, but I won't tell you the story about how I learned the difference between "knocked out," "knocked down," and "knocked up."

I really liked what brianrschawarz said:
If your book is done, all the above advice is just fantastic. These people are very clever. You should listen to them early and often.
But if your book isn't done yet, forget all that nonsense about location and beta readers and properly oriented streets. Focus on the plot. More than anything - write a story that makes sailors swoon. Then worry about beta readers.

I suppose the reason I say this is because I've found myself wondering about the wrong things at the wrong times often in my own writing, and at those times I wish someone would slap me in the face. I get preoccupied with which agents would like my book before I pen the first line. Or I tinker with the plot of my second book in a series before the first book is done.

There's the horse. Then the cart. And then I'm a few miles up the road on foot.

I just wanted to mention this in case you needed to hear it. :) If not, carry on and ignore me! :)

For the commenters who suggested the questioner publish under a pseudonym in her own country, here's what she wrote to me after the blog post was published:

Just to share, tonight the Senate passed a controversial "security" bill that hands absolute power to the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Inspector-General of Police to declare martial law, institute curfews, evict people from their homes and conduct search and seizures without warrants. All they will need is a "legitimate security threat" (which can mean members of the opposition who ask too many questions), and if members of the public are injured or killed in the process there is no legal recourse for us.
We have never had a terrorist attack on our soil in the history of this nation, ever, so this is more about holding on to power than anything else.
I love my country and I am very sad today. Going to write the feelings away.

Which is a just a reminder to us all that no matter what our politics, we are very fortunate to live and work here. And that freedom is worth defending.

On Wednesday we talked about your suggestions for craftbooks prompted by my post on Spellbinding Sentences

It's a really terrific list and I updated it with thesuggestions you added in the comments here.

I really liked what CynthiaMc said
I am taking a master class with Stephen King (On Writing). Turns out my preferred way of writing is also his (who knew?). I realized that the very moment I stopped writing was when it stopped being fun and started being all about "do this, don't do that, this is marketable, that isn't." That may work for some people. Not for me. I was afraid I was done as a writer. It was as though Stephen King was sitting across from me saying "We're not like them. We do what works for us."

Somewhere along the line I stopped doing what worked for me and started worrying about what other people said I should be doing.

Today I go back to the old way. Today writing is fun again.

Thanks, Stephen. I needed that.

And a real highlight was a drive-by visit by one of my favorite authors Lawrence Block:
Autocorrect notwithstanding, I'm pleased at the thought that my books are worth reading—and pleased at the mention of Writing the Novel, which I've updated and expanded to half again its original length. After all, much has changed since its 1978 publication! It's now been reborn as WRITING THE NOVEL FROM PLOT TO PRINT TO PIXEL, available for preorder prior to its January 4 pub date.

And it looks like Craig is headed for Carkoon:
An incredible list, thank you. Though I am not really asking for you to do more work I was wondering if I could make a suggestion? Would you be so kind as to build a new category of blog post around this?

Perhaps something like author assets to go right under author asshats.

If someone wants to go through all 3000+ posts to identify which ones should be labeled "author assets" go right ahead.
I, however, will NOT be doing that.

JeffO asked:
I'm a little curious--how common is it for agents to actually TELL potential clients, "I didn't read it, but here's what my intern thought"?

I don't know. I've had interns read requested manuscripts. In fact, it was the incredibly talented and now very successful Joanna Volpe who identified the brilliance that is Gary Corby. I'd read the query and pages, thought it was good, and asked Joanna to take a look because she's 1. brilliant 2. liked the time period.  The rest, as they say, is history.

I've had interns read manuscripts because I'd read them too many times to have fresh eyes on a new revision.

I've had interns read things to make sure the plot holds together before I invest six-ten hours in reading.

Interns are an integral part of the business. If you don't want interns or assistants reading your work, you need to find a different industry. It happens ALL the time. That said, the caliber of intern varies. I have had consistently great interns and assistants. Other agents may not have.

Sherry Howard had a good insight on the question of how readers see manuscripts:
I'm in several critique groups. You learn that most people who write and read make great suggestions for improving your writing. Then, there are those other few who see the world through a different lens. Maybe this reader is a different lens person. Sometimes they're way off, and sometimes they see things we don't see and should.

Speaking about Gary Corby, Colin Smith asked about his next book:
Speaking of which... do we have a release date for THE SINGER FROM MEMPHIS yet, O Mighty QOTKU? :)
Why yes, yes we do: May 17, 2016.
And here's the cover.

Thanks for asking!

