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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Waiting for news

Have you ever been sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear important news? Is it a boy or a girl? Did I get into a college, get the scholarship, or pass the test? Will she/he say yes or no? Is it malignant or benign? Did they get safely out of Egypt/Pakistan/Afghanistan/Iraq/New York?

Of course, for me it's usually waiting to hear from an agent or publisher. Did they like the story/novel? Am I going to get an advance?????

I submitted The Volunteer to an agent on Tuesday this week and heard back on Wednesday! I didn't even have time to get anxious. "Thanks for your query. I’m sorry but I’m overwhelmed with submissions and this didn’t pique my interest enough to add to my piles of manuscripts. Good luck to you." Nice, polite, and fast. We don't match up, so try someplace else.

A lot of the time, it seems that the answer is a let down. It's not so much that it was bad news as that when you received it, it wasn't as important as you'd thought. Did you get a scholarship? YES! $500 a year. Oh. Is it a boy or a girl? Yes. We're vacationing on Maui. Oh. Did they get out of...? Yes, they're in Tunisia now.

An old Ole and Lena joke talks about Lena not having come home one night. Ole, is anxious and checks for her at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 in the morning. Every hour. He concludes by saying, "At 7:00 I look out the window, and there she is, not yet."

This is inspired not by waiting for a response to an important question, but because on Saturday morning the newspaper is always late. Weekdays, I get up at 5:00 and the paper is at the door between 5:15 and 5:30. Just when my coffee is ready and the dogs have been fed, the news is waiting for me. On weekends, I get up at 5:00 and the newspaper arrives sometime between 6:00 and 7:00. And when it gets there, what was worth getting anxious about? More news that I read last night on the Internet? The comics? The daily puzzle?

Each day, I look forward to the newspaper, my consistent adherence to archaic paper-based communication, thinking that I will be well-informed, up-to-date, and ahead of the game. And there it is, not yet.
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I can't wait to be thinking that I could hear back with a positive instead of sending stuff out with a 'meh, I'll get it back' attitude.
I agree, Meg. It's part of my realization that "this attitude only affects me." Really, being angry, anxious, discouraged, sour, doesn't affect the agent or editor at all. So why be miserable. Approach each submission with the knowledge that you are on your way to being published and relax.

BTW, did you graduate from UMontana or Montana State? The DD just got accepted to Missoula and is trying to decide whether that's where she really wants to go.

Montana State in Bozeman, but Missoula is nice as well. Montana is definitely a different culture than most of the US. I felt pretty at home being from Colorado originally. Friendly people, but a very conservative state (if that matters to her at all). BEAUTIFUL scenery, but hard hard winters some years. I loved MT.