Wednesday, September 15, 2021

A Publishing Industry Glossary

Just for fun,  Posted by: Rick Walton  

   Date: Sat Jun 18, 2011 

Whenever I spend a great deal of time involved in something, my mind starts rebelling, and twisting it out of shape and it spit out the following:

A Publishing Industry Glossary

Author--the costume a writer puts on when he goes to a cocktail party.

Auction--a contest where two or more editors race to see who can show the most irrational exuberance.

Advance--the best proof that your project is moving forward.

ARC-- a vessel you send out into the ocean of reviewers, hoping it floats instead of sinks.

Backlist--books still in print, but which the publisher hides behind his back so they are hard to see.

Book--a rectangular device for immortalizing the person whose name is inscribed on it. Not to be confused with "headstone".

Contract--a document which, if held to the same standards as its subject, would require serious editing.

Cover letter--a letter designed to cover the weaknesses in your manuscript.

Critique--hopefully advice to help you turn your pony into a racehorse, but too often the suggestion that you turn your pony into an alligator.

Designer--a person who proves that people do indeed judge a book by its cover.

Dialogue--what people might say in real life if it were edited for clarity, conciseness, and for necessity to the plot. In other words, nothing at all like what people say in real life.

Draft--a manuscript with still enough holes in it to let the wind blow through.

E-book--E stands for everyone, as in everyone now will think they can write a book.

Editor--a young woman with just slightly more power than God. 

Editorial Board--a plank that your book is forced to walk by the captain of the publishing ship. Sometimes the book is allowed to come back and join the crew. But most of the time the book is pushed into the ocean.

Endpapers--a great place to write notes when you're out of notepaper, which is why they should be plain white.

Fiction--what a writer tells himself to make him believe he can write something people will pay money for.

Graphic novel--a comic book that went to college.

Hardcover--the best kind of book to use as a murder weapon.

Imprint--one of the personalities exhibited in a publisher's multiple personality disorder.

ISBN--Intercontinental Satellite-Based Nuke. What an author wishes they had access to when they get a bad review.

Jacket--an outer covering designed to make a cool book hot.

Line editing--editing that does not require you to wrap your mind around the whole plot, as substantive editing does, but which allows you to work while standing in the grocery store line, the bank line, the DMV line,...

Mass-market--a type of book that most of the time the masses, with great enthusiasm, ignore.

Option clause--a contract clause that gives you the option to either say, "No thank you, take it out." Or, "Are you out of your mind? Take it out!"

Print on demand--polite people say "print on request".

Publication date--a blind date set up between your book and the reader. You hope for a long-term relationship, but too often it results in your book being stood up.

Publisher--a company that is looking for something new and fresh as long as it has been done before.

Quill--if it was good enough for Shakespeare, it is good enough for you.

Reader--a very smart person who likes your book, or one who is not so smart who doesn't.

Rejection--a necessary evil, unless it involves my manuscript, then it is a totally unnecessary wrong.

Remainder--also known as "reminder". A step in the publishing process designed to remind you that you aren't as hot as you were starting to think you are.

Royalty--a British term for when publishers send the author lots of small pieces of paper with pictures of royalty on them in exchange for publishing their books. American publishers kept the term, in spite of the fact that our small pieces of paper do not have pictures of royalty on them, because they are afraid that if it was called "president", we would hear it as "precedent" and start expecting them to send us those little pieces of paper more often.

Typewriter--the best writing device ever to use as a murder weapon.

Unsolicited submission--a twisted form of attempted adoption where you give your dear child away to someone who doesn't want it.

Vanity press--a variation of "van o' depressed". So-called because you end up depressed with a van full of books.

