Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week in Review 4/24/16

Welcome to the week that was (and what a week it was!)

In last week's review RachelErin said
Maybe I do need to give The Wire a try. I've heard so many times how amazing it is, but I have trouble with violence in TV and movies. Gives me nightmares if it's too intense. I hate missing out on great writing, though!
I don't think of The Wire as particularly violent. Yes there are some scenes with gunfire, and one particularly gruesome scene in Season One with  Brandon "laid out here for all the little yo's to see" brutalized unforgivably (for failing to give up Omar's location.)
It's entirely possible to fast forward through them and still get the gist of the show. 

Scott G just cracked me up with this:

"I think once or twice in 10+ years of equeries, I've rejected something I intended to ask for pages on."
No problem. I'll have those pages to you first thing in the morning.

 The blog post on Monday about author agency agreements
came from a WIR question from BJ Muntain
I found the information about agent/client contracts interesting. You know, there is a lot out there about publishing contracts, but I don't think I've seen all that much about agent contracts. It would be interesting to hear what is covered in these contracts, and what should be negotiated.

Lucie Witt said:
This all seems pretty straightforward, with the exception of the switching agents and unexploited rights part. I imagine that language could be tricky to understand/catch

You just want to be careful that any agency agreement says the agent doesn't get commission on things she didn't sell or offer for sale. And that her interest in the book is not life of copyright.  

Craig asked:
Is there some ultimate voice on who gets the money from Italy or do you have to fight it out in court? (1)

Over the past few weeks you gave several examples of agents behaving badly. Mostly by a refusal to communicate. It makes you want to turn your pretty head and walk away. But you can't.

Do you have to hire an attorney and send a registered return response letter? How do you make sure you get Italy and not your ex? (2)

It would be nice if you could settle it like grownups but an agent who refuses you calls and does not call back can not be expected to act like a grownup when it comes to money.

Who is the final arbiter? (3)
(1) and (2) If you license your rights to an Italian publisher, the publisher is going to pay the agent who did the deal. That's generally going to be your NEW agent's co-agent. Italian co-agent sends New Agent the money. New Agent sends a check to you.

It gets sticky if OLD agent sees the deal and says "hey Snooks, not so fast,  I have rights to that commission too. See, here's the author/agency agreement you signed that says so."

You're then left with the choice of saying "Sayonara sharkbreath" or paying up.

When I've run in to this problem (with a client who had a former agent with a draconian author/agency agreement) we actively considered the risk of selling stuff and just not saying anything to the former agent.  In the end we decided it wasn't worth the risk, or potential payout if she caught wind of it. It didn't matter cause we have enough other stuff that I have all the rights on, but this gets really sticky if you have a big best-selling book.

(3) If it gets ugly, the final arbiter is the judge in a civil case about a contract dispute. A lot of author agency agreements mandate arbitration for any disputes, and if you can get that taken out, you'll be doing yourself a favor.

Again, the key here is a very clear author/agency agreement about how long, and for what the agent is entitled to commission.

SiSi asked
Wow, thank you for this--you make it sound so simple and straightforward. I have a question similar to Jason's. An agent will examine publishing contracts, so it seems to make sense to have someone look at an agent contract before we sign anything. Who is the best person for that--any lawyer? A contract specialist? A publishing specialist? My neighbor who watches a lot of Judge Judy?

A lawyer or a contract review specialist can help. Probably not a Judge Judy fan, since those are generally resolving disputes; you want to prevent them!
If anyone needs help finding someone to look at a contract, let me know. I keep a list of names.

E.M. Goldsmith asked
I did have a question about works represented. A writer signs with agent based on full length novel. The same writer has a lot of short stories published all over the place and even more on his or her blog. After signing with agency, the author is approached for rights to turn one of these short stories into a movie. Would the agent be able to step in here and negotiate on the author's behalf even though the story was published prior to agent/author relationship? (1) What if the writer is approached prior to signing with agent? Would this be something to tell agent in query? (2) Phone call? (3)
1. Yes
2. Won't hurt.
 oh I'm sorry, was I shrieking? Unless you're a client, the rule is do not call the agency. Not for nuttin'.

The works covered by an author/agency agreement can be amended at any time. If I sign you for Sgt. Kale Takes on The Evil Lettuce Man (a picture book of course) and I can't sell it, I can take it off the list of works represented and let you self-pub it, no problemo. 
If someone asks for a novel based on a short story, we can add that.
As long as the list is current, and we both have the SAME list, it's all good.

Janice L. Grinyer asked:
"We set a limit on how much we can incur on your behalf ($250) and over what period (a year) before we need to have further authorization."

Is this limit a mutual decision between Author and Agent, or is this number based on the Agent's experience of what overhead costs might occur during the period?(1)

What number would cause an author to raise an eyebrow? (2)

(1) It's a number we've had in our contracts for 20 years! I don't think we've revisited it since it was inserted. In reality, we hardly bill clients for anything now cause almost everything is electronic.  If we need to ship books to you, or prepay an expense for you, then we bill you (or rather deduct it from your next check)

I've paid for things like websites, registering copyright, the tax forms required for overseas payments, and author photos. In each case I think the author knew the cost ahead of time and had ok'd the expense.

(2) if a number ISN'T listed you want to make sure one is. An agent shouldn't be allowed to incur unlimited costs on your behalf. That's just asking for problems. And I'm sure the number is one of the things that could be negotiated. If a client wanted to increase it, there'd be no problem. If they wanted to drop it to zero…that's kind of a hassle .

Michael Seese asked
I'd often wondered about the payment arrangement. In the days when check was king, I totally get sending the money to the agency. But now that we have EFT, I would have thought all parties would be better served if the publisher sent the agency their contracted amount and the balance to the author.

Taken to an extreme, if I'm getting a $1M advance (why dream small??) does the agency really want to mail me a check for $850,000?

I understand that there are the aforementioned occasional fees. But I put my career in your hands, so even the cheapest guy in the world (meaning, me) would not say, "You want me to send a check $50 for postage? That's outrageous!"

Actually Michael, I would LOVE to send you a check for $850,000. I think the only person who'd love it more than me would be you. 

And of course if your contract is for $1M advance, you're going to see four payments, not one:

1. On signing (25%)
2. On D&A (25%)
3. On initial publication (25%)
4. On ppbk pub -or 12 months post initial pub- (25%)

For amounts that size, we'll send it to you however you want: check, ACH, wire transfer.
From the publisher however, we still like checks. I really REALLY like knowing we got the money and when it went in the bank.

We do wire transfers for funds from overseas, and it's not as efficient as you think. We look at the bank records online and all we see is the wire transfer amount, and maybe the issuing bank. Well The First National Bank of Bimini may have accounts from all 12 publishers in Bimini, all of whom we have deals with. Which one is this for.

