Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hell no, J-Lo

Click here, read it, then return.

You just read something crappy. Something so crappy. Yet the author, an actor you've heard of named James Franco, has a book deal. For a book. An actual book full of his words. His crappy, self-indulgent blathering words. I apologize for what follows, dear readers. It is dark and desperate and cranky and capital-J Jealous. But I have to. I have to happen to Franco before Franco happens to words again.

Why did you do it, Franco? You already make loads of money acting in movies. You're good at that. I liked you in Spiderman. You did what actors are supposed to do: show up, look handsome, speak coherently. But you are not good at writing. I may not be great, but I know I'm better than you. Why do you have to hog all the fun jobs? Stick with what you're good at and leave the writing alone, Franco. Leave it for us uglier folk who are too asymmetrical for the screen, small or big. There's no triple- or double-threat in you, Franco. You're not J-Lo. You're just lo.

See that, Franco? See what I did on that line up there? That was a comparison that worked (sort of) and not just on one level, but on many. But your comparison, sorry, your simile (you did go to Columbia)...

My window is cracked, just a bit, and the air plays on my forehead like a cold whisper.

... makes me want to kick you in the mouth. And the blowjob stuff near the end? Oh, that makes me want to kick you again. It really does. And that hurts me in the emotions because you have such a nice mouth. And you know why? Because you're an actor. Your mouth has to be nice or I will throw Nibs at the screen and write bitchy letters to your agent. But writers, Franco, real honest-to-goodness writers don't have mouths like yours. Writers have mouths covered in blue pen from when it works and red pen from when it doesn't. Their mouths are twisted and grimaced from anxiety and bad food and cigarette-sucking. Nobody wants to kiss a real writer before they get their first book deal, Franco. Because a writer in that spot tastes like rejection, Franco. And yesterday's pad effin' Thai.

And another thing. You got a deal with Scribner, Franco? SCRIBNER? On your first try? They actually paid you money for a book of short stories like the one I just suffered through? That's wrong and even you know it, Franco. Even you--sitting there on a stoop somewhere in Greenwich Village brushing your new moustache--know that you have no right signing that contract.

I can't WAIT to read this book of yours, Franco. Of your "stories." I'll bet they all have Johnny Depp titles, too. Really dark and brooding and greasy and New York and wrist-slitty. I'll also bet money that you write some stories in lower case-only. because sometimes, franco, you just feel so small in this big ol' world, right? like, you know, small. like the letters. get it?

$%#@. That's it. I'm querying Scribner ASAP. And if I don't hear back, I'm blaming you, Franco. I'm blaming you for it all.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

You're so vain

Dear Ex. It was nice of you to e-mail me the other day. Thanks for asking about my book. Since you don't know about this blog, I feel comfortable reporting that it's coming along just fine. I have to admit, though, that I found your correspondence a tad irritating. Not because of the tortured, formal way you address me now (not a single contraction!) or the insincere manner through which your "very, very best" is wished upon me, or even your pretend ignorance re: all my awesome stuff that you still have. No, what bothers me most is my eyes. My eyes sting when I read your e-mails. They burn because they are tired, so very tired, from having to read between the lines. So I'm about to do you a favour, Ex, to clear things up for you once and for all. The answer I know you really want is this: No, Ex. My novel is not about you. Here's why.

The main character has a live-in boyfriend, yes. But he wears glasses. You do not. He is skinny. You are husky. He's an intellectual. You, well... I should probably erase that one. He can't drive a car. You can. He's blond. You tried that once via a drug store highlight cap and stopped after your brothers called you "Lady Hair." He is religious. You are religious too, yes, I'll give you that one. But you invested in crucifix jewellery not too long ago so you'd never make the switch. And yes, the main character and her boyfriend live across the street from a Kingdom Hall and met at university and played board games, but so what? Like I said, he's blond and you're not. Case closed.

I've been thinking lately, Ex, and I think I know what this is really about. You're afraid that the "incident" will come up, aren't you? That the regrettable "episode" was just too funny and horrifying not to include in some manuscript or screenplay or blog eventually. It's risky dating a writer, you always said. And I suppose it is. Not to worry, Ex. Your secret is safe with me. Even if it-which-shall-not-be-named were to make an appearance in one of my projects, there'd be no need for you to fret. No one but you and I will ever know what actual event inspired such a passage. It's fiction, Ex. And as everyone knows, fiction never draws from real-life.

