Stuffed Bunny Words

6 July 2002

So I had queried [Nice Agency Name Here] with the Fortress of Thorns synopsis, and they said they weren't interested enough to ask for the whole book on the strength of that, but that they'd be happy to see a query for one of my adult books. Exactly what happened in Monday's mail, except that this time the adult book synopsis they wanted to see was the one I've finished, Reprogramming. So. That's good stuff. I got the letter written and the whole thing printed and stuck in an envelope. It's only a synopsis, so if they like that, I'll still have to send the book for them to determine whether they want to represent me with it. But it's a step. A positive thing.

Also there was a sentence in the letter that I've been kind of repeating to myself: "...and you obviously have a promising career ahead of you writing the literature of the fantastic." Hee. There's a public persona part of me that wants to respond with a cocky grin and, "Damn straight!", but that's a very small and not entirely honest part. The rest of me is hugging that sentence like a stuffed bunny. "Obviously." I don't even care if they say it to everyone who manages to spell the agency's name right. They said it to me, and that's what matters.

It's a very strange thing, walking on this line. I feel like I'm trying to balance between having a positive attitude about whatever comes my way and not hoping too much based on any specific incident. A rewrite is not a sale. A synopsis request is not an agent contract. But. But. They're better than nothing. Aren't they? Well, maybe.

I'm wondering if I'd be having an easier time with agents if I was pitching adult novels to them in the first place. Most of my books are going to be adult speculative books (that's "adult" as in "long, with big words," not "adult" as in "sexually explicit"). So I've been querying agents who specialize in spec fic and happen to handle YAs and children's books as well, rather than agents whose bread and butter is YAs and children's books. Which makes sense from my point of view, and it also may make sense from their point of view to say, "Well, that's nice, but I'm really not a children's book agent." And I realize that while I can say with some serene confidence, "Most of my books are going to be X, Y, and Z," agents can't know for sure that there will be more books from me. Although having finished three and being this far into a fourth is certainly a point for my stubbornness in that regard, I'm sure.

So. I have some edits I want to make to Reprogramming, and they had been hovering in the middle of my "to do" list, no mid-November deadline but no "right now" asterisks, either. But they've moved up the list a bit, I think. I don't want to lose momentum on the Not The Moose Book right now, though, so I think I'll try working on that first and then only doing edits when I'm satisfied with new work for the day. It sounds like a reasonable plan. I have no idea what it'll look like in practice, but it sounds quite nice, if a little...well, a bit of work. I don't mind work, though.

Saturday Saturday Saturday. (Not at the Metrodome Metrodome Metrodome, I'm afraid.) I have to remind myself. Having Mark home this many days in a row is just confusing to me. He had Thursday and Friday off, today and tomorrow are weekend, and Monday and Tuesday he'll be working from home, we think. So. Lots of days home, and usually I tell what day it is by the pattern of Mark being home or not. We're planning to go down to Half Moon Bay for fish tacos and some time at the beach today. I'm never sure how to dress for a trip to the beach here. "In layers" is as reasonable an answer as any, I guess. I could check the paper. Oh wait! I don't have a paper! Despite my best efforts on the phone to a half dozen different customer service representatives and the apartment complex manager, the newspaper delivery person is still not competent to give me the paper I paid to have delivered to my doorstep. So I'll use one of the webpages that tells me the forecast for Half Moon Bay, and when, eventually, the newspaper dies, it'll be the people who run it who earn my scowls and curses, not the people who don't subscribe to it. Right now, it looks like they're the smart ones.

Ah well. Yesterday I finished reading Gina Kolata's Flu, definitely recommended. Now I have a fantasy short story idea set during the 1918 pandemic (and won't that be cheerful and light-hearted!), but I'm setting it aside for later, possibly after I've read another book that made my library list about it. (This is the problem with not going to the library for awhile -- the library list is monotonically increasing. I don't stop getting recommendations or thinking of stuff I want to read just because I'm reading things from the pile at home or from David's stack.) I also read the second Sector General book, Star Surgeon, which was a bit like watching an episode of the old Star Trek and didn't last much longer. Then I finished up the last of the Constance and Charlie mysteries with Sweet, Sweet Poison and some short stories. Sigh. The only consolation here is that Kate Wilhelm is alive and may yet write more Constance and Charlie stuff. I guess the other consolation is that I like her other mystery characters, too, Sarah Drexler and Barbara Holloway, and I still have some of those to read yet. A prolific relief.

Now I'm reading Mark Kurlansky's The Basque History of the World. I'm pretty sure it's going to be interesting, although he's annoyed me on page 5 already with the following "From pre-Indo-European tribes -- all of whom have disappeared, except the Basques -- Europe shifted...." All of whom have disappeared except the Basques. Oh really. That's funny, because the Saami don't look disappeared to me. But I doubt that my Nordic-flavored pickiness will come up often in this book, so it should be good.

I'm not sure what kind of a day at the beach Mark has in mind, or which beach, but I'm pretty sure it'll be good. A bit of perspective, a bit of flatness after weeks with the hills coming in at my shoulder all the time. And then maybe I'll be ready to dive back in with both of the novels at hand.

Well, ready or not.

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