So I just got off the phone from a conference call with my agent and somebody else’s agent (you know their stuff) and we discussed the possibility of various options for Dragonbreath, none of which I am going to talk about now, and would ask that y’all refrain from speculation, since I can’t say anything, and in the way of all things, even if somebody DID option it for something, odds are good I would get a nice little check and then Absolutely Nothing Would Happen, and then maybe sometime in the future someone else would be interested and if lucky, I would get a nice little check again.

Such is the dance of options.

I have been on con calls before where the subject under discussion was Digger, or was a story I hadn’t even written yet and I was basically just brainstorming for hire (none of which led to anything with that particular client, but one of which ideas became Bread Wizard, so hey, nothing is ever wasted.) Nothing has ever come of it, but hey, nothing ever comes of these things ’til it does, so you gotta keep taking the calls.

So I listen and occasionally I make an appreciative noise or ask a question.* They talk about budgets and merchandising and quote numbers that would set me up for life if anything actually happened (which it almost certainly won’t.) I make more appreciative noises, because this is sort of like telling me how high the lottery jackpot is today–yes, that IS a great deal of money, but the odds of me taking it home are nearly non-existent, so I don’t get excited.

But it comes home to me now and again that This Is Not My World.

OTHER AGENT: If you’re in front of the computer right now, you can look up this company…

ME: Helen, you’re gonna have to google that, I’m pulling weeds.

MY AGENT: (starts laughing.)

OTHER AGENT: …you’re WHAT?

ME: Pulling weeds. Uh, it’s not that I’m not taking you seriously, I swear, but I only get good reception out in front of the house, and then I’m right there and there are these weeds…

MY AGENT: (still laughing) See? Makes…total…(ahaha)…sense…

OTHER AGENT: (plaintively)  …I have never had anyone say that to me on a con call before.

He seemed nice.

 

 

*Everyone is very kind and answers these questions as if they are not deeply inane or betraying a total ignorance of the industry in question. I am plagued, not by the feeling that I am asking stupid questions—I long ago stopped worrying about THAT—but by the feeling that I don’t know which questions I SHOULD be asking. My agent asks the important ones, or hires the people who then ask the important ones. This is why agents are lovely.

  • reply Wolf Lahti ,

    I’m not speculating, mind you. I’m just really looking forward to the animated Dragonbreath.

    • reply Gillian ,

      Pulling weeds. Sounds like a good thing to me! (We only get good reception outside the house, also.)

      • reply Jessa ,

        When I first saw “con call” my brain went, “That totally can’t be the weirdest thing he’s ever heard on at convention phone call.” Then the rest of my brain caught up and I realized he probably meant “conference call.”

        … I think he’s missing out on some awesome opportunities for potential conference calls if pulling weeds is enough to throw him for a loop.

        I also only get good reception outside of my house. Which means I often end up talking on the phone and trying to clean up the “land mines” the stray cat keeps leaving in my yard.

        • reply Andrew Ragland ,

          My coworkers have gotten used to the occasional rooster crowing in the background when I’m on a bridge call. (He likes to lurk under the window of my home office.) Once in a while there’s a little surprise over the exigencies of my living on a farm, but I have a couple of coworkers with farms as well, and so here we are discussing truly abstruse points of information technology, designing monitoring systems and using phrases like “event feed” and “mainframe to server connectivity” and “agile methodology”, and then the conversation veers into a side discussion of alpaca health and breeding.

          • reply Ernestine Schaper ,

            Fantastic post. Very helpful. Thanks for the info.

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