books with Athena

books with Athena

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What if Hollywood Rewrites Your Book? Survival Tips from Catherine Ryan Hyde

First: The big day has arrived!The ebook version of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE…And Keep Your E-Sanity which I wrote with my mentor Catherine Ryan Hyde is now available on Amazon from MWiDP. For a limited time, the e-book price will be $2.99 in the US and roughly the equivalent in the UK. (This book is for writers all over the world, not just the US, and we had a Brit for an editor—thanks Mark!--who steered us from the usual America-centric advice.) 



Why did we write this book, when there are already so many writing books out there?

Because this one is different:
  • It isn’t a book about how to write, although we’ve got some great tips for self-editing and how to construct an opener that will grab readers and not let go. 
  • It’s also not a book on how to get published, although we have tons of info on how to find the right agent and how to write and format an e-query, as well as find publishers who don’t require an agent. 
  • It’s not a book on how to self-publish, although we provide the information to help you do that and decide if that’s the route you want to take. 
  • It’s not a book about building platform, although it includes my whole step-by-step “how to blog” series and tons of info on how to use Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest and other social media sites to establish your author presence on the Web before you take the publishing plunge.

It IS a book about how to BE a writer. How to take care of yourself and avoid getting scammed; how to make sense of criticism; how to build platform without giving up too much of your writing time--and a whole lot more about how to navigate the treacherous waters of today's fast-changing publishing business.

Plus, when you buy the ebook now, you can sign up for FREE updates, which will be issued every six months—since half of what we say today may not be true by then.

You can win a free copy of the ebook of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE if you comment on my post over at Meghan Ward's blog, Writerland before 9 PM Pacific time on Monday July 2nd. 

Catherine had the life-changing experience of seeing her novel PAY IT FORWARD made into a major motion picture. The only problem: the screenplay made major changes to the story and characters. Like, for instance the powerful African-American hero became a wimpy white guy. The setting was changed from small town California to Las Vegas, and most of the characters were eliminated.

So Catherine is going to tell us what to do when your dream comes true…and turns into a nightmare. We all dream of our books becoming Hollywood films, don’t we? I'm sure you've done some fantasy casting in your head. Come on, admit it. I sure have.

But what do you do if they cast Danny DeVito as your hero instead of Johnny Depp? Move the setting from post-apocalyptic Detroit to Beverly Hills? And they want Eddie Murphy to play the Betty White part in a fat suit?

Catherine has the answers. Read on…

The drawing for the signed first edition of PAY IT FORWARD will be held at the launch of the paper edition of the book. You can still enter by signing up for our mailing list, either by leaving your email address in the comments or emailing me at annerallen dot allen at gmail dot com. 

What to Do when Hollywood Rewrites Your Book: How to Survive a Writer’s Most Desirable Problem

by Catherine Ryan Hyde


A big screen adaptation of your novel.

It IS possible. Likely, no. But possible.

If your book takes off and enjoys great sales, a big film company might step up and ask to option the rights. Which does not mean the movie will ever come to a theater near you.

Hundreds of properties are optioned yearly for every film that’s released. But it happens.

If you’re wondering how to make this happen, I’m sorry to say I’m not sure you can. It’s a bit like being struck by lightning (and often similarly painful). Lightning strikes happen to hundreds of people every year. And yet, if you’re looking for such an experience (you’re not, but go with me on this tortured simile) there’s no special path to finding it. My only advice is to stand outside in a lot of rainstorms. Lightning rarely strikes those sitting inside by their comfortable wood fires.

Maybe you have a film agent, or your literary agent has a subagent for film. And said agent is shopping it around. Good. That’s the equivalent of standing outside in a storm. Now all you need is a whole universe full of luck.

And then, in most cases, somewhere in the adaptation process, authors begin to wonder just how lucky they really are.

My novel Pay It Forward was adapted for film. I am commonly asked what I think of the movie version. My answer is always the same.

“I thought the book was better.”

Then again, I would, wouldn’t I?

When I say that, just about everybody says the same thing: "Oh, the book is always better than the movie." Which leads me to wonder why, as a society in general, we see so many movies and read so few books. But that’s another rant for another text.

