Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


I have come to realize that submitting proposals is a bit like playing reverse Russian roulette. A very slow version mind you, but still possessing very similar characteristics. You load your mss into the chamber, say a little prayer and fire it off. You wait patiently for it to hit its mark. The waiting in itself can become a form of mental torture if you let it. Sitting in a crowded room, yet utterly alone, you can lose yourself in the many possible futures of your book.

At last, you venture down the path that leads to your mailbox. It has been so long since anything remotely interesting waited for you there that you no longer skip along the trail in giddy anticipation. Today, you make the journey in the pathetic shuffle of a dejected wanna be. Stop the press!!! “I spy with my eye…something that looks a lot like my own handwriting.” Your heart beat quickens and your breath comes in deep gulps. You stand at the curb in your bathrobe, looking at the stack of mail that contains your letter. You suppress the urge to open the letter on the spot, instead choosing to shuffle it to the back as you sort through the other envelopes.

You throw the whole stack of mail onto the end table and go in search for your missing cup of coffee. Finally, the anticipation becomes too much. Snatching the envelope up, you rip it open and peruse its contents. You have pulled the trigger and it went…click.

The letter reads:

Dear sir or madam,
Thank you for thinking of us. We were quite pleased that your query rose above those in the slush pile that were submitted by the mentally ill, but we don’t think this book will fly with our readers. Good luck placing it elsewhere and be sure to think of us when you finish your next treasure.

Weeks, months, possibly even years pass in similar fashion. By now your routine is getting old. You have become a bit calloused by the whole affair. You hardly even flinch when you pull the trigger now.

Then it happens. “What have we here?” You wonder as you open an email with the title of your book in the subject line. “I didn’t submit my query to them through the e-mail, did I?” You wonder if it may have happened late one night while you pecked away at the keyboard as if you were in a drunken stupor.

You read the letter/pull the trigger and…Boom. You are instantly validated. Someone, other than your mother, thinks you have written something worth reading. There will be no shuffle down death row for you. You will hop, skip and jump wherever you go from now on, because you have finally made it. Well, at least until you try to submit your next piece. For now, though, savor the flavor. There is nothing in this world that is quite as sweet, is there?


At 11:23 AM, Blogger JohnH985 said...

Did something get accepted? That's great! I know the feeling you're talking about, the waiting as you send something out. I used to write a column for a comic book writing newspaper and I did a whole column about the waiting and the waiting. The best thing I found is to start something else right away, so you can almost (remember I said almost, you never do quite) forget you have something out there. Oh, by the way I feel much better, it hit me quickly and was gone fairly quickly, thanks for the kind words.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

It's not 100% for sure yet (can't name names until contract is signed), but it is highly likely at this point. I will keep you posted (pun intended).

Glad to hear you are feeling better.

At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. » » »


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