Thursday, May 9, 2013
These days, it seems like we’re doing everything on our mobile phones but making toast. Or maybe that’s possible and I’m just behind the times, because I only use my cell to make calls. Still, I do depend on it, and with all the applications that you can possibly add, I can see why people are increasingly spending time staring down at that little screen.
As New Pulp writers and independent publishers, this is a significant situation, because so much information is being shared via handheld devices that we’ve got to be on top of the trend to access a more broad-based market. Pulp in its heydays was highly visible on street corner newsstands, where the brightly colored, sensationally designed covers were sure to catch the eyes of people passing by. That was state-of-the-art advertising because newsstands and drug store magazine racks were where people went to buy inexpensive reading material. If you want to sell books, or at least let people know where they can find your work, you have to get their attention where it is primarily focused; and right now, there is a lot of interest in what mobile phones can do. Since even the simplest models have internet access, we need to take advantage of that capacity and put our ads and offerings where they can be seen. You can conceivably learn about what a publishing company sells, read an excerpt, see an interview with a favorite author, watch an advertising trailer, browse the catalog, click to buy something, and download a book—all within a very short period of time and without even getting off the couch. If you don’t mind squinting, you can even read the book right there on the phone. Eventually, we’ll even have audio versions streaming through your earbuds. It’s a brave new world!
As someone who straddles the line between the Industrial and InfoTech eras, I understand how daunting and downright confusing some of this electronic wizardry seems. I’m not very quick to embrace the latest and greatest gadget either, though I do understand the appeal, as well as what promise that holds for me as a writer. We stand on the verge of an age when all our major ‘necessity’ purchases—houses, motor vehicles, appliances, etc; will be designed with sophisticated integrated functions. In time I think even small appliances will hook into an IT grid, where you can warm the oven and chill the drinks from your cell phone or vehicle monitoring system as you leave the office. We’re slowly seeing changes in the medical and education fields, where computers and handheld devices are playing a far more significant role in teaching and diagnostics. Yeah, it’s a database world, and for us independent authors, that’s turning out to be a good thing. My books, and information about me as an author, are only a Google or Bing away. I’ve had people scan my covers on their cell phones and email the information to a far off relative or friend who might really enjoy one of my stories. Being an easily searchable entity online has helped me sell a lot more books than I otherwise would have. So while I may not have fully signed on to the age of ‘apps for everything’, I have embraced its potential. It’s a very savvy way of marketing to a far broader audience than I could ever reach without the internet and all those gizmos that give us access just about anywhere we roam.
I often hear from people who are fed up with this plugged in/tuned out world that they only like to read real books.
Well, digital books are real books; it’s just that they are not made of dead tree fiber. However, I don’t believe printed paper between colorful covers is going away anytime soon. There’s a certain cachet to actually holding a book in your hand and manually turning the pages. A print book doesn’t have low batteries or a glaring little screen. It doesn’t interrupt you with a text message. It’s perfectly capable of being read in full sun on a beach, and as long as it doesn’t get rained on or dropped in the water, it’s fine. Book reading is a very quiet and peaceful hobby, and I think most of us that still love to hold a hardcover or paperback in our hands, also love owning them, because our shelves are bursting and there are stacks throughout the house. No, books aren’t a dying format just yet, and neither are authors. Oh sure, there will be writing apps eventually (if not already) where you can create a story from answering multiple choice questions and let the bot throw it together for you. But no machine can beat the human brain at creative thinking, so we’ll still be writing the old fashioned way—from mind, through fingers on the keyboard, to the page. That’s not going to change anytime soon either. There will continue to be actual printed versions of popular books, though I don’t believe they will have the prominence they once enjoyed.
What we’re supposed to be doing here is expanding the way writing is delivered to the customer, not just replacing one facet of publishing with another. That’s probably the reason the music industry has had so many hiccups over the last 35 years or so. As tapes started to supplant bulky LP albums, and then CDs all but wiped them out, only to be replaced by MP3 downloads that take no space at all, the equipment to run them also underwent a transformation and downsizing. Today’s music playing devices take up a lot less space, and they have become imminently more personal in nature, to the point where you can take them out jogging, to work, or to the library, and have a quality listening experience. You can plug your music device into your car for the commute, you can sample and shop while you listen, and download something as a ringtone to your cell phone. Like pulp and print books, LP albums never completely went away, though they are far from the norm anymore, and record stores have become a thing of the past. Finding a turntable to interface with today’s USB driven equipment is a bit of a hunt, especially for those who don’t have internet access or experience. Since not everything has been reissued in either CD or MP3 format, people do cling to that trusty old vinyl. Records are often a collector’s market.