We have to wait for the paperwork to catch up with then bank. Which makes me slightly nuts since once YOUR money is in MY account, I want to be writing you a check and getting you paid.

So, when possible we ask for checks. But you can have it in bitcoins if you want, but I'm charging you a handling fee if it's pennies and I have to count them!

And you don't' send us a check for $50 for postage. We deduct it from your remittance:

$850,000/4= $212,500

On signing payment: $212,500 less $50 postage, and $1000 handling fee for payment in pennies, your net is: $211,450.

For those of you who like just the math:

Gross amount due: $212,500.00
Less: postage        ($50.00)
Less: handling fee ($1000.00)
Net to you:             $211,450.00

Claire said:
Michael, I'm guessing the publishers would feel it's really not their job to be divvying up the royalties between the author and agent, according to a contract to which they are not a party. They pay the author according to his/her instructions, which in most cases would be "Send the cheque to my agent". Then agent and author can duke it out.
The publishing contract between the publisher and the author actually has a clause that specifies the agent receives the dough. It's called the agency clause and every agent has their own version.

The publisher also includes language that says the money they pay the agent is payment for the author so if the agent is laggardly, the author has to deal with the agent not the publisher. The publisher will divide the payments but they're not about to get into collecting your money for you from the agent!

Sara asked:
    One question, not about the content of the agreement itself but the information the client provides to enter into the agreement. The standard agent-author contract used by my (former) agent's agency required the author's name and signature, plus the author's SSN, ostensibly so it could be readily entered on contracts when needed. Is this something that's typically requested up front? It makes sense, but knowing the author's SSN is also unnecessary at that point.... I wasn't sure what to think at the time (I ultimately provided it). I'm curious if this is standard practice.

I think it is standard practice. We request a W9 from all our clients when they sign on with FPLM. We are careful about keeping the information secure of course. If clients have security concerns, we work with them. Some clients have given me their tax ID numbers verbally. Some in three different emails and in reverse order, and some ask that it not be stored electronically.

I do whatever the client wants on this.

Joseph Snoe asked:
Does the contract bind the Agent or agency to do anything (e.g., Agent agrees to submit manuscript to at least twenty of the top thirty publishers?) or is the Creator writer at the mercy of the Agent’s goodwill? (1)

Does the Agent or agency in the contract warrant it will abide by all AAR Canon of Ethics? (2)

Will any agent or agency warrant it will represent the Creator writer ’s next two or three books even if the first one or two does not sell well? (3)

Does the agent contract give theCreator writer  or his representative the right to inspect the agency records related to his books? (4)

Does the contract assure the Creator writer the specific agent will in fact be the submission agent or editor or negotiator (as opposed to an assistant)? (5)

(1) - (5) No.

I think if a potential client asked me for these kinds of warranties, I'd step back from representation. At some point in this process the client has to believe what I'm saying. I'm signing a project I think I can sell. Therefore I will try to sell it (1).

I am a member of AAR and I value that membership, therefore I do my best to adhere to the Canon of Ethics. (2)

If this book doesn't sell, I'm not going to promise I'll work on the next three books. I intend to work with you, but I'm not going to promise something I don't know I can deliver. I want you to trust me; I'm not going to lie to you even if you want me to.(3)

We give you a complete breakdown of the payments on every check you receive. I will literally have NO information in my office that you will not also have. And since you are not a CPA, you're not bound by a Canon of Ethics and there's no way on Gods green earth I'm giving you access to our bookkeeping which would allow you to see other clients' income.

If a potential client insisted on this, I'd rescind the offer of representation. That said, if you think that's a problem, ask to have the payments divided at the publisher from the get-go. (4)

and (5) you don't get to tell me how to do my job. That's just gonna be the way it is.

Someone who needs to micro-manage at this level would not be a good match for me. We generally find this out the hard way. I had a potential client ask for 27 changes to the author agency agreement, including that it not be in letter form. And that our client account be a trust account, not just a separate bank account. I loved his book, but knew this would be a relationship that would not survive even one small stumble. Fortunately he realized it too, and said "no thanks."

There's a big difference between being prepared and knowledgeable, and suspecting your agent will pull a fast one unless the contract says she can't.

This was actually a plot point in a Dick Francis novel. The stud fee contract listed every possible thing that could go wrong from aardvark attacks to zebra mauling. Of course what DID go wrong was something not listed, but the insurance company had to pay because the cause wasn't one of the many many listed ones.

In the case of author agency agreements, I like to think my clients and I know what the basic agreement is: don't fuck up in any meaningful way. I'm sure it gives lawyers the hives, but there it is.

While Donnaeve labeled this as off-topic, she was too modest:
OFF TOPIC - I wanted to share something that happened yesterday. The CEO of Kensington posted an ARC of DIXIE DUPREE on his FB Page. Apparently he's going to read it. As part of that post, he also said it was "getting wonderful reviews and a great buzz." (Yay!) A few mins later he tagged me in a comment, and mentioned a particular individual who'd just left a comment on the post. He said "XXXX is a huge fan." I didn't know who the person was, so I Googled him. He's an exec at Random House Penguin (Kensington's Distributor).

It's entirely on topic (if you meant the scope of the blog, not just one particular post)

The reason this is cool for Donna is not just that people are reading and loving her book. That is terrific indeed. The reason it's more than terrific is she's getting what's called "in house buzz" and it's a HUGE help for a debut novel.

When not just the acquiring editor but the marketing and publicity folks and the other execs love the book it helps build the book's profile in-house. Donna is one of 30-50 books being published that season, and one of HUNDREDS that Random House will distribute. Everything that gets her attention is a Very Big Deal.

So HUZZAH!!!!!!!!

John Frain noticed some terminology:
But still! Theme parks and merchandising! I think my protagonist is gonna start carrying around a good luck charm in the form of a Disney character.

Don't laugh! Merchandising is a HUGE cash cow for a very few products and retaining those rights are essential to making film deals. I think Allie Brosh could have raked in a tidy sum if she'd licensed the Alot to someone:

And speaking of novels we all love alot a lot, John Frain's novel has taken a turn for the worse:
But I'm only guessing. I haven't even figured out how to revive my protagonist when I accidentally allowed the bad guy to kill her in chapter 16. Damn.

And it turns out that "doing the waiting for Frain dance" has a video.

Lucie Witt said
I get why OP might ask a question like this. We're in a post 50 Shades of Grey world - books with horrible grammar/writing can be bestsellers.
I've never understood why the grammar at least doesn't get fixed in some of these books. Maybe it's a tight production deadline that doesn't allow for copyediting (if a publisher copyedits a book the author needs to review the edits. It adds weeks if not months to the process.)

