Jan Berenstain, Co-author of The Berenstain Bears, Passes Away

Jan and Stan Berenstain/Photo © Random House Children's Books
Jan and Stan Berenstain/Photo © Random House Children's Books

Sad news for your inner child: Jan Berenstain, who along with her husband Stan created the unforgettable "Berenstain Bears" series of children's books, has passed away at the age of eighty-eight. NPR estimates that 260 million copies of the couple's books were published. (I can personally only account for a couple dozen of those.) Jan and her late husband have certainly left a legacy behind.

The AVClub estimates that there are at least six or seven Dracula-inspired projects in various stages of production (they should pair nicely with the dozen or so Frankenstein adaptations already in the works). I love a fresh twist on a classic as much as anyone else, but surely we can make way for some new old monsters? If you ask me, The Deadly Mantis is ripe for a comeback.

Speaking of digging up a classic, Terry Gilliam's notorious adaptation of Don Quixote may still have some life in it yet, despite being famously abandoned years ago (a 2002 documentary called "Lost in La Mancha" chronicled the film's failure). I'm especially curious to see who gets the role that once belonged to Johnny Depp, and then later to Ewan McGregor.

Literary agent Jonny Gellar was just poking a little fun when he started explaining via Twitter what the phrasing in publishers' rejection letters really means. Now Twitter hashtag #PublishingEuphemisms has blown up, with more and more authors, publishers, and wanna-bes chiming in with examples from their own experience. He should cobble a book together out of these -- I'm sure any publisher he encountered along the way would be too intimidated to offer any criticism whatsoever!