Friday and Saturday were holidays and we spent the comment column sending each other good wishes. It was really lovely to hear from so many of you about how much you like the community here. Thank you!

Subheader noms:
Whoever invented autocorrect is going straight to hell in first person present tense - and I sincerely hope I am not there to greet them. --CynthiaMc

Writers are the best damn people, and you're all the best of the bunch.--Susan

"Your struggles define your achievements." --MeganV's mom


Lucie Witt said...

Good morning, folks.

Another great WIR. It always amazes me how much I miss every week, even though I read the majority of the comments.

This weird, dystopian weather (my not-so-affectionate nickname for it) has resulted in allergens in the air and a rattling cough for poor me. I hope everyone is safe from some of the more serious side effects of this weird weather (anyone near that big tornado in TX last night?).

Tough choice for header. In the end I vote for MeganV's mom, as I think it's good advice to keep in mind as we head into the new year.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Megan's mom rocks, so does the WIR.

Got my thingy-working and weird-situations books you recommended. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them and can't wait for the maps to arrive.

Unknown said...

I'm with Lucie. I read the column every morning but don't always get back to check the comments. I love Lawrence Block. How did I miss him?

Will try harder to pay attention to fellow Reiders. Smart bunch, and very entertaining.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I so love Lawrence Block- so cool he stopped by but why wouldn't he? After all, Janet is QOTKU. Thanks for a great WIR. And bless all you Reiders. You make me smile.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Here's a question which will give me a lifetime green-card to Carkoon.

Because WIR's are awesome, do we get a YIR next weekend?

Janet Reid said...

Carolynn, you lose BOTH Ns for that one.
You'll need them when you land on Carkoonnn!

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Awww, don't feel bad Carolynn - ever since Colin and Lynn were carted off to the Slush Pile Beyond, it's rather quiet here in Carkoon.

You can get loads of writing done. But use lots of italics, exclamation points, and adverbs. Otherwise, the Carkoonian Storm Troopers might pay you a visit. That never ends well.

Also, I hear there is an opening at the University in the Kale Literary Studies division. Lawrence Block was supposed to take the position but he escaped- I mean declined the position.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

I sooo look forward to WiR. Thank you again, Janet.

And, a crack of laughter escaped as I read the Shark's response to 2Ns, I mean, 0Ns. Luv it.

BJ Muntain said...

A wonderful WiR as usual. Thanks, Janet!

So now 2Ns is Caroly?

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Ooooooooh Noooooooo, you took my Ns.

Caroly with no Ns. That will take getting used to.

Megan V said...

Excellent WIR!

Great advice!

Janice—so thankful you and your husband had a wonderful time with the young couple! TBH the QOTKU and I are of the same mind on that one. In fact, all I could think when I read that was when I was an intern there was a case like didn't end so nicely.

Julie could post under a pseudonym and we'd probably know it was her. She has a distinctive voice and style and it's AMAZING. (but's Lady Bronc Riders coming along?)

Loved the drive-by by Lawrence Block.

Looking forward to Gary's next book. It's now on the dated list of TBR.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I want my Ns back, pleassssse.
Forgive my lapse in judgment.

nightsmusic said...

Thank you for another great WIR. I'm so glad I could make you laugh. Unfortunately, my sister-in-law ended up with a very non-personal, nondescript gift card because I was at a loss and couldn't get to the local feed and seed for the coal.

Other than dragging my rear out of bed Christmas Eve to make dinner for 10, I have been sick with whatever creeping mung is going around this holiday season. My annual Christmas Sick. :( So this week's WIR is doubly appreciated.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, that Caroly will not miss her 2NNs too much (I'm sure she'll eventually get them back) and hoping CynthiaMC's hubby is doing well.

CynthiaMc said...

That would make a great Christmas carol:

Caroly merrily through the snow,
Merrily caroly off we go!

Yeah, sleep deprivation is getting to me. I have to make sure Hubby gets his meds every 6 hours.

I called myself paying attention this week but I missed Lawrence Block too (!) But I know whose book I'm buying next. Sounds like a winner!

Janet, thank you for the WIR. Last week it was instrumental in helping me keep my sanity, find new things to read, and made me laugh during a very stressful time for us in the hospital Twilight Zone. I've worked for a hospital system for several years now, but it's a whole different view through a patient's eyes.

Today I start cleaning house in earnest. I have one more week before I have to go back to work. I've discovered alternating cleaning and writing works. Apparently when my brain gets bored with cleaning it sends me ideas for whatever I'm working on. Hope it keeps doing that.