The music industry has been slow to catch on to this downloadable age, but they’ve been coming around more lately. Let’s hope the rebound effect of that sudden awakening doesn’t abruptly shut out those who didn’t jump right into the new technological advances. While the holdbacks are also missing out on the incredible amount of free music and sampling you can do with electronic access, they deserve to be served in whatever format is preferred. There’s also been a lot of lost royalties through music sharing sites online and unregistered burnable copies sold for drastically reduced prices, and that’s something that will be a problem with digital books as well. We in the New Pulp world need to pay close attention to what happened in the music industry and plan accordingly. Authors and artists deserve to be paid for their hard work; publishers deserve compensation for their investment. There has to be serious thought given to regulating piracy.
One of the most interesting ideas I’ve seen is electronic book lending. Amazon does this with their Prime customers who have Kindles and I think that is a step in a positive direction for libraries in general. It certainly would be a great way to introduce books that would not normally get purchased for lending without tying up shelf space or adding the extra manpower and hours to properly display them. One of the hardest things I’ve found with getting my books into local libraries in the rural areas I live in is because of funding and hours of operation, no one has had time to review them. I’d be thrilled to make a few cents here and there on limited term downloads just to broaden my reader base. That is something which is going to take off over time, as even our beloved wireless doodads become overloaded with resident books. Checking out an electronic book is the least expensive way for a reader to become familiar with a new author or publisher. I’m sure the independents won’t make the same mistake as the big publishers—with their far more bloated overhead to compensate for—and price E-copies ½ to ¾ of the cost of buying a physical copy. That’s preposterous!
One of the nicest things about books stored electronically is that they don’t take up any real physical space. I do some thrift store, yard sale, and flea market shopping with family and friends, and one of the things we’re after is used books that were donated in good readable condition because people were tired of having them around. Often we find beloved work that is no longer available in print. We’ve already seen a movement in the Pulp world to get old stories out of mothballs and present them to a new generation. Even in general fiction this is happening, with many classics in the public domain being offered as downloads at very low prices or even for free. I’ve snatched up entire collections that way. I’m also heartened with by the willingness of New Pulp publishers to revive enduring and cherished public domain characters with additional tales. Talk about a bridge across the generations! New Pulp has its fingers on the pulse of the future with its feet firmly planted in the storytelling traditions of yesteryear.
So yeah, go get those apps! We’re going to give you content to read, whether it’s fiction, book trailers, teaser snippets, author interviews, or online panel discussions. We’re New Pulp, and we’re doing things a brand new way, while still delivering the exciting action/adventure fiction you’ve always enjoyed. I doubt there’s an app that does that better than we can, but if there is, we’ve likely already got it.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I was supposed to go to Pulp Ark 2013 this weekend. That’s been the plan for months now. If you don’t know what Pulp Ark is, well then you can find out all about it right here: http://www.pulpmachine.blogspot.com/p/pulp-ark.html or here: https://www.facebook.com/ThePulpArk, and I urge you to check it out if you have the means to do so. Unfortunately circumstances beyond my control—namely health and financial issues—forced me to cancel my trip. You have no idea how much it bothers me to write that. It was the only convention I planned on attending this year, since we don’t have a budget that allows lots of vacation expenses in this one-income household. Writing isn’t exactly very lucrative for me at this point, and with a mortgage and other bills, plus some unforeseen expenses over this long, cold New England winter, it just wasn’t going to happen. I would have attended as a staff writer and editor for Pro Se and I had planned on sitting in on, as well as participating in, numerous panels, and having a rousing good time rubbing elbows with my peers and catching up with how things are for them. Well… maybe next year.