And I love love love this from luciakaku
Prescriptivism makes me twitch now. I occasionally jump into grammar debates on FB with, "Actually, that's prescriptive grammar. English doesn't give a rat's twat whether you split infinitives. Which is why Star Trek boldly goes wherever it wants, and no one gets confused, just uppity."

During the WIR Stacie asked the question that led to Wednesday's blog post:
    If you're a first-time author, how would you know whether your agent is dispersing funds to you promptly? Does the publisher alert you when the check goes out?
I gave a rundown on how the money goes out to you and when.

CarolynnWith2Ns asked:
Okay, so I'm going to sound really, really stupid but are authors handled as independent contractors, in other words do they receive a 1099.
May you request taxes withheld or does your accounting firm, Dewey, Cheathem and Howe, do that for you?
This is not a stupid question. If you want to try for stupid you'll have to take another shot. Something along the lines of "where do you keep your ice" would be a good start.

Yes, you the author get a 1099 from us the agent. It reflects the GROSS amount you earned, that is the amount BEFORE commission and expenses. You keep track of money that was deducted from your check, then claim it as an expense. If you have an accountant or tax preparer they will help you do this correctly.

We can't withhold taxes for you. The only taxes we can withhold are employment taxes, and you are not an employee.

Most agents probably can't do your taxes for you but I've been known to walk clients through a Schedule C once or ten times.

This isn't complicated, it's a matter of keeping good records.

SiSi asked:
Since taxes are still on my mind, how are taxes handled through the payments? Is anything withheld or is it up to the writer to keep track of all payments? Or is that something the agent also helps with? 

We do NOT withhold any kind of tax from your payments. When I send a client a largish check I remind them to take 25-30% of it and salt it away cause Uncle Sam will want it, most likely sooner rather than later.

If it's a smallish check (like under $1000) I'm not so concerned, but coming up with $35K when you need to is often a little bit harder, than $250.

Colin Smith asked:
So far, I've not made a single penny from my writing, so I've not really felt justified in trying to claim anything tax-wise for it. Not even for pens and paper. Am I missing out? Or is it really not worth the trouble until I sell a story, or start paying for an agent's bar tab? 

For that, I'd have to send you to your accountant. Every business I've owned has had income of some sort from pretty early on. It may not have exceeded expenses for awhile, but there was always something to put in the income line.

If there's literally NO income at all, I'm just not confident to answer.

And the sooner you start picking up my bar tab the happier my bartender will be.

Colin Smith said:
One rather important take-away from this: DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB. Even if you get a big-dollar advance. You won't see all the money at once, and taxes may not be taken from it. Knowing how much my family lives by our family budget, I don't think we'll be ready to live off of advances and book royalties for a while. If ever! :) 

This is superlative advice. And let's all remember the very dark truth that most books don't earn out. That $200K advance may be the ONLY money you see from your book (or any book.)

Once that money is gone, it's spent. You want to make sure you're not scrambling for income at the same time I'm scrambling to find you a new publishing deal.

One of the things I have to beat into the heads of my young colleagues is anyone can sell a book. I've seen incredibly incompetent agents sell books. Keeping an author published: that's the hard part. It's one of those new challenges we're all having Lots of Fun with.

Jenz said:
I can't speak to what book publishers do, but I just made a short story sale to a market (my first pro-level sale) who specifies in their contract that they do not withhold any taxes, you're responsible for figuring that out on your own. I expected that, but it's interesting that they make a point of including it in the contract. 

Congrats on the sale! And yes, some contracts do spell out IN DETAIL that you are not an employee, and on and on. I see it most particularly in contracts my authors sign when they are providing content to a website.

I did have the interesting experience of speaking to an unemployment officer once when one of our authors was laid off from his day job and filed for unemployment benefits. He had to list the income he received from his book deal on one of his reports, and the Dept of Labor was very quick to tell us we were going to be charged for this.

Of course, I filed an appeal, and then we had a hearing! It was all done by phone (thank goodness, since the author didn't live anywhere near NYC!) and lasted about an hour. I had to answer questions about what an agency does, how the money is disbursed and whether the author could be considered an employee or independent contractor. An author is neither of those by the way. The 1099-M form you get from us specifies the money is royalties, not wages, salaries or payment for work.

In hindsight it was an interesting experience. At the time it was nerve-wracking as hell.

an off topic but important point from Joseph Snoe
I receive royalty checks in April and October with support saying what the publisher says is my book’s sales experience. (I always wonder about them since my publisher says we had modest sales while consistently ranks the book in the top 10,000 (it’s ranked number 6608 this very moment).
Amazon rankings aren't about numbers, they're about placement. If you sell 10 books, you could still be #1 on Amazon if every other title in your category sold nine or fewer.

Alternatively, you can sell a million books and be #20, if you're competing with James Patterson and Lee Child.

You can have a relatively good Amazon number (and 6608 is good) and still not being seeing wheelbarrows of cash on your royalty statement.

I used The Wire to explain my point but I think SiSi's comment really nailed what I was trying to say:
In general, I try to distinguish between "bad grammar" and "grammatical mistakes." Bad grammar is perfectly fine if it fits the character, drives the story, or even just makes a point. For the most part this doesn't bother me at all. (Sometimes this stylistic choice can be overdone, but that's a bigger writing mistake, not a grammatical error.)
Grammatical mistakes that pop up in otherwise standard grammar and word usage, that are clearly not intended by the writer, drive me crazy. I don't correct them in printed material, but I certainly notice them. When I used to work at a bookstore and got uncorrected proofs, I always had to take a deep calming breath before sitting down to read them!

Lennon Faris said:
My all time favorite line from any of the flash fiction here was "YOUR NOT SAM". A 'typo' that shows the situation - that character wasn't editing bc he saw something (we don't know what) that scared the sh** out of him. I still think about that line and it creeps me out. I truly wish I could remember who and when wrote that, so if anyone does...
And yes, it was creepy as hell wasn't it.

And I was glad to see this from Lucie Witt:
Janet and many of the Reiders have long advocated for reading your work out loud to catch mistakes. My desk drawer books have either been shelved before I'm at that point or I just didn't think reading it out loud was necessary.

I'm now a convert.

I'm reading my R&R out loud before resubmitting it and I cannot believe how many typos I'm catching. I'm also finding the grammar mistakes I frequently make (comma splices, I hate you) jump out when I'm reading out loud.

Best of all is how it makes you hear your characters' voices. I'm fixing sentences that were fine as they were but sing with a small tweak. Sometimes that means purposefully disregarding the rules of grammar, like the Stringer Bell quotes here.