Donnaeve said...

I vote 2N's name is forever changed to No-Ns. (it's rather catchy, IMO)

GREAT WIR! Thank you for this b/c this week I missed quite a bit. There was almost a knee jerk moment to know Mr. Block dropped by. I missed that in with many other things. I had a boss long time ago with the last name of Block. First name Archie. Archie Block. Doesn't that sound like a character?

And, he was.

Lance said...

An incredible WIR once again. And this one over a holiday. I'm looking forward to what color pallet you use in the new site. Any tangerine? Thank you for a year chock full of great advice, insight, and timely warnings -- not to mention all the writing contests. Thank you!

Caroly__, I know how you feel. I lost a lot in my birth naming.

BJ Muntain said...

Regarding Janice's unexpected visitors:

When you live away from a town or city, and you know things are going to get cold/blustery, you've almost got an obligation to help people out. In northern Saskatchewan, a very long way from any city, it would be unthinkable to lock your doors in the winter when you're not there. A lost hunter or snowmobiler might need a place to keep warm and fed when a storm hits.

Besides, this is a woman who dresses venison in her kitchen... :)

Donna: I read your suggestion for Caroly's new name as 'No-nos'. Caroly Nono?

Unknown said...

Well golly. I never would have though my comment would have made the WIR. It makes me so word that rhymes with ducking happy to see my comment was appreciated. I am going to have to use a variation of my comment in one of my books when spit is hitting the fan.

Thanks for another great WIR. Between this blog and your Facebook post I am learning a lot and getting some great material for jokes.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Ooh, I didn't dare hope there'd be a WIR today! Glad everybody seems to have come through the holidays all right.

And a drive-by from Lawrence Block, who'd've thought? ^^

I learned a valuable thing on my drive from central New York to the Jersey Shore and back again: not a single person who had those reindeer antlers on their car wasn't driving like an idiot. There's always the Idiot Driver quota on the Garden State Parkway, and the little bit of the New York Thruway that I take, but for them to have labeled themselves this season was very useful indeed.

(This is not to say EVERYBODY who has reindeer antlers on their car is an idiot driver, but rather that a lot of idiot drivers did deploy them. Correlation does not equal causation.)

One of my Christmas gifts was a collection of the best American short stories from the past 100 years, so that will be savored over the next few weeks/months. I still write quite a few short stories, so it's always a pleasure to read short stories, especially ones people consider to be the best, and consider why that is. Or why I might disagree.

Dena Pawling said...

Thanks for answering my question on “one more time at bat”. It made sense, and wasn't quite as scary as the prospect of one unsold ms meaning you were no longer publishable. But speaking of scary, I googled WRITING THE NOVEL FROM PLOT TO PRINT TO PIXEL and the first few links include two for free download, which I won't copy here because I don't want to encourage stealing. But -- that's scary.

>>Buildings on the east side, Central Park on the west side of 5th Ave.

And the next line which came to my mind -- Into the jaws of death, rode the six hundred. Come to think of it, that about sums up my concept of NYC. Yes, I'll pack for Carkoon now. Guess I'll be joining Caroly. I'll bring some Ns.

Happy last week of the year.

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Oh my gosh, I forgot it was Sunday. All we've done is eat and drink this last week. I think I'll explode.

I'm guessing that photo of Central Park East, I mean 5th ave, is not recent.

Thank you for answering my question in the WIR. I'm going to order The Liar's Club by Mary Karr.

E.M., What a nice gift. I'm jealous.

Colin Smith said...

Lovely WiR, Janet--and I hope everyone had a marvelous Christmas.

Yay--I have learned something about publishing!! Now, if I can just learn how to talk to people, and read another squajillion books, I might be able to be an agent... :)

2-s: The thought crossed my mind about a YiR, but I let it keep walking. I know better by now. ;)

Colin Smith said...

Oh, and THANKS Janet for the heads up on the next Gary Corby novel. I just pre-ordered it. :)

Anonymous said...

What a great wir!

"And filed under "You know you're not in New York City" is this from Janice L. Grinyer:"

This made me laugh.


"This weird, dystopian weather (my not-so-affectionate nickname for it) has resulted in allergens in the air and a rattling cough for poor me."

It could be worse. It could be 1816, the year without a summer. Coming on the heels of 500 years of global cooling, the little ice age, this disastrous year was especially devastating.

"I'm not sure if that means other novels have too much voice, or just very compelling voices."

