Sunday, July 31, 2011

Random Tidbits

Random updates and tidbits this week!

This round of rewriting Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack is done. I know I'll see it again when the copy editor takes a crack at it, but for now, off it goes.

Oh. Those of you who are into the business of writing may be interested in payment structure. It used to be you received 50% of your advance upon signing, and then 50% upon "acceptance"...acceptance being at the stage where your editor says "cool beans" and passes the manuscript off to the copy editor.

In other words, now.

(Assuming, of course, that she says "cool beans" which, by the way, is an expression I adopted from her.)

But with "the economy" there's been a restructuring of payment so now it's 1/3 on signing, 1/3 on acceptance, and 1/3 on publication.

Next tidbit:

I'm "training" for a new marathon. It's more like slogging out the miles. Those of you who have followed along here know that every  marathon I run I swear is my last. And I really thought the last one was.

But then my son said he was thinking he'd like to train this summer for his first marathon.

And then my other son said he'd do it, too.

So the 4 of us are doing a "family marathon" where we'll all run together for Exercise the Right to Read with the goal of crossing the finish line together.

But my younger son is having second (third and fourth) thoughts. So getting him up in the morning to do our runs has been...challenging.

After all, it's summer and, more to the point, he's a teenager.

Today our training chart called for a 12 miler -- the furthest distance yet. So I mapped a route that I thought might help keep our reluctant runner trucking along...including a detour to his girlfriend's house. I'm happy to report that it went fairly well and that we can check off the 12 mi in the box on the refrigerator.

(Don't tell my son, but I'm sore and tired and wondering why in the world I'm doing this again.)

Next tidbit:

Risky Whippet (family rock band!) played at a party this week--just a handful of songs but it was loud and raucous and fun.

My sons have been having a "do you remember" summer and decided they wanted to watch The Sword & the Stone VHS video from their childhood.


I donated that to Goodwill.

"What about our other videos?"

"Uh...donated. We could get your favorites on DVD?"

"No! It's not the same!"

Talk about being in the dog house. But this week I got my hands on 10 old VHS Disney movies from a girl who was having a yard sale.


So I'm mostly out of the dog house. For now, anyway.

(I wonder if they'll get nostalgic over their Beanie Babies...)


Every day I tell myself I've got to respond to the comments from the last few weeks. Some of them are so good! And every night I fall into bed telling myself I'll respond tomorrow. I will! soon, promise! Meanwhile, know I always appreciate that you visit me here and send me comments.

All for now. Good night!


Ryan said...

I kind of feel reluctant to leave comments--I don't want you spending time or worrying about having to reply to them! Your efforts would be much better spent writing books! =)

-- Ryan, no need to reply....

Amanda from Seattle said...

As to the writers payment structure, it is fascinating! I just spent the day at the Denver Public Library reading boxes of information from the author Lenora Mattingly Weber. She sold her first story to a magazine in 1919!! And wrote many books and stories until her death in 1971. I especially loved her Beany Malone series and was amazed at the rewriting and such that she had to do! Her papers included contracts with her publishers and coorespondence with her publishers and editors. It was quite fun to read it all so many years after the fact and having read the books that they are talking about!!

N3WYORKD3VIL said...

Uh..oops. I donated it to Goodwill. My mom gives my stuff to the Salvation Army. Is it the same thing? Yeaah, my mom ACCIDENTLY gave away Oliver Twist. It hurts to think about it. Why is it that
Charles Dickens and I must apart! I think the real reason I'm upset about it is because I paid for it with my money. And B&Nis expensive. $20for that book. I stil have all my old tapes. But the tape playing thingy is broken. Gosh, I'm living in a Best Buy world. Lemme see...I still have Rudolf and Hey Arnold the movie and Veggitales and Charlie Brown. Gosh, I miss them. I haven't seen them in years. I need to get them all on DVD now.

bookworm said...