Anyways, if grammar and voice worry you, read your WIP out loud. I'm mad I waited so long to take that advice.

And this from Cheryl, is sadly not the first time I've heard of this kind of thing:
I once had a beta reader suck all the life out of my first person story by "correcting" everything (straight out of Strunk and White, no less). She turned my modern comic noir fantasy into a bad pastiche of a Victorian parlour novel.

She also felt the need to change the narrator's dialect (which is my own dialect) to hers.

Thank god for the "reject all changes" button.
I know of an author who had a copy editor who clearly did not get the style and tone of the book being edited. He thought it was some sort of academic treatise.  I'm not sure the author ever recovered completely.  The copy editor was replaced, the book survived, but oh man, Not Fun.

On Friday I talked about my love for the Best Of series published by HMH.

CarolynnWith2Ns is just determined to go back to Carkoon!
Because I am already, one of Carkoon's exile's in residence, let me suggest that today's post screams for a Flash Essay Contest. With prompts, or a subject, or whatever, it might be a blast.

And in what has to be the best example of the reason to get everything right is so your reader has confidence you intended "the wrong", BJ Muntain said:
Jason: I know we're not supposed to comment on typos, but I'm going to assume that it's intentional, because 'word-smiting' is the best description of writing and editing as I've ever heard.

And Lucie Witt told us this lovely Prince story:
Small side story about dearly departed Prince. One of our most underfunded libraries shared last night back in 2001 they were going to close. Prince gave them the money to stay open under the condition they didn't say where it came from while he was alive. Such an amazing artist and person.

And then the sentence that just stopped me cold in the comments, as I'm sure it did the rest of you, from Jason Magnason.
My father committed suicide when I was eleven, on the last day of school; it was field day.
It's not just the fact of the sentence, which is  indeed chilling. The beauty of this sentence is that it is is very lean, very elegant. It doesn't do anything other than make you feel something very intensely. It's not over-written.

So often writers add adjectives thinking they're making things sound better, more descriptive, but forgetting that adjectives are like salt. A few good grains make the pasta perfect. Too much and you're tossing the noodles and starting over.

Jennifer R. Donohue brought us some good news:
You've all read Query Shark, right? The archives, everything? Me too. So, today I was doing some book ordering, from the Forecast catalog Baker & Taylor puts out, and in the SciFi section I glossed over a book's description and then went back to it, thinking "wow, that sounds really, really familiar. I wonder why? Where did I see it?" I couldn't think of it (my brain lately...) so I went to the trusty Google, and there we have it, Query Shark 2013, WaypointKangaroo, a query which got it right in the first go 'round with Madame Sharque. It's coming out in June!

E.M. asked:
But back on topic, how exactly does Lee Child make his way through the Bouchercon book room?

Any way he wants to.

But Colin Smith has it right here:
 EM: I recall Janet talking about walking through the Bouchercon book room with Lee Child. I believe what impressed her was the fact that not only was he familiar with a large number of the titles on sale, but he could make recommendations. In other words, Mr. Child is very well read in his genre.

On Saturday we talked about how long you have for a requested R&R

Craig asked:
Does being the proud owner of a manuscript in need of remodeling and repainting offer any opportunity for give and take with the agent?

If you are working your way through it and see something that would make it better (beyond the notes you are working with) and change it even more radically, can you ask the agent for an opinion? Or do have to just push forward and cross your fingers and toes?
Not really.
I'm going to read your manuscript, not help you develop it. 
And the reason for that is time. Development takes an ENORMOUS amount of time, and I just don't  have that kind of time for a project at this stage.  

I'm willing to be helpful but not for as much time as you want (and need.) That's what independent editors are for; crit partners; beta readers; etc. I am reading your ms with ONE goal: is this something I can take on and sell? I am not reading to critique or edit it. I'm reading as a READER: do I like this.

Robert Ceres said:
Why I would ever be in a hurry to get in a revise and resubmit? After all, the agent probably won’t get to it for months. Why would I ever have wanted to do that?
Those mss do sit here for months, and that's why I'm always glad to take a revised ms if the author gets in touch to say "hey, while you've been dawdling, I've been working."

And this from Celia Reeves was really interesting:
 I could explain all about why it's so hard to find mistakes like typos and misspellings, because I'm a cognitive scientist and study that stuff. The bottom line, though, is that our brains are amazing at getting past the surface details to the meaning below, and therefore very bad at focusing on those surface details. The best way to catch mistakes is to use ALL the ways:
    --Read it aloud, slowly
    --Have an AI read it
    --Read it in a different format (screen, paper) than usual
    --Have someone else read it
    --Put it away for a while and read it again later
    --Reformat so every sentence is on a separate line and read the sentences in reverse order (last one first)

    Your brain will hate you for this, because it is uninterested in the details you are forcing it to pay attention to. Be stern. If you are tough and disciplined you will have a shot at eliminating most (never all) of the mistakes. When you're a NYTBSA, get your brain a glass of good wine to say thank you.

I like Jenz' comment here:
On reading aloud: if you have someone to read to, that really helps. My husband is my captive audience--he won't read my work on his own, but he'll tolerate me reading to him. Turns out he's a good gauge. If he stops me to ask a question, details are not clear enough. If he falls asleep, there's not enough tension. And if he actually turns away from his Clash of Clans game to listen, I know I've got it right.

Warning: Spousal readings may lead to arguments, hurt feelings, and manuscript clubbings. Proceed with caution.

kdjames said
There are three (or four or seven, depending who you ask) main cognitive learning styles: visual, auditory, kinesthetic [sight, sound, touch]. We all use some parts of each, but it's worth figuring out which is predominant for you. I am a highly visual learner. So much so that if you *tell* me something, I might not remember it. But if I see it written down? I remember.

yup, me too.  The only way I remember things I hear is if I can take notes.

And honest to godiva would someone please pitch me a book composed entirely of Julie M. Weathers' witticisms. We won't need to tell her or anything.
This one can lead the pack:
All right. I swan, my hair is trying to attack me today. I took out the shears and it fled in sheer terror back into submission.

and with this one:
I swan, John. Why on earth would you think I would poison anyone's dinner? Good grief. Well, I guess there was that one time I had proper Miss Janet talk about poisoning her Pinkerton agent nephew's dinner, but that was justifiable. He's just so rude.

[Let's all just remember that this Miss Janet is in Julie's NOVEL. I love my nephews and wouldn't poison them. In fact my nephews are pretty much perfect. You're welcome to disagree but you might not want to eat dinner with me if you do.]