Especially when real-life returns my DVDs.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Zero-AutoSum Game

Since I still can't squeeze any comments out of editors (my amazing friends aside) or agents (agents don't have friends), I decided to ask Microsoft Word for some feedback by way of its AutoSummarize tool. Personally, I can't think of a better way to get advice about my book than by asking some pirated software to describe it back to me in 500 words or less. No, you're crazy.

It was from Mike.

“Yeah right. Mike Burmanthorpe, the Jehovah’s Witness,” I laughed. Jehovah’s Witnesses are good people. “Uh, Mike?” Right?”

Mike slowly pulled me onto the bed.

I thought.

That Samantha woman?

Mike smiled at me. “Are you okay, Avery?” asked Mike.

“I’m Avery.”

I’m Sarah. Sarah was depressingly beautiful. “I’m here with Mike.”

“Brother Michael?” responded Sarah in surprise. “Samantha, how are you?” asked Mike.

Mike asked in a whisper. “Sarah and Craig? Mike was actually nodding. “What the frack, Mike?”

“Sit down, Mike.

“Alright,” Steve relented.

- Mike

Mike was just too fast. “Avery? - Mike.

“Avery, it’s Sarah and Samantha from Kingdom Hall! Wouldn’t Mike be proud, I thought sarcastically. Mike, I thought. Right.

“Right, right.”

Neither Samantha or Sarah laughed.

Sarah looked offended. “Avery?” “It’s alright,” said Sarah, grabbing my hand. Love? “Avery?” Mike called. “What’s funny?” asked Sarah.

“Avery…”

“Avery, please.”

Apparently neither did Mike. Steve yelled. Mike hated to fly. “Achilles!” yelled Steve. Mike and I never fought. Mike wanted to sometimes. Steve laughed nervously.

Mike returned to the bedroom. Mike jumped into bed.

“It’s Samantha and Sarah.”

“It was,” said Sarah. “Please, Avery. Aren’t you Sarah?”

Sarah challenged. “Thank you, Avery. “Sarah?”

“Yes, Avery. “Let’s go, Sarah.”

Hey Calvin:

- Avery

“Steve?”

“Uh yeah, Calvin’s here. Calvin! Calvin grinned.

“Who’s Steve?”

Who is Steve, I thought.

Run. “Hi Sarah,” I said. Sarah looked paranoid. Sarah looked insistent. “Please, Avery.”

“Sarah, you got some…”

Sarah laughed.

Sarah asked. Sarah took another breath. “Avery,” Mike stuttered, his voice calmer now. Mike’s eyes went cold. Mike shook his head with disgust. “Avery, I’ve changed,” said Mike, turning away from me.

It was Mike’s pillow. “Hi Mike. I’m Avery. “Avery!” exclaimed Marnie.

Ah, Mike. Avery:

Right. “It’s Sarah.”

“Sarah? Like Jehovah’s Witness Sarah?”

“Sarah, what happened? “Sarah! Sarah’s face changed into something angry.

Right? “Avery!”

“No, Steve. “Jesus, Steve.

Was Steve right? Calvin? Right? I agreed with Sarah.

“Listen,” pleaded Sarah.

“Well? “Huh,” said Sarah again. Sarah yelled. “Sarah, he hit you. “Right.

“Oh, Avery.

Sarah grabbed a cookie.

Lisa’s life. “Of course,” Sarah admitted. My name is Avery.”

“Uh, hi Avery,” replied Sarah, hesitant but playing along. “Super,” said Sarah. “I remember,” laughed Sarah.

“Sarah, Sarah. “Uh, Calvin?” Those eyes.

“Yep,” replied Calvin.

“Sarah is pretty,” said Calvin. Mike. Calvin. Mike. Mike. Mike. Calvin. Mike.

“Sounds deep,” said Sarah. “Okay,” Sarah conceded. Was Sarah right? Were Steve, Calvin and even Mike right too?

“Avery!” Sarah called from the living room.

“You’re not Sarah.”

“Right.”

“No, Avery. Calvin asked.

“Calvin, right?”

“Right!”

“Bye, Calvin.”

Sarah yelled. Calvin! It’s Calvin!!”

Calvin? Those eyes. “Calvin is depressed, Avery. “Oh Avery.”

“Let’s go home, Avery.”

I guess this stuff isn't that interesting to anyone who isn't me, but it's still pretty interesting. My favourite thing:

Mike returned to the bedroom. Mike jumped into bed.

