Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mail Call

A quick post to say that yesterday and today I sat down and went through all of my submissions mail for the last month, so if you sent me a SQUID since August 1 or thereabouts, you should be getting a reply in the next few days. I didn't keep an exact count, but I think I read through about forty-five letters/manuscripts/chapters, of which I kept or asked to see more material on four. And I felt sorry for those I rejected, as I often do -- but this is yet another way publishing is like falling in love: If there isn't a connection from the beginning, it's best to smile, shake hands, and move on. Many thanks to all of you who shared your work with me.


  1. That does have to be the hardest part of the job, making those difficult choices. I remember when I was an art director for a giant shoe company that the most impossible bit was hiring the right person for a coveted spot. One poor young woman burst into tears when I urged her to shoot for an assistant’s job instead of the designer opening she had applied for, and after that I swore never to tell anyone in person that they weren’t right for a job.

    Yet, like you said about a connection, when you know something (or someone) is right you can just, well…. I don’t know… smell it. It’s perfect and it feels right from the beginning, in a “ from the gut” sort of way. The first time I met my hub I knew I should be dating him, even though we didn’t see each other again for about ten years after that first meeting.

    On the other side of the table, the art of writing is tricky work, at least for me. I spent several hours today trying to whittle down a 750 word blog post to a 500 word essay for an NPR submission. It was frickin’ HARD! I was thinking the whole time about your “slaughter of the innocents” quote. I have 70 some odd words to go under the knife… wish me luck.

    I’m also working on a SQUID® and if I can get past the embarrassed “Umm…. I kinda of wrote a novel and it would be really cool if you took a look at it” stage I'll send it along.

    Congrats on the six years of doing a job you love. Star shaped peg finds star shaped hole! It is rare and encouraging to hear of people who have found their right livelihood.

    I finished “Stanford Wong” and the end gave me such a warm visceral feeling that I have to write Lisa and tell her. I’m half way through “Master and Commander” and I am so in love with the growing friendship between Aubrey and Maturin that I can for give the lack of a fold out cutaway illustration diagramming all the nautical terms.

    Best thoughts,


    A man is a success if he gets up in the morning
    and does what he wants to do.

    - Bob Dylan

  2. Thank you for showing so much respect to writers.

    Not every blogging editor/agent does, and it makes me sad.

  3. I am quite sure (probably) that I am one of the forty-one writers that were rejected, however, I do want to thank you for reading with such respect and responding and rejecting as kindly as possible. It does make it easier for all of us trying to break in, and make you fall in love with us on a first date. The offer is still open, however, for the end of September, Come and have a glass of hot apple cider and experience The Apple Festival for yourself. The only requirement . . . You have to wear the jeans with the holes in the knees. Oh and the Apple Crackle is to die for, great in yogurt or just as a crunchy-munchy-appley snack. I just finished Millicent Min. Great book, loved all your favorite references in there, the Moon Pies, Pride and Prejudice, it was so well written.

  4. I just addressed my squid envelope today!


  5. Do you ask for more in the SASE? Or do you e-mail? Not that it matters...I can wait a few more days. Certainly appreciate how quickly you get to these things!

  6. But what if I don't just want to be friends?

    - Fabian

  7. I always ask for more in the SASE.

    And sorry, Fabian, sweetie. . . . You really want your editor to love your book as much as you do, so s/he can be the best advocate for the book that s/he can.