Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reconstructing Rejection

Another day, another rejection.
I'm pretty much done querying, but every now and again I get the urge to send one out. Just for fun. Because I'm the kind of person who considers getting her hopes slammed into the wall repeatedly 'fun'- which is to say- sadistic. But I just can't seem to stop. It's kind of like slamming your hand in a car door. The first few times it hurts like a bitch. But once you've had all your bones pulverized, it doesn't do much anymore. Just kind of leaves you with you a not entirely unpleasant tingling sensation.

Here's the latest in rejection, I think it's lovely so I wanted to share it:

Dear Randine,

Thank you for your interest in (redacted). Though your novel
sounds like it has potential for the women's fiction market, I regret that
(redacted) must decline a reading of HAVING GRACE. Her fiction list is
keeping her working at capacity, and she would unfortunately not be able
to give your manuscript the attention that it deserves.

I wish you all the best with finding an excellent agent to represent your

It's sad to say because I'm at the point where I actually get pretty pumped about rejection sometimes.
If the rejection letter contains: a) my name
                                              b)the name of my book
                                              c) any kind of statement which seems specific to my project
                                           or d) the trifecta: ALL OF THE ABOVE!!
I get really excited.
Which is rather pitiful, but with so many agents these days moving towards the no response means no,  getting a response at all seems like- I don't know- a privilege. And any kind of personalized response is all the better. And honestly, I can't say that I blame them for going toward not responding. The sheer amount of queries they receive must be totally overwhelming.

So then I try to reconstruct what happened in the office:

October 25: Query received by assistant, Chloe - which ,by the way, love that name. Love it. I even thought about naming Payton Chloe, so I feel like I'm connected her on some level. Mind you, I feel connected with just about anyone who emails me. Even the spammers. Because I don't totally hate the idea of discount Vicodin.
At some point after: Query read by Chloe and flagged as a 'maybe'
(This I deduce because, statistically, most rejections from this agent come faster than mine did. Of course, this could just mean that it was caught in a spam filter, or the assistant was on holidays, or who knows what else. But I dream of a mystical maybe pile that I've heard of in query folklore, which is a step above the slush pile.)
Some point later on: Query passed on to agent as a maybe. Maybe she forwards all of the 'maybe's' as an attachment. Maybe she prints them off and puts them on her desk. Maybe she brings them at some kind of a team meeting. I don't know. Either way, it gets passed along.
Some point later on:  Agent reads query, considers it (briefly) but then decides to pass, telling Chloe to reject it, but nicely.

I think I could have made it as a profiler.

Maybe I was a maybe, I tell myself, after reading it. It sounds pathetic, but hey, at this point, I have to take whatever props I can, meager though they are.

Anyways, at this point, whatevs.
It matters not to me, and I can say this honestly. The fact is, I realized only recently, I trust this crazy process. Trust it like I trust my own mother, which may be understating things since my own mother once almost let me drown to my death in my grandparents swimming pool, but that's beside the point.
The point is, I believe that when I am ready to be published, I will be. And if  I'm not ready, I won't be. Simple as that.
Maybe I'm just not quite there yet.
And that's OK.
Stephen King says the first million words are just practice. Even with all that I've written, this blog included, I'm not quite at a million yet. But I'm getting closer every day.
And when I query again for my next project, I will be much more informed, much more prepared.


Anonymous said...

Oye! You're still breathin' 'rnt ya? I brought ya in......I could'a taken ya out...but I Loves ya even though u assure me a momma's guilt is a lifelong responsibility!!! (R All people aware of sarcasm?) I love ya and know one day u wont just be a REJECT!!! Hugs and kisses from mommy dearest!

Lorrie said...

You ARE sounding more and more like a query pro every day! Wasn't it just a few months ago when you had to google, 'how to write a query letter'??? Now you can send a query out like nobody's bidness.
Maybe your next project will be 'the one' although personally, I love Having Grace!

randine said...

Yes, Lo, I'm gettting to be good at this querying thing. But I'm starting to hate the title HAVING GRACE. I think it's because I see it, think it, hear it, every day.
I should have named it something else, like I'm Awesome, to keep my self esteem up through all of this.
But thanks- I love HG, too. I'll just use the abbrevations. That makes it better.

And anonymous- your starting to sound suspiciously like my mother?