Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Get the cheese! I've got the whine.

So while I'm sitting here pondering the latest in the "Brenda has the WORST luck ever" moment of the hour, I look at my shins. Find a cactus because I have the desert. Now, I have to tell you, I don't use lotion. I hate lotion. It leaves my hands and body and like..EVERYTHING...covered in this slimy skin like a coating from a slug. Yes, it does. Don't argue.

But look at those shins. ~sigh~

So I'd bought some cocoa butter, because as much as I dislike lotion, I like the IDEA of lotion. I like the IDEA of having soft, if not plump, skin. ~eye twitch~ So like the inexperienced twit that I am, I open the cocoa butter and eye my shins with determination.

(pause for dramatic effect)

So out goes my palm, reading to accept the gooey, slimy, white gunk (this could be a Blaze...hmm...) and I squeeze. (Yeah, still lookin' like a Blaze here...)

And then I cringe.

So this is one of those bottles that you don't have to actually squeeze, apparently. I know this, because I had a good 1/2 cup of lotion sitting in my little hand, trying to get thoughts of Blaze outta my brain because THAT much white gooey spunk would just be....ew. ~does a mental flush for us all with my deepest, yet not really that sincere, apologies~

If I had to go through it, you all must suffer with me.

So I take my palm and splat it against my other palm in an attempt to distribute the gunk. Then eye my shins. After literally 20 FULL MINUTES of rubbing my shins, my feet, my thighs, my stomach, my arms and yes, even the parts of my back that I could reach, I finally got the white film off my flesh.

Did I mention I hate lotion yet?

And all of this while I was contemplating the "Brenda's luck sucks" moment, which of course, merely added to it, making the opinion more like fact - which brings me, belatedly, to the topic at hand.

One of my a-list agents (there are only two on my a-list to begin with) is reopening submissions for queries. Well hell.

I have one completed ST RS that has revisions on it that would make your mental red pen twitch in a slow death inside your brain (I wrote it before I had a clue. Now that I have a clue, I know that the book is not remotely ready for ANYONE to see, much less one of my two a-listers.) Well, the other seven books you've heard me mention on here aren't finished! AND....hello?! I'm unpubbed. Which means no one wants to really seriously look at me without a completed novel in hand.

Now, that brings up a question. I'm an RWA PRO member. That right there proves I can complete a manuscript. That same book finaled in my first contest I entered, The Merritt. (It's also the one that needs a crapload of revisions.) But is that enough to PROVE to an agent that this unpubbed can and has completed a novel? Or can I not submit a query until it's polished within an inch of its life??

AND (yes, grab another hunk of cheese, because no, I'm not done yet) does someone aiming for category NEED an agent? I think so. I want one. I don't know jackcrap about contracts or whatever. And this particular agent is big on "careers" with her authors, which is what I desperately want. AND (I have a lot of those today - too much caffeine), she doesn't charge basic office fees (yanno, copies, mailings, blah blah blah) and if you are a long-time reader of this blog, you know I have issues with that. She's like.....PERFECT!!! AND, (dang, too much of that word here) I LIKE her. I like her personality, I like how she reaches out, I like her attitude and I seriously only hear great things about her. She rocks. I wanna rock WITH her. But I can't......at least, I don't THINK I can. I'm not entirely sure, but I think she wants a completed, polished one, not just my synopsis (btw, those are tons easier to write if you do them BEFORE the book. Little FYI.)

Okay, enough of that. Leave the leftover cheese here when you go - I'm sure I'll sink my teeth into it a bit more as I stare at my screen and whine about my luck and timing and all that jazz.

Cocoa butter, anyone?

At least it smells good.


Suzanne said...

Brenda, I've been writing category for a lotta years and a lotta lines and houses and you don't need an agent. There is very little that is actually negotiable in a category contract and you can handle it yourself. You can also handle promoting yourself to the publisher pre- and post-sale. All an agent will do is take 15 percent of your hard-earned money.

Have you ever tried shea butter? It's the bestest. :)

randy said...

My take on your dilemma: don't stress over the timing of this particular agent opening to submissions--get the book done. :-) By the time you finish, you may feel confident enough about your knowledge of the biz to sign a contract on your own. True, many category authors DO use agents, but from what I read, only agents looking for chick-lit appear to be snapping someone up on the basis of a synopsis or a partial.
Just my $.02

Bill said...

Brenda - Just go ahead and submit your synopsis... the worst that can happen is you'll get one of those "resubmit when it's finished' letters!!

As for the lotion thing... I agree 100%!!

Jill said...

I say submit the synopsis! Just my .02...

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Thanks guys. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do. And I really hate being indecisive.

I do meet with her in Reno, and since that's only a sneeze away, I will probably just wait and see if she likes the ideas. ~shrug~

You guys are so great though. You always lift me and up make me smile and give me such different ideas and opinions. That's priceless.

MaryF said...

Brenda, I think you should try to get an agent in category. I've been through three editors with Silhouette, and I'm not even published yet! An agent would be a constant, you know?

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda,

I'm jumping in here late, since I just found your blog,

But since I lurk nonstop on on this perfect agents blog--and yes you're right, she is perfect. Btw--the reopening submissions gave it away, grin

anyway--where was I at. Oh yeah, I've had some really recent experience in your dilema.

And please, please. PLEASE don't query her yet. Believe me, you'll regret it if you do. For one thing she has posted several times, in various threads that they only want to see queries on full, finished, glossed and polished and prepped--ready to go manuscripts from unpubbeds. The only exception to this was very high concept chick lit. And even then she said it would be very unusual to take on a unpubbed on a partial.

The other thing to think about is this. What happens if she love it and want to see more off the partial? She'll want to read the whole book ASAP.

This is the position I'm in right now and its not fun. My book was finished. Polished. Prepped. I have two agents on my A list. When I started to print the sucker off for one of these agents my computer crashed. I lost everything--although I do have backup disks, several were corrupted. So Although I have the entire book saved to disk. The last quarter of the manuscript was from a previous draft. I'm ending up having to do another massive revision on these last chapters, since so much in the book had changed since that version.

As luck would have it, the first agent who responded said to send what I had ready and to send the rest of the chapters as I finished them. Great--Except that she keeps emailing wanting the chapters faster than I can finish them.

And then the agent you are speaking of contacted me and requested the full. I explained what had happened and she wanted me to send what I had as well.

Now keep in mind that both these agents are being very nice, very encouraging--you couldn't ask for nicer people to work with. But they both want these chapters ASAP. I'm writing as fast as I can, and its like working in a preasure cooker.

So believe me, from experience I can tell you NOT to put yourself in this kind of a position. The work suffers from it.

Wait until you have your full book finished--that way you can send the sucker off and it will be out of your hair. It will really take the stress out of the process for you.

best of luck


inkgrrl said...

Kleenex and... well, see you in Reno ;->