Young adult--the average age of editors today.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Keep reaching for your goal

I'm listening to a video chat from the national SCBWI conference about setting and achieving your career goals- and it occurred to me that I have actually done this. I had a full-time job in a library (around wonderful children, wonderful co-workers, and books books books.) I also wanted to write books. I ended up writing many books and over 40 of them were published. We won't talk about the ones still filling drawers in my office filing cabinets. And for about a year I was a famous author. :) (then I went back to being a working mom who wrote books in her "spare" time. :) )

I also reached my goal of performing as a musician and hanging out with other musicians (in college) and later with music fans. (followed the Moody Blues for a while and even got to meet them for a quick minute backstage with a friend.)
I got very, very tired of shoveling snow (one year we had over 4 feet of snow - in Maryland!) So I now live in the land of eternal springtime - southern California coast.
I wanted more instruction about writing, so I went for a second masters degree (the first was in Library Science that I attended with my husband), at VCFA - Vermont College of Fine Arts, writing for Children and young adults.
Have I reached all my goals? nope. If you stop reaching for goals, you shrivel up and die.
So I keep reaching.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

9-11 memories

 I was getting dressed for the day, going to run some errands before going to work. Watching TV while getting dressed. The Today show was almost over when the person talking suddenly stopped. Said, "something's happening." And the TV picture suddenly showed the first tower crumbling. AND THEN WE SAW ON TV THE SECOND PLANE HIT THE SECOND TOWER! 

I called my workplace and asked them to drag the TV set into the children's room (where the cable wire was), plug it in and watch what was happening. When I went into work at noon, it was still running and it ran all day and evening (the plane into the pentagon and then the plane down somewhere in Pennsylvania). My desk was about 6 feet from the TV set. People would come into the library and either stand and watch or sit on the floor and watch. 

Any town that had a tower they called a World Trade Center (Baltimore did) immediately put some sort of defense around it. For the next few years jet planes flew from the Air Force base in Delaware above our heads, down to Washington, DC and circled around it for hours to defend the capital. We attended meetings in Washington, DC knowing that it was target number one for any terrorist. scary times. We expected more attacks, that never came. The suspense was killing us. We religiously watched the news.

I was scheduled to fly to the National Storytelling Festival the next month and kept waiting and waiting for when the government would allow planes to fly again -- they opened up for flying just a few days before I was scheduled to fly. But airports had changed. Nervious teen age soldiers with big guns were guarding everywhere and threatening anyone who stepped a little bit out of line. I could tell they were afraid of the masses of people surging through the airport, considering us all terrorists.   

A few months later as we were waiting at the airport for my daughter to fly home for Christmas, we no longer could sit comfortably at the plane gate. We were all crowded in front of the security gates, waiting for our relatives to walk to us. At one point my 3 or 4 year old granddaughter got very restless and began dancing. She danced out into the space between us and the boys with army rifles -- and they aimed their guns at her and shouted at her. Of course she couldn't understand and they threatened us when we started into the empty space to go get her. So, we had to stand still and entice her to come back to us. A scary time was had by all. (and don't get me started about the having to take your shoes off a few years later -- with NO seating on the other side to enable us older people to put our tie shoes back on. grrrrrr.)

Monday, August 30, 2021

Cub Hill House in Maryland

This is a front view of our old house (built in 1740) in Maryland.  It's called The Cub Hill house and the neighborhood around it is called Cub Hill. 

    There are 2 acres of land attached to this house, the remains of acres and acres of the original farmland that was sold off for development. That's when my husband's parents bought the house and the 2 acres. The house was a wreck and they spent a long time making it habitable, living in it all the while. They couldn't afford to buy the other acre and a half where the barn was located, so another person bought that. The property was overgrown and his parents bought several goats (male goats are very stinky) to chomp on the underbrush until they finally had space for a lawn. Parts still are wooded area, but there is a large front and back lawn. 

Another part is where there was a quarter acre garden that I planted and took care of and canned the produce. We moved in (with two children) to help his older parents take care of the place because it was getting to be too much for them. Then we inherited it. But we were both working full time, so no more garden. 

This is the front of the house which used to face Old Harford Road (when it was called The Harford Road, but over the years the road has moved away from the house and now runs along side it. Because of that, we never used the front entrance, just one of the three back entrances to access the back yard and the car parking area. 

