Sunday, June 05, 2016

Week in review 6/5/16


Welcome to the week that was, and what a week it was!

In last week's review, Dena Pawling said
I'm going back to the archery range today
which for some reason cracked me up completely. I guess I'm thinking of Dena in a Robin Hood hat.

John Davis Frain (he of the manuscript all of us plan to read)
Janet, I so enjoyed your discussion (some might say rant) on rhythm, citing your sentence:
So one day,
When Mr. F Post
had had just quite enough of Dog P,
he tilted.

Thou rockest mightily with thy argument. I've had this exact discussion with a client, but I was unable to sway her. Assuming you're okay with me swiping your material, it's good to have more artillery for my next client meeting. Thanks for that.

Totally fine with swiping it. In fact, you (and all y'all) are welcome to use any of the material here. Of course, I prefer to be credited if you're posting the advice but that's mostly so people know the source and can evaluate merit from that.  One of my big rants is pay attention to who said it.

Donnaeve said
Sometimes I think some agents have a moment of super rockstar stardom when at a conference. There they are, on the stage and Wow! Look at all those shiny, eager faces hanging on to my every word! All these people are here for me. They want my attention. They want me. And I get to eeny meeny miny mo my way through them all. Bwahahahaha!
You're right on the money. Particularly when we are young agents, this is a mindset that is VERY hard to understand and resist.
I wrote about this here
It's easy to be flamboyant and fun and crack jokes on stage when you're an agent at a writer's conference. It's as close to playing to a packed audience of relatives as I'll ever be now that I'm not in the third grade.

It's very easy to forget that every single thing you say will be written down as though it's gospel (it's NOT) and analyzed for hidden meanings and tripwires. It wasn't until I'd written this blog for about five years that I truly understood how woodland creatures roll.

LucieWitt said:
Sigh. I think if agents truly realized how much writers freak out about everything, they would chill out on comments/guidelines like the one referenced in today's post.

We writers do a phenomenal job freaking ourselves out without an agent's help. Just yesterday a querying writer told me if an agent doesn't followup on your full within 5 days, it means they aren't really interested. The writer's logic was based on observing that when agents sign new clients they sometimes state they couldn't put the book down and contacted the writer within mere days. So says Twitter, the Honest to Smut arbitrator all things true.

Now, I read this blog, so I know that's not true, and it STILL momentarily worried me. I can't imagine the tailspin it might cause for someone new to the query trenches.

OP's question is the kind of thing I would generally stick in the housekeeping section, and I would keep it pretty short (this is a stand alone with series potential, I am currently working on my next YA project, etc.).

Most recent client I signed: full requested 1/24/16. Read 2/11/16.
Third most recent client: full requested 3/5/15. Read 3/22/15,
From that you'd think, wow, she requests and reads VERY fast.

But here's what you also need to know:
Second most recent client signed: Query 10/5/14, Read 8/17/15
I also am working with another prospect who queried 7/29/15 and I read it 4/29/16.

Looking at those two, you'd think, holy smokes, she's molasses in February in Icelandia.
But the only conclusion this data supports is: there is no norm. Anyone who says otherwise better cough up some pretty serious date to support that idea. And lest you wonder: Twitter is not serious data. Not now. Not ever.

Craig asked:
If not to fuck with your head is there a reason for writing conferences. Oh there is the name dropping thing you can use after it is over.

Well, I know you're being a little facetious  here but sure, there's a lot of good stuff that can happen at a writing conference. It's a good way to actually talk to an agent when that's what you need to do. Just remember to keep some perspective. A writing conference and meeting with an agent is not the doors of heaven opening wide. It's just a place to find some help and advice, and maybe some new friends, all of which will help you pry open those doors yourself.

As E.Maree said later in the week (Wednesday)
One thing I found *incredibly* helpful here was to make pro writer friends. Visit cons, and talk to people with Big Five contracts, mid-list contracts, small pub contracts, self-pubbers and everything in-between. People who're unafraid to talk business.

A couple of years ago, when Month9 requested a full of one of my projects, a pro writer buddy stepped in to warn me that he'd heard troubling stories from Month9 offers and would recommend I steer clear.

If you're still in the query trenches and haven't yet found a shiny agent friend to steer you true, talking with writer friends is an absolute godsend. For introverted woodland types it can be hard to get out there and speak to writers that are further on in their careers than you, but having a varied network of experienced writers is amazing. I couldn't be without my writer buddies.

Adib Khorram cracked me up here:
I feel kind of bad for Smut the Dragon. It has to be hard growing up when your older brother is the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities. "Hi, I'm Smut, the, uh, Second-Chiefest and Second-Greatest of Calamities."

Imagine the family dinners.

I really want to be The Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities.

On Wednesday we talked about the value of artifacts for novels

Colin Smith asked:
Janet: How much of Gary's supplemental material was suggested by him vs. to him, or did the idea for the maps, timelines, and notes come out of editorial discussion between the three of you (you, Gary, and editor)?
I don't remember really. I know that the ms that went on submission didn't have any supplemental material at all.I think Gary suggested the timeline, and from that came the author notes. I'm not sure where the map idea came from; if I had to lay a wager I'd say Gary. Since all that kind of supplemental material is the responsibility of the author, the editor may have suggested it, but it was Gary's choice to create and include it. Since I love maps, I'm glad he did.

SiSi asked:
When I first read the post I thought the OP's question was more about plagiarism --such as, would it be okay for her character to write a resume and use the actual resume her grandfather wrote. That would be fine, right?
As long as what you use is in the public domain, you're fine. If it's not in the public domain, someone has the rights to it, even if it is something from your grandpops. Permission from the rights holder is REQUIRED. There's a clause in the publishing contract (the Warranties clause) that says anything that requires permissions is the responsibility of  the author. The publisher WILL NOT CHECK this.  That means, if you sign the contract, you've said your permissions are or will be in order. In other words, you use something you don't have the rights for, and without permission, and the publisher's insurance and legal folks won't step in to assist if things go awry.

Thus: don't use anything unless you're sure. The ugliest fights on stuff like this comes from the least likely suspects: "But Mom, why are you suing me over using Granddad's old resume?"

Debradorris picked up on my "slinking off" comment and asked:
Janet, how does the QOTKU, a majestic shark, slink off?
Where's there's a fin there's a way.

On Thursday we talked about the unfolding mess at a small publisher beset by a host of problems:

Lisa Bodenheim asked:
Another question from this novice writer: Is the on-signing payment le Sharque mentions in #1 the same as an advance?
An advance is ALL the money a publisher pays "in advance of royalties" The on-signing payment is most likely only a portion of the advance. Generally advances are paid in chunks:
1/3on signing
1/3 on delivery and acceptance of manuscript
1/3 on hardcover publication

If it's a big book and a large advance it could be:
1/4  on signing
1/4 on D&A
1/4 on hardcover pub
1/4 on ppbk pub OR 12 months after hc pub whichever comes first

Lennon Faris  asked:
Oh man, when I read this it just makes me feel ignorant. I mean, smarter now, but... now I know even more of what I don't know. This is what I was hoping my agent would know all about. I'm wondering now if that is presumptuous and naive of me? Would an author ever tell their agent 'no don't submit to that publisher b/c I don't like what I've heard' without severely offending the agent."

I really REALLY hope I know more about a publisher than any of my clients do. After all, that is my value here: knowledge and expertise the client does not have. And frankly some of those snake pit author chat chains are so full of misinformation it's really not even funny.

However. If a client has concerns about a publisher, it's something we will discuss. I won't submit a client's work to a publisher the client doesn't want to work with, whether I think that's a good choice or not. It is the client's work. S/he gets the final say on who acquires it, and holy smokes I do not want to be the agent who says "gosh, no the client thinks you're odiferous in your dealings, so we're not taking the offer."

