Shannon Stacey

Retro Shan: An old Thursday Thirteen

(This cold is seriously kicking my ass despite the cold meds, which are also kicking my ass. Rather than radio silence, here’s a blog repeat, originally posted on 7-26-07):

This Thursday Thirteen is dedicated to every writer who’s ever submitted to NY by snail mail and had to make the long, dreaded walk to the mailbox every day for months.

Thirteen things to do while standing at the window, waiting for the mail and dreading the return of the SASE:

1. Run through a mental list of non-writing-related reasons a submission might be rejected: A NYT-lister watched the same documentary and beat you to the what-if based proposal; the hero has the name as the editor’s husband, who just left her for sweaty Sven; she had a really shitty tuna sandwich for lunch.

2. Breathe on the glass, then draw pictures in the condensation. (Keeping in mind, of course, that the next time you make spaghetti, whatever you drew will reappear.)

3. Practice your RITA acceptance speech.

4. Have your mp3 player cranked to drown out negative thoughts. Get a little carried away with the lip-synching and amuse the hell out passers-by and the roofers working across the street.

5. Notice how long the grass is getting and consider mowing. Remember mowing is the man’s job, then feel guilt for perpetuating gender stereotypes. Decide you don’t give a shit as long as you don’t have to mow the lawn.

6. Wonder if anybody’s ever opened their RITA acceptance speech with “I’d like to thank the Academy” just to be funny.

7. Draft a thank you note to the USPS for having the time on their delivery confirmation updates so you can know how long your submission has been in the publisher’s offices down to the minute. This is vital information for the truly neurotic writer. (As I pause in the drafting of this post at 6:30 pm Wed night, my sub has been in the building for 26,363 minutes.)

8. Notice the window needs to be cleaned. Decide now is the perfect time to reform your gender stereotyping ways and make a mental note to tell your husband he should wash the windows.

9. Wonder why you’re suddenly holding an empty bag of Doritos.

10. Worry that the nosy woman up the street got your SASE by accident and knows you’ve been rejected before you do.

11. Try to make a vanity plate for “New York Times Bestselling Author“. In NH we only get six characters: NYTLST, GOTNYT…GUDRTR…umm….I-ROCK?

12. If your SASE is not in the day’s mail: Tell yourself no news is good news, then get back to work.

13. If your SASE is in the day’s mail: If you sent a full, hope that, at the very least, the editor might be willing to look at it again after some changes. If you sent a partial, spend a few minutes riding that nauseating rollercoaster of wondering whether it’s a rejection or a request to see the full. It’s an intense moment, and I’ve had it go both ways.

What’s really sick is how much I’ve missed that feeling. :bang:

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