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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

"Patience? Yeah, Yeah. How Long Does That Take?"

I'm not very good at waiting.

When I was a kid, I'd count the days until my birthday, dreaming about all the neat presents my parents would be giving me. And I always preferred getting one large gift for Chanukkah instead of eight small ones, because I hated having to wait for another day to pass before I could open another package. Maybe it's a leftover gene from my ancestors wandering in the desert for forty years before entering the promised land, but waiting for me is right up there with cleaning hair out of the shower drain. I hate it.

Even worse than waiting for the eventual birth of my kids? (And let me tell you, when you're 35 weeks pregnant, and summer has just kicked into gear, those last few weeks are damn close to eternal.)

Waiting for responses from agents and editors.

Now it's a given that the publishing industry does not work in Real Time. Agents and editors want material faster than a New York Minute, yet their responses on that material hovers somewhere around Glacial Speed. And between summer hours and the end-of-year holidays, there's roughly a quarter of the year that agents and editors basically bamf into an alternate dimension.

This isn't a complaint. Like I mentioned above, this is simply a given. Kind of like reheated Chinese food is never as good as when it's fresh, this simply Is. And there's no point getting huffy about it.

That doesn't make the wait any easier.

Like now: I'm waiting on ten agents (four with material from Book 1, six with material from Book 2), three magazines, and two contests. God willing, I should hear something from someone sometime next week. But it's been a long road getting here; one mag has had my story since December 2004; one agent has had my full since November.

The postal carrier has learned to deposit my mail at superhuman speed to avoid accidentally seeing my reaction when (A) there's no correspondence or (B) when I see my own SASE peeking out between the bills. I still don't know which is worse.

So I've been eating far too much chocolate, and losing far too much sleep, while I wait to see what Fate has in store for my writing. Yeah, I know: don't wait. Write. Be Productive.

You know what's wrong with that? The more I write, the more I submit material to editors. The more I submit to editors, the longer I have to wait.

It's a damned vicious cycle.

When does publishing get glamorous?

Off I go to check my e-mail for the millionth time today...

Book Buzz of the Day
Cover the Butter by Carrie Kabak. Yet another Backspace author hits the shelves! This book will be available starting tomorrow, June 16. Get thee to Amazon.com and order, order, order! And congratulations, Carrie!


At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found this--and THANK YOU, Jackie!

Carrie x

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Jackie said...

You're quite welcome, Carrie! :-)


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