Susan made a very good point here:
As someone who had lost a lot due to illness, including the ability to do my job per my usual work ethic, I felt sympathy for the owner of Month9. Until I read the article. Holy cow--smoke and mirrors, indeed! I feel terrible for the authors for having to experience this!

What this ultimately comes down to is a question of character. She didn't seem to have much respect for her clients, and respect goes a long way in any relationship--a business partnership like this notwithstanding. Character tells you a lot about who a person is; who a person is can tell you a lot about how their company is run and, in this case, how your books and you, as the author will be treated.
Our agency faced a medical crisis some years back. One of our young agents was suddenly, with no notice or prep, unable to work at all. It was instant crisis mode, and it was a real learning experience. Thankfully all of us pulled together as a team and handled the work.  There were some bumps along the way of course, and much of that was because we had never even thought of what to do if someone is stricken ill so quickly and completely. 

A small publisher, beset with illness, few staffers, and a lot of clamoring writers no doubt feels bruised and overwhelmed.  I have a great deal of sympathy for how isolated and alone she must have felt/is feeling.  The trick is to ask for help. And of course, to have actually thought about this before it happens.

Just Me asked:
Normally I just lurk, but today's post had me wondering. Could an author caught in a bad contract sell the contract to another author or someone else?

Publishers can sell contracts. The bankruptcy clauses are mostly useless because a bankruptcy judge can decide the contract is a company asset and sell it to cover debts. (See Triskelion.)

Yes, reverting rights is better. But if an author has a bad option clause or a bad non-compete and is not getting paid for the book(s) in the contract anyway, could they sell it to someone else to provide the future books? That person would also receive any royalties due which is why authors would not normally want to do that. But if you're not making money anyway, could you? Has it been done?

No. Standard publishing contracts preclude "assignment" of the author's obligations. The author can direct that someone else be paid, but the actual work is warranted to be that of the author.

Also, generally publishers can't sell contracts either, unless it's part of the overall sale or liquidation of the company.

The publisher can release you from an option and a non-compete clause. That's negotiable. Whether it would be considered as affecting the assets of a company in bankruptcy I do not know.

Donnaeve said:
This post is almost like ESP. I was curious about the publishers I've seen on Publisher's Marketplace I'd never heard of, and this post made it click for some reason. here are recent examples that caught my eye:

The Book Group - 36 deals--
This is an agency, not a publisher. It's the alliance of Julie Baror, Elisabeth Weed, Faye Bender, and Brettne Bloom.  They're top notch agents.
Unnamed Press - 16 deals
Opposites Attract - 1 deal (yikes)
 (a division of Torquere Press)
Groundwood Books - 5 deals 
(a division of House of Anansi, Canada)
Maybe some of these are imprints of larger pubs.
 The last two are imprints of a larger company, yes. Unnamed Press is a small press in LA.

One of the ways to evaluate small presses is see who is selling to them and if they're only doing digital books. See if they have an address and phone number listed at Publisher's Marketplace. See how many people are acquiring. Check the website for distribution, a catalog, a focus on selling books, rather than persuading authors to submit work.

E. D. Martin asked:
I'm confused about this: "A potential client who starts issuing instructions about what they want in a publishing contract is a bad risk." If authors are expected to take an active part in their writing career, shouldn't they have a say in the contract?
How much do you know about publishing contracts? Chances are you know less than I do. Even publishing lawyers often don't know the norms of publishing contracts. They know a lot about the law, less sometimes about how things actually work.

My clients know what their contracts say. If they have questions about it, they ask. They don't come in telling me what they will or will not accept. Quite rightly I hope, they have decided to work with me so they don't have to know that stuff. My job is to keep them out of the briar patch and they have confidence I will do so.

Of course if you have an idiot agent who doesn't negotiate the boilerplate contract from a publisher, or who can't explain to your satisfaction what something in the contract means, well then, you should be doing something proactive here. Like finding a competent agent.