When my husband died, I knew my granddaughter and I couldn't keep it up ourselves. (it was a huge job to shovel out to the road during snowstorms) So I sold the place and moved to California where my children are now living. (yay - no more snow) 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Remembering the 1960 sit ins, and how things were still bad in 1968

 I went to grad school in Kentucky at UK in 1967-8. I worked part time at a downtown department store and often grabbed a bite of lunch at the lunch counter nearby. By that time it was way after the 1960 sit-ins and everyone was supposed to be served at lunch counters by then. Well, I sat down next to an elderly black guy and the waitress soon came over to take my order. I had noticed that the guy beside me had been trying to get her attention for some time to make his order, so I told her that I'd wait/ he was first. It wasn't until later that I realized that she had been ignoring him but was serving white people only. She probably took one look at "college girl with long hair probably a hippie" and realized that I was serious when I refused to let her serve me first.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Beach Day - Florida v. the east coast

We would drive down from Maryland to the Florida Panhandle to visit my parents during our children's Thanksgiving Vacation time. 

When we went swimming in the (warm to us) Gulf on one of the Florida Panhandle beaches reserved for the Air Force (permission granted by my brother), some 'official' looking guys drove us and yelled at us, "What do you think you're doing?" We shouted back, "Swimming." They simply shook their heads and drove off and we continued with our beach day. (we were the only people there) 

It wasn't until we visited them one August that we realized why those men were worried about us. The water was bathtub Warm! At Thanksgiving time, the water in Florida seemed normal to us because it was the temperature of ocean water off the coast of New Jersey and Maryland during the summer. 

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Your place in space

 Do you get lost easily? I hardly do. (but when I do I get really discombobulated) I usually know when I'm going north or south (north is up. I actually feel that I'm going up when I go north and definitely feel I'm going down when I go South). 

I also have precise visual spacing. (when my husband packed the car for a trip there was stuff left outside the car that he couldn't figure out where to put. So I'd pull everything out and then everything fit. Not only that, but the kid's car busywork and toys were on top and the snacks were accessible.)  

My second child had no sense of direction. She'd call me late at night saying she somehow found herself in Pennsylvania and couldn't find her way home. So I'd pull out a map and direct her.  

My husband would ask - how much further to go. So I'd say = about one inch. He had no idea what one inch on the map meant time wise. On long trips we would trade driving responsibilities. Once when we were on a trip, he directed me to drive across a bridge INTO the next state. No we weren't supposed to go that direction. From then on he preferred to drive and let me do the directing. (Let's not talk about the time I was the one who accidentally got us headed across the Hudson river into New York City. No, we didn't want to go into the city. We were headed home and he should have taken the second exit (to the west) instead of the first exit (to the east) that got us to a bridge toll station. This confusion must happen all the time at that spot because they actually had a turn-around there so we could get going into the correct direction.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

The worst boss I ever had

During a discussion of 'the worst bosses you've ever had' this was my contribution: 

We had a branch manager who was soooo unqualified. All of us had college degrees and some of us had master's degrees, but she treated us as if we were college students working part time for her. (she came from being in charge of a situation like that in a college library) She'd sit in her office all the time and assign long hours on the information desk to us. But we had a lot of background work we needed to do, some out in the library book stacks and some back in our own office. So I began working an hour or so after my 8 hours, just to catch up the back office work. Guess what - then she simply assigned me to work those overtime hours on the information desk "as long as I was staying late." grrrrr. But she wouldn't let me take time off for all the overtime she assigned me.  My overtime hours grew and grew. We were not paid for overtime, but legally we were supposed to take an equal amount of time off.

She never did figure out why we kept going into the book stacks to handle the books, deciding which books needed to be weeded and tossed or replaced. No, she thought we should be at the information desk all the time. (but that she never needed to do that or to work handling the books)

We never knew our working hours - day shift or 12 to 8 shift - from week to week. Eventually she admitted she drank a six pack of beer while writing out the desk schedules and weekly schedule. (it showed)  

Several people gave up and quit and found other places to work. Even I was searching for another place. Individual complaints to administration didn't work; she was able to convince admin that it was we who were bad workers.  