Like Amanda from Seattle said, the payment structure is fascinating! :) So, in the case of having a bok published, would it be better to contact an agent to represent your book, bet my luck on the slush pile, or do what Natalie and Zoe did in the School
Not that i have a mom that works in a publishing company like Natalie..........
In case you haven't read The School Story, it's about a girl
(Natalie)in middle school who wrote a book that her best friend (Zoe) thinks is amazing, and that it should be published pronto. Since Natalie's mom works in a publishing company, Natalie asks her how to go about publihing a book, and her mom explains the slush pile and having an agent. In short, Zoe uses all of her christmas mony to buy office space, creates a dummy literary agency, and on that pretext has Natalie's own mother edit the book (Natalie uses a pseudonym).
So my question is, should i do option a) get and agent?
Option b) depend on the luck of the slush pile? Or
Option c) do what Natalie and Zoe did?
(never mind the fact, though, that i'm broke and my mom comes no where near the literary department.)
Wow, this turned out to be pretty long.But it's been a question that's been on my mind for years, since i read the book in elementary school.
Good luck on the marathon training, and i hope you get out of the dog house completely soon! :)

Leslie said...

(Every time I try to leave a first comment on your blog, I feel like I'm trolling but I just have to say...)

In my family, the kids 13, 15, 17 and 19 get up at 5:15 every morning to go run! They're crazy! And they never complain. Maybe you should invite the girlfriend to come along with you...since part of it is that they're going running with their friends. Crazy friends.

crazy folk all around. (And my dad's the worst, coming up on his 12th marathon and hanging out with teenagers early in the morning.)

*cough* Not implying anything. Shoot. I promise I don't try to troll.

bookworm said...

Wow, that was a long post. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow,you've been busy!My mom once donated my sister FAVORITE comforter and,let me tell you something,it was the MOST comfortable comforter Ever (That's confusing to write!.I cannot wait until the SK book comes out!!!I can't believe i'm...7th commenter!7th!I am behind!
Great post,

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Ryan: Good grief, no! If no one comments I wonder if anyone's reading and why I'm writing and all of that. Thank you for commenting!!

Amanda from Seattle: You're one of THOSE people? Wow. I have had people contact me through Random House or my agent and ask that I consider donating my manuscripts to their organization / library, and when I tell them that I, well, shred them, they freak out. But really, who needs stacks and stacks of old manuscripts in the basement of their library? Who is ever going to study them? What do they matter, really? I do have an archive of letters between Nancy and me, but that's different to me. It's like the evolution of a partnership and friendship, so that's valuable to me. Now, if the manuscripts had been hand written that would be different. You get the real sense that a person was there. Not so with a typed ms, and as we move further and further into digital they'll be less and less personal to collect. Anyway, I think it's very cool that YOU investigated LMW.

NYA: So you don't think I'm totally heartless, I did get their donation buy-in originally, but they don't remember that. My usual policy is, 1) ask 2) store in a big Hefty sack for a year 3) if no one's asked Hey, where is such-and-such donate. We don't have an attic, really. Just a crawl space. But I loved going through the junk in the attic when I was a girl. Sorry about your book, but forgive your mom. We do the best we know how!

bookworm: That's a funny story, but only in a story would that work! So hmm. The slush pile is pretty sludgy and hard to get noticed in, and lots of houses don't even take unsolicited work any more. Have you heard of SCBWI? Check it out. It's for people trying to get children's books published and probably your single best source of info and advice.

Leslie: Wow. So you're one of those crazy kids? I do think it helps to have your friends expecting you / waiting for you. Gets you out of bed! If it'sjust your parents, who cares :-) Anyway, that's awesome cool and will serve you well throughout your life. Good for you and your family!!

Abagayle: My boys' old comforters are now doggie blankets, and even though they're falling apart and completely faded, they're still around, which makes me (and the dogs) happy.

Great comments everyone! Thanks!!

Optimistic4ever said...

Haha, good luck on your marathon training (and getting your son to wake up, but I'll consider that part of training too)

About Risky Whippet, I'm still kind of holding on to the idea if your family writes "Waiting for the Rain to Fall" I've always wanted to hear what that song is actually like. And I'm sure NYA would agree *cough*

Anywho, the payment method is pretty interesting. Imma pay attention to that in case I ever succeed in my dream of being a writer. But I'm thinking I'll start of as a psychiatrist. I'm gonna learn hypnotism *squeal* It sounds fun. Then I can hypnotize my sister to see if she remembers her past lives...

Izze said...

I don't let my mom throw old nostalgic things away...
I've got a whole bin full of my old beanie babies in the basement, along with all the books my dad used to read to me as a child...
When I'd found out that my mom still had my old baby blanket, I made her dig it out and let me have it for a night. The thing was in rags and had an... unfamiliar smell, but definitely worth it.