Scott G asked:
Janet, if there's ever a time in my life when I am presented with an author/agency agreement, (if it's not yourself) could I hire you to look it over?
Sorry, no. If a prospective client of mine turned up with my agreement in hand, redlined by Felix Buttonweezer of Weezer, Beezer and Sneezer, LLC, that prospective client would find himself looking at the exit sign.  Felix at WB&S is a competitor. I'm not sure he'd have YOUR best interests at heart so much as grinning merrily at the idea of making my life miserable.

For contract review you want someone who's NOT a competitor. In this case it would be a publishing lawyer.  If you need names, let me know. I know some good ones.

Dena Pawling said:
Janet wrote "If the agent pushes back on this, watch for how they say it." I'm sure that also applies to how the writer asks the question. If OP would say "I demand this modification" that is quite a difference from "Can we discuss a modification".

I can certainly understand OP's question though, and the hesitation in asking about a modification. I remember just a few weeks/months ago [time flies as I get older] when Janet wrote in a blog post that her own agency agreement is not negotiable. But would Janet agree to modify her own agency agreement if the request was reasonable [similar to this request]? Or would that be a deal breaker? Or is just the fact of asking the question a deal breaker?
Yes indeed, how the question is framed is certainly important. Clients demanding anything are soon not-clients. I don't work well with that kind of mindset.

If it comes to pass that something needs to be changed in my agency/author agreement I'll certainly consider it carefully.  Generally I don't do modifications to the contract because I have the same expectations of and obligations to all my clients.  If one client wants funds remittted in three days, not five, that's an undue burden on our staff here to remember this ONE author has three days in his contract not five.

If an author wants me to accept deals on his behalf while he's in outerspace, I won't agree to it even though it will make life easier for all concerned. Our contract forbids it, and it's in the client's best interest to have that protection.  Instead I'd work with the client to have a third party able to agree on his/her behalf.

Eric Steinberg asked:
These types of questions and the answers kindly provided by Ms. Reid and other agents as to what types of clauses should or shouldn't be in literary agency contacts made me wonder something. Something I hope will someday be more than an academic questions.

How common or uncommon is it for a writer to have an attorney review a literary agency contract prior to signing? Thanks!
Not common at all. I've had several clients consult attorneys about the agency agreement, and generally the points they came back with were useless. And the clients got a nice fat bill, and no results.

Lawyers are problem finders by nature. You can't spell out every problem in a contract and mandate how it will be handled. At some point you have to have faith you've selected the right agent to work with. If you haven't, make sure the agency agreement lets you leave.

I haven't lost a single client who asked an attorney to review the agreement. I have not signed clients who came back with laundry lists of requested changes. My favorite was the man who wanted client funds in a trust account. He failed to understand that trust account has a specific meaning in bankers terms. We have (as mandated by AAR and good accounting practices) a separate dedicated account for client funds. It is a checking account however, not  "trust account"

On Saturday we talked about whether lousy sales figures follow you like a cloud

Shaun Hutchinson really nailed it here:
Sales figures are weird. My first book didn't do tanked actually. My second book hadn't come out yet when I split with my agent. When I started querying my third book, I got a lot of rejections that praised the book but then gave me vague reasons for the rejection. Whether they said so or not, I know a lot of the rejections were because of my crappy sales numbers for book 1. The wonderful agent I eventually signed with and I did talk about my crappy sales numbers, and she told me it would definitely be a challenge to sell my third book because of them, but that she believed in my third book enough to think we could overcome those sales numbers. And we did. We sold The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley, and more books after that.

Bad sales numbers definitely play a role in future book sales, but they are not the end of the world.

The Duchess of Yowl's last week here at Shark Summer Camp:

The Duchess of Yowl needs a deuce

The Duchess of Yowl points out the obvious

The Duchess of Yowl makes fetch happen

Now it's time for the week to come!


Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Oh dear, I will miss the Duchess of Yowl.