And Her Grace the Duchess of Kneale has provided me with a very useful sentence here:
Several years ago when I started subbing to agents, I got a lot of form rejections. Then one agent, known for her high propensity for personalised rejections, told me how good my story was, but it needed editorial work on the sentence level. Yep, as E.M. put it, I was grammar-blind. I didn't realise I was making mistakes.

I've had yet to figure out how to say "this isn't publishable" to a writer, but "it needs editorial work on the sentence level" goes a long way towards it!

Have a terrific week! Although maybe not quite the week that Christina Seine is looking at:
Finally starting to get over this stupid flu. However, we are now heading into Orthodox Christian Holy Week, which is sort of like boot camp, only with candles. *waves at Brigid* It all culminates on May 1st, which is Pascha, our Easter. This coincides (for me) with homeschool grades and work samples being due, a graduating senior, prom (tonight), a homeschool curriculum fair, Mothers Day coming up, 10,000 bees freshly installed in our hives, a garden to till, a full greenhouse of wee plants to transplant, a wholesale account asking for a bunch more soapy products and wee baby chicks arriving any day now. And all I want to do is sit and work on my R&R. And a GIANT BOX of BOOKS sits by my bed from the local library's used book sale, beckoning wickedly. I need a clone army this week.

It's the 10,000 bees that give me pause.
Once upon a time, long ago, I worked for a trucking company (it's a good story, ask me at the bar.) One lovely morning, an account called with a dispatch order. Cargo: bees. "Bees?" I asked, sure I had heard him wrong. Yup. Bees. Transported by truck. This is where you REALLY hope there are no accidents along the route. And yes, you charge by volume  on that shipment, not weight.

Here are the subheader noms for the week. A very nice selection!

[This blog] a marvelous water hole for writers. Of course, lions and leopards hang out at water holes also. We'll just toss Colin their way.--Julie M. Weathers

Your agent partner doesn't need to be perfect. You don't need to hear choirs of angels every time they enter the room, though I might think twice if you hear choirs of demons. They just need to be perfect for you.--Julie M. Weathers

If I learned from half my mistakes, I'd be a genius by now. --John Frain

As Jennifer Donohue and Panda-in-Chief suggested, I would recommend tossing a ferret into the bathtub with anyone who is in any way slow to remit your money--Stephen Kozeniewski

My mind freezes up between bear and beer because I have, in fact, been attacked by a giant beer. However, that was not the story I was trying to tell. --E. M. Goldsmith

Learn the rules so you can break them properly. --Craig

Can I just say, "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves"?
Pandas and punctuation.
They matter. --Panda In Chief

The publishing process has been uninterested in my personal timeline. --Mark Thurber

Sometimes I think this blog should be titled every stupid mistake I have ever made and why I shouldn’t have done it.--Robert Ceres


CynthiaMc said...

Donna!! So proud of you!!!

Jason - hugs again.

Julie - you need to be a 1-woman Broadway show.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

To Clarify, WAYPOINT KANGAROO is by Curtis C. Chen. I left that out when I commented (and when I read my comment recounted here, I was like "oh, I hope nobody thinks I'm taking the credit, it isn't my book". My queries tend not to be nearly so good.)

I like Stephen Kozeniewski's subheader nom, of course. "Nice marmot." Also John Frain's. But really, everybody's so damn clever, and that's the way I like it!

We made it through another week, folks. I got a long-awaited...reply...from (they stopped accepting short story subs a few months back). A form rejection. Sigh.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Am I the only one who obsessively checks Janet's blog on Sunday mornings just to see if the WIR is up? This is the perfect finish to the week. I think I might post Mark's sub-header to my desk so I can curb my impatience with myself somewhat.

What a week of great information. I sure do love the Reef.

Dena Pawling said...

Wow this was a very interesting and informative WiR!

>>I'm sure it gives lawyers the hives, but there it is.

I was just discussing something with my husband yesterday, who cluelessly asked me which type of will I recommended [formal or holographic]. I gave him my answer. He asked me why. I gave him my standard reason that my preference is ALWAYS the one which is easier to defend in court. My clients almost never give me everything I want, and I work with what they have, but I ALWAYS want the best case possible.

>>And yes, some contracts do spell out IN DETAIL that you are not an employee, and on and on. I see it most particularly in contracts my authors sign when they are providing content to a website.

The definition of employee vs independent contractor is currently a VERY HOT ISSUE in employment law. The recent UBER case being one such very visible reminder.

Congrats Donna and Jenz!

Now on to the last week of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Have a great week, everyone.

Donnaeve said...

There was so much great info in this WIR. I've been head down, busy writing, but, it's only when this comes gets posted do I realize all that I missed!

I really was clueless about the explanation QOTKU provided on "in house buzz!" Sure, I was super excited to see a couple execs read the book, and say some good things, but I didn't realize what it meant.

Hold up, must breathe into paper bag.

Okay, that's not going to be as much help as a drink. I just might have to have one. *** Thank you***. As to what I meant by OFF TOPIC - I don't even know. I just try to be careful, cause you know, we do have rules for a reason.

Colin said, " I've not really felt justified in trying to claim anything tax-wise for it. Not even for pens and paper. Am I missing out? Or is it really not worth the trouble until I sell a story, or start paying for an agent's bar tab?"

I can answer from recent experience. I didn't claim anything until the book sold. When we did taxes this year, b/c that sale was the first money I'd made writing, I could go back 5 years and claim anything I'd spent towards writing as START UP EXPENSES. Anything over $5000 is depreciated over the next five years. I claimed:

Freelance editor fees
Bouchercon fee
Parking fees
Subscriptions (i.e. WD and P&W)
Memberships (Pub Mktplace, WFWA, NCWN, SIC)

There are likely more categories than this, but this was what I could use from my own personal expenses.

Joe Snoe - I couldn't help but giggle at the "Creator" in your comment. It really stuck out when Ms. Janet crossed it out. (I only know of one.) :)

Kitty said...

Here's my subhead vote: If I learned from half my mistakes, I'd be a genius by now. --John Frain

Donnaeve said...

Do over - I really was clueless UNTIL the explanation QOTKU provided on "in house buzz!"

Anonymous said...

For Colin - Great advice from Donnaeve above, and I'll add that if you lose money (don't show a profit) three years in a row, your Schedule C business is reclassified as a "hobby" and everything becomes non-deductible and you have to go back and pay taxes. It's then a fight to reclassify as a business if you do make money in a later year.

So it's not worth it to declare your writing business until it makes some money and you need to put in deductions to reduce your tax burden. You don't have to show a big profit - even under $100 counts - but you need money coming in or it's not "a business" for IRS purposes. (Of course, all the Chums here are treating our writing as a business with high professional standards, but the IRS is another category)

I'm not a tax pro, but I've filed Schedule C for multiple businesses for 20 years and have gone through an audit and emerged with the IRS owing me more money.

Celia Reaves said...

Wonderful WIR as usual. Thank you again, Janet, for all the time you put in here at the Reef for all of us, who aren't even your clients. I hope you know how much we appreciate it, and you. (And thanks for the mention. I get giddy whenever I see my name on your site!)

All the subheader noms are outstanding, but the synergy between Jonathan Frain's and Robert Ceres's is especially striking. With this site we have the opportunity not only to learn from our mistakes, but from the mistakes of others. A priceless gift.

Lennon Faris said...

Thanks for the WIR Janet, and for pointing out the SAM source. I've re-read it multiple times this morning so far. (And thanks, Matthew, for writing it).

Jason - virtual hugs. I regret that I could not read many of the comments this week but I went back to re-read your comment.

Donna - that is wonderful news. So, so many congratulations. I am amazed at how excited (or bummed, or nervous) I get for other people here. This is a wonderful virtual community.

LynnRodz said...

I agree with Dena, this WIR has been truly informative. Thanks, Janet.

My vote for subheader:

1. Mark Thurber
2. John Frain

And, Janet, are you sure I can't call you even if I have a case of 20 year-old Scotch AND a case of la couleur of paint that's a must have this season waiting for you in the lobby downstairs?

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

I miss the reef. It's amazing how much information is shared here.

Congrats Donna on the in house buzz.

To add to the tax discussion. The IRS asks self employed for quartely payements. If you have earnings over a certain amount you are expected to estimate your quarterly payments, and not pay the big sum on April 15. Not paying quartely can result in fines. I've been fined. Sometimes the fines are worth the expense. What many do not know is that theIRS will expect your earnings to be more or equivalent the following year. This is where it gets boring. Because you may not earn the same amount, but they expect your quarterly payments... A good accountant is worth hiring.

Jason, wow.

LynnRodz said...

Jason, I'm so glad Janet and Lennon mentioned your comment from Friday otherwise I would've missed it. Words are truly amazing. They can be powerful, beautiful, emotional, dangerous, healing, and so forth. Your words about your father were not only emotional, but beautiful. I hope they were also healing for you for writing them and sharing that moment with the rest of us. I feel privileged. Thank you.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Great WIR.

Okay boys and girls I am making a prediction, right here, right now. Mark my words dear friends...
Dixie Dupree will be a movie.
I feel it in my bones. Although the last time I felt like this it was shingles or was it the flu. Anyway, Donna let us know when Hollywood calls.

Jason, I have been thinking about you a lot.

Aren't we an amazing bunch of word-whores.

I vote for: "If I learned from half my mistakes, I'd be a genius by now." --John Frain

Colin Smith said...

Another wonderful WiR, and lots more great contract and $$$ tips. I'll have to append the "Author/Agency Agreements" document in the Treasure Chest, and I think I said something about adding a document on money based on these recent posts. I'll try to get to that ASAP. Assuming Janet doesn't have a problem with me ripping all this wonderful advice from her blog...? :)

BTW, if you can't get enough of the wit and wisdom of Julie Weathers, you ought to be reading her A-to-Z posts. Informative and fun, and, well... Julie! :)

Oh, and thanks for the tax tips Janet and others--Donna and whipchick especially. I would never have thought of claiming pre-pub stuff as "start up expenses," but you can be sure I will now! :)

Wife: Who's this "whipchick" you've been talking to??
Me: Uhh... just a friend on Janet's blog... really! ;)

Joseph S. said...

Donnaeve – I used Creator because I was on a committee developing an Intellectual Property policy for the school. We have writers, software and program developers, scientific researchers, artistic designers, photographers, artists, movie makers, etc. The word we used to cover them all was Creator. Even with books there may be wordsmiths and there may be illustrators. After working on the policy for over a year it seemed secondhand at this point to use Creator.

Donnaeve said...

"Dixie Dupree will be a movie. I feel it in my bones. Although the last time I felt like this it was shingles or was it the flu. Anyway, Donna let us know when Hollywood calls."

Shingles? Pffft. Flu? Double pffft.

Let me diagnose this one. Delusional. Possible head trauma. Did you bump your head?


(You know I love you, 2N's.)

Seriously. Thanks ya'll.

***Jason, having had my own too close encounters with suicide (one was my brother in law), I really can't imagine how an 11 year old boy processed this, and then grew up into the man you are today. I'm sure your father's parting words played a big part in this.

Brigid said...

Donna, deep sips now, it's gonna be OK.

Christina, I swear some Lents are just there to give us striking things to write about. I always think, "I can't wait for that peaceful time of reflection!" and then a month later I'm swearing I'll never fall for it again. Lent on TOP of life, not instead of. "Lent always feels like being chased by bees, but that year it got literal." (Er. God forbid.) Have you baked your kulich yet? Weather permitting, I might try the Weathers car trick.

I dyed a hat for the first time. It turned out a lovely shade of purple, but it still smells like grape.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Is it too soon for next week's sub-header nom because 2Ns "Aren't we an amazing bunch of word-whores?" - right on, sister.

And Dixie Dupree will be a movie and an Oscar winner at that. If I have to go wrangle the studio, script writer, director, actors, and all myself. I just know it. Please Donna, don't forget us when you're famous.

I like all the sub-header noms - own bias aside, but John Frain's is simply true and I bet I outpace him in mistakes 2 to 1. Man, I could so much smarter.

Jason, that's tough for an 11 year old. Suicide always leaves such a void- a singer whose song is never finished. It's brave of you to speak of it- your pain may help someone else who is caught in their own isolation and pain.

And our Julie Weathers does know how to spin a yarn. I wish I had her talent with dialogue especially.

Ok, I must go sell my soul to the writer's muse. This A to Z thing has sucked me dry for edits on my book. Still, in theory, I am building a platform, yes? Oh, I have no idea anymore.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Now Donna, really...delusional?
Head 'drama' for sure.
You wait, you'll see. This is the big time.

Christina Seine said...

Ooh Janet, you're brave! I bet that was a helluva drive. 10,000 bees is not a lot to look at actually. Just two boxes each about the size of a toaster. They arrive at the distribution point all boarded together. A guy with a chainsaw cuts apart the individual nucs, or boxes. This makes the bees very excited (bees love chainsaws). It's a hoot to watch the collective muscle-tightening of the group of waiting beekeepers with every cut. Once we get them into the hives and they're all settled into their wee happy housekeeping, they're calm as doves though. And they're super cute close up. The bees, not the keepeers.

