Friday, November 30, 2007

Power To The People

I am about to post the dead & the gone nickname poll. Thanks to all who offered possible nicknames.

A couple of the suggestions didn't make the final cut. I decided against Dead, because I've never forgotten reading in a biography of Ernest Hemingway that he was very upset that the galley proofs of Death In The Afternoon had Hemingway Death on the top of every page.

I also rejected LAWKI2, on the off chance that comments such as these three might ultimately convince Harcourt that there really should be a sequel to Life As We Knew It:

When you are finished reading, you will want to know more about what happens to the family so I hope that a sequel will be published in the near future.

My readers are telling me that they need closure! I tell them that a parallel book is coming and they think that is great but, they want a sequel!

Help! Are you planning on writing a sequel to continue Miranda's story? We really, really hope so - please don't leave us hanging. :-)

Back to the poll. There'll be six options, listed in alphabetical order. The poll will end Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 5 PM EST (aka when I'll be lighting my first Chanukah candles). Majority rule, but if there's a tie, or two or fewer people vote, I get to decide.

Vote wisely if not often. Remember, the nickname you choose for the dead & the gone will be the one I'll use in this blog and in correspondence with my editors and agent for all eternity.

Ooh. I think I just scared myself. Oh well. If I can't trust my beloved slowly gained readership, who can I trust?

Now that's a question I'm not going to put in poll form ever!


Anonymous said...

Oh wow, my nickname is winning. I really need to not be anonymous.

I'm just so shy. Hee hee.

Anonymous said...

Haha... I keep changing my vote~! All of these nicknames are so good!


Anonymous said...

Well, my favorite is lagging far behind and I might have to switch my powerful support to another nickname.

But, tell me please, when does voting end?

Also, any chance of Life As We Knew It being a Scholastic Book Club selection? And how would you go about getting that done?

Lucky Glen - anonymice.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning (and thanks to everyone who's voted so far)-

Voting ends Tuesday, 5:00 PM EST, or whenever Blogspot thinks it should end.

And Life As We Knew It is already a Scholastic selection. As a matter of fact, I got my dozen copies on Friday. The Scholastic edition has a completely different cover than either the Harcourt or the Marion Lloyd UK version, which makes it a collectible if nothing else.

It will be interesting to see if Scholastic selects the dead & the gone as well.If they do,it will be arranged between them and Harcourt, with Harcourt and me sharing the advance/possible royalties 50/50.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue:

Another quick question; when you wrote the dead and the gone (and thank you for not capitalizing it so I don't have to), did you stick to a timeline similar to LAWKI?

I guess I'll send you an email later about why I'm asking this, as I don't want to give any of d&g away.


P.S. - WOuldn't it be great if the end of next year, they packaged the two books together for a holiday set? But I suppose that would have to be 2009 as both will be paperback then.

Mr. Cavin said...

Like, everybody knows that "dego" is a racial slur, right? Just checking. I didn't vote for it.

Anonymous said...

Mr. C:

Although I had previously thought it could be considered such, it certainly wasn't meant that way and the pronounciation (and spelling)is different.

We're all just trying to have a little harmless fun here.


Mr. Cavin said...

Uh oh. That comment makes me think I came off more accusatory than I meant to. Sorry. But the serious nature of your comment, Glen, makes me want to be serious as well: “Dago,” usually slang for Italian immigrants, is a corruption of “Dego” itself corrupted from “Diego” which initially referred to people of Spanish/Portuguese origins, changing when the social climate went from fostering hate of battlefield opponents to fostering it against immigrants (and neatly, too: Dego is a Italian city and surname). They are pronounced just the same, “Day-go”, as per the original nicknamer’s suggestion, whether spelled with an a or an e. This tick in the difference between Latin and English pronunciation is probably responsible for the corruption in spelling (which, like so many racial slurs, shows up in illiterate graffiti more than it does in the New York Times). All that said, I know that nobody’s trying to offend anybody here.

And that’s the problem. It is much more mortifying to offend people by accident, like I may have done with my original comment. The fact is that I can name my dog, for example, Kike or Spick or Gook just because I think they sound cute. But what people are hearing when I call him into the house every evening is a racial slur. As a dog owner, I need all the help I can get being careful of the cultural impression I am making.

Anonymous said...

Now I really don't want dego to win. Thank God it's behind in votes... haha.