I have theories as to why the book is always better.

Theory #1: The author is not a person responsible for recovering an investor’s fifty million dollars (or hundred million these days), and so spends less time second-guessing him- or herself. (Isn’t it nice to know there’s somebody on the planet doing more second-guessing than the writer?)

Theory #2: Most books have only one author. A Hollywood movie is like the textbook definition of too many cooks in the kitchen.

Theory #3: People don’t seem to realize that Hollywood will make whatever kind of movies we will support, and that we "vote" with our box office dollars.

If I had singlehandedly made the movie Pay It Forward:
  • The world would actually have changed at the end; 
  • Reuben St. Clair, my African-American Viet Nam vet protagonist would have appeared in said film (Eugene who?); 
  • All the gay, transgender, physically large, or minority characters would not have turned thin, white and straight, or disappeared entirely (ah, Hollywood is a magical place!); 
  • I would have made sure that the only black and (arguably) Hispanic characters left were not gang-bangers and knife-wielding thugs. 

Ah, you say. But it will be different with me. Because I will retain control.

Really? You think you can control a Hollywood film?

I’m not so sure.

First of all, if you’re not J.K. Rowling, attaching script approval might very well relegate your project to a shelf forever. But let’s say your work is hot, and you get what you want: script approval, or even collaboration on the screenplay.

Screenwriters do not control Hollywood films.

The director leaves fingerprints on it, calling it “A Fill-in-the-name-of-the-big-director Film” and making insane choices based on ego to prove it.

The actors come in with “script notes” (i.e., I just can’t see my character saying that). The bigger the actor, the harder it is for anyone to say no to the often rotten ideas.

New writers can be brought in to make new changes. Even if you could conquer those forces, a film editor can completely transform the feel of a film in post production. For better or for worse.

No matter what it says in your contract, a film is going to be out of the novelist’s control.
So, if I had it to do over again, would I still sell them the rights?

You bet I would. In a Hollywood minute.

Let’s face it. This is what you call a high-end problem.

I know other fortunate writers will face similar happy disasters (I want to go on record as saying I wish this problem on each and every person reading this) so I’ll offer some tidbits of advice for the adaptation experience.

1) A useful mantra: "It’s not my hundred million dollars."

2) A great quote from Jacqueline Mitchard: "Where I come from, you can either take the money or you can moan about the process, but not both."  My advice? Take the money. Moaning is not all its cracked up to be.

3) Remind yourself that they are not, as people will suggest, "changing your book." Go back and read your book. You will find it blissfully unchanged. This is not your book, it’s their movie. Separate the two in your brain for purposes of continued sanity.

4) If your problems feel overwhelming, complain to your writer friends who are still struggling to get published. (Example: "Boo hoo. They cast Kevin Spacey in my movie instead of Denzel Washington.”) They will help you regain perspective. Trust me. They will.

Just promise me that you won’t be that writer who gets everything he or she ever wanted, and is still unhappy. A big screen adaptation is the brass ring. It boosts your name recognition (and I don’t mean boosts like a booster seat, I mean boosts like a booster rocket via NASA) and sells more books. That title, plus your backlist if you have one, plus every other book you’ll ever write.

And let’s say they make a bad film. I mean a really bad film. Not like Pay It Forward, which I think of as a flawed film. I mean hold-the-nose-and-ask-for-your-ticket-price-back crappy. Then what will people say? 

They’ll say, “Oh, don’t even bother with the movie. The movie sucks. Read the book. The book is much better.” 

And this hurts the writer how?

Once Hollywood comes calling for your book, nothing they can do to it will ever be as bad, in my opinion, as the hurt caused when they don’t.

There are some very well-known writers who simply refuse to option their work for film because they know Hollywood is going to ruin it, and they know it’s going to hurt when they do. I’d advise you not to be one of them. This is the kind of pain we should all be happy to dive into. Put on your best grown-up suit and be prepared to let go.

As my old mentor Jean Brody used to say, “We should all have such problems!”

