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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rejection made easy

I find humor in the self-addressed stamped envelopes that I include with all of my query letters to literary agents sent via the post office. Along with my titillating one-page query outlining my book, my qualifications, and all the other goodies I spent more than a year writing, I include this pre-stamped envelope. This envelope is included with my query for the sole purpose of rejecting my query. It just all seems very negative.

I suppose I have the option of not including the SASE. From my point of view, it would elevate the positive nature of my query because it wouldn't be weighed down by that rejection envelope. But, if I did that, then those literary agencies not interested in my book proposal wouldn't even make the effort to properly reject me (but then I would have had nothing to dance on either). I realize that most of these agencies get hundreds or thousands of query letters like mine -- well not exactly like mine -- every single month. And I should feel grateful that they take the effort to dignify my query with a somewhat dignified form letter. I guess I'd rather have that form letter than the total silence I've also gotten from some agencies. Those agencies that chose NOT to reply also received a SASE. And what did they do with my SASE? Did they steam off the stamp and use if for something else? Or did they just toss it -- stamp and all -- into the recycle bin? It all seems very wasteful. That is why I love the agencies that use phrases on their submission guidelines that go something like this: "We accept queries by regular mail and through email, but prefer email (saves trees!)."

And email submission are very gratifying. I press send and it's instantly waiting to be read. Not to mention, accepting email queries lets me know that their agency is firmly rooted somewhere in the 21st Century. The post office isn't completely antiquated just yet. Although with online bill pay, and email with Auntie, and videoconferencing with Grammy, and iTunes, I don't really need the post office all that much. Oh, except for delivering my packages from eBay and That I could not do without.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A whole new elevation

It's all about attitude. If you feel confident, you look confident. If you look confident, you feel confident. If you're dressed for the job you want, you're more likely to get it. Or so the saying goes.

All I was doing was going out to run a couple of errands, but as I was getting ready to leave the house, I skipped over the comfortable and sensible shoes and slipped into some sassy heels. And as soon as my foot was inside the shoe, it was as if their powers equaled those contained in Spiderman's seductive black suit.

I was a new woman, not just a mom heading out to get stuff done. I felt fabulous and it showed. As I walked through the parking lot at one of the stores, a man walking near me noticed the click of my heels on the pavement and said, "You can't sneak past anyone in those. It's the sound of confidence."

I couldn't have agreed more.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The opposite of mysterious

I'm not as mysterious as I think I am.

Another rewarding Thursday night out with friends was coming to an end as I started chatting with one of the regular bartenders. Only instead of mixing drinks that night, he was on the other side of the bar enjoying a drink of his own. We've exchanged pleasantries over the past couple of months and he remembered my name that night. "Hello Suzanne. Did you have a good time tonight?" I said yes. He asked if I also go out on Fridays and Saturdays. I said no. "So you are married, then?" It was more a statement than a question. Without hesitation, his follow-up question: "And how many kids do you have?" I said two. Then he asked if I had to work in the morning. I said yes, as soon as my kids get up. "So you're a housewife." I cringed at the use of that word.

I'd like to think I'm so much more. But I'm not. I like to come up with fancy ways to explain what it is that I do: chief operating office of my household; executive chef; activities and social coordinator; art director; personal shopper. Oh yes, and aspiring author.

But really, I'm a housewife. I told him that he really isn't allowed to say that. No one wants to be called a housewife. He just smiled his Irish smile and said that his mom is a housewife too. Then, just as the lights were coming on and the bar was emptying out, he invited me to an after party at his house. I declined and slinked away with my housewifery label burned across my forehead. I couldn't believe he had me all figured out in five seconds flat.

I'm not as mysterious as I think I am.