Saturday, July 08, 2017

What are we sending to Mr. Sherman, Agent to the Bestsellers?

On Thursday I packed up a box of [somethings] for my boon companion in bourbon, Brooks Sherman.

Of course, any time there are boxes, and tape, and promises of an adventure, the animal life perks right up.

No exception that day. No sooner had I affixed the address than my pet spider (which we know is not an octopus) dropped in and start planning her entry into that box. (With eight legs, she can cut the tape, slide in, and retape the seams in while enclosed. I've seen her do it.)

However, she changed her mind when she heard what I was shipping over to Our Man Brooks.

Post your guess of what's in the box in the comment column.

Yes there will be a prize. There might be more than one.

Contest runs today only.


Anonymous said...

Obviously, you're shipping an octopus.

Why you're shipping an octopus to Brooks Sherman is another question entirely.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

The heck with what's in the box. Janet..."Our man Brooks"??
Oh my, I remember watching, Our Miss Brooks on TV. (Not Me TV either, the original)
Oh woe is me, am I really that old?
Hell yes.

Oh wait, okay what's in the box?

Summer toiletries
Emergency Food Supply Pack (lasts twenty-five years)
Water purifying kit, (sorry all shipped to Michigan)
Fishing line
Legal pads
#2 pencils
Swiss Army knife. (To sharpen pencils)
Flint (Michigan made)
Binoculars, so he can see(incoming)before he has to duck and cover as a result of:
Climate change
NK nuke

The spider is his lovey.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Jeff Somer's missing pants.
A cat.
The answer to 6 across in next Tuesday's crossword puzzle.
Unmarked antedote to spider venom just in case.

Steve said...

The obvious answer is Gwyneth Paltrow's head.
But since it's Brooks, and he was the librarian at Shawshank, I'm gonna say it's a rock hammer hidden inside a bible.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

You're sending him a squished and stuffed (flat flasked) whisky-bear(ing) koala to complement the latest Sean Ferrell book!

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

It's kind of amazing (or unsettling?) how often in the course of my day I get to organically yell "What's in the box?!"

Let's see....I think Mr. Sherman is being sent a beach towel, a Laird Barron ARC, a floppy hat, and some sunscreen (SPF 95).

CynthiaMc said...

Has to be liquor.

Susan said...

Sunshine and happiness*

*whisky and an ARC.

Gabby said...

Whiskey and a fine bottle of whiskey to complement the whiskey.

MA Hudson said...

Sean Ferrell's kids books that accidentally got sent to you.

Manda Zim said...

It's Janet's own entry into the "Humans are Weird" canon. It is about the most feared human/alien integration specialist in the alliance, a fierce woman with the keen eyes which see all.

The humans stationed on alliance ships both fear an inspection and revere her in a baffling (to the aliens) mix of hope, trepidation and adoration. Humans with a passing integration grade are sought for advanced missions, yet those that fail often feel they benefit the most and widely share their failure report.

Most terrifying to the aliens is her shark-like smile. They have been told humans bare their teeth in signs of friendship rather than aggression. But this smile is like no other.

Oh, and the box contains a delightful mix of chocolate and whiskey to accompany the story.

Donnaeve said...

The spider changed its Now what would cause a spider to do that?

Bug spray. You're sending bug spray.
And a scary book by Laird Barron

Micki Browning said...

Shrodinger's Cat. Not to be confused with the Duchess of Yowl. I hope.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

The complete, unabridged boxed set of his missing irony and unmitigated puns. Gift wrapped, of course.

Eileen said...

You're sending my YA manuscript with a recommendation. Thank you Janet!

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Schaefer said...

It's an old lady who swallowed a fly. Luckily, the spider can read and knows how that story goes.

Michael Seese said...

(sniff sniff)

Wait... After all theses years, could it be? Wilbur, is that you?

Hey, what does "kosher" mean?

Anonymous said...

Since Mr. Sherman and a few of his clients will be at Midwest Writers Workshop later this month, I'd guess you're sending:

Liquor (for evening festivities)
Your order for Waffle House
A cooler and freezer packs to ensure said order survives the trip back to New York

As to why Aragog decided not to rip open the package, he changed his mind when he heard you're sending Golden Oreos, instead of the original kind.

Ali Trotta said...

A pony!

Just kidding. Scotch.

Timothy Lowe said...

1.6 million snail mail queries addressed DEAR AGENT, to be sorted lovingly by genre and category, then returned for shredding.

Claire Bobrow said...

A couple of silk shirts and an ARC of "Web-less" - a dystopian thriller in which robotic spiders equipped with AI take over the world.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I know, only one entry per person, but big news...


BJ Muntain said...

Okay. First belly-laugh of the day goes to "(which we know is not an octopus)", because I remembered that post. (And I still say it can be an octopus if you want it to be an octopus.)

My guess: Gary Corby ARCs.

(Hoping I'm not copying anyone - I'm posting before I read the comments, so I don't spoil my guess before I guess it.)

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Little Miss Muffet's severed head, a water spout coated with tar and Green Goblin's carcass still in rigor mortis. And it comes with an assembly manual co-written by Laird Barron and Jeff Somers.

This assembly manual will then be sold by Brooks Sherman as a Middle Grade Nightmare Picture Book.

Morgan Hazelwood said...

Booker's Bourbon and a giant iguana who thought she looked tasty.

Kathryn said...

Glitter. Filled to the brim with it.

Panda in Chief said...

Obviously, it is a box of cuppycakes, to be served with the 16 year old scotch which was also included. EMPTY bottle of 16 year old scotch. A full bottle made the package weigh too much.

Megan V said...

I do hate to point this out, but unless that's Mosag then your she is a he. Poor Aragog. Always getting confused for something he's not. First an octopus, then his wife.

There is only one thing acromantulas fear above all other—basilisks. Therefore, you must be sending Brooks a basilisk...chardonnay? A basilisk frappucino? Surely you wouldn't send him a real basilisk!

BJ Muntain said...

Hmm. My guess wasn't as funny as everyone else's. So I guzzled a bit more coffee and studied the picture more intently...

Hmm. Priority Mail 1-Day. Must be urgent.

Large Flat Rate Box. I had to go to the USPS website to see what that was all about. A flat rate, no matter how heavy? Sounds like books to me...

So... Mr. Sherman is collecting books to send to the Friends of the Library for a special sale, and Ms. Shark is clearing older non-client books off her shelves to make way for all her newer client books. The box contains books that she is reluctantly donating, knowing they're going to a good cause, but still watching them sadly leave. A few tears may have fallen into the box...

Shark tears are deathly poisonous to octospiders, so your pal decided not to be in an enclosed space with them.

...Or maybe it's fresh fish, and the octospider decided not to go along because, if USPS is anything like Canada Post, 1-day could become 1-week, and that fish in that small space would make it hard for even an octospider to breathe. If she hasn't tried to nibble on the Shark yet, she may even be allergic to seafood...

...Or maybe it's Gary Corby ARCs to hand out at a conference that's coming up quickly.

Dena Pawling said...

It's a Large Flat Rate Box. The address where it's going is in NYC, with an almost-identical zip code to where it originated [as opposed to, say, another Sherman who lives at 42 Wallaby Way]. Therefore, for a flat rate box make sense, the item must be heavy [otherwise a standard rate box would be less expensive].


Something heavy....


Spider changed her mind....


Must be a book. Or several.

Donald Trump's tax returns????


My guess is ARCs you're sending for distribution at a conference.

sophistikitty said...

A dozen arachnophobes and a flamethrower.

Unknown said...


TS Rosenberg said...

The Macguffin, of course!

Unknown said...

Hmmmm... How bout VHS copies of classic Barbara Walters specials and a pet crow for his new digs? (That definitely merits priority 1-day shipping.)

Colin Smith said...

It's John Frain's manuscript of course. And Sox the Spoctoper (spider-octopus) knows that NOTHING is worthy to share a box with THE MANUSCRIPT.

(Yes, I named him Sox, because every flash fiction contest, he gets blown away.)

Unknown said...

The tears of his enemies, the head of an Irishman, a bottle of bourbon, the pure soul of a newly minted author and some Arctic snowflakes encapsulated in polymer.

Craig F said...

FIFTY SHADES OF... The trilogy.

Maybe it is the TWILIGHT SERIES

Marty Weiss said...

The box contains a Spiderman costume.

Inktruffle said...

Coffee and a get-out-of-jail-free card good for escaping one unsolicited office phone call.

Unknown said...

Uh, guys? I think you're missing the obvious.

Byobrooks is an agent. What do agents need more than anything else?

Honestly, it's not that tough a riddle!

Agents need MORE TIME. Janet is sending him more time.

Why the flat rate envelope? To disguise it, of course. Most people want more time, so Janet has to pretend it's a box of books, so no one will steal it.

Why didn't the spider climb in?

Geez, do I have to do all the thinking here? Did you ever see a spider wearing a watch?

He didn't climb in because SPIDERS DON'T NEED MORE TIME!

You're welcome. ;)

The Sleepy One said...

You're sending Brooks a "build your own" shark kit so he can begin terrorizing his own interns since he's moved on from padawan to full Jedi-status (to mix my metaphors). But you left out a few pieces of the shark-kit to remind him that you're still a few steps (swishes?) ahead.

The Sleepy One said...

note: my comment should read "interns and junior agents", not just interns. :)

Unknown said...

Okay, so I really want to know what's in that box.

Everyone who has read Harry Potter knows that spiders flee from a basilisk, but why would you be sending Brooks a deadly snake? You like Brooks. You would not want to see him petrified.

I hear there are ARCs available of Nick Petrie's new book, but if you got your fins on one I can't imagine you sharing it.

