The Box o' Hunt!
Also, tonight's publishing panel at the Foundation Center was an amazing experience. 113 people registered, and the room was filled practically to capacity. My fellow panelists Arlene Hutton and Deborah Ludwig were both knowledgeable and delightful, and Joey Guastella was the consummate professional moderator. There were a lot of the usual questions--"Are agents important?", "Should I self-publish?", "What's the best way to get an agent or editor's attention?"--but we had fun with it and the audience members seemed to appreciate our answers. A lot of people came up to me afterward to thank me, which was really nice because usually at these things I feel like a mushmouth who's hemming and hawing his way through everything. It was a good bunch of people, and I hope I was able to answer their questions. A lot of it's really just common sense, but sometimes writers get so caught up in their heads they think there's some kind of magical key they don't know about that unlocks the door of publishing success. (That's why everyone sweats the cover/query letter at first; they forget it's just a business letter like any other.)
I tried to be funny too, but I think a lot of my jokes fell flat because there wasn't much laughter in the room. Well, except for one line, where I mentioned that I don't like internet message boards because I find most of the people there monstrous. That one got a big laugh. I guess I'm not alone in feeling that way.