Finally a coworker and I got together, made a list and made a presentation to admin of all the things she did and didn't do. (One of the administrators finally had to accept that something was wrong - with the branch manager - which was hard because she was the administrator who had chosen this branch manager to work for the library system.)  

So, she was transferred out and we got a competent branch manager. I think I was the only librarian left out of the librarian staff by that time; everyone else had found new jobs. At that point I hadn't yet accepted the alternate job I had been offered. News note -- she was transferred to a larger branch, not as branch manager. However they did give her the job of creating the work schedules and boy did they learn quickly how rotten she was at that.  

Yes, she was fired. Good!

Saturday, July 17, 2021

I like cats, not dogs

 Our family had both dogs and cats.  I just wish dogs weren't so smelly.  A lot of my family have a poor sense of smell and therefore don't mind smelly dogs, picking up their smelly poop, or mucking out the horse's stall.

Not for me, sorry.  Just give me a purring cat who is constantly cleaning grooming herself.

And what's with this female dog's mensuration all over the furniture? What a mess.  Cats don't have that. 

By now you've probably guessed who was in charge of the dogs in our family and who was in charge of the cats. 

NO LICK, dog!  No lick.  (our dogs learned to greet me with a big sloppy lick -- 6 inches away from my body.  Thank you, dog.  Nice dog.)

Friday, July 9, 2021

Four year old boy proposes marriage to hundreds

 My brother, when he was four, proposed marriage to over a hundred females, beginning with his mother and sisters. Including Grace Kelly. (she accepted as did most of the others)  

When Grace Kelly married the prince of Monaco, our father teased the now teen aged boy that he should sue for breach of promise.  

How did we know Grace Kelly? We rented a house in Stone Harbor, NJ for two weeks, played with Grace Kelly's nieces and often said 'Hi' to her as we cut through her family's yard to get to the beach every day. My brother was a charmer then - and is a charmer today.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Tracking the advance of the 2020 pandemic

I've just finished reading a book you must read.

614.5924 Lewis, Michael. The Premonition, a Pandemic story.
Excellent step by step how scientists and health people discovered and tracked the invasion of the pandemic virus while the federal government was ignoring it.

Very well-written. Very readable. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Kids make birthdays better

 Sunday was my birthday and today my grandchildren came over and gifted me with some yardwork.  

I now have a well-swept front patio. (Two tall long- needle pines keep dumping stuff there) Plus they attacked the spider plants that had put out long stems with baby spider plants on the ends looking for a good place to grow. The kids managed to trim every one. (I already have a side bed full of spider plants and really don't need more - so snip, snip and toss)

Friday, May 28, 2021

Too many Jennifers

 My daughter didn't have a name for several days after she was born. Her wrist band said, Baby Old.  

Why? Because we had only arrived at the hospital with boy's names because his mom insisted that their family only had boys. Well, she was a girl. I waited until my husband came to visit us in the hospital so we could discuss girl's names and we settled on Jennifer. So I called down to the hospital register's office and told her we'd decided on Jennifer and it was spelled.... She stopped me right there. Very patiently she told me that she knew how it was spelled. How? Because of a popular movie in 1972, Jennifer was the top baby girl's name.  

Jen had 5 Jennifers in her elementary school class, over 25 in her middle school class and graduated high school with over 100 Jennifers. !!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

My garage

In my garage  I have a guitar. I do not play that instrument. Nor the piano keyboard that is in a box, leaning up against the wall. Both are in my garage. Plus a violin.  

Did I ever play those instruments? No. I played woodwinds - bassoon and clarinet. Relatives played those other instruments. Oh - let's put them into grandma's garage.  