“It’s Samantha and Sarah.”

Makes it sound like a filthy threesome scene. Oh Word, you're such a dirty #$%&@. And you may be on to something...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday = Politics, Risk = Reward

I have a cold so I'm in my pjs trying to break through the ick with a large dose of lazy. Lazy for me means sitting on the carpet reading the paper while the tv talking heads talk talk talk. Sunday = politics, did you know? Someone should really tell God.

Anyways, I'm reading the Books section from yesterday's Globe and Mail and one article in particular stood out for me. The link is here should you be sitting on your own carpet with a box of Kleenex. It's a piece about a first-time author named Chevy Stevens (please ignore the tacky pseudonym) who sold her very first novel (a thriller called Still Missing). Chevy used to sell gifts and novelties (teddy bears!!!!) before she sold her ms for what is said to be a very large advance to St. Martin's Press. She wasn't a writer by profession, didn't even really dabble in it as a hobby before the idea for this book struck her. And here's what she did that I love: She sold her home, using the money to finance two years of exclusive work on her book. In other words, she took a big risk. And it paid off bigger.

Even through the haze of sinus congestion, this story managed to make me think: is my book (and by default, me) worthy of such a risk?

It's like a good-looking guy who follows a girl home. As long as he's hot enough, he's a romantic adventurer. If he's got a lazy eye and bad shoes, he's a stalker. And it's the same for investing everything I have in my book. If I succeed, it was worth the risk. It's something inspiring for the back jacket, something to woo desperate reporters with. But if it fails--if it does not pay off for me as it did for Chevy--well, I'll be left with a restraining order and one pair of very bad shoes.

Wall Street and mortgages and hedge funds aside, it's an investment in myself that has always seemed the riskiest. In my case, I have no home to sell. But I do need to decide if I should invest a few grand in taking a certain summer writing workshop. It's possible, of course, that this workshop won't pay off; that I'll still be left sitting on my carpet every Sunday reading about other people's successes. Or maybe not. Maybe all I need is a compelling personal story and a really bad pseudonym. Or maybe it's the act of risk taking that would finally force me to look--really look--at my book and fix what's wrong with both of us.

- Post by Spud Chapman

Friday, March 26, 2010

Unoriginal thoughts on selling out

It's Rejection Friday and I'm a little worried for my sanity. I'm also a little hung-over from a work party that I never should have gone to in the first place. When the CEO referred to us as "marketing journalists" I swear I felt a piece of my soul die. Actually, “die” is perhaps too strong a word. I suppose it felt more like my soul stubbed its toe, which is a very uncomfortable experience in and of itself.

Either way, the bull$%&# term made me think about selling out, something that I haven’t had to think about in my career before. Not really. I’ve always thought of myself of having what I suppose you could call a sort of moral code. But for the past few months I’ve been working at a place that dares stick the word “journalist” after the word “marketing.” Unconscionable. No matter what media critics may say (and I consider myself to be one), the two should have as little to do with each other as possible. Sure, big corporations pay the bills but journalists, real journalists, don't work for companies who exist for one sole purpose: to sell %$#&. They keep the government on their toes. They give people a voice who otherwise wouldn't have one. They bring us context and history and images that otherwise would be forgotten. Unseen. Invisible. That may sound like idealism, but there is a need for idealism sometimes because sometimes idealism reminds us of what we used to be.

What does this have to do with my book? The bull$%&# term and the selling out? It all made we wonder just how desperate I’ve become to get this book published. If an agent liked it but wanted the thing to be more commercial, would I listen? Would I make the changes no matter how dumb I thought they were? Like adding a shopping spree montage? A bikini wax monologue?

One Toronto agent gave what was the worst editorial suggestion I’ve ever heard: “You wrote about a bar called _______ and described it as ________ and __________. This bar doesn’t exist in Toronto, but your book is set here. You need to use a real bar.”

F-I-C-T-I-O-N.

I didn’t bend to that horrible advice but right now, as Rejection Friday stares at my profile from the calendar on my corkboard and my hangover tries to escape through my temples, I’m not sure how strong I’ll continue to be. Maybe giving up is better than selling out?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My new plan!