Brigid, ha! I've gotten as far as a grocery list, does that count? And I have very definite orders of what will go in our Pascha basket. If I brought everything the kids want the basket would be as big as a car! (For those who don't know, this is how the tradition of Easter baskets came about. The tradition is to fast from meat and dairy products during Lent, the 40 days prior to Easter/Pascha. The fast is broken right after the Pascha service at the church, which starts at midnight. We bring the goodies we've been abstaining from all this time and tear into them voraciously - I mean sample them in a very civilized manner.)

Donna, if you need a buddy to go with you to the Oscars for the movie based on your book, I will selflessly offer my services. XD

Christina Seine said...

Silly Blogger, don't you know me any more? That previous post was me, Christina Seine.

Beth H. said...

10,000 bees. Yikes!

I'd like to say that bees and I don't get along. In truth, bees like me far too much. A couple days ago, I was standing outside of a hotel, waiting for my ride to the airport. A bee flew over to me, and would not leave. I spent several minutes trying to hold still, but got too twitchy and tried discretely walking away from it. Son of a bee wouldn't leave me alone. I don't understand why. I was standing near actual flowers! Eventually, I noticed the doorman staring at me (understandably!), so I explained that I was being harassed by a bee. He went inside and closed the door.

Cindy C said...

I'm in awe of this week's WIR. All of them, really, but today's is especially informative. Thank you for all the time and energy you put into this blog!

Theresa said...

My votes for the subheader go to Julie Weathers (the first one--first selection by Julie, not the first Julie Weathers) and to Robert Ceres.

I really appreciated the WIR this week because work got so busy I could only stop by for quick glances at the blog. I'm itching to put this semester behind me so I can do more than think about writing. I'll be jumping into a new project in June with a week-long intensive writing course on creative nonfiction.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Janet for the mention and for everyone elses hugs and warm words.

To have Janet say a sentence I wrote not only made her feel something, but stopped her dead in her tracks, has the warmth of joy moving through me.

That memory will be 29 years old in a few days, as I turn forty on tuesday. My fathers last words always fuel the might of my remembrance.

Thanks again everyone.

roadkills-r-us said...

This week, children, we learned about "in house buzz" and "in truck buzz". As you hopefully noted, they are very different.

WRT the latter, I immediately envision a 24 foot U-Haul. The driver gets to the address, opens the truck's rear door and a gigantic swarm of bees comes out like a buzzing tornado. I want to write a short story, but I haven't yet decided whether the driver lives. Or maybe he's a super-hero or super-villain. But it will NOT be the insect remake of Willard.

Unknown said...

Ooh, subheader -- exciting!

Tons of useful stuff this week. These case-by-case agent contract explanations are so valuable. I really haven't seen anything like them before.

Y'all have convinced me to read my next draft out loud--maybe, to make it more fun, to my wife and kids--after I have lovingly given the revision process all the time it needs, of course.

roadkills-r-us said...

All the Bouchercon references reminded me that I probably forgot to include the Ragged Edge/Re:Write conference cost on my taxes for last year. Since we filed for an extension (our accountant's FIL died a week before tax day) I can add that.

A note on the three year "profit rule". Per the IRS, "The IRS presumes that an activity is carried on for profit if it makes a profit during at least three of the last five tax years, including the current year — at least two of the last seven years for activities that consist primarily of breeding, showing, training or racing horses."

This is why three years in a row without profit disqualifies you. But as I understand it (IANAL, IANAA) this refers to profit or loss *per year*. So if you claim lots of expenses the first year, you're fine. Second year, you're fine. If you're really in it for the long haul, you'd better make a profit that third year for tax purposes, even if you don't claim some expenses.

If you find yourself reduced to not claiming expenses, you really need to reconsider whether you are approaching writing (or whatever) as a business. You should consider getting professional advice, or perhaps getting a savvy business partner, or a manager. You'll have to pay them, but you can deduct those costs. Assuming you make a profit!

nightsmusic said...

Thank you for a wonderful WIR! Lots of information for me to digest today so I'll read through it again tomorrow after coffee. I need coffee. I spent much of the day ripping plants out of the ground and am now trying to play catchup with everything I didn't get done yesterday. Yesterday, we had a 60+ guests birthday party for my father in law who turned 90 on Thursday. We did not however, make it the surprise my sister in law originally wanted. Husband (her brother) didn't think 60+ people shouting SURPRISE at a 90 year old man who suspected nothing like that was such a good idea...

On another note; we talked about grammar this week and this was the Sunday comic. I hope the link takes you to the right page:

Chickweed Lane

Anonymous said...

I don't get to the Reef often enough, but I never miss the WIR. Glad to see Mark's subheader won.

I get a lot of newsletters about new and upcoming books, and something called Dixie Dupree keeps showing up. Why does it sound familiar? ;)

If you keep good financial records, a Schedule C shouldn't be too difficult. Get an accountant to help you set up your record-keeping system, and you're good to go. Yes, I'm an accountant during the day...some evenings...and most weekends. *sigh*

Since I run a website for writers, where I earn a little bit from affiliate programs and running ads, I have been able to write off my magazine subscriptions. I do use them for chat topics, so I roll them in with the other expenses. Think creatively!

Matthew, your "Your not Sam" line is unforgettable. Wish I could write something that would stick in people's brains like that.

I, too, am a visual learner. I take notes all the time. Even if I never look at the notes again, the act of writing them down installs them more firmly in my mind.

Sorry for the long post. I'm making up for missed comments!

I want a pet Alot.

Lilac Shoshani said...

Such an informative and wonderful WIR…Thank you so much, Janet!

And now that I know so much about the IRS, I think I should definitely move to the States… ;-)

I asked a good friend of mine to read my MS aloud with me-- we took turns. We did the reading over Skype since he is an American who resides in Canada nowadays. It was a great way to detect typos and questionable grammar. But it was also an amazing experience to hear him laugh at the funny parts. (Sometimes he laughed at the serious parts as well, but that's beside the point;-).)

There is so much suffering in the world…I love to make people laugh.

Donna, what do I need to do to escort you to the Oscars? ;-)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Whoa Lilac, I get to kiss Donna's hem and carry her luggage.

Lilac Shoshani said...

Lucky you, Carolynn…;-)

John Frain said...

I had to stop for a moment reading the WIR to share something kinda fun. I started trying this because I have to come up with a story every night in April during this crazy A to Z Blog Challenge. So here's a new method. Take a great line you read or hear and use it completely out of context. To wit:

Janet Reid said in a response to Sisi:
"If anyone needs help finding someone to look at a contract, let me know. I keep a list of names." <---- There it is! An opening for a story, but in a new context.