It’s kind of a let down when you read all the exciting news about what is going on in preparation for or during such a madcap event, and you know you’re not going to be part of it. While I wish everyone attending good luck, and hope they all have a great time and wonderful sales, I am very sad not to be there with them. Yet I have to keep my focus on my own work, and continue plugging away at it. It would very easy to get caught up in the woe and slack off this weekend, since no one will be expecting much writing or editing to get done on the convention floor anyway. Add to that ‘doctor’s orders’ that I need to get away from this sedentary keyboard banging far more often, and the fact that it’s spring and the garden is calling me. Unfortunately, I still have deadlines and commitments to meet, so the work goes on here. For this unconventional weekend, I plan on splitting my time between writing or editing, and getting my gardens prepped for the season ahead.
There’s no secret to the fact that anything involving writing requires long hours sitting in one place, which is really not healthy for you. While I’ve been word-smithing seriously for over twenty years, the last three have been incredibly busy at the keyboard. I’ve been primarily sedentary all during the day, and have put in some very late nights pounding away. Whether that is the reason for my recent issues with racing heart, shortness of breath, and some sort of tremor, I have no idea; but it seems a likely culprit, given that we human beings are not designed to sit around staring at a monitor and living wholly inside our brains. It certainly hasn’t done my waistline any favors! So as we are testing this and poking that, hoping that by process of elimination we find some identifiable root of this sudden malaise, I’ve come to realize just how far downhill my health has gone lately.
The last month was a real wake-up call, because I’ve had to look at a lot of mounting risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other ugly things that could send my life into a tailspin. The fact that I couldn’t even cross my driveway to get the mail without gasping and my legs shaking forced me to realize I can’t keep this ridiculous pace up at my age. I just turned 56, and I have a new grandson on the way. I want to live a long and healthy life and teach him things. That means I have to pay attention to my health now, before it’s too late.
I started with diet, cutting back on the crappy convenience foods that made long hours of writing doable, and eliminating meals taken at the keyboard. I began forcing myself to be in bed each night by 11:30, no matter what was pending or left undone. I began to get outdoors daily, even if just long enough to grab the mail or newspaper. I took regular housework breaks during the day, where I’d get up and do something more vigorous than typing. I napped if I felt I needed it rather than trying to plod through the day yawning. As we have progressed through testing for this or that, I started monitoring blood sugar, pulse, breathing, dietary stuff, etc. I became aware of how much my living habits had devolved to allow all the time for writing, editing, and the self promotion I felt compelled to do, and just how rotten I my health had become. I love writing, and I could sit here for endless hours spinning tales, but not at the detriment of my well-being. Clearly things had to change, and some sort of balance needed to be struck.
Believe me, when you are hooked up to an EKG monitor to rule out an impending heart attack, or getting your lungs scanned for possible blood clots, you start thinking hard about what you’ve been doing and why. Lying on those tables with the big scary stuff being hunted for, I knew I had to go back to living my life as a whole, not solely to write. I know; sacrilege, huh? We all joke about how we’ll sleep enough when we’re dead. All of us stress over deadlines that come too soon, and yet accept additional commitments that pile up like snow in the winter. But this was not a joke; it was very much for real, and I’m just not prepared to sacrifice the second half of my life to another chronic condition. I already have a bad back, high blood pressure, glaucoma, and widespread arthritis. That’s enough!
Fortunately, none of the big scary things were going on, but I took this last month’s unconventional health issues as a chance to reassess how things should be done in this New Pulp Writing life of mine. I did a lot of soul searching, believe me! I still want to crank out the best stories I possibly can, but I’ve had to scale back on how many projects I can reasonably expect to take on. I need to get off this computer more regularly and attend to other aspects of my life indoors and outdoors, so I’ve cut down on the amount of email, social networking, and promotion I do to focus on writing and editing while I’m at the keyboard. I’m not volunteering for much of anything these days, because those additional projects do cut into productive time. In short, I put writing back where it belongs: not the entire focus of my existence, as it has been the last three years, but as one more fascinating area of pursuit in a well-rounded life.
With all that in mind, I managed to write (and edit) all through this small crisis, albeit at a far slower pace. I’ve stopped beating myself up for being human, and started listening to that inner voice that wants to get outdoors and play in the soil, or go walk down by the pond with the camera and take pictures. I turned down a couple projects to focus on what I have promised to do, and I’ve said no to things like Pulp Ark. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I am making progress—sleeping more soundly at night, feeling more rested and energetic during the day, and not as worried about what I haven’t accomplished yet. I use my time wisely now. I’ve cultivated the notion that 500 words done well is far more significant than pumping out 5000 that are going to need serious revision to be readable.