Now that I'm done feeling sorry for myself (see my post from earlier today. What? I'm moody.), I've decided to switch up my tiresome game by writing a new query letter thing. I'm hoping that this will help keep me a) interested in my own work and, b) from throwing myself off the Scarborough bluffs. Maybe a re-write will also help me avoid adding to the stack of "no response to query," which would be excellent because I hate that stack. Here's the brand new thingy:


It got worse—So. Much. Worse.—before it got better. The whole situation would have been easier if Avery’s dead mother hadn’t been “one of those.” She may have even left town unscathed if her father taught her how to cope instead of how to bury. It would have been good too, if Mike had broken things off sooner—before they forced their way into Avery’s home, before she dug her nails into her thigh at their droning meetings, before she watched her old life drown in his baptismal water. But nothing’s ever easy when religion and sex and snow and Ikea and baggage—So. Much. Baggage.—are involved.


Hi _________. My name is Id. I’m a professional writer and editor based in Toronto. I have written for _______, as well as several magazines including _______ and ____________. I’m seeking representation for my 86,000-word very funny, dark and obsessively-researched work of upmarket women’s fiction, _____________. My book follows a surreal month in the life of Avery Steel, an emotionally-repressed 24-year-old dealing—ungraciously—with the fallout of her boyfriend’s decision to become a Jehovah’s Witness.


My manuscript was awarded a ___________ from the ____________. Should you be interested in seeing the completed work, I would be happy to send it your way.


Thank you for your time and consideration.


Sincerely,


Id


Switching the "So. Much. Worse." for just a plain old "so much worse" is a possibility that I'm considering. But I'm feeling sort of dramatic at the moment. Plus, I think the unicycling unicorn (so clever!) kind of likes it.

Rejection - an itemized list of

1. The Cooke Agency. This was my first ever query rejection. It went downhill from there.
2. Carolyn Swayze Agency (no response)
3. Anne McDermid & Associates (no response)
4. Penguin (no response)
5. Linda Chester (no response)
6. Janklow & Nesbit (rejection of partial - let me down nicely)
7. Danielle Chiotti (rejection)
8. Donald Maass Agency (rejection)
9. McClelland & Stewart (rejection of partial -- and I was an intern there! Would have made such a great story)
10. House of Anansi (rejection of partial. Was invited to re-submit in the summer, though)
11. Heller Heller Agency (no response to query)
12. Westwood Creative (no response to query)
13. The Rights Factory (rejection of partial – and they gave me a terrible editorial suggestion)
14. Curtis Brown (pitch rejected)
15. Inkwell Management (partial rejected -- very kind though)
16. Trident Media Group (partial rejected)
17. Uber agent Ms. Aragi (query rejected)
18. Vicky Bijur Agency (no response to query)
19. Transatlantic (no response to query)
20. Joanna Stampfel (query rejected)
21. Fine Print Literary (no response to query)
22. Cheney Literary (no response to query)
23. DeFiore & Co. (no response to query)
24. Artists and Artisans (no response to query)
25. The Bent Agency (no response to query)
26. Grove Atlantic (no response to query)
27. Spencerhill Associates (query rejected)
28. Levine Greenberg (no response to query)
29. Emma Sweeney Agency (no response to query)
30. Max Literary (no response to query)
31. SJA (no response to query)
32. Soft Skull (no response to query)
33. William Morris (ha! - no response, like, duh)
34. Johnson and Alcock (no response to query)
35. Random House Canada (rejected -- classy though)
36. United Agents (no response to query)
37. Wylie Agency (no response to query)
38. Harold Ober (no response to query)
39. Kimberly Cameron (no response to query)
40. ICM Talent (no response to query)
41. Fox Literary (no response to query)
42. Hamish Hamilton (rejection of full, although with loads and loads of class and kindness. Love the British.)
43. Christopher Little (no response to query)
44. Dystel (no response to query)
45. Folio Literary Agency (no response to query)
46. Key Porter (rejection of query - nice though)
47. Foundry Media (no response to query)
48. Markson Thoma (no response to query)
49. Nelson Agency (no response to query)
50. Irene Goodman (no response to query)

I promised myself I'd stop submitting once I hit 50 rejections. Sucks to my asthmar.

If you're like me and you're into reading about other writers' rejections (and in some cases, how poorly they've handled it), check out this link. And this one too.