Very true. I'm reading THE FRENCH EXECUTIONER now by C.C. Humphreys and it is excellent. I'm also finishing up THE ARCHER'S TALE by Bernard Cornwell and it's another good read.

I have to be careful what I read when I'm writing, and I'm usually writing. Some authors write so beautifully it depresses me. I have to drill it into my head I won't ever be able to write like them, but I'm the best there is at writing like me.

"This is one of the things that makes reading requested manuscripts trickier than it sounds: is the "wrong" grammar in a character's dialogue on purpose?"

Yup. In a scene from THE RAIN CROW, someone asks to look at the school master one last time before the funeral. The MC opens the casket to find one of the children has placed his prize jumping frog General Lee in the coffin with the school master to keep him company. MC blurts out, "General Lee, what are you doing in there?"

Pandemonium ensues and people are screaming all kinds of things.

Some early readers tagged me on some phrases because it was improper grammar. True, but that is precisely what those people would say in that circumstance. Sometimes you have to trust yourself.


"But if your book isn't done yet, forget all that nonsense about location and beta readers and properly oriented streets."

Sometimes. I can't do that in either RAIN CROW or COWGIRLS WANTED. Details on geography, weather, historical events, are what the story hangs on. If I don't get them right to begin with, it's going to be like poking a cat out from under a porch with a limp rope later to fix. I've already had to go back and delete some scenes in RAIN CROW because the events don't occur until much later.

Jack Whyte said to write down all the historical events on a timeline and then add in the fiction events. That's the tack I'm taking with both books now.

"Which is a just a reminder to us all that no matter what our politics, we are very fortunate to live and work here. And that freedom is worth defending."

Yes, ma'am.

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
― Abraham Lincoln

Another quote worth taking to heart.

“My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.”
― Abraham Lincoln


"Julie could post under a pseudonym and we'd probably know it was her. She has a distinctive voice and style and it's AMAZING. (but's Lady Bronc Riders coming along?)"

Too funny. Writing RAIN CROW has been a balm to my soul. I love fantasy, but slipping back in time to the antebellum south feels as if I'm home. 'Tis the same with COWGIRLS WANTED. As I said previously, I'm working on timelines for both.

I've done some interviews, with more scheduled this week, and have it started. Many of the "true" books about these women are so romanticized as to be useless for research. Trust me, I don't care how good you are, you don't just whisper to an outlaw horse no man can ride and change his mind.

It took me weeks of feeding oats and lounging in the hay stack at every opportunity, reading out loud to Cowboy before that outlaw would come up to me. Horses are curious, but they aren't stupid.

Another tome. I apologize.

Anonymous said...


"Because WIR's are awesome, do we get a YIR next weekend?"

A song for you. We'll miss you.

Janet Reid said...

Julie's link

Sayonara Caroly

Brigid said...

Lance--I see what you did there!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Gorgeous song, Julie. Thank you for sharing.

Lance said...

Thanks, Brigid. Now I won't have to trot out my faux Norman heritage.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Well, it figures that it would take four guys with amazing voices and a bunch of hefty men in skirts and knee socks to see me off to Carkoon.

I shall take my place aside the rest. I raise my toilet brush is salute,(remember I'm the one who maintains the latrines).

BTW, it was Colin's idea. He made me do it by mental telepathy.
And Donna, keep an eye on your Ns.

Lucie Witt said...

Thanks to Julie, I now have another reason I'm glad I wasn't around for the year 1816.

Susan said...

Oooh! I only "discovered" this blog/community this past summer--a YIR would be amazing!

But I'm shutting up and keeping that wish to myself. Caroly-of-the-no-longer-n's, best of luck on Carkoon. Question: does Carkoon get a population reset after the 1st or is this a for-life exile? I'll send libations as cheers to the new year, anyway. It's always good to have a stockpile.

Meg V: I went back and read your comment with words of wisdom from your mom. I'm sorry I missed it the first go-round, but it was so beautifully said. I'm holding this lesson close to my heart as a reminder--for writing, for life.

Janet, thanks for another great week and another great WIR.

Colin Smith said...

Susan: There is such a thing as a temporary exile to Carkoon, though the exact duration of such exile is never given at the time of exile. It is at the discretion of QOTKU to determine when one has paid the penalty for one's crime and may be permitted back into society.

I wouldn't know much about this kind of exile. My situation escalated from discretionary exile to permanent exile to, well, the Slush Pile. There may be another level to Janet's Inferno of which I am unaware. I hope I never find out. That's why I let that wandering YiR thought wander away. :)

LynnRodz said...