I think anybody who wants to write with a crowded schedule and multiple issues demanding time and interest could take a page from my unconventional writing life. I don’t care what the beer commercial told you back in the 80’s, you can’t do it all. So you’d better do it smart, and spread yourself around in all parts of your existence, because you want to experience as much of life as you can, as long as you’re able to. As for getting your work out there, do whatever you can, but don’t stress over it. Don’t think you can continually shrug off your health and pull another all-nighter without consequences. Keep in mind, the pulp heroes are on the page, not behind the keyboard, and sick writers don’t produce very good work.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
One of the important things that sells New Pulp books is artwork. Whether it’s slick and glossy cover art or some fantastically detailed interior illustrations, those pictures stand and shout to the world that this book is exciting! This story is something you should be reading! Pick it up now! You can’t see what’s inside without cracking the cover, and you can’t always read a favorite author’s name from across the room, but by golly, as you’re scanning down those crowded aisles or browsing online, a great cover is going to stop you in your tracks. And when that happens, the author gets noted, back cover blurbs get read, and you just might want to take a lengthy peek inside.
I’m a firm believer that appropriate cover art sells more books to people outside the ‘pulposphere’ than anything else we’ve been doing. So here’s my love letter to the folks who make that magic happen for us writers.
Art and graphics people are often the unsung heroes of the pulp world. I read a lot of online discussions and I’ve listened to folks on podcasts and panels at the cons I’ve attended. Art appreciation gets discussed quite often, within both classic and new pulp. And well it should be! You may not remember every detail of the book you read ten to twenty years ago, but if it was good, I bet you recall the cover if it had some significant artwork. While we all seem to love and appreciate those lurid, exciting, and juicy scenes, I don’t think as writers we understand how much time and effort goes into them. The artists I know often work on short notice at the most inconvenient intervals, with multiple projects being juggled. For every word of praise there will be some discord; as at times a piece gets bogged down by quibbling over some aspect which didn’t translate perfectly from brain of author to eye of illustrator. I have to constantly remind myself that artists see a piece they are responsible for not just as a literal translation of what was written, but as a balanced composition that has to draw the viewer in. Many times the finished product is going to reflect as much the imagination of the artist as that of the author.
And that’s how it should be. Lesson here is: Writer—trust your artist. If things aren’t perfect according to your internal vision, step back and take a look at the big picture. Does it catch your eye from across the room? Is there something dramatic and enticing going on? Does it set the overall tone of the story in your mind? If not, then you have a legitimate issue. If it’s just little stuff that can be easily fixed (and in this digital age, there isn’t much that can’t be altered) then politely explain what needs adjusting. Otherwise, just go with it. If it’s big stuff, then you have something to discuss. A cover or an interior illustration should reflect a critical scene in the story and the main characters involved, but it doesn’t need to completely explain it or reveal everything. And please, make sure your artist knows what you think was done particularly well. We all need to hear that now and then.
I can’t tell you how much artwork has influenced sales of my books or the enjoyment of the short stories I’ve written, but I have gotten a lot of compliments on covers and interior art. In a way that’s kind of unfair, because while I created the situation being conveyed, it was the skillful hands of the artist that made it visible to the public. The artists I’ve been privileged to work with have been extremely talented folks who are truly excited about the projects they’ve been given and they really put their time in bringing those scenes to life. I’ve dabbled a bit in art, so I have a passing idea of what goes into putting a coherent scene together, and that was long before this digital age with all the new tools available that also have to be mastered. While I don’t pretend to understand everything that goes into a great cover or interior drawing, I do know these folks are working hard to get it the way I want it while satisfying the need for title and byline placement, potential page size, possible captions, and sometimes even decorative borders as per the publishing mandates. I’m sure there are things I haven’t touched on, but the fact that it all has to be done on a schedule makes it even more amazing. I am in awe of these folks! They make me look good.