Monday, March 22, 2010

No done nicely

You know things are bad when I get excited about a rejection; when the most promising, positive correspondence I've had so far is an editor/agent who doesn't say yes, but also doesn't bash my style or hate my story. (Or at least type out those feelings and hit send.) Here is the nicest "no" I've gotten so far:

Dear _______

I was very glad to have the chance to read ________. It’s an impressive first novel and a genuinely enjoyable read – sharp, lively and blackly comic, all at the same time. And you have a particularly good ear for dialogue, which is one of the hardest things to get right. So, all in all, it’s a real achievement. I wasn’t sure, though, that it was quite right for ________, mainly because it lacked the depth or edge we tend to look for (we’re unashamedly literary). But this isn’t in any way a criticism of it – rather it just means that we wouldn’t be the right publisher for you. I’m so sorry, and I do hope you find the perfect home for the novel, both here and in Canada. Best of luck!

All good wishes

J__________

This e-mail was from the UK where, whether it's a rejection for a novel, a job or a Visa, the art of politesse is not lost. Canadians and Americans could certainly learn a thing or two.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

That's super, High School Foe!

Well, well. Fancy meeting you here, High School Foe. I suppose congratulations are in order. As I was Googling your name the other day, I noticed that your first novel got picked up by a major publisher. How wonderful. I was delighted to see that the effortless success you have known since your teens is still with you.

What's that? You've a second book deal in the hopper? Well now this is something truly special. You are clearly a man of immeasurable talent. Despite the fact that you have taken to wearing amulet necklaces and mock turtlenecks, I count myself lucky to know you.

Really? You've a million dollar advance burning a hole in your pocket? Bravo, good sir! I am delirious with glee to learn that the horseshoe that has been firmly affixed up your rear since grade nine is still lodged securely in place. I'm only vaguely hoping that the incontinence this charm causes is irritating to your urethra and perhaps puts a significant hamper on your already miserable sex life with your very, very fat wife.

I'm sure, High School Foe, that you have earned every ounce of acclaim that is coming your way. A lifetime of telling stories for gobs of money is sure to be your reward for what must have been a life well lived and only briefly punctuated by small errors in your otherwise Ghandi-like judgment. Like when you refused to acknowledge my existence at our graduation formal. And that time you pretended to like me and then banned me from your parents' finished basement.

I'm positive, High School Foe, that you've grown up and matured as much as I have in the twelve years since we left our hometown. You've moved on from me, just as I've moved on from someone else who isn't you and who I can't remember.

But I see now that I must let go of you, High School Foe. I must put my admiration and esteem for you to the side and say adieu. I have to or I fear this dragon of happiness that sits on my shoulder will swallow me whole. So happy for you. So very, very hap...

Kill, dragon! Kill!!

(Nuhm nuhm nuhm nuhm)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I dream of Oprah

Time for some positive energy today, courtesy the Diet Coke I just guzzled. I love you, caffeine. I love you so much. In fact, I'm sure that some day soon, I will devote an entire post to you. For now, however, I shall instead think as positively positive as possible. Put good feelings out into the universe and all that $#%%. Because this post is for Oprah. In the not-too-distant future. After she's read my book and loved it as much as she loves turkey bacon and T-shirt sheets. So I'm sorry, dear reader, that this post doesn't meet the clearly delineated “About this blog” description, but what Oprah wants...

Hi Oprah. I just received your note. I'm so glad you enjoyed my book. Brilliant? Well, normally I prefer the word "genius," but what do I know? (Except nearly everything. Fah fah fah.) Anyways. To answer your question, yes, I would happily consent to you selecting my first novel to be in your little book club. I too think it would be beneficial. Especially for you, mais non? Chortle chortle chortle.

Anyhoo, I'm so glad that you think your viewers will be able to identify with my main character. You must have some rather tragic and disturbed devotees -- how wonderful for you. And yes, of course you may include my book on the required reading list at your leadership academy for unfortunate girls in South Africa. My agent wanted me to tell you to please insist that the young ladies wrap the books securely in The New York Times books section to protect the gold inlay cover copy. (It is real gold, you know. From the same South African mine as your toilet seats, as a matter of fact. Small world, n'est pas?)

Finally, yes, I would love to do lunch with you and "my Gail, I mean Stedman." You could have just erased that error, you know. Backspace, delete, cut and what have you.

Oh, Oprah you are too much.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Poor Sheese

Hello, block of soy cheese. I am looking at you as though I am hungry, but I am not. I just ate a rice bowl spiked with almonds, avocado, seeds and tofu. My stomach is full yet I want you still. Why is that, you ask? Here is my answer, in three parts.

1. I am sad that writing is so hard;
2. I am perplexed that no one wants my little book;
3. You are sitting in my fridge, alone, with no brave cheese guards to defend you.