Some people store their car in their garage. Is that was a garage is for? Not my garage. My garage is where others store their things. Luckily I do have a driveway where I can park my car.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

George Washington Carver Program

When I worked as a children's librarian, I would do a program for Black History month about George Washington Carver and the many improvements he made. I also talked about peanuts and we did experiments comparing roasted peanuts (in the shell) with raw peanuts (in the shell).  

After the kids had taken the shells off of a lot of them, I took some of the roasted ones, tossed them into a blender and made peanut butter.  

Then I held a peanut butter tasting contest. I had previously bought a variety of types of peanut butter - 'natural,' famous brands, chunky, and creamy. I then had all the kids come up and taste each one and vote on the one they thought was the best. (if the homemade peanut butter had turned out okay, I would also include that one.) For sanitary reasons, I had bought a box of hundreds of spoons (from Costco) so they could use a spoon to taste, throw it into the trash can, then pick up a clean spoon for the next taste. Talley the votes. Proclaim a winner.  

Then hold a raffle to give out the remaining peanut butter jars plus send the kids home with the extra peanuts.  

Anyone who wanted to grow peanuts went home with some raw peanuts. They would come back later to tell me about how the plant grew.  

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Gary Paulsen - Gone to the Woods

 Once, a publisher asked me to write a biography of Gary Paulsen.  I wasn't sure how to go about it; how to contact him. And because there was very little already written about him, I had no resources to draw from.  At that point computers were white letters on a blue screen or black letters on a green screen and the internet was just being organized - just words, no pages, no pictures. So I went on to other projects.

But today you can read his life story as written by himself.

Gone to the Woods, Surviving a Lost Childhood (NY: Farrar Straus Giroux publisher) is the autobiography you should read.  Full of grit and growing up, this tale tells how he practically raised himself because his parents were drunks.  And he tells it like an adventure tale, even referring to himself as 'the boy.' 

He preferred to be in the woods or working on someone else's farm and kept running away from home. From school.  Finally, when he was a teen, he discovered that libraries were warm places to lurk in. Then -- the librarian gave him a book.  He couldn't read well, but the librarian gave him more books and he became a person who devoured books. And then -- the librarian gave him a notebook and he wrote a story. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Treat everyone like they are Real People

After I retired from being a children's librarian, I stopped by the library where I had worked to pick up a book and ran into a boy who is intellectually disabled who used to come into the library a lot when I worked there.  He was so happy to see me He had thought I was dead, because I hadn't been there to help him find the books he liked.  But the part that melted my heart was when he said that I was the only one there who treated him like a Real Person. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

It's all the fault of Easter Eggs

So many people are complaining that they've gained weight during the pandemic.  Me?  I've been losing weight for the past five years -- 20 pounds so far.

But - the reason I'm gaining weight this past month is the usual one for this time of year - Easter Candy.  Sees has the most delicious easter eggs and  I love the Mayfair ones - dark chocolate covered easter egg with cream filling stuffed with nuts, candied cherries and other good stuff.  Yum. 

Since I always eat salad for lunch, when I run out of my Sees Mayfair easter egg stash, my weight will get back on it's gradual losing weight thing again. 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Squirrels attack

 Squirrels would chew through the plastic bins we kept the bird food in, then attack the bird food. 

So we went to metal trash cans for the bird food, and they figured out how to pry the lids off, 

So we began putting bricks on top of the lids to the metal cans -- and they finally couldn't get into the bird food.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

When I log into a Zoom meeting

Want to know why my square on Zoom is always black?

It's because when I log into a meeting/ lecture, Zoom shows me what my picture will look like at the zoom meeting. And I rear back and mutter, "Who IS that old, ugly person?" and choose No Video.  

No matter that I even showered and wore nice clothes to the meeting, my zoom square is black. (with my name on it) 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Let a child be bored

I had two 10 year old boys at my house on Saturday. They were bored. Complained that they were bored. I ignored them. Told them I wasn't there to entertain them. 

So - they played hide and seek. They raced around the neighborhood on their scooters, one of them teaching the other how to do stuff. They got into my child instruments. played the Kazoo. Did such a good job on the drums that I think they should join a drum line. 

