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Ernie Cordell

Cakes and Beer? Was this by any chance "The Egyptian Book of the Dead?"

John Cowan

"Do you ever wake up peppy [...]?"

No, actually

Ernie: "The law does not say that there are to be no cakes and ale, but there are to be no cakes and ale except such as are required for the benefit of the company." --Bowen LJ, Hutton v. West Cork Railway Co.

"Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?" --Sir Toby Belch, Twelfth Night


"Don’t muddle your queries with obsequious disclaimers"

I have been guilty of this one! Fortunately these days I reread my queries at the end of an edit to see if I've answered any of them myself and they often get shortened or clarified.


To make sure there aren't any hurt feelings, I usually advise all my authors up front not to take my criticisms of their work personally & remind them that they're hiring me to edit their books to make them as marketable as possible. So far, none have taken offense at anything; most just say, "Wow!" I think the third pass through the manuscript to review all my previous notes helps with this; it's a good opportunity to refine any comments that seem too harsh & look at the entire manuscript with fresh eyes.

(Oh, and count me in for the cake & beer!)

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