I suppose, dear soy cheese (may I call you "Sheese"?), that I want to eat you because I can. Because I can unwrap you from your plastic suit, open my mouth and, well, nahm nahm nuhm. You see, I have the power in our relationship and I like that about Us. It's a refreshing change, I must admit, our funny sheese-human dynamic. I don't need an agent to chew you and I don't need an editor to digest you. It's just you and me, Sheese. We're in this together.

It's unfortunate that you're so delicious and not in publishing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not yet, friend of a friend of a friend...

I will not make the same mistake twice. If I survive the first book, I will tell no one--best friends and immediate family aside--that I am writing a second. Here's why.

No, friend of a friend of a friend. I haven't gotten that million-dollar book deal yet. And no, I still don't have that super agent in New York. You're quite right, there are loads of books in the bookstores so you would think that it was rather easy to get a publishing deal. Yes, I suppose stringing some words together shouldn't be too hard at all and yes, a monkey really can do it.

Yes, my boyfriend's sister's boyfriend's cousin, I still am trying to be a writer. I'm not sure why I bother, as a matter of fact. Maybe I should take up a trade. Plumbing, eh? I've never considered it before but perhaps I should look in to it.

Thank you, my local Starbucks barrista. I would like a free pity cup of coffee. You've seen me crying over my laptop again? Oh, how embarrassing. I thought the table near the bathroom was just far enough away. Yes, I do take it with soy. Thank you.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A question for Jesus

How do I know, I mean really know, that I don’t suck at writing? The rejections keep coming and everyone else’s blogs keep telling me that I should keep trying, that every other first-time author gets mountains of no's as high and wide as Kilimanjaro. There are so many of these encouraging stories from so many authors out there. You know the kind:

“I got rejected 466 times before I got my book, The Holy Bible, published by Random House.”
- Jesus Christ

That’s nice, Jesus, but what made you keep trying? Because I'm not so sure that I should. Because this morning, after not really sleeping again, I started to think that I never should have written my book in the first place. That I had no business trying to be a story teller. That I'm an inconvenience upon the marketplace. A sad joke to my friends and enemies. A waste of agents' valuable time, paper and texting minutes.

Maybe you actually had something there, Jesus. Maybe those fish and wine stories really were good. And those 466 agents really just didn’t “get it” and maybe those agents really had "too many" clients and maybe those other agents really truly weren’t the right "fit" at the right "time" in the right "market." Perhaps finding your publisher really was just a "numbers game," Jesus, and you played it well.

So what’s the secret, Jesus? What’s the secret to staying in the submissions game? How do I stay positive about my book, Jesus, when everybody else is so negative?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hey, literary agent! You're ruining my weekend!

I used to love Fridays, agent. I worked all week-long for them, in fact. That delicious feeling knowing of the sleep and the phone calls home and the writing and the Saturday pancakes and the laundry smells that were to follow used to drive me into a blissful delirium once my 4:59 p.m. rolled around.

And then I decided to search out one of you to rep my first novel.

And I'm Canadian.

And my book makes no mention of Muskoka chairs and is in no way/shape/form influenced by Margaret Atwood.

So now, dear agent, I hate Fridays.

Your rejection is fine. It's a part of writing life. I'm cool with that. It adds fuel to my fire. But every Friday since I've launched myself head-first into the search for you, agent, my inbox has been getting stuffed full of your no's. Do you know how long it takes for the sting of your rejection to ease up, agent? 48 hours exactly. Do you know how long the weekend is?... You see my point.

Dear agent, I just want you to like me so why are you adding to my misery? Isn't it enough that you've poo-pooed a novel I've spent five years toiling over? Do you have to destroy my weekends, too? Why do you choose Friday to send out your form letter rejections? Why not Monday or Tuesday or even Sunday? Do you hit "send" and then run for the hills once
your 4:59 p.m. rolls around? But why, agent? Why? Are you afraid that I might respond to you with crocodile e-tears? Do e-tears make you uncomfortable, agent?

Well, you don't have to worry about me. I'll take it on the chin on a Monday or a Tuesday, even a Thursday since there's good TV to look forward to. See, I'm a nice girl. I give people my seat on the subway. I sneeze into my elbow. I don't e-mail agents like you back after you've rejected me, my e-tears raining down the page like so:

:(
.
.
.
.

Just give me Friday, please. I need my Friday.