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Defining Moments

CHECK OFF THAT JOB FROM THE LIST OF STUFF TO DO

Today I mailed off a set of excerpts from my manuscript "No I Don't Want to Hold Your Baby." Along with those 20 pages was a newly constructed cover letter and a one-page synopsis. The package with its two crisp and clean copies is now on its way to the NC Writers Network Manuscript Mart folks. They will assign them to an agent who I'll meet with for an assigned half hour at the upcoming NCWN conference in Charlotte.

It took me about 4 hours to write the new stuff and revisit my manuscript to make page choices for the submission. It felt really good to get it all done; the trip to the post office bordered on exhilarating. But it also, surprisingly, left me feeling very suddenly sleepy and rung out.

Stupid me. How could I have forgotten how it feels to send your "Baby" off into the world, to faceless folks, sitting in never-seen offices? At least in this case I'm guaranteed to find out what one person actually thinks; usually you never know who, if anyone, reads your stuff, much less what they think.

Once I sent a query letter to a New York agency that I'd researched as a promising prospect. An agent emailed me back within a week and asked me for more and I sent it. Very shortly, she asked me for the whole manuscript and I sent it. Then she disappeared off the face of the earth, leaving the agency without a word. I always wondered what happened to the stuff I sent her. The agency told me they didn't know, and that she had quit the agent business in favor of working on her own writing project.

Well, hell. Those are the knocks and so it goes. Wish me luck on this go around!
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