Thank you for the Week in Review! I feel like this week both flew by and crawled like a sloth through molasses, and I don't think I spent much time here at the reef. I did finally view the fantastic map of Carkoon, however! The treasure chest is a treasure indeed.

That breakdown of when advances happen is interesting, and I think the first time I've ever seen it even generally spelled out. But, that's happened here a lot, and is another reason I'm exceedingly grateful for this blog. Especially the point about contracts; (pretty much) everything I know about publishing contracts, I know from reading this blog, and it's already helped at least once and probably far more than that.

To update you fine folks on my upcoming short story publication, it'll be in the Summer issue (June 28) of The Sockdolager. I in fact woke up to edits in my inbox, just like a real writer!

I've also embarked on some rather intensive edits to whip a novella I wrote awhile ago into shape, and took a different approach from my usual. I printed it out, slapped it in a binder, and applied different colored pens (for character, symbolism, foreshadowing, etc.) and different colored post-its (for character, world building, and specific edits). It's left me feeling pretty good about the story I already have, and with a solid idea of how to move forward. It may be how I approach (attack?) my R&R, except that will be with 200 pages instead of 44......

Lennon Faris said...

Thank you for the wonderful WIR, Janet! Interesting on the client timelines for the reading/ signing. My initial thought was, those others must not have been as exciting to her. Then I realized how silly and stupid that is - you wouldn't sign someone you weren't head over heels for. And then I got your point. Sometimes there really just is no norm.

Jennifer - that is very exciting!! congrats again :)

Mark Ellis said...

I was just wondering, am I the only one here for whom Ms. Reid's blog is the only business-of-publishing site I regularly visit? It isn't that I think Janet is the be-all, end-all(Carkoon calling, or perhaps a murky reef on the day I decide to wear my Beluga whale-colored flippers?). It's that, like everybody, I have lot of other things to keep track of, to pay attention to, to read. Though I write, I do not have an indefatigable interest in the mechanics of getting published.
Between the posts, the comments and the links, there's very few questions that I haven't had answered here (including several as the OP.) If there's only one publishing/agenting blog you're going to have time or mental space for, is this it?

Off to Mass now, to pray for representation :)

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

As usual a great week in review. Though I did gliss over the titles and a few comments.

I saw Shaun's, that's good news.

Congratulations Jennifer. It sounds like you have found a method.

Yesterday I ordered my copy of the Singer from Memphis. The front cover will have a stamp from Shakespeare and Co. They couldn't order Donna's The Education of Dixie Dupree because it was too early to preorder.

And I'm waiting to hear from les bibliothèques de Paris if they'll aquire the Pericles Commission. When I put in the request, the librarian said, "Oh, the Athenian series." I said they should order the hole lot. In a few weeks they'll inform me either way.

Celia Reaves said...

Jennifer - great news! It must feel wonderful.

Janet, thanks again for another wonderful WiR. You do a great job summarizing everything and pulling it all together for us. It is much appreciated.

Again, no subheader noms this week? Not that I'm ready to replace Donnaeve's advice about expecting the unexpected just yet, but it's surprising nonetheless.

Panda in Chief said...

Jennifer, congratulations on your short story, if I haven't done that already, and heck, even if I have!. Thanks for calling my Carkoon map fantastic. :o)))))

Another informative week in review! Thanks everyone.

Mark, you are not wrong about the value of this blog. I learn so much here, which allows me to be a smarty pants know it all when talking to my mentor program buddies, many of whom are deep in the query trenches right now.

It's always an education and frequently funny. Keep it up ya'll!

Julie Weathers said...

Again, congratulations Jennifer!

Great WIR. I always miss so much and will miss more. I'll be on babysitting duty and away from the net during the day this summer.

Mark, I hit Janet's blog, Compuserve Books and Writers Lit Forum daily, Writer Unboxed sometimes, some author blogs.

Donnaeve said...

