Saturday, February 12, 2005

This morning I went to an SCBWI meeting to hear author/illustrator Janie Bynum talk about book promotion. It was a bit daunting to hear how much authors have to sell themselves. I don't think I'd be nearly as nervous about actually doing a school visit or book signing as I would about having to get visits lined up in the first place!

I finished a new short story last month, but it's already been rejected and I'm not sure there's anywhere else to send it! I meant to stop spending time on short stories, anyway, but it just spilled out. I guess I should be glad none of my other manuscripts has come back recently. I submitted one manuscript in January that I've since decided wasn't quite ready to submit, so I'm feeling a bit uneasy about that. At least I think it was probably 80 or 90% ready...and if the editor doesn't like what I sent, I don't think she'd like an improved version, either.

Interesting grammar tidbit: While writing the paragraph above, I wondered whether to say "none of my other manuscripts HAS come back" or "none of my other manuscripts HAVE come back." I did a little research online and, although a couple of sites said emphatically that "none" must take the singular "has," I also came across this article about that very issue. According to this, the rule is that there is no rule! A Merriam Webster usage guide apparently even says it depends on what the author thinks it should be! In this case I figured it was safer to go with "has," anyway, since "none has" is more widely accepted among people who are likely to nitpick such things. Sorry to bore those who find grammar tedious--but in my former job as a technical writer & editor, I saw fierce battles waged over grammar and usage issues! Somewhere I have a fun book called Mrs. Thistlebottom's Hobgoblins, which debunks a lot of supposed grammar "rules." I'd also recommend Woe is I and The Deluxe Transitive Vampire as amusing grammar-related reads.

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