I'm probably going to be one of those hoarder parents who keeps everything my children ever did in plastic bins taking up all of my basement space.

It'll be worth it.

Caradith Craven said...

Get ready for the most amazing SK adventure yet! Night of the Skulls will entertain, inform, and delight devoted Sammy Keyes (Cammy) fans, as well as those new to the series!! Wendelin, your readers are in for the perfect Halloween treat filled with zombies,vampires,headstones,and skulls when this one hits the bookshelves in October.

Let me assure your readers that this SK mystery is well worth the wait. After reading the ARC, I can't wait to share the hardback edition in October with students and teachers. I'm pre-ordering my copies tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

i never knew anything about the writers payment structure, so that is interesting to hear about!!!
and- AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!- you said "cool beans"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"cool beans" have been my expression throughout this summer (and throughout my summer writing project) and my mom had to ask me if i was alright when i burst out laughing and grinning!!!!!!!
but ANYWAY i am so stoked for justice jack and night of skulls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i know waiting is way (WAYYY) less work than writing it, but boy is it hard when you are as impatient and enthusiastic about your books as i am!!!!
well good luck with training for the marathon (keep up the good work!! i could/will NEVER EVER run that far!) and alwayyys be sure to ask about old movies!!!! my mom asked me only last week if she could donate "the swan princess" and if she donated it without asking me, i would have NEVERRR forgiven her!!! it IS my favorite movie EVER!!
PS ahhhhhhhhhhh i'm with Optimistic4ever about writing "waiting for the rain to fall"!!!! PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE
PSS i still can't get over that you said cool beans!!! TWICE!!!! :D:D

frances said...

I feel stoked right now! It'll be great--more Sammy Keyes, more Casey, more Holly, etc.

here's the sammy keyes wiki.

cmmama10-Krissy said...

It's so awesome to find your blog! I'm actually one of your former students from St. Joe's!! I have fond memories of being in your computer programming class my jr year at SJHS! And also of being in computer club! Highlight of the year was the whole computer dating results! Lol!! :D

When my youngest child, my daughter (now 19), found her first Sammy Keyes book at the library when she was in the 6th grade...she was over the moon to find out that I knew you!! That you were writing about the place of her birth!! And she loved the books so much she had to share them with my mother-in-law too...and was even more excited to know she knew you personally too!!

So, anyway...dunno if you'll remember me, but my maiden name is Kristin Wetstine. I graduated class of 88', with Mark Brunell. And I married the oldest son, Mark, of Tom & Kris Chadwick. Tom still works at Denmat and is remarried, and still lives in Nipomo. Kris is also remarried and now lives in Alaska! And Mark and I live in Kansas, with our daughter Sarah. Our son, Bryce, the oldest of our two kids now lives in Colorado. And we now have a foster daughter, named Mia, who is 12 mos.

Would love to hear from you, but I know you're busy! So I do NOT expect it!!

Raisa Karim said...

You know, I read your blog every week. And I never get tired of it. But I don't sometimes, though, which drives me nuts because the REASON I don't comment is because I never know what to say BECAUSE (sorry for the terrible run-on) either others already said what I have in mind or I'm just having comment-block...
But today I said to myself "I SHALL COMMENT!" So here it is:
You're awesome an I love you and your one of my favorite authors second only to J.K. Rowling and equal to Suzanne Collins...??
Sorry. I REALLY don't know what to say because I'm speechless and blinded by your amazingness!

Raisa Karim said...

PS. I found a mistake in my comment:
In between "But I don't" and "sometimes" there should be a "comment". So it's "But I don't COMMENT sometimes..."
I reread that and I was like "OMG it sounds like I said I don't read your BLOG sometimes!" So HAD to fix it...

frances said...

Wendelin, I'm sorry because I know you're busy, but when will your next blog post come out? It's been seven days already.

Sorry once again... I'm waiting with anticipation for some interesting updates regarding Sammy Keyes.

g said...

hahaha nice :) its cool but yeah it was pretty awesome when you responded to mine ... ;)

Susanne said...

Ha ha, that's how MY mom felt! She's always trying to get rid of things that she doesn't realize are actually very important. :P Don't worry about responding, it really doesn't matter.