I was head down editing, and am SO glad I accomplished my daily goal so I could savor the WIR!

I think I'm almost depressed about the Duchess of Yowl's return across the great "ocean." (in her mind) No more DoY stories? Boo.

Thank you for the WIR! And especially for clarifying that PM thing. I think it was the way it was presented on PM that threw me...I could have sworn it was worded like XXXX story to The Book Group, like it was a publisher.

Here's to the week coming and I have to say, I hope it's a better one down heah!

Amy Schaefer said...

Oh, I've missed so much this week. And I've missed you all, woodland creatures. We've had a busy week getting the boat out of a terrible storm and into a safe harbour. And what did I grouse about while we were rocking from gunnel to gunnel? "This migraine is killing me; I'm too seasick to get my edits done." That's right: priorities.

If anyone would like to fret about something other than their own writing this week, send us good winds and calm seas for the 5-day passage we hope to start this morning.

John Davis Frain said...

Great, great stuff. Except you have me singing Under Pressure along with Queen and nobody likes it when I take to singing.

I like what your journeys with four authors you rep shows. There is no norm. I tell that to one of my sons often. If he doesn't believe me, I tell him to look in the mirror. And then I duck.

Amy, I'm a gonna vicariously live through you for the next five days. Good winds and calm seas sounds like the perfect editing weather. Probably no way to count exactly how many jealous fans you have out there, but you can count at least one.

Good writing week, y'all.

Dena Pawling said...

Hmmmm, Robin Hood hat. I'll have to think about that one for a bit. What I really was doing, was watching my kids shoot archery at a Boy Scout range. My husband is a rangemaster, and my kids are junior rangemasters, which means they help set up and clean up, but they also get to shoot. Both my boys have earned the highest archery award from the Camp Archery Association.

The good news is, while I watched them shoot last weekend, I finished reorganizing one of my ms into a MG which is where I think it needs to be. I'm now in the rewrite/edit stage.

>>I've had several clients consult attorneys about the agency agreement, and generally the points they came back with were useless. And the clients got a nice fat bill, and no results.

I will disagree that those clients had “no results.” Even if all the attorney did was explain the contract and say it looked reasonable and didn't raise any red flags, that's beneficial to the client, to have peace of mind that the contract looked reasonable to a third party attorney.

I'll miss the Duchess of Yowl. Congrats to Jennifer!

Where There's A Quill said...

I'm really looking forward to reading your story, Jennifer. "...we're thrilled to announce the fantastic lineup of contributing authors" -- Do you titter merrily every time you read that? I would.

Great, great stuff. Except you have me singing Under Pressure along with Queen and nobody likes it when I take to singing.

I start singing Ice Ice Baby by mistake just about every time I hear that song. Damn you, Vanilla Ice!

AJ Blythe said...

Again grateful for the week that was, as I missed quite a bit thanks to my youngest monkey who decided to share his germ - I've not had a voice for a number of days to the delight of my family who think it is hilarious. No sympathy here!

I also followed the link and read the article on Month9Books. Sadly it's a story I've heard/read before and no doubt will be repeated in the future.

While I feel for the authors caught in that terrible situation, the thing that caught me as most odd was the second edit note at the bottom of the post. The author had removed the term 'turned a deaf ear' and replaced it with 'ignored' because the original term was ableist.

Surely that's PC gone too far?

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Thank you, thank you for the WIR.
We're moving.
My daughter just gave birth to the most beautiful little girl on the planet.
Life is good but boy do I miss my reef time.

roadkills-r-us said...

Oh, queen, live forever, you said, "I really want to be The Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities."

Well, Smaug is dead. Normally that would leave the job open, Smut being MIA, but I suspect you need to arm wrestle Trump and Clinton for that title.

Mark asked, "I was just wondering, am I the only one here for whom Ms. Reid's blog is the only business-of-publishing site I regularly visit?"

Nope. But even when I have regularly visited others, nothing else has ever held me enough to make sure I read every. last. one.

