Friday, September 2, 2011

Passing The Time

There has been some apt suggestions in the posts lately that I'm wasting my time waiting for Agent 99. In previous years, I would have agreed and become antsy, but my new philosophical and Zen self thinks that things are how they are supposed to be. (Believe me I am plenty antsy, just not going to do anything about it.) Call it too much yoga. Call it a life of dysfunction and denial that has served me well. Besides, I have yet to have the experience where I actually have any control over these matters. Can I make her read it any faster? No. Can I pressure and be a dick about it? Sure, but I'm not much of a dick so that doesn't interest me. Can I send it elsewhere? Oh, please. What's the point? I finally found someone who loves this book, and if she's a little slow, so be it. Maybe that seems passive and lame, and maybe it is. I'm working on faith here, people. I've got to let it unravel on its own.  In the past, my attempts to hurry things along have been futile, frustrating, and sometimes detrimental to my own purpose. In other words, I only tend to fuck things up.  So, I'm sitting back and working on my paid work, and writing a memoir that tries to unravel the mystery about why I was disinherited. Interesting topic: Did you know that the U.S. is the only country where disinheriting a child is even possible--legally and morally. In most other cultures, it's considered a moral outrage. King Lear, anyone? So, that's what I've got on this Friday of Labor Day. I think I'll just wait it out and do whatever I need to do to get by. It's kind of like recovering from heartbreak: it doesn't really matter what you do to fill up the time, as long as the time passes.  That's the key to it.  Eventually, something else happens.


mercury rising said...

Faith is good.
For now.

You have an interesting inner life. I hope Agent 99 comes through soon so that your book is published and I can finally read it.

From my planet to yours,

Anonymous said...

This is what you should ask yourself.

First, how long has it been?

A relationship with an agent is a business relationship and should be professional on both ends. I've waited 6 mos on the high end. And that's fine, because it was a situation where that was spelled out. But the fact is, if they're really keen on you, you'll never have to wait that long.

You should be able to request a reasonable time to have things appraised. A good agent should be able to give you *some* reasonable time frame.

How big is the agency? I ended up with a smaller, but potent agency that has been responsible about responding. Is this agency too busy to give you the attention you deserve? In other words, yes, all agents are busy, but is that all there is to it?

How confident do you feel about your work? If you believe you have a publishable work, you should always be ready to walk away and talk to another agent. Don't pin all your hopes on one person. If you truly have a publishable work, you have to believe it will appeal to more than one agent or publisher. I know ... I know ... I know so very well ... it's so difficult to stay strong when they're finally nibbling. But you also have to be realistic.

Waiting on one project, one person's opinion. Never. That's a straight path to disappointment. At the very very least, I hope you are working on another novel. You should always have something else you're working on so that you're not sitting by the phone with all your eggs in one basket. I keep working. If/when rejection comes, I'm ready with books number 2 and 3.

Anyway, these are my sage and solid words for you. I've been on both sides of this fence many times.

Jason Jordan said...

I hope when a new book of yours comes out, you'll promote it here. I'll be much more likely to read it if I know the person behind LRoD wrote it as opposed to randomly discovering it by chance. I also think you'd sell more copies--move more units, as they say in the biz. Of course that'd reveal your name, unless you do the pseudonym thing.

Anonymous said...

Dear WR,

I wish you all the best. I think some of your melancholy might be your recent birthday. Birthdays always bring out the sadness in me, a reminder of all those that are not around to share it anymore. Tomorrow is mine.

Hope that your book is published really soon. Love your blog!

Good luck and have a great year!

Jaga Deges said...

So I read the most recent blog about Tin House. I had hoped to submit something for a theme issue. the submissions page for short story seemed so democratic and open. Now I see that is not the case, that without contacts in the "in-crowd", a stunning education (MFA), and an agent, I can forget about it. How depressing! No wonder people self-publish.
I think I'll just open up a blog, publish my own stuff, and hope to get a following...

Jaga Deges said...

About Tin House. I was planning to submit a story to a theme issue. Now that I have read this, I am so depressed. No matter how good I write, I won't get out of the slush pile without a great bio, a great education(MFA)and/or an agent?

wrejeckted said...

This crap about Tin House (crap!) has reminded me of that outsider writer from Los Angeles that everyone loved to hate or ignore, John Bruce. Remember him? It's a shame he's nothing more than an antisocial curmudgeon. I liked his posts.