This post intends to gather and answer questions asked in various corners of Teh Internets. If I’ve missed a question, remind me below and I’ll do my humble best.
First, thanks so much for your concern and your willingness to help and to sacrifice your own things for us. Steve and I are touched. No, really. You guys are great.
But! Please don’t send us your copies of our books — not even your “extra” copies. There’s no need. Yes, the authors’ copies that were stored in the basement are pretty much pulp, but let me explain what I meant when I said “authors’ copies.”
Authors typically get between 10 and 30 copies of their own books, shipped from the printer upon publication. The number is formalized in the contract, and is part of the compensation due the author from the publisher. These are the books that were in the basement, and they are used for Good Deeds, mostly.
For instance, if someone writes to us (as has happened several times, now) looking for replacements for their books that were lost in a fire (or a flood, imagine), we replace the set from our authors’ copies. We do this gratis; losing favorite books is awful, and insurance companies, at least in my experience, aren’t that generous with payouts.
From the stash in the basement also come the books we send to auctions, donate to raffles, and give away in contests. Occasionally, when things are thin, we have sold some of those books in order to keep the cats in cat food — which they tell us is also a Good Deed.
So, yes, a loss — and the sight of dead books is something I find extremely distressing — but a loss to the community, more than a loss to us personally. Steve has a full run of every book we’ve ever written on his office bookshelves. I have the same. There’s a third set in the living room. We’re good.
Handmade soap, on the other hand, I will gratefully receive, but! I’m tough to buy for. I don’t like sweet smells — no roses, or lily of the valley, or petunia. I’m partial to lavender, citrus, vanilla, sage… Since I live in Maine and the winters are drying, I also had soaps that were moisturizing. Know that I’ve gotten gift soaps before that my nose disagreed with; those soaps go to the Waterville Homeless Shelter.
Edited to add, thanks to djbp for the reminder: Address to send soap:
PO Box 1586
Waterville Maine 04903-1586
Thank you so very much for asking.
Um. . .No, we don’t have a mud floor in the basement. It’s a half-finished basement — by which I mean that the side on the right-hand side of the stairs is paneled and carpeted, with built-in bookshelves and a woodstove; and the left-hand side of the stairs is naked concrete floor and sheetrock walls. The cat’s room is there; the oil tank lives there, and beyond that is a small woodroom.
However! We currently have mud in the finished part of the basement, because the water in its coursing through the floors and the ceilings, picked up dust and. . .stuff, which it rained down onto the carpet, making it not only very, very wet, but slippery and dangerous underfoot.
. . .and I think that’s all the questions. If I’ve forgotten yours, please ask again.