When I was a small child (no, really) the late, great, Hans Conried came to a party at our house. He did not say much to me, but he thought our cat’s new kittens were very cute.
Raise your hand if you remember who Hans Conried was. Now go clean your reading glasses.
Those who actually follow this blog (I believe that would be Nancy and Cherie) know that Word keeps reformatting my documents. After hours of maddening struggles with the possibly greatest cause of nervous breakdowns in the known world, I have discovered a Luddite and totally foolproof solution. In this case, the fool would be Word and its demonic developers. In most cases it’s probably me. Delete the offending line and retype it. Word doesn’t know what hit it. It took me four minutes to fix 100 pages. Take that, Word!
So, here I am breaking two of my cardinal rules.
1. Only one post a day.
2. Never say anything bad about an agent.
But this agent said something so ridiculous, and, well, downright stupid, any other agent reading it would say ‘That man is an idiot.’ The gist was that he wasn’t interested in submissions from anyone who had already had a long career in something else before they started writing, because they weren’t serious authors. Here are a few of the writers he wouldn’t be interested in.
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frank McCourt, Raymond Chandler, Mary Wesley, Harriet Doerr, Richard Adams, James A. Michener,
George Eliot, Anthony Burgess. There are lots more. I rest my case.
Sometimes after performing two back-to-back shows I ask myself if I’m too old for all this intellectual and physical stress. The answer is…I’m sorry. What was the question?
An agent advises in her submission requirements that queries should not be too ‘chummy.’ Boy, do I get that. Once an auditionee grabbed my hand, and made me dance with him. The other auditors didn’t rescue me. They were enjoying it too much. I did not cast him. I did not kick him in any sensitive area, either, which shows I am a fine human being, because nobody would have blamed me if I did.
Attend conferences. It’s the best way to meet agents and get them to look at your work. I would really, really, really love to do that, even if I didn’t meet a single agent, so I could take great workshops and mingle with other struggling writers. OK, that’s a partial lie, because I’m also expecting to meet agents, which is the reason every other struggling writer is there. So I did a little research. I avoided the ones that involved flying to Dublin, a five night stay and a $700 hotel bill, and found the Unicorn Writers Conference www.unicornwritersconference.com/ a truly yummy one with actual workshops I need and agents I’d love to meet. It’s only one day, and it’s in someplace in Connecticut I never heard of, a reasonable ride if I could find someone who had a reason to visit that someplace to share the driving(wow, that was awkward syntax). Then I’d only end up with a $250 hotel bill, $385 for registration, gas and tolls (split 2 ways..such a bargain), and 2-3 days of lost income. If you want, you can add all that up. I didn’t bother. You get the idea, anyway. I found a totally affordable conference just minutes from my house. It was for people who write books about dogs.
Spent a few minutes (no, really) at the Apple Store helping Safari recover from it’s recent nervous breakdown. There is no question my Mac is the most valuable thing I own, after my house. I know some people would say their cars, but I drive a 2002 Sentra.
Having done perhaps 1,000 and watched at least several hundred of the latter, I have learned the shocking truth.
1. Auditioning is horrible.
2. Watching auditions is worse.
This does give me a certain amount of sympathy for literary agents. If any actually are reading this post (see yesterday’s), I just want you to know I feel your pain.
From time to time you will see me post under that heading, and you may think, “She’s only trying to curry favor with them,” but you are wrong. I mean, seriously, do you think any agents are actually reading this?
So I’m over half way through formatting, and I discover that Word has decided to reformat everything I’d already done, inserting large gaps between some lines, and shrinking the text size in others. Page numbers are ending up in the middle of the page. Shoot me now.