So glad for this WIR! I missed almost all of it. Well not Janet's posts, but most of the comments so this was great for catching up. Like Angie, it was all eating and drinking and there's still another week to go. Yikes!

A YIR crossed my mind as well, but I sure as heck wasn't going to suggest it. I never know which Janet I'm going to get.

There's the Wise Janet a.k.a. QOTKU who teaches us so much on this blog of hers, who wants us to become better writers, who gives us our FFF contests so we can improve, and yes we do learn a lot here.

Then there's the Friendly Janet a.k.a. Janet Reid who laughs at our silly comments, who lets us help her decide which color paint she should use next on her walls, and somehow we feel we know her and consider her a friend even though many of us have never met her. It doesn't matter, she still makes some of our Christmas card lists.

Last, but not least, there's the Scary Janet a.k.a. Query Shark or Sharky Shark Shark who swims in deep waters and never sleeps and therefore she's able to do in one day what takes the rest of us four or five. She's the one who banishes us to Carkoon and if you're not careful, to the dreadful Slush Pile.

(I want to go back to my cave where I drank frozen margaritas whenever I wasn't writing! Waahh! I promise never to suggest no Es again! No Es, no Ns, no letters at all if need be.)

Anyhoo, I wasn't about to suggest a YIR. No siree bob, I could get the Scary Janet and end up in Times Square on New Year's Eve. Been there, done that and I know why it's considered a once in a lifetime experience — because no one would be crazy to do it a second time.

Nope that YIR can stay right where it belongs.

My NYE in Times Square.

(Sorry, Janet, for going way over the 100 words. It doesn't happen often, so maybe you can overlook it this one time.)

Megan V said...

I'm pretty sure we can all say that our parents' (or other loved one's) advice isn't/wasn't always right. That said, I'm very grateful for my Mom—we're very different people, but I admire and love her beyond words—and I was touched to see that one of her mom-isms spoke to several of you on some level or another. Thank you.

Okay. Enough with the mushy stuff. I'm not very good with mushy stuff.

I there a exiled writer exchange program? Hmmmm.

Theresa said...

So glad to see the WIR today--a timely reminder that it's Sunday. Looks like there's been a serious NN casualty, though.

Janice Grinyer said...

Wonderful as always WIR, and comments!

I laughed; yep Janet, we are far from New York as you can get. "We're not just friendly, we're lonely" comes to mind LOL especially as the snow flies. Yet to me, it's really obvious New Yorkers also understand humanity and help those in need. The whole nation observed that humanity awhile back and will never forget.

Neighbor next ranch up told us he remembers the last couple that got stranded - 40 years ago - their car broke down and they did some work on a ranch in Birney to pay off the debt. Now it's been heard that they are finally thinking of putting their ranch up for sale so they can retire to the coast. ;)

So many great quotes - this week's a tough one to select!

And BJ Mountain, don't you know it. It really is a matter of life and death out here when it comes to nature and weather; it's about 44 to 46 miles of gravel road to the nearest town that has services. Beautiful country, but she can be unforgiving sometimes.

Last thought; although we can easily come to someone's aid, we also can easily come to someone's defense. It's making sure we understand the difference that is important. Our best life experiences have always been the ones where we extended our hand in friendship.

Susan said...

Colin: Three strikes to the Slush Pile...Got it ;)

Lynn: "I promise never to suggest no Es again! No Es, no Ns, no letters at all if need be."

I'm starting to think letters are the problem.

Gotta love the irony.

Janice: "Our best life experiences have always been the ones where we extended our hand in friendship."

My first thought after reading this comment was, "I love this blog, I love these people." Not for the first time. Definitely not the last.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

MeganV yes, I heard there is an exiled writer exchange program. Trade me for a writer who trumps absurdity and I'm free. Although Carkoon hardly needs a quacking Donald.

Anybody see my Ns?

Anonymous said...

"It really is a matter of life and death out here when it comes to nature and weather; it's about 44 to 46 miles of gravel road to the nearest town that has services. Beautiful country, but she can be unforgiving sometimes."

Very true. Dad and my uncle used to stock the trailer at the mine with food and leave plenty of wood chopped and fuel in the tank in case someone got stranded in a storm. They had to stop leaving the trailer unlocked after activists destroyed the food, tore up the trailer, and sabotaged the equipment repeatedly.

I guess it never occurred to them that stuff could save someone's life.

Dad and Uncle Bob came from a time when the ranches always left their line camps stocked for emergencies.

roadkills-r-us said...

Who else really, REALLY wants to hear that story Emi PdeS referenced?