WIP: 70k+ words. I'm in the home stretch for the first draft!

Kae Ridwyn said...

Dear Janet, thank you for yet another brilliant WiR - life here just seems so hectic that I am incredibly grateful these 'catch me up'. What a font of insanely useful information! I don't know how you do it, but boy oh boy am I glad that you do!

Mark, I'm with you. Janet's is the only writers' blog (well, the only blog, really!) that I have time to read - and that, not nearly as often as I'd like - but thank you Julie for other suggestions :)

Congrats, Carolynn with 2 N's, and stay safe in this weather, Amy,
and happy writing week to all!
*heads off to edit, picturing Dena in a Robin Hood hat*

nightsmusic said...

Thank you, Janet, for this week's WIR. Daughter 2 got married last Friday and it was a very long week in so many ways. I'm so glad to have a way to catch up.

Julie Weathers said...

Oh, Kae, those are only my preferences. I've been on B&W for over 20 years, so I am a fixture there. I enjoy Rachelle Gardner, but she hasn't been posting as frequently.

Amy good luck.

Congratulations to Carolynn and family.

I'll miss the Duchess.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

I always look so forward to the WiR when I get home from church and the days work is done. Thank you, Janet, for your time. And for answering my question. It is interesting--the breakdown of advances. And I'm in agreement with others. This blog is my first go-to for gathering knowledge about the fiction publishing business.

Congrats Jennifer. How exciting.

And Amy, praying for calm waters for you and your family.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Amy, safe passage and just enough wind to send you on your way.

Hey, we got us a storm coming named Colin, should be interesting.

Craig said...

Thank you my Queen for this WIR. If you decide you need a cat of your own I have a few you can choose from. They are feral at the moment but I doubt a shark needs a house cat.

The remark you noticed of course has a story behind it. A couple of youngsters I know went to a writing conference. They got their wishes and were transformed. It is a shame that it wasn't in a good way.

At one point I would have said it was a malicious thing but I was probably wrong. They got just enough information to make them dangerous. It also made them insufferable and dropped them further down the food chain.

I do know the reasons for many conferences and I have to visit six or eight a year. None of those are writing conferences yet. I will someday visit a few but I hope it will be as an inviting guest or at least an assignation.

Off topic: May this Tropical Storm pull the rain from Texas to give her a chance to dry out. Since I live where Colin will land I can say that. Florida is early in its rainy season and the ground here isn't yet saturated. We can handle it. We will end up with four or five more feet of water this year anyway.

I also hope Dena is far from that wildfire in LA.

Dena Pawling said...

Hey Craig, thanks for thinking of me!

Yes, fire season here in SoCal is well under way. Of the three fires currently burning here in SoCal, one is north of Los Angeles and two are in Riverside County. For those of you who like maps, there's a dedicated map of California fires -

I'm in Orange County [near Disneyland] so pretty much between the fires and not threatened. At least not yet.

I'd be glad to take some of Texas' rain. We could sure use it here.

Congrats to 2Ns on your new grandbaby! And Jennifer! And I wish Amy smooth sailing.

Colin Smith said...

Yay! WiR!! Thanks, Janet--and thanks for answering my Gary Corby question. I've thought about asking if I could interview Gary, but he really deserves exposure on a blog with a much higher traffic rate than mine. I might suggest a "Meet the Client" type of thing on this blog, where we submit questions a few weeks in advance, and Janet sends them to the client and posts the questions and answers... but that might be a Carkoonable offense, so forget I said anything. :)

2Ns: So, Colin comes to visit and everyone hides in their cellars and locks the doors. Story of my life... ;)

And here's Dena's link:

Colin Smith said...

PS: Janet--am I going to have to send you some Sam the Cat pictures to cheer you up? :)

Laina said...

I read a ton of Groundwood books. They print the Stella and Sam books, which are absolutely lovely, and have been made into a TV series. I actually just ordered several books they published for my "Canadian" Storytime.