What about you scriveners? Have you cast all the major parts in your book with Hollywood actors? Have you dreamed of getting nominated for an academy award for the screenplay? And come on, haven’t you--at least once--rehearsed what you’re going to say when you get that Oscar? Are you going to go out and read the actual Pay It Forward now you know how different it is from the Kevin Spacey movie? Do you have favorite books that were made into "flawed" movies?

***

Catherine Ryan Hyde has two new books this week. Not only our joint effort, but her heartbreaking, funny, and life-affirming  novel, DON’T LET ME GO, formerly only available in the UK. It's now available in ebook and paper at Amazon.com. Yesterday it hit #1 in Kindle books!


And if you live on the Central Coast of California, you can meet and learn from Catherine in person. She and I are giving a seminar in San Luis Obispo on July 14th on How to Be a Writer in the E-Age. (Isn't Bastille Day a perfect day to liberate yourself from the old publishing ways?) No matter what your level of writing expertise, we have information that will help you on your publishing journey, from how to write an e-query to how to deal with bad reviews. More info at Digital Age Authors. It's going to be a fun, positive learning experience!


If you want to hear a podcast of an interview with Catherine and me on the Dave Congalton show, you can hear it in the archives at KVEC for June 28th.

39 comments:

  1. I'm already half way through the book and it's VERY helpful!!! Thank you !!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You had me at "FREE updates".

    Thanks, Anne and Catherine. Looks like you've got all the bases covered with this book.

    I also got a kick out of the reminder that they're not changing your book, they're making THEIR movie.

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would SO love to have that problem! This was excellent advice for me, as a yet-to-be-published author who has been having the book-turned-movie fantasy for years, worrying that it will star G-list actors or marquee names thar are horribly miscast. I think I would be able to get past that now, haha! I always use Pay It Forward as an example of books that you still should read, even if you saw the movie. Not only is it WAY better, but it is totally different. (I probably would not have even seen it if I had not exchanged emails with Catherine prior to the movie release) You two make a good team, and I look forward to reading your book! I am sure I will learn a ton! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. They’ll say, “Oh, don’t even bother with the movie. The movie sucks. Read the book. The book is much better.”

    So true. I discovered Alan Moore because all the reviews for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie were along the lines of, "I can't believe they made such a HORRIBLE movie out of such a WONDERFUL, WONDEFUL book! Let me dedicate the rest of this review to telling you how awesome the graphic novel was!"

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good stuff, Anne and Catherine. I had a screenwriter approach me about bringing "Murder in Los Lobos" to the screen. He said he wanted to make Bella younger. I said fine. But the project fizzled as projects will, though I understand nothing is ever really dead in Tinsel Town. However, I'm not making any financial decisions based on the success of the project.

    ReplyDelete
  6. How did I never know that your book was made into a film!? I am a BAD BAD follower xD

    I think it's fantastic that your work got adapted, and hey, even not-so-great movie adaptions get publicity for the books! And I congratulate you on your level-headed approach to the flim adaptation business, there's plenty more out there who'd be howling it up in gales of angst right now :P

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sharyl--I'm so glad you're finding the book helpful. I'll bet if you've started your own blog, you find it much easier to comment on others, too.

    KG--Yup. FREE. Yeah. That helped my perspective, too: their movie. I remember a quote from John Updike about the film of the Witches of Eastwick. He said "Essentially they paid me a huge amount of money for a title. Who am I to complain?"

    Elaine--I'm so glad you're spreading the word about how much better the book of Pay it Forward is.

    Mary--Thanks for the great example of this working in the author's favor. Yes, I think a bad movie can still get lots of readers for a good book.

    Sue--I sure would like to see a film of Murder in Los Lobos! Yeah, they always have to go younger with the casting. Maybe they'd cast Lindsay Lohan as your middle-aged ex-nun?

    Charley--I think Catherine will find this so refreshing. As I remember, you're in your mid-teens, so you were a little kid when the film of Pay it Forward came out. So you know the book, but not the film. Awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anne & Catherine—Congratulations! You've written a must-have, must-read e-survival guide! Great info, great-perspective, indispensable for every writer, beginning & experienced. WTG!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ah, I've been waiting on this. Congrats on the publication :)

    Oh, and I finally read The Gatsby Game. What an awesome story. I loved the characters and the voice. I've got a start on the review, but I have a lot going on right now so it may be a couple weeks before I get it completed.

