In It For …

Pretty cool article –The Reality of a Times Bestseller.

Lynn Viehl made the New York Times Bestseller list.  Twilight Fall was listed at #19.  Very respectable.  She had made a promise long ago though that if she made the list, she’d release how much money she made out of it.  This might seem a bit boastful, but for writers, it’s incredible knowledge to have.  And it’s more than a bit eye opening.

Long story short (and I strongly encourage you to read the article), Lynn made a $50,000 advance.  A third of that wasn’t paid until the book actually hit the shelf (anywhere from a 12 – 24 months after acceptance).  Her agent received 15% ($7,500) which is what an agent works for so that’s not too bad.  Taxes ($15,000+) came out of the advance since the publishing company doesn’t pay that part.  Then there funds held on reserve in anticipation of book returns, expenses, and a few other things.  End result – $26,000 or thereabouts.

Not all everyone on the NYT list is a millionarie.  Heck, one of my favorite authors (Matthew Woodring Stover) had the opportunity to write the novelization of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.  That spent some time on the bestseller lists.  To quote a post on his blog :

I can’t offer any details about the payments for Star Wars — that is, in fact, proprietary information that is covered by the confidentiality agreement all us SW writers sign.  I can tell you, however, that SW pays better than any other media franchise I know of; this, however, ain’t sayin’ much.  REVENGE OF THE SITH, for example, was on the NYTimes Bestsellers List for 10 weeks, and I still have to work a day job.

This year marked the first time I’d ever been paid to write.  Not a great deal and I could bump that up if I decided to write more articles.  Right now that’s not on the radar.  I’m focusing on Genie Memories. I never had any real thought of retiring on the income earned from my writing, just having an avenue to tell the story.

And I think that’s key.  To be a writer, you have to want to do it for the plot.  The characters.  The setting.  The story.

Because the money isn’t going to be there.

If it is though, well, that’s just icing on the cake.

A Conversation with the Cat

Rough day?

Oh, I couldn’t begin to tell you.

Try me.

Well, first, the sun didn’t come up until sometime past six.  Then it took a good two or three hours for the rays to get in here.  And they kept moving!  I mean, what’s up with that?  I had to keep moving on the floor because those stupid sun rays moved all over!

How inconsiderate of the sun.

You’re telling me!  Of course, now it’s almost perfect.

Almost perfect?

Sure, I’ve got this nice cushion under me and the rays are hitting just right.  Give it another thirty minutes.  I’ll have to move again.  And look at this!  Just look at it!  There’s a gap here between the bench and the wall that’s…what…two inches?  Could it have killed them to move it two stupid inches?

So few have known such difficulties.

Don’t I know it.  Would it have killed them to put in some skylights or something?  Inconsiderate jerks.

State of Priorities

On the left is the logo the International Federation of Competitive Eating.  This group schedules, organizes, and regulates competitive eating contests.  As its name would imply, this is a group of people (I will not call them athletes) who eat as much food as possible in a set period of time.  These contests are shown on ESPN, a nationwide television network.

On the right is the logo for the Boston Athletic Organization.  This group hosts the Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest and arguably the most famous marathon.  People train all their life just for the opportunity to qualify for the event, let alone run it.  This has been regulated to be broadcast on the Universal Sports channel, a small market that is carried in about two dozen or so networks.

Without hesitation or shame, I admit that I am biased.  I cannot watch people running 26.2 miles at a pace that most of America couldn’t handle for a quarter mile, but I can see someone shove hot dogs down their gullet.  Ladies and gentlemen, America’s got its priorities all outta whack.

And Scheduled for 1:30 …

This is my calendar at work today. Listed at 1:30 is the User Services meeting of which I am part as the Lead of the Help Desk.  We have these every few weeks so we can get together.  Today brought good news. The meeting was  canceled!

Bad News!  No one else was invited to the meeting.  No one else knew anything about it.  In fact, it didn’t show up on their calendars.  This can mean only one thing.

My calendar has gained self-awareness and is calling meetings on its own.  I’ll let you know when it schedules world domination so we can prepare for it.

S is for Shoes

Those, my friends, are a brand new pair of running shoes. ASICS Gel Cumulus 10s to be precise, size 9 ½. For a distance runner, a new pair of shoes is quite a treat.  It means leaving behind an old pair and as you put them away, be it in a box or a donation bin, you get to remember all the good runs.  Maybe a few PRs.  A rip on the top from that trail run or whatnot.

And you get to look forward to putting the new pair of shoes through its paces.  In High School, we frowned on a clean pair of shoes so when I look at the weather and realize tomorrow is going to be snowing, that just makes me all the happier.  These shoes will be dirty within 24 hours, properly broken in with their first taste of pavement.  Maybe this will be the pair to get that 5K PR.

New running shoes.  Is there anything better?

I stand corrected.

Twue Wuv


Okay, so that marks twice in one week I’ve used a term I never use, but in this case, it’s warranted.  The Supreme Court of Iowa has unanimously said that marriage is no longer limited to just a Man and a Woman.  “The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution,” the justices said in a summary of their decision.

And why not?

Of course, this is going to bring out the ‘This dooms traditional marriage!’  Ah, traditional marriage, the bedrock of American society.  If you overlook the divorces, child custody, and the $25 weekend hitching at Las Vegas.

Give it up. There’s nothing here that says a church has to open its door and allow gays to marry at the altar.  This is purely legal.  People, no matter who they are, deserve the same rights.  They deserve the same tax breaks (or penalties).  They deserve the right to visit a loved one on their death bed.

We Iowans, we’re damn good people.