They did what kids used to do before electronics were invented.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

a history of typewriters - as experienced by me

I've lived through the whole history of typewriters:

From the old Remington typewriters, a portable typewriter in college, the MTST machine (the first word processor) various electric typewriters (one of which my husband broke when he got frustrated while writing an antique MG article for a magazine), a Commodore 24 (wrote many stories and my first published book on it) , The Apple IIe, the first iMacs, the more advanced flat screen iMac, and now I use the iMac with a bluetooth mouse and bluetooth keyboard.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

You Never Forget Your first

 I just finished reading YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST, a biography of George Washington.  by Alexis Coe.

Oh My. This is so, so, so much better than the So-called book supposedly about Mary Ball Washington written by Craig Shirley who inserted every boring thing he found, making that book mostly about George, not Mary.  

You Never forget Your First is thoroughly interesting reading. Fascinating Facts. (I love fascinating facts and always insert as many as I can into my own biographies.) Even her bibliography/ chapter notes at the end were sprinkled with more interesting comments.

Highly Recommend
for Middle Schoolers, Teens, and all the rest of us adults.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

We Dream of Space

 I'm reading the Newbery honor book - We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly - and suddenly I discover the protagonist's class is getting ready for the liftoff of The Challenger, January, 1986.  The liftoff that killed every person aboard.  The liftoff that, because one of the  astronauts was a teacher, almost every kid in the United sSates was watching.  And every kid (and any adult around them) was traumatized by this event.

My daughter was home sick from school, so as I usually do, I set up our portable TV in her room so she could watch this event.  Just like every child in the USA was doing in school. 

Suddenly she began screaming.  I rushed into her room. Discovered the explosion.  That the TV played over and over and over again. (I turned off the TV and hugged my child)

I don't think I can finish this book.  Too many terrible memories.  I've already begun crying and the book hasn't even gotten to this event.

Monday, January 25, 2021

The 2021 Awards for the Best Books of 2020

 Yay - the ALA Youth Media Award list is now up on the ALA website.  

I"m printing it out so I can reserve all the winners from my libraries. 

(I have access to two library systems, so - off I go.)

Friday, January 22, 2021

Taking walks these days

 I often used to take my mile walk at a local large (outdoor) shopping center. (most of them are outdoor, not inside buildings, in southern California) 

About a year ago I noticed Asian people wearing masks while the rest of us didn't. At first I felt sorry for them thinking that they were ill or immune compromised and needed to protect themselves. In a month or two I changed my feelings about this and thought they were smart to wear masks and a month or two after that I too was wearing a mask when I took that walk there.  

However, I haven't even thought of walking there since October -- too many people. I now walk in my quiet, suburban neighborhood where there are few cars and when other people approach me, on their own walks, I simply move out into the road so that we can pass safely.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Exploring the Capitol Building in Washington, DC

 Watching the invasion of the Capitol building today by the insurrectionists attempting a coup, I was reminded of the time when my children and I explored the place.

It used to be that anyone could just walk into the Capitol, and if you looked like you knew what you were doing, nobody would question you. 

In the late 1980s I took two elementary (or middle school children, I forget which) with me, but nobody bothered us. We wandered around the first floor, then I wanted to take the kids up to the peanut gallery where average people could watch the proceedings. So we found an elevator. But someone pushed the basement button. So when the door opened there, we decided to explore. So interesting. Pipes hanging from the ceiling. Lots of grey paint. Some doors to offices were open and we saw people having discussions. We must have walked the full length of the Capitol before someone came out of an office and asked us what we were doing. I replied, oh so innocently, that we were looking for where the kids could overlook Congress, so he directed us to an elevator and punched the number for the correct floor for us. More wandering (more offices) until we finally arrived at the balcony overlooking one of the houses of Congress. Which was not in session at the time. darn.  

Now, of course, there are all sorts of examination points you have to pass and they'll probably direct you to a tour guide.

Friday, January 1, 2021