Monday, February 9, 2009

A Mixed Bag

Here at Murphblog, we (and by "we," I mean "I") pride ourselves (myself) on being transparent. How can readers expect to connect with a writer who holds something of himself back? (That's rhetorical.) And yet, I am going to be intentionally vague about my agent stalking process because while transparency is important, so is not sabotaging any prospect of ever getting pubbed.

So with that in mind (vagueness, if you've forgotten), I report that I received my first official rejection today. Loyal readers know that I have been working and reworking my query letter for some time now and it was getting to the point where I wanted to do this every time I opened the file. I feared that if I didn't send it somewhere soon, I might do something really stupid. (I could watch that all day.) I had legitimate fears that I might never send the thing and on my deathbed I'd still be scribbling out "filthy" and replacing it with "nasty" or "wicked" or "unhittable." (Yes, I've actually done these things.) My epitaph would read: Here lies a writer. (If he'd had the balls to send his query. Maybe.) So what I'm saying is I sent my first query just to send my first query. Probably not the best reason in the history of the world.

Rejected the next day. At least it didn't suffer.

And then there's good news! I received in the mail today my contributor's copies of the latest issue of PKA's Advocate. You will recall that these fine folks published my poem "House Warming" in their December/January issue and in this, the February/March issue, they published two of my poems. They should put me on staff. (Of course, then they'd have to pay me.)

So today was a mixed bag. With the way things were going last week (sick child, trip to the ER, dead furnace, sore shoulders, and being made to feel like Jim J. Bullock), I think I'll take it.

9 comments:

Anita said...

Better luck next time!

And has anybody read Chris's (is that how you make Chris possessive? looks weird) query? He commented in the last post. Anyway, very funny, well done.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

I read it and was immediately filled with awe and jealousy. The main problem I'm having with my query is infusing it with the voice of my story. I think agents would like the writing of the story, but I'm unable to replicate that voice in the query.

Moral: I lack the balls needed to send out a query like Chris's, even though I'd really like to.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Anita--do you have some sort of beeper device that tells you when the blogs you follow are updated?

Because I was still revising (yes, I revise my blog posts. Pathetic, huh?) when your comment came through.

(I revise after I "Publish" because I have to see it as the reader sees it.)

Kelly said...

This is really weird because I just told my dad that my four year old looked like a crazy German kid in his new bowl haircut with no sideburns. (the darn stylist didn't ask first whether to cut them or not and did quite a job on his hair).
I haven't queried agents yet, but when I've submitted manuscripts to publishers, I was excited after my first rejection. It meant someone read my work and thought about it. After that though, rejections stink!

Paul Michael Murphy said...

I was excited to see a quick response. Then, after reading the rejection, not so much.

Anita said...

Paul:

No beeper...just hidden cameras...and, uh, you might want to check for ear hair.

I think there is a way to get notified when a blog you're following is updated, but I don't know the way. I think Rick Daley does...he follows my blog.

Ben Esch said...

Paul

Tough break on the reject, dude. But, I always kind of liked to think that somebody who rejected my query probably wouldn't have been the right agent for me anyway. Anyway, you'll knock somebody on their ass before too long. And I mean that in the best possible sense.

And where's this mythical place where everybody can read each other's query letters? Because that sounