I had another one of those weekends. It all started with two SASE appearing in Friday’s mail. I was nervous at first. I knew exactly what they were. There was no need for my heart to start restricting and my breathing to become labored. If I get a SASE I have been rejected. Simple, right? But what if the agent actually thought he/she would save money by using my SASE to send me a request for a partial? It could happen. Maybe someone finally decided that the partial was worth it. Yeah, it didn’t happen. My initial thoughts were right. The envelopes contained two more rejections.
Which leads me to a very important point. These agents who are rejecting me haven’t seen the work! Unbelievably enough after the stab to the heart wears off, I start getting a little angry. Really, agents, you think you can tell me if my book won’t sell? This is the book you haven’t even seen a partial submission of. You’re gonna tell me you can’t sell the book without reading one itty bitty word of the book? Uh huh, and I should believe you? Why?
The anger never completely disappears. It just starts to simmer. As the anger is simmering, a part of me starts coming up with new ideas to get the query letter read by the agent. Most of the times, I start daydreaming about ideas. This is where my silly daydreams go so far out of the realm of reality I think you will find this hysterical.
Here’s the daydream:
I win my first competition for writing. I win the next few I enter, and get my short stories published in literary journals that do not have competitions. A Hollywood producer sees one and picks up the rights for a full length feature film. The feature film comes out. The film is an award winning film. It goes on to get a few Golden Globes for the actors/actresses and wins Oscar honors. Suddenly, people want to know if I have a novel. Agents are calling me, instead of me querying agents. At this point, I have my handy list of all the agents who turned down my query letter. Since I have agents at my feet I have no problem telling those agents that rejected me “Sorry, you’re not the type of agent who likes my work. You probably don’t remember that wonderful rejection letter saying my work can’t sell. Guess you were wrong!” Then, I get an agent who didn’t reject me and go on to be a NY Times bestseller.
Needless to say, I quickly come to my senses. At which point, I write down the idea for later reference when I want another story to write. That’s when I buy yet another “How to Write a Query Letter” book. (This is where my husband claims since a lot of the query letter books are written by editors and agents – the people who receive query letters – the query letter is a scam to make agents/editors more money.) I sit down and I rewrite and rewrite the query letter.
It doesn’t take me long to realize that my query letter is still missing that important “I’ve been published” paragraph. So, to the backburner goes the query letter. The click-clack of keys on the laptop begin to fill the house. The dogs look at me like I’m crazy as I work on another competition piece. I pour a shot of whiskey, have some brownies, and life goes on.
At least that is how it usually goes. Usually, there is not a set of brown eyes looking at me like the world is about to end. It is not usual for the set of brown eyes in a brown head with the ability to communicate with his ears to sit beside me trying to chew off his back paw. In a normal situation, said cute little guy just rolls his eyes and hops up on the couch to relax.
Poor little Ammo, my greyhound, decided it would be a really good idea to not whimper in pain after the rattlesnake bite him! Luckily, it wasn’t a bad bite, but Friday night was spent rushing Ammo to the emergency vet in town. After annoying the staff to the point they pulled him from the kennel and had Ammo in the office with them, getting stitches from where he tried to make his break from said kennel, little over $630 of my money and twenty hours later, Ammo was home resting comfortably on my bed.
Snakebites take a lot of work, even once you’re home. There is the hydrotherapy. I’ve got a greyhound. He is not thrilled about having a bath, let alone standing there while I douse his toe with a garden hose. Have you tried to hold a skittish greyhound while trying to flush his foot? By yourself? Let’s just say it is not the best idea in the world. I tried the garden hose, like the vet suggested. One hand holding Ammo’s collar, one hand holding the hose. Guess who broke away?! Next, I turned to trying to get the 72lbs greyhound in to the bathtub to soak. Um, that didn’t work, either. I finally settled on placing a plate under Ammo’s foot, taking a glass of water and pouring it over his puncture wound. At this point in time, Ammo decides to kick like a mule. But, his foot gets washed every thirty minutes like clockwork. If this happens to make it in to one of my books, don’t be surprised! Maybe I’ll just turn it in to a short story.
By time I got home from the vet Saturday, I had one dog that was spent from the tranquilizers the vet had used to get someone to sleep. (Not like it did Ammo a lick of good. He was still trying to escape back to Mommy.) I had another dog that was tired from searching for Ammo all night. This is when both dogs decided to sleep. But, being my pups, they decided they needed to watch a movie. The mutt, Jet, is not as vocal about her likes and dislikes as Ammo. Then again, Ammo was the one who had been bitten by a rattler, so I figured Ammo should get the choice. He chose Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett). Yes, the greyhound is very, very vocal about his wants. Problem? Sherlock Holmes is on the Ruko Box. And the internet went out!
So, I have one sleeping dog, no internet, and one upset snakebite dog. Oh, and both dogs are touching each other the way they are laying on the bed. Think of it like two siblings sharing the same space. Luckily, I convinced Ammo to go with a different Sherlock Holmes. With his head propped up at the foot of the bed, Ammo’s eyes were glued to the television. Ears went up a few times. A little barking when the bad guy was on the screen was the worst of the problem after a while.
I skipped a birthday party I had been looking forward to going to. There was gonna be a pony and a piñata, and lots of fun, and I couldn’t go because Ammo is on hydrotherapy every thirty minutes. I was gonna go pick up my roasted Hatch chilies from the co-op on Sunday. Instead, I was doing hydrotherapy every thirty minutes. And let us not forget snapping at the poor puppy every few minutes. Ammo kept trying to nibble on his foot. You’d think snakebites are painful the way the pup has been acting.
Sunday was spent on the bed with said greyhound watching the Jeremy Brett version of Sherlock Holmes. Ammo is very animated while watching Jeremy Brett. There is a lot of high pitched barking when things are going badly for Holmes.
Sunday was also spent trying to pill said greyhound. If you have never tried to pill a greyhound it is a difficult task. Most dogs eat treats without looking for the hidden pill. Not greyhounds. They are on to you. Next comes the age old “Open Mouth, Insert Pill” Method. In a greyhound it should read “Pry Open Clamp Known as Mouth, Insert Pill Directly In to Throat While Gagging Puppy, Hold Mouth Shut, Rub Throat to Force Puppy to Swallow Multiple Times, Open Mouth and Check for Pill under Tongue, Repeat All Steps!” It only takes me close to half an hour. My husband can manage to pill Ammo on the first try. Too bad my husband is nowhere near here. I am pretty sure I should sell tickets.
There is a story in here somewhere. Once I have enough sleep to think creatively, I shall chronicle this whole saga for a short story contest. Not like anyone would believe it was true.
Do forgive me for the rambling post. I am still not sleeping through the night. Hydrotherapy is still every thirty minutes and someone has to keep Ammo from nibbling on his toe. Hopefully, the vet visit today will mean less hydrotherapy. Then I can sleep.