    Anyway, it was an awesome story :)

    ......dhole

    ReplyDelete
  10. Very mature and savvy way of looking at it. I agree totally. Often people will read a book just because it became a movie. Having worked in the biz, creative control is an illusion. The gaffer has more control than the writer(s).

    ReplyDelete
  11. In response to the topic, I've composed this very thoughtful, expansive post on Google+. Let's just say this: I'll be in charge of my own animated adaptations when the time is right.

    (Follow me there with the tag #WhatLiesAground.)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ruth--Thanks so much! That means a lot coming from a publishing insider and NYT bestseller!

    Donna--Oh, thank you! It's so great to know you liked Gatsby. And that you're going to review. Praise from a great reviewer like you sure can make an author's day. No rush. Good reviews, like good books, take time :-)

    Christopher--That's the key. The film gets your name out there. Not only do you get a nice chunk of change, but your book sales take off.

    Dylan--Thoughtful piece. It's wonderful to hang onto your dreams. Not every writer is as multi-talented as you, but if you have what it takes to be an "auteur," go for it. Woody Allen has kept control of his work for most of his working life and it seems to have worked out pretty well for him :-) (BTW, it seems to help to become very big in France.)

    But the e-age is changing everything. And these days becoming your own YouTube star can be better than all the Hollywood hype money can buy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I always try my darnedest to see a film and a book as different art works, and to remind myself that a movie that slavishly reproduces every element of a book isn't asserting itself as an independent entity.

    That said, yeah, the books are usually better :)

    Aren't there at least a few famous examples where mediocre books became outstanding movies? I think the first two Godfather movies are generally thought of that way, though I haven't read the books, so I can't speak to it personally.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hollywood can change my protagonist to a Maltese psychic with Tourette's Syndrome and a fondness for absinthe for all I care, as long as they buy the movie rights.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Screenplays and novels... I did it sort of backwards and wrote 2 screenplays first. Getting produced seemed so daunting that I thought I should write the novels too, on the off chance it might help get the screenplays into the marketplace. Turns out getting published is no small feat either :-) In my wild dream fantasies, the books will be published, the movies will hit the big screen and I'll get some sort of screenwriting credit as, at least some of that script work might be worthy?? I'm holding onto the vision but not the likelihood. I do love to dream.

    ReplyDelete
  16. You know, I wanted to read Pay it Forward before, but now I REALLY want to read Pay it Forward. *grins*

    Funny thing is, we just watched the remake of "True Grit". I'd never seen the original version, but it was interesting listening to my father-in-law who had. They took a different perspective yet the lines were apparently very similar. Since it's based off a book, I suspect both movies took lines from the book. But back to what Catherine was saying - Now I want to read, and perhaps buy "True Grit", just to find out.

    Oh and I would love to have the problem of seeing my book made into a movie. Sure I've done some casting (mostly to get the looks and feel of the characters down) for my book, but I also know that by the time a movie gets made, there will be a new crowd whose closer to the proper age for my story. Anyway, if it happens, I'll try to remember your advice. I like the humor in it. Makes it easier to laugh at myself, when I have to use it. *giggles*

    :} Cathryn

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm going to read the new book just to see what you have to say. It sounds fascinating...and different because I don't think I've seen another book like this anywhere for authors.

    I read "Pay it Forward," when it was first released, before the movie, and loved it. When I finally did see the film I was amazed at the changes, too. But I've seen this with Anne Tyler novels that became films, and with others...even John Irving. I think the public has become used to the fact that the film will never be as good as the book. And for what it's worth, it just makes the original author look even better.

    ReplyDelete
  18. First, apologies. I was finishing…yes, adding the very last words and very last pages...to my newest novel. I checked this blog once and there was one comment. I thought I’d come back and answer a few at one time. Then suddenly it’s Monday morning, and it hits me all over again that Anne has a wildly popular blog with lots of followers and lots of comments. (16 to be exact!) I could leave one of my own blog posts for a day and not have too many comments to catch up on.

