Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Woe to Me

In spite of all my griping about the publishing market, editing, etc., I received an email yesterday from a literary agent who’s excited about my novel and wants me to email her the whole manuscript (known as a “full”).

Instead of dancing around the room singing “WooHoo” as one of my writing friends has suggested, I sighed heavily—no doubt, this is only a prelude to a prolonged rejection. Yes, I’m that much of a Puddleglum. (If you don’t know who Puddleglum is run, don’t walk to the nearest bookstore—if one still exists in your neighborhood—and buy C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair.) Then, we had some intra-family discussion regarding the particular literary agency. Ariel said, “Oh, boohoo, it’s a famous agency with lots of important clients—even more reason for Mom to be depressed.” The boys all boo-hooed with her.

I’m a bit taken aback. I have good reason for my cynicism/misanthropy/self-pity. In case my children don’t remember, I wrote a book several years ago that was loved by a literary agent and even won an award for unpublished novels—but it never got published because it wasn’t commercial enough!

My family is completely unsympathetic. Now I’m hurriedly getting the manuscript ready to send—one more read-through, fixing a couple of scummy paragraphs, etc. Ariel’s been a help; she reads through the chapters finding typos, redundancies, and occasionally saying things like “This section’s rotten, your voice totally breaks.” My response, besides a quivering lip, “Woe to me for I suffer.”


  1. Isn't it better to be rejected after the agents see your script than to be rejected before they see your script? At least it's feedback.

    Better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

  2. I'd pity whoever didn't know who Puddleglum is.

  3. Though Puddleglum always foresaw disaster, it is amazing how many times his experience turned out positive in the long run.