If you are asked for an art scene to illustrate from your story, consider yourself very fortunate. That is often done at the discretion of the publisher, not the writer. When you do write something up for the artist, be as detailed and specific as you can manage. And please, be polite and appreciative. These folks work hard at what they do, and most of them don’t get their names on the covers. If you get to see a preliminary sketch or a finished piece, and something is drastically wrong, communicate it in a professional and supportive manner—not on some open internet site but privately in a tactful way. Every one of us writers has a dud story or concept now and then, and artists have off days and projects that just don’t come out right either. No one deserves to have his or her reputation trashed because something didn’t work out between you. Treat every artist like a valued contact, because that’s what they are. If you find someone you just can’t work with, then thank that person for her or his time and move on. Dealing with any fallout is something your publisher needs to handle, not you.
Unless of course you are self-publishing; in which case you’re the boss. Handle it like a good manager should—firmly and unemotionally. Get your point across and either come to an agreement, or move on to someone else that can do the work the way you expect it to be laid out. There is no reason to settle for something that doesn’t reflect at all what you had in mind.
Everyone who puts a book together is important, and the power of good artwork shouldn’t be underestimated. It just might be the thing that sells that story to someone who is going to give one of you a hand up the ladder to better things.
So here’s to all the wonderful folks who have and will make pictures out of my words on the page. You’ve all been or will be a vital part of any success I have. I may be walking around in a daze every time a book comes out with one of those to-die-for covers, but I know who made it look so tempting. Thank you!
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Scott Turow recently penned a very intelligent, albeit distressing, editorial for the New York Times on the sad state of the contemporary authors' lot in life, thanks mainly due to greed, piracy and giant corporations.
Authors practice one of the few professions directly protected in the Constitution, which instructs Congress “to promote the progress of Science and the useful Arts by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” The idea is that a diverse literary culture, created by authors whose livelihoods, and thus independence, can’t be threatened, is essential to democracy.--
The pirates would be a limited menace were it not for search engines that point users to these rogue sites with no fear of legal consequence, thanks to a provision inserted into the 1998 copyright laws. A search for “Scott Turow free e-books” brought up 10 pirate sites out of the first 10 results on Yahoo, 8 of 8 on Bing and 6 of 10 on Google, with paid ads decorating the margins of all three pages.
If I stood on a corner telling people who asked where they could buy stolen goods and collected a small fee for it, I’d be on my way to jail. And yet even while search engines sail under mottos like “Don’t be evil,” they do the same thing. Click here to read the entire article.
While those of us in the New Pulp movement struggle to make anything at all on our work, a large faction of our society is striving to ensure our piece of the pie gets smaller still... sad, but true.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I’m tempted to break into singing that Willy Nelson song right now—you know, the one about the lovers who got away? Sometimes it’s like that with writing too. You have projects tucked away here and there, ideas by the boatload on some proverbial back burner, and things that just sound like they’d make great stories if you only had the time… Yeah, the mind of a writer is like an old attic stuffed with artifacts of a lifetime of living in the same home. It’s that closet, room, garage, or shed that never gets cleaned and organized. I don’t know about you, but I have files galore holding the bits and bobs of tales that went dormant into some phantom existence, waiting to be resurrected at a future time, like King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
I have to thank writer-extraordinaire and all around Paladin of the Road to Pulpy Adventure, Mr. Derrick Ferguson, for the commentary that seeded this week’s column. ‘D’ as I call him, often asks thought-provoking questions or purveys ideas to the rest of us hacks meant to turn up the burner under the muse. Recently he was warning us all about the perils of putting references in our stories of events and people whose tales haven’t yet been told. It seems some of his regular Dillon fans (And if you’re not a Dillon fan, you should be!) are dying to know all about the ‘Daughters of the Peacock King’ and something about being chased by a ‘15 foot polar bear’. Geez ‘D’—who wouldn’t want to read those tales? Since I’m currently working on a novel based an antique story start, and trying to update it to where the characters have gone today, it got me thinking… Where else have I stranded a perfectly good concept that might have a chance of catching some eyes? Have I missed some signals from readers telling me they’d like to know more about something or someone?
You can make yourself crazy thinking like that. It’s not like I don’t already have dozens of story concepts flashing through my synapses and swirling around in the gray matter as it is. I look at what I have lined up for this year, and I want to cringe, because I’m already behind. I go to bed at night, and try to get some sleep, and the ideas are pounding on the inside of my head, trying to get out. I get up in the morning and they follow me around all day, touching me with cold, clammy fingers, begging from every corner of my consciousness, wanting to be made corporeal on some page. If I am ever to get even half of what I want to write done, I’ll need several more lifetimes to do it in. I can’t work fast enough or devote more hours than I have now without chaining myself to the office chair in total isolation. I make notes, tuck them in files within files, and move on until I need them. Boy, does it bug me that I can’t get to more of it!