So now I've determined the two things that are not in the box.

Though you share Sean Ferrel as a client, I know he's not in the box because he tweeted something today that was not "Help! I'm n a box."

Liquor you would have packed and shipped directly from the store.

Spider is afraid of it. Not an ARC. Not Sean. Not alcohol.

So obviously it's ---

*background noise of ferocious struggle as beloved iPad is ripped away*

Hi. This is Jenny's daughter. Mom made me promise to keep her off Twitter and all other forms of social media until she's completed draft 1 of her WIP. And besides, it's a beautiful day. You people should be outside or something.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

To be using a flat rate box for crosstown, it is something heavy.

For the pet spider to be terrified to enter the box, it is something spiders instinctively fear and avoid at all costs.

Duh, it's obvious.

You're sending Brooks Sherman a vacuum cleaner.

Don't feel bad folks, I'm a trained professional.


Karen McCoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You sent him Death on Delos (An Athenian Mystery)by Gary Corby and an autographed picture of Paul Rudd.

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

I remember listening to Our Miss Brooks on the radio.

I have no idea what may be in the box, as I only just got back from three days on Pioneer Trek and my brain as well as my body is shot.

I thought it might have been mss that doesn't suit Her Sharkness' list but does suit Our Man Brooks'. That explains why the spider had to sneak in for the ride.

Then I thought maybe it's a bunch of books she's read and wants to share. Passing books on to others can help authors somewhat. It's another form of word-of-mouth.

It's probably something more eclectic.

RosannaM said...

With fourth of July in the rear view mirror, Janet was feeling a wee bit bored. Never one to drown in the dreaded doldrums, she assembled her package with care. The spider took one look and spun off Tarzan-like through the jungle of books.

The box filled with hollow, lightweight orbs, sharp-pointed throwing spears, a blindfold and a poster of a tailless jackass was ready to go to Mr. Sherman.

Janet's teeth gleamed as she set out the polished glasses and the bourbon. Bar games and bourbon. The cure-all.

french sojourn said...

"Well lookie here, got a box from the Sharque."

"Open it up."

*sound of cardboard being ripped open.*

"Damn, check it out."

"Well, what is it?"

"Seems we got...shit...!"

"Spill it out..."

"It's a bunch of spastic semi-colons, irritable vowels, and some leftover dangling participles."

"Why in God's green earth, would someone send her this?"

"Looks like leftovers from Query Shark."

"Damn, that's gonna leave a mark!"

Anonymous said...

It's me.

I am in the box.

I guess poor Mr. Sherman didn't realize when he cheekily told you, "Feel free to send along anything off-beat, slightly disturbing, and/or not quite right in the head you run across," you'd take him literally.

Janet Johnson said...

Well clearly it's a plunger because while they are super useful for climbing buildings if you are not a spider, no one, and I mean NO ONE wants to be trapped in a box with one.

Karen McCoy said...

As Jenny Chou said, it can't be a basilisk...the spider (he or she) wouldn't get within spitting distance of that package.

My money was on webs, or something related to the new Spider-Man Homecoming movie, until I saw this quote: "However, she changed her mind when she heard what I was shipping over to Our Man Brooks."

No webs, then. Perhaps Spider-Man himself?

Anonymous said...

It's a new laptop pre-loaded with a backlog of 40 requested fulls.
Nah, you wouldn't do that.

It's the crushed hopes and dreams of a thousand writers, lightly seasoned with their bitter tears.
Nah, that's your favourite snack food. Plus, probably he has his own.

Oh, I know! It's framed copies of the NYT bestseller lists where all his clients appear.
*BEAMS* Am I good at this, or what?

LynnRodz said...

Oh, the irony of it all! It's heavy, it's's none other than my great-grandmother's special recipe Christmas fruitcake that I sent you back in December. It's obvious the spider knows a good thing when he sees one. And you didn't even have a piece. At least Brooks knows what goes good with a nice bourbon.

Happy Christmas in July, Brooks! Enjoy the fruitcake.

Kate Higgins said...

.....Spider eggs.......

Kae Ridwyn said...

Insect spray?
Here, it's just gone midday and I've a heater blasting at my feet, but there in America it's hot, right? Have more bugs than usual infected NYC?

T.C. Galvin said...

Out of curiosity, I googled "What do spiders hate?" (I really hope no one ever checks my search history - I wander down a lot of internet rabbit holes).

In any case, the answers were fantastic. Turns out spiders hate peppermint, vinegar, citrus, tobacco, lady bugs, pets (other than lady bugs) and chestnuts (supposedly - not actually sure how that one is supposed to work).

Accordingly, I guess that the box contains a peppermint scented cat with a pet lady bug that smokes citrus flavoured tobacco and sleeps in a bed of chestnuts. I've left the vinegar out as posting vinegar to someone would be a ridiculous thing to do.