By the way, Glen wanting to know if you stuck with the time line that we had with Life As We Knew It is a very good question! I want to know the answer! Knowing me, I will probably flick through the days and see what Miranda was doing on the same day as Alex to compare the two - omg, I'm so obsessive with your books! It's just not funny anymore! When I read that part of the dead & the gone that you posted on this blog, I did compare the days and I think it was on a day that Miranda didn't write in her diary but then I can't be too sure - maybe I should look that up right now? =P haha.

Anonymous said...

Well, when I suggested Dego or even The De Go, I had no idea I was offending someone; which is my case often. I am thinking I should have a book that tells me what *not* to say. Words sometimes, well too often, have a power that makes me cringe when I hear about it. After all, it is only a word.

Sorry to anyone I may have offended by suggesting it. Really that is an half- hearted apology, (I guess I should apologize for that too, but I'm not) because anyone who knows me, which noone here does, knows that I would never intentionally offend anyone. Heck, I can remember when a cracker was a flat piece of bread you ate, gay was a state of being happy, chink was a crack in the glassware, and so on.

Nevertheless, I have been enlightened and will stop referring (if only in thought) to The Dead and the Gone as "Dego."

I still like it. All it was, afterall the controversy, placing the first couple of letters together to form a new word. Same way I named my kids, with the first couple of letters from my name and their father's name. I like making up words. What can I say.

- Jennifer T.-

Anonymous said...

That's the trouble with emails and posts, you can't tell how serious (or unserious) someone is.


So, Mr. C., what did you name your dog anyway?

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Whoo, the things I sleep through...

Thank you for dealing with all these things on your own in a mature and reasoned fashion. Which, trust me, is not how I handle disagreements (being a firm believer in the stomping of foot and the slamming of door).

As it happens, I've been pronouncing the nickname in question "Degas"- a great painter, but a nasty person.

Finally, in answer to anonymous Glen and Caroline's question- yes, I did use the LAWKI timeline, not necessarily day by day, but certainly to make sure the big events that happened in the first book happened approximately the same time in the second. Which added to the challenge of the dead & the gone for me.

But when you're responsible for ending the world, you owe it to all humanity to be consistent.

Mr. Cavin said...

This wasn’t a dispute between mature people! It was an interesting discussion among smart folks. Actually, Glen, to sort of focus your comment, my initial remark was tongue-in-cheek (I was muck-raking an opposing candidate), and seems to have gone off-target enough to make Jet half-hearted worried that she might’ve offended someone in the process of community involvement. Sorry Jet, Glen is right: in one way or another, I am the culprit here because of the missing tone of written things. That I then made a good case for myself was just the extra features.

I can’t tell you what I named my dog, not on a family forum, but I certainly will tell you a funny story about that in private email if you want to hear it. I was a teenager, see.

Anonymous said...

Is this story similar to what Steve Martin named his dog in THE JERK?


Mr. Cavin said...

Well, similar. I mean, it was a different word, and less lovingly attributed, and happened in real life. But, yeah, that caliber.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, don't worry about it. I didn't know about the whole dego thing at first either so I was in shock when I found out! Besides it could have happened to anyone! but yeah, it was a really creative suggestion. It's just a shame we had to find out about it but at least finding out now was better than finding out when the book is released and some people get upset about it - now that would have been awful!

Thanks for answering my question, Susan!

Anonymous said...

No harm done, Mr Cavin. I needed to be enlightened on the subject. I have a way of letting my talking/typing run ahead of my thinking. I have a hard time being PC and think that most of the world needs to just toughen up. :/

Another thing I wanted to point out was the fact that I only apologize when I believe I am in the wrong (another thing that people around me know.) half- hearted or not, it is a sencere apology, I hate being wrong and very rarely admit it. :)

I don't think of you as a "culprit" by the way. I think of you as a worthy opponent. I love a good debate, welcome them, even. And often, just ask my husband.

No harm done and I respect the fact that you would bring up a great point.

As far as dog naming goes..... I actually have one named Tarbaby. (And, nope, I didn't name her, she had it when we welcomed her into our home.) A few people have frowned upon the fact that I left her tagged with it. But, afterall, it is only a name.

AND to get back to the purpose of this whole thing..... The Dead and The Gone. A definite must read. I no longer have one favorite book; these are so magnificent that when the kids/faculty at the school where I work ask for a good read, I tell them they MUST read Life As We Knew It , so that they can run out and read The Dead and The Gone the day it comes out. (I am rather stingy and clinging to my ARC of the Dead and the Gone as if it were the last can of chicken soup on earth.) ;)

~Jennifer T. aka- hoping to become non-anonymous soon....