It’s rather reassuring to have so much territory of my own to mine, even at this point in what I laughingly call my ‘career’, where now and then I get approached on projects outlined by others. If I ever run out of fresh material, or old stories to revamp, I will certainly dig into those idea files. If I someday find myself staring at a blinking cursor wondering what the heck to put on the page; all that stuff will certainly come in handy. So yeah D, if someone comes to you and asks about that polar bear or the Peacock King’s nubile but deadly offspring, you might want to jot down a couple ideas for the story and shove it somewhere for a rainy day. Those little adventures you mentioned just in passing during some story stuck out in a fan’s mind, and it means you hit a game winning triple and made the sports page. Avid readers tend to move from one book to the next rather rapidly, so when a detail like that stays with them, it’s worth exploring.
Can you tell I’m one of those people who has trouble tossing things out? Maybe it’s my dump-picking, junk shop, yard sale and flea market haunting nature; but I love repurposing things, and that includes in writing. I am reluctant to part with any useful story fodder so I tend to fill up files rather quickly. I’m also a collector of random scenes from books, movies, television and real life that moved me in some way, and I save entire folders of pictures that might spark an idea. I figure if something resonated with me, it will likely do the same with others. No, I don’t plagiarize anything, but will write something with the same basic ‘flavor’ as that which interested me.
They say we’re all writing the same stories over and over again. Well I don’t know who ‘they’ are, but essentially, that’s true. What makes each tale unique is that you put your personal twist into them. So while D’s peacock ladies and polar bears represent common and familiar pulpy menaces, his take on them is going to make them come alive on the page. I’ve no doubt he’ll get to them someday (especially since I outed him even further—evil grin!). I think we all have some ‘tales within the tales’ to tell.
In the Vagabond Bards anthology I introduced a couple of characters I liked so much, I couldn’t let them go, so they are getting a series of their own. The fact that the only person to comment on them didn’t like one of the spinoff characters at first, and then the cavalier grew on him, tells me I chose well. Even in the Keener Eye stories, my foray into PI fiction, the fact that red haired and voluptuous flower child throwback Gwen has been described as irritating makes her memorable. Since she was written to be annoying but loyal, I did something right. Gwen is a contrast foil for Kate Keener; who is all about staying calm, figuring things out, and using what she knows to get by rather than panicking and needing to be rescued. The high wizard Kendahl, who appears in several of my Terran World books, seems to strike a chord with some readers, though he’s never been the star of any tale (yet). I’ve answered several inquiries about him. With the reactions I got to the fierce and vicious people-eating weremon in Fortune’s Pawn, I know I have to expound upon on them as well. Kendahl certainly needs his own book someday (he figures prominently in the one I am currently writing) and I have to tell the origin of those four legged sentient half human beasts with the paralytic saliva.
Yeah, there’s things I can return to.
When I look back at some of the stuff I wrote previously, I often cringe at the style. I’ve definitely improved as a writer. That doesn’t stop me from reusing what is worth salvaging within those long-ignored pages. If there’s an audience for it, I’ll write it. So if someone says to me, “Gee, I really would like to read more about drakkar, or snowbeasts, or how dragons went from collie size desert hunters to the scourge of the continent,” I’m going to note that. I’ll get around to explaining the great magickal war between evil sorcerer Gruhneholm and his less ruthless but more organized peers over whether he should be allowed to use magick to modify the code of life. I’ll certainly need to explain what all that ‘Light World/Dark World’ stuff means. I’ve still got plenty of places to go with most of my original material. I’m sure more avenues will occur to me as I go along.
I’m never going to have the time, energy, or incentive to write it all. My mind moves on far too quickly for that, and situations inside and outside of writing will influence what I can accomplish. There are ideas that I will look back fondly upon, and then move on. There are others I will run away from faster than a 15 foot polar bear just because I just don’t want to deal with them. It’s rather comforting to know that the pool of unwritten work is still plenty deep and wide. Any time I need to dip into it, I can.
So can you.