Friday, May 29, 2009

Writers Who Need Writers, and Santa Claus Agents

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating. I love my little group of supporters. To open up my blog, and have no comments, or - even worse - no visitors, would be a real downer.

As writers, or artists, we work alone, with no one looking over our shoulders and smiling, or saying something encouraging, and the aloneness of that could make for a very uninspiring day. But you guys make sure that never happens.

I know that we all lean on one another, relying on the feedback from our cheerleading squads. At times we are uncertain, hesitant about the work, believing that we are somewhat alien from the real world, that no one can really understand us, or the life we choose. (Correction: do we really choose it, or did it choose us? I think the latter.) We need to feel part of a whole, to be members of a welcoming and loving club. Well, blogs make all the difference. Without my followers, I probably would have experienced far more down time, misery time, if you like. Just when all is looking particularly dark, be it the work, or our lives, you're all out there keeping an eye on things, and watching out for one another.

Yesterday's blog drew a lot of interest, and I was once again moved by just how kind you all are. There have been many times when I've had tears in my eyes at your words over these past months. So today, again, I wanted to say thank you. How on earth did I manage before I started my blog?

I found this sentiment on line from Einstein, a uncharacteristically gooey one, to be sure, but it says what I'm feeling today.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

—Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965); theologian, philosopher, physician

Today I'm thinking of you all with deep gratitude.

My query stats for Orphan Hafan Deg as of this morning: 18 Pending, 2 Partials, 11 Rejections, for a total of 31.

One of my partials (which was snail-mailed) had been out there for a while, so I thought I should follow up on it. I read this particular agents' blog, and they hadn't mentioned being bogged down with queries, so I half-expected a rejection. The next day, there was their response, and I sighed (as usual) as I opened it. It politely told me that my MS was safe, and that I'd hear from them in about 30 days. My orphan is nice to hear that. I wish all agents would respond to our queries with "We have received your orphan, xxxx, and she is safe." Makes all the difference to how we feel at that terrible moment just before we press "send" yet again.

Of course, I've sent out new queries, because I replace the rejections each time, and one of these agents included the following words on his web site:

"XXXX Agents were formed in mid 2007 to help overcome some of the genuine frustration and feeling of helplessness felt by so many writers trying to get their book published - in particular their feeling that no one cares enough about their work to read it properly.

"It is our policy at XXXX to read and reply to all emails within 48 hours whenever possible. Of course it will take us longer to read your whole manuscript but in most case we will give you an answer within 2 to 3 weeks

(Re formatting) "....don’t worry too much about presentation or minor errors at this stage, they will make little difference to whether we like what you have sent us and we can fix it later."

Well, this is either Santa Claus working in his offtime, or the Good Queen Glinda's husband.

Why can't they all be like this?

Oh, and if anyone is interested in this agent's name, email me.

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Quotes to Consider

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Well behaved women rarely make history."~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”~William G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), theologian, teacher, pastor

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." ~Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), essayist, poet, philosopher

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
~ Wayne Gretzky