Janet Reid lifted the butcher knife and paused before answering her Sergeant: "I have a list of names," she said.

That, my friends, is a HOOK and nobody in your target audience stops reading there. Even better, you have myriad ways to go from that point, none of which involve the answer to Sisi's question.

Anyway, it's kinda fun, give it a try if you want.

Kae Ridwyn said...

Thank you, Janet! I love your WiR's every week :)
Congrats, Mark, on the sub-header.
And 'cheers' to all the #AtoZchallenge writers; just one week left, then we can get back to where we were with our WIPs / WUSs before this craziness took over! Is anyone else thinking 'never again' - or is that just me?

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Yessiree indeed, "what a week it was." Thank you, Janet, for this week's extensive review.

The one point that the Shark made that clouted me over the head-- 'Keeping an author published: that's the hard part. It's one of those new challenges we're all having Lots of Fun with.' What are the "new challenges" in keeping an author published?

Donnaeve: wonderful, wonderful news to have in house buzz building up for your book (and to have Janet explain the different buzzes).

Jason: A tough reality, a poignant reflection. Thinking of you.

Unknown/Christina: bees love chainsaws? whoda thunk.

Craig F said...

Yet again I thank you for your generosity, My Queen.

Colin Smith said...

OK, so I'm going to be a bit more circumspect and reserve comment on DIXIE DUPREE's movie potential until I've actually read the book. HOWEVER, I certainly wish this for you Donna. Not that it's all about the money, but I read that authors get 10% of a movie's budget. Is that right, Janet? Heck, even if it's 1%, that amount of a Hollywood budget would be a nice chunk of change. In other words, to use the parlance of my former homeland, it would be a nice little earner for you. :)

John: When I read Janet's comment (i.e., "I keep a list of names")--I had the same ominous thought. Yes, Janet keeps all kinds of lists of names. And I'm sure I'm on one of them... *gulp*... 8-O

Julie Weathers said...


Julie - you need to be a 1-woman Broadway show.--

Yes, indeedy. I've always aspired to be the second coming of Will Rogers. Now where did I leave that rope?

My gosh what a great week in review. I love the sub headers, but I noted Mark's comment when he made it. Great thought.

"But still! Theme parks and merchandising! I think my protagonist is gonna start carrying around a good luck charm in the form of a Disney character."

Hmmm, should I start researching cute voodoo dolls for Rain Crow? They could be like those little troll dolls from the 60's only with pins.

Heh, I forgot about the Frain Dance video. I love that Lorikeet.

Loved this:

But back on topic, how exactly does Lee Child make his way through the Bouchercon book room?

Any way he wants to.

It's the 10,000 bees that give me pause.--

We used to order 500 chicks every spring. They come in the mail in case you wondered.

I want to hear the being attacked by a giant beer story.

Lawsy, I hope we get to see a Dixie Dupree movie. That would be awesome.

Dena, I'm going to miss the A-Z, but I look forward to getting back to the regular flow.

Kae, I'm saying never again now, but will probably change my mind in a year. I've enjoyed reading the other stories too much.

Lilac, that's a great sign that the reading went so well. Doesn't that give you a great confirmation?

I'm going to ponder the letter U for a while.

John Frain said...

Wow, what a massive and delightful WIR. I've seen that Lorikeet twice now and I think I'm going to see her a lot more in my head every time I'm editing. Dance, birdie, dance! Great stuff.

Julie just stole my thunder here, so I'll just agree with her that this was fantastic:

How does Lee Child make his way through the Bouchercon book room?

Any way he wants to.

Bada bing!

Panda in Chief said...

Goodness! Another subheader nomination! Huzah!
A very interesting wrrk in review. I don't know why I say that. It always is, so should go without saying, just like Milo's car.

Anonymous said...

Aw shucks, I got a mention! And for being witty! I tend to think I'm witty a lot more often than anyone else agrees with me. My captive audience of elementary kids finding me witty makes me grin for hours. I'll probably be stuck preening like a peacock for the rest of the week.

AJ Blythe said...

A week of holidaying with my family was wonderful, but we had no internet or phones and I missed here. Thank you for the trillionth time, JR, for your wir. I feel content.

Lilac Shoshani said...

Jason, I'm sending you many hugs… Your story deeply moved me…

Julie, you are wonderful. Thank you so much! <3 And Cynthia is right…

Julie Weathers said...

Elise, And our Julie Weathers does know how to spin a yarn. I wish I had her talent with dialogue especially.

That's very sweet. I've enjoyed your stories so much, but whoa, not stopping in a strange pub.


"BTW, if you can't get enough of the wit and wisdom of Julie Weathers, you ought to be reading her A-to-Z posts. Informative and fun, and, well... Julie! :)"

Thank you so much. It's been fun.


Julie just stole my thunder here, so I'll just agree with her that this was fantastic:

"How does Lee Child make his way through the Bouchercon book room?

Any way he wants to."

Bada bing!--

Nope. Can't blame that great line on me. That was QOTKU. I should have put quotes on it and attributed it, sorry.

Stacy said...

Jason Magnason - Strength and peace to you.

Donnaeve - Congrats!! That's lovely news.

Lucie Witt - As I'm sure is true for a lot of us, Prince's music was a huge part of my growing up. It's odd to me that I'm mourning someone who I never met as hard as I am... but I am. I have 20- and 30-year friendships spawned from a shared love of his music. He was an original and he did a world of good for this weird, partially deaf kid from Indiana. It's comforting to hear these stories of his quiet humanitarianism.

Rena said...

My dad is a beekeeper and gets many of his bees in the mail, especially new queens. I visited once and was told I would be sharing my room with the newest queen, who had yet to be installed on her throne. I kindly requested her relocation for the night.

Janice Grinyer said...

Thank you so much for answering my question, Janet. Knowing that we do not want a "0" in that portion, but a modest number will help review a contract properly in the future.

Also, once again how helpful these WIR's are when we are busy writing; thank you for helping us catch up for the week!

And speaking of bees. We are hay producers on top of everything else. We were just declared a disaster area for last year's crop - we didn't even cut as the height wasn't there. But this year may be different; we are on day three of rain. Hopefully, the Beeman will come out this year, and in exchange for allowing them to put 10 to 15 hives on our place, we get two dozen bottles of the best honey. The bees are adorable - a few will come into the house, and they will let me herd them right out the door again without incident. And they pollinate everything, producing the best light golden honey you ever tasted. And we get fat on Baklava for the winter. Anyhow, these little guys seasonally go to back to California every year by truck (as you noted!)- Fingers crossed for the bees to visit us again this year!

Jason; what a traumatic thing to experience at such a young age. You have strength in you, and in your words- thank you for sharing them.