    So…late. But here.

    Sherry Heber, thanks so much for jumping on board and giving our book a try. I’m sure you’ll recognize some advice from my workshops, but hopefully some new ideas, too.

    KG Arndell, I do find a lot of “Aha” moments over that thought, which leads me to wonder if we don’t consider the movie the more “official” version. I’d like to see our society reinvest that respect in books.

    Elaine, I have a special place in my heart for people who use Pay It Forward as an example of why just seeing the movie isn’t enough! As if I didn’t like you enough already!

    Mary, I loved hearing an example of how a bad movie helped its source book. Great way to underscore the point.

    And Sue, I don’t base financial decisions on movie possibilities, so that’s wise. Then again, it could happen. I hope it does. I’d be thrilled for you!

    Charley, no worries. I’d much rather it was the film, not the book, you didn’t know about. And I think the key question is how much a person wants to be in the gales of angst. Me, not so much.

    Thank you so much Ruth, for your kind words about How to be a Writer in the E-Age, and Keep Your E-Sanity! From your mouth to the E-Book Gods’ ears. I hope writers find it that helpful!

    Thanks for your kind congrats, Donna. Hope you get a lot out of the book. (I loved The Gatsby Game, too.)

    Christopher, your comment reminded me of an old joke told to me by author Banaby Conrad. “Did you hear the one about the Hollywood starlet who was so dumb she slept with the writer?” ‘Nough said.

    Dylan, that’s definitely one way. Maybe one of the very few.

    Becca, I liked the movie versions of The English Patient, The World According to Garp and Everything is Illuminated better than I liked the books. It happens.

    Steven, funny story (I hope). When one of my first short stories was published, they asked if they could change its name. I said they could change my name if it suited them. Fortunately I’ve tempered my thinking a bit over the years.

    Sherry, I do think it’s funny how we go back and forth on what’s harder to sell than what. And it’s all hard. Which is why I think it’s best to follow our passions.

    And thanks, Cathryn. In this business, being able to laugh at ourselves can be a lifesaver.

    ReplyDelete
  19. And hello again, Ryan. I really appreciated seeing your blog post about our book. I hope you get just what you need from it, and thanks for helping us spread the word.

    ReplyDelete
  20. as long as I get to walk the red carpet at the premiere, and I get a cut of the royalties, they can do what they want. I still wrote what I wanted, and got a bunch of money. The former is all I ask, the latter is the only other relevant factor in play. The red carpet wish is just a little vindication photo-op moment, for all my haters in life =)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for sharing your experience of Pay It Forward. Being an actor, I know what goes on in the film industry firsthand. And yes, many a good book has been ruined by all the hands that touch it during filmmaking. I still remember being so disappointed after I read Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities and then saw the movie. The film was a catastrophe! Both you and Anne have so much to offer, I have to get your book. Best of luck.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Samuel, I must admit I did get to do that (the red carpet) and it was indeed fun. However, though photos were taken, I never saw me in any media sources. Just Kevin and Helen and Haley. That's Hollywood.

    Diana, I happen to know from your tweet that you did buy our book. Thank you, and I hope you enjoy it and get a lot of facts and encouragement from it. Your support is much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  24. "They’ll say, “Oh, don’t even bother with the movie. The movie sucks. Read the book. The book is much better.”

    Okay, yes, I've met people who said exactly that as well as those who ran out and bought the book. I've also met people who told me that they would NEVER read a particular book after suffering through a terrible movie based on that book. Even after I told them that the book was so much better! I can think of at least ten books right off the top of my head that fit that category - ones destroyed by the movie.

    But, no matter what, it's clear that as a writer (unless you're J.K. Rowling) it's unlikely you'll be able to do much about it. The benefit that's mentioned here which struck me most forcefully was that your name as a writer becomes more visible when a movie has been made based on your book, for better or for worse. This can lead to more people giving your novels a try and potentially loving them (then they may actually go back and read that book they swore they would never read because of the atrocious movie they hated). As also mentioned, this is a "high end" kind of problem that we'd all love to have...

