Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hope is the thing with feathers, but sometimes those suckers are razor sharp and sting like a bitch

Well, here's my current query tally; 24 sent out, 9 unanswered, 14 rejections and one partial request I haven't heard back on yet.  And you know what, the rejections aren't the worst part of that list.  It's those outstanding submissions that are KILLING me. 

Seriously, the last couple of days I've been feeling almost brink of insanity obsesssed with those unanswered queries.  The buzzard of hope circles endlessly: Have they received it?  Has it perhaps just crossed the desk of an agent who will decide my book sounds like the most stellar work of fiction in history and said agent is scrambling for his phone right now to offer me representation?  Did some disgruntled postal worker plaster the walls of his home with my pathetic little queries, so no one at these agencies even knows that I'm desperately trying to make that magic agent/writer connection?  Did an agent run from their office shouting for their assistant to contact me at once and immediately only to find said assistant was gone to lunch?  Did said assistant return from lunch to find a query with a sticky on it on their desk, disregard it as unimportant and now it's lingering in his 'to do' box that will perhaps get taken care of in the next century?  They can't possibly not have answered yet because they have a stack of queries from authors just as hopeful and desperate as me towering to the ceiling and only one pair of experienced eyes to evaluate them all.  It couldn't possibly be that.

While I know all of the scenarios except the last one are almost equally impossible and ridiculous this is just a little sampling of what that crazy maker hope does to me.  And so, agents of the world, as if you care, I am taking a stand.  I'm not sending out another query until I've received a response from each and every one of you that I've contacted (except, of course, those that say no response means no).  Aren't you sad now that you didn't write me back or at least tuck a little 'no thanks' card in the SASE I sent you?  No you're not and that's really okay, because I'm not doing this for you.  And actually I'm not really doing it for me.  I'm doing it for my husband and daughter who recently have been watching their mother and wife pace endlessly from computer to mailbox while pulling her hair into odd modern artish sorts of shapes and mumbling to herself.  They can't take it anymore and frankly neither can I, so no more irons in the fire, not until I've removed and doused the heat from the ones I've already got roasting.

On a  more positive note, I had a friend who does book binding by hand offer to make me one copy of my book.  She sent me a video of the finished product today and it is gorgeous.  It may be the only copy of this particular work of fiction ever made and I'm so excited to get it I'm practically giddy.


Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

The unknown - no matter what it is in life - is always the worst. Why is that?

I love your analogy to feathers. Perfect.

angfla said...

I have no idea why the unknown is the worst but it is certainly doing a doozy on me. I really have decided I have to take a huge step back from this trying to get published thing and remind myself that I do write because I love it, not because I want to get published. Hopefully as I do that my sanity will put in a reappearance.

Theresa Milstein said...

I wholeheartedly agree. Transitions are the worst - when you're not quite where you were, but not exactly where you'll be. That's how it feels with submissions. Each one holds a little hope, and when they're out there somewhere, it's maddening. Are it in pile of slush (Or sandwiched among many unread e-mails)? Is it being read at that moment? Has a form letter already been sent? Could it be that there's a big meeting to discuss whether or not they want to take on you and your project? At least when all the rejections come in, I know.

Good luck on your partial.

angfla said...

Theresa, I can see you're very familiar with the query process. Oh how I wish it were somehow simpler or at least faster. Thanks for the good wishes and for stopping by.