Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Spam- and not the canned kind

Status: Science project due tomorrow. Procrastination of a big project = bad idea.
Song: "Alive and Kicking" by Simple Minds

I had a bad moment in the Agent Hunt yesterday. My rejection rate had reached 1/3 already, and, I admit it, I was discouraged for a moment. (It didn't help that I was tired, had just run 4 miles, and was shaky because I hadn't eaten very good the day before or anything yet that morning.) So I blubbered and dripped snot all over my husband's shoulder.

*I'm not one of those people that cry gracefully, like some romance heroine or movie star who's makeup stays on while her lower lip quivers and glistening drops gently roll down her cheeks. No, I get all red-faced and blotchy and my nose thinks that it's time to go gangbusters. Unlike me, my middle son can cry gracefully. These huge crocodile tears just well up in his eyes, hover in his incredibly long I-can't-believe-these-are-wasted-on-a-boy eyelashes, then trickle down his cheeks leaving shimmering trails, while he looks at you with those big blue eyes...

Anyway, my wonderful husband *did not* push me away (scoring major points, because I was a sight), or even reach for something to mop up the puddle on his shoulder as I wailed incoherent statements about how I really want this, and I know my book is good, but obviously my query letter sucks, and how I've spent hours trying to write a new one and it's horrible too, and how do you write something good enough yet professional enough for the agent to even give you a chance, etc. etc. I think I tossed in some more woes, too, but it's all a bit hazy.

When my 5 minute pity party was over--and after some breakfast--I returned again to my normal tenacious (no, not stubborn!), optimistic self and I was ready to continue with the hunt. Even with a terrible query letter. *Note: look for a post in the near future on query letters.

Then last night near the end of the marathon Science Fair Project going on at my house, I took a break to send an email. As I was writing I looked over at the folders on the little sidebar-thingey and saw: SPAM (1)

Hm, thought I. That's strange to only have one spam. Usually they come in batches of 462.

So, I opened the folder and saw it was a reply to a query. Another rejection, probably. Might as well go for an even dozen. *shrug*

Are you ready for this? It was a request from Catherine Dayton of Inkwell Management for the first 50 pages of my manuscript!!!

I screamed.

Catherine... What a beautiful name! I *love* that name (now). I think I shall name a plant Catherine, since I have no nameless children or pets. I could name my favorite pair of shoes Catherine. No... I don't want her to think I'm walking all over her. My car could be named Catherine. Or maybe my beloved electric blanket.

The moral: Check your Spam! (It may not all be secret crushes, or people selling life insurance, or offers for *certain* physical enhancements, or money from the gov't, or Jennifer, Janice, or Jane wanting you to see their pics. It may be something you really, really want. That just might save your husband's shoulder from another deluge of writing-induced waterworks.)


**Disclaimer: If this is Catherine or any other agent, I really won't name my electric blanket after you. Unless, of course, you really want me to...


Deborah said...

Oh Cath-er-ine, oh Cath-er-ine, oh how we do now love thee.

stsesse...a fire going out?

Shauna said...

Wow! That's fabulous. Go you.

I was thinking I might wait to look for an agent until the publishing industry had figured out how to not die a horrible death. Maybe there's someone still kicking out there.

I bet you check over those first 50 pages again... justtomakesure.

Matthew Buckley said...

I wonder if the agents I never heard from are sitting in my spam folder? Of course, since I clean it once every three days, it's not likely.

I've decided that successful authors not only have to write well, but must have egos the size of small sailing vessels. Or else why on earth would we continue to send out our work after having 50+ people show disinterest?

Jenn said...

I too cry horribly, ugly, splotchy faced cries. I can't imagine you doing it, though. Hope this is the one for you! You deserve it.