    ReplyDelete
  25. Catherine, I especially love your point #4 - yes, friends who are still struggling will really put things into perspective - this is true for all things in life. We should all be grateful for even the tiniest good things that come our way. (P.S. Keep up your Daily Gratitude postings! I love reading them.)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks, Tara. A lot of my gallows humor on the subject comes from knowing what a lucky problem it is to have. I figured at the time I should either get a set of *real* problems or stop complaining. I chose the latter.

    Hi Dianne! Thanks for mentioning my Daily Gratitudes (for those who don't know me, I post them on Twitter, Facebook, etc.). It's all about where we place our focus, I firmly believe. Nice to see you here!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Just bought your book and can't wait to read it.

    How do I go about signing up for the free updates?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Elle--Thanks a bunch! At the end of the book is a link to MWiDP, where you can sign up for the mailing list for updates. This is one of the many reasons I'm glad we had a publisher for this and didn't try it on our own. Some books really need a whole team.

    Mark Williams and his staff get to handle the update stuff, and intrepid coder Jay got to deal with the formatting, which was a bear, and Athanasios did the design. Thanks, Mark, Jay and Athanasios! Saffi, too! This book was definitely a team effort--an international team, with members in US, UK, Africa, and Canada. Pretty amazing that it's all coming together. We hope to have the paper version available soon.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Just bought the book and am looking forward to digging in. Congratulations to you both.

    Movies? I often wonder what one of my novels would be like optioned by Bollywood as opposed to Hollywood. Different or the same.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Just bought the book and am looking forward to digging in. Congratulations to you both.

    Movies? I often wonder what one of my novels would be like optioned by Bollywood as opposed to Hollywood. Different or the same.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Mesemered (Prue) Thanks so much for buying the book!

    I never thought of a Bollywood version of my books. Could be a hoot. But I'm not sure how Guy of Gisborne would look in a hot pink silk shirt and sequins. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  32. REALLY good advice. Funny how most things we deal with would go better if we'd put on the grownup pants and deal. LOL! (I once had a script get close to production and I learned a lot--most of it about being a grownup. and yeah, would do it again.)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Pauline--You're so right about the grown-up panties! I fear some new writers revert to childhood patterns of thinking they're the center of the universe and a temper tantrum can get them anything they want.

    ReplyDelete
  34. So very true. I had to laugh. You really need to check your expectations at the door, though you should expect to get notes. Lots and lots of notes. LOL! I went into it slightly different direction than you. I was writing scripts. I finally realized that only way I'd get my own script produced was become a producer. Most use scripts as calling cards to becoming a rewriter of other peoples scripts. So now I write books. But I learned a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Phyllis HumphreyJuly 8, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Anne & Catherine:
    Got the book last night and have already made a page full of notes to myself. I especially wish I'd read it when a gal in my criique group wrote a book with every character so perfect I wanted to gag. Your line: "Saints in fiction are boring Unless they liberate France and are burned at the stake. And that's been done." was right on. Bravo.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Pauline-- I relate. I think Hollywood offers the world's best course in humility. I went from high fallutin' east coast experimental theatre to working as "background" in film and learned very fast how expendable my "talent" was.

    Phyllis--I'm so jazzed you bought our book! And that you're finding it useful. And yes, since we once shared a critique group, I think you know exactly the kind of critiques I'm talking about :-) And oh, don't you hate those perfect Mary Sue characters!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Forgot to mention I got the book! Looking forward to reading it. :-) Congrats!

    At least you aren't expendable here!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Well now know how Lee Childs feels every time he thinks about little Tom Cruise playing 6ft 5inch Jack Reacher! Childs must be lying in bed biting the sheets - and counting the money :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Pauline--So glad you bought the book! Hope you find it useful

    Diana--GREAT point. Yeah, what's up with that? They couldn't find any guys over 5'4" in Hollywood? Maybe they have to be small to fit into our little TV sets...

    ReplyDelete

We LOVE comments, but we can't allow anonymous ones because of spam problems (like hundreds a day). If you have a WordPress blog ID, try signing into Wordpress before you comment with that ID. If you have trouble commenting, email your comment to Anne at annerallen dot allen at gmail dot com and she'll post it for you.