Thursday, May 13, 2010

Agent Nibble Number One

Another week has elapsed in my search for new literary representation. And what a week it was. Between work, rain up the whazoo, keeping a 'weather eye' on my basement floor drains, and getting trapped in a car wash with my son (more on that in a bit) I desperately needed something positive to combat the doldrums I'm feeling.

A nibble from an agent was just what the therapist ordered.

And it couldn't have come at a more opportune moment.

Here's where the car wash comes in. Picture this scenario:

My son is home from college. Saturday morning I take my car to get serviced. My son picks me up in his car and asks me to drive it as he wants to see if I think it's running okay. I get behind the wheel and we drive to the local Walmart and decide to drive through the car wash. We put the money in for the deluxe wash and the overhead door comes up. I pull ahead. The undercarriage washer comes on. I just clear the overhead door when I notice the battery and engine lights on the dashboard are on. Then I realize the car isn't running. I put it in park and try to start it.

It won't start.

I wait for the undercarriage washer to shut off and when it does, we get out and I raise the hood. Now, I'm not sure why I raised the hood because I really didn't have a clue what I should be looking at, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Meanwhile, my son tries to start his car again. No luck.

We're looking at each other and trying to figure out what the heck to do when the overhead door behind us starts to go down. We watch as it closes.

I look around for a way to open one of the doors but can't find the emergency release. Plus,even if we do manage to get the door on the other end up, if we push his vehicle through the car wash, it will activate the deluxe-wash function we'd just paid for--which would not be good a'tall.

I get on the phone. I call the emergency phone number for the car wash, my brother, and two repair shops. The car wash guy and my brother promise to be right out. Neither repair shop (including the one working on my Jimmy) had anyone to send out. But they did offer the brilliant deduction that 'something must've gotten wet' to explain why the car stalled.

The car wash operator shows up. A sweetheart of a guy, he cancels our deluxe wash and opens one of the overhead doors so we 'll be able to push the vehicle out of the bay when my brother gets there. Unfortunately, our Good Samaritan has neglected to put a cone out in front of the overhead at the entrance to the car wash bay and the three of us are standing there in the bay with the car doors wide-open waiting for my brother when suddenly the overhead door opens and the undercarriage washer comes on full-blast, showering us with a hard, biting spray.

Now I know how my siding felt when I power-washed it last spring...

I could only stand there in utter disbelief as the car wash guy sprinted for the control panel and my son and I shivered, looking like drowned rats.

My brother arrived shortly thereafter. His response? "This could only happen to you."

I beg to differ. I'm pretty sure this was a bona fide 'Tressa Jayne Turner' moment.

We pushed the car out of the car wash, let it sit with the hood up for ten minutes and it started. My son drove home. (No way you gonna get me to drive that car ever again. ) We arrived home with ice-cold, water-logged butts due to wet car seats and I made a vow not to venture out again--ever!

Dried out--but grouchy as all get-out, I closeted myself in my office. I opened my email program. And there it was. A response from Agent Number 2! And not a 'thanks-but-no-thanks' response! An 'I'd like to see more' response! I spent the rest of Friday and the following day preparing the requested material for submission and emailed it off Sunday night.

While I'd love to believe this agent is 'the one'--that she'll fall in love with my writing, that we hit it off, and she ultimately turns out to be the perfect advocate for my books and the consummate career-building business partner I'm looking for, the reality is that rejection is always a possibility in this business. No matter that you've worked your hind-end off. No matter how many books you have under your belt. No matter how badly you want it.

So while I'll keep my fingers crossed that this is that perfect fit I'm looking for in a literary agent, I'll also try not to get totally depressed if it doesn't work out that way. And make sure I have lots of chocolate handy just in case.

How do you deal with rejection? Are you a 'get back on that horse right away' kind of individual or do you lick your wounds for a while before putting yourself back out there?

And so the hunt continues.

When I do land my perfect agent, I'm so gonna have the biggest cyber party ever. And you'll all be invited!

~Bullet Hole who is now and forevermore terrified of car washes~


Refhater said...

LOL! I'm terrified of car washes but, that's because I'm severely claustrophobic. Not only are you in an enclosed area, giant machines are coming at you! (What a nightmare!) Sorry that happened to you.

Best of luck on your agent search. As the cliche goes "The best things come to those who wait." So all this waiting and searching will bring the best agent eventually.

Helena Carlo said...

That is hilarious. I do hope you'll use your car wash story in a book someday.
I have gotten more than a few agent rejections so far, but I just tick that one off my list & keep going. I remember all the wonderful novels by some of my fave authors that were initially rejected over & over, & I'm reminded that sometimes it just takes longer than we'd like.
It's okay. Your perfect agent is waiting for you. I hope Agent #2 is it. Good luck!

Phyllis Bourne said...

I've always been scared of car washes, but your experience has left me TERRIFIED.

Good luck on the agent hunt!

TerriOsburn said...

Oh. My. Bob. I know I should not be laughing at your misfortune, but I can't help it. LOL! I so thought you were going to make it out without getting wet. Should have known better.

Great to hear the agent has taken the bait. Now, to reel her/him in. Fingers crossed for you.

I have very little experience with rejection just yet. Simply due to not giving anyone the chance to reject me (writerly-wise anyway.) I have one rejection from Samhain for a short, which I will someday polish up and submit around.

Right now I have two stories with a national magazine that I've yet to hear one way or the other. I'm hoping them taking so long to get back to me means they like it and it's traveling up the food chain. But every day I get the mail I anxiously look to see if my own SASE is in there.

Looking forward to the party!

Suzan Harden said...

The car was incident needs to go in Tressy Jane book. *grin*

Normally, after a rejection, I grab a Lindor's truffle, then resume work on the current wip.

This week's been a little hard. I received three rejection within 36 hours after I had to put my dog, Haley, to sleep. Time for something a little stronger. Maybe a Frappucino with extra chocolate and coffee.

Kathy Bacus said...

The way things are going, Refhater, I can use all the good luck and good wishes I can get--to land an agent and survive a seemingly simple task such as going through a car wash. So, thanks!

Honestly. I felt just like Lucy Ricardo. At least I was able to laugh about it...later.


Kathy Bacus said...

I love your 'can and will-do' attitude, Helena. And you're absolutely right. As Refhater put it, we need to keep reminding ourselves that good things DO come to those who wait.

As long as it doesn't take so long that my books go from being contemporaries to historicals...



Kathy Bacus said...

Yep, Phyllis. Car washes have now inched up my fear factor ladder to just a rung below clowns.

Thanks for the good luck wishes!


Kathy Bacus said...

The waiting game is brutal, Terri. I have to just condition myself to keep writing while I wait on a response. The more work products I can produce, the better the chance one will click with an editor or agent. Or better yet, both!

Good luck with your story submissions. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.


Kathy Bacus said...

Lindors does work wonders, Suzan, but I'm thinking you're right that it will take something with a little more kick to help you get over the really crappy week you've had.

Big, big hugs on having to put Haley to sleep. And your three rejections in 36 hours? That means you're putting your work out there so it's all good--even if it feels so bad.

Keep the faith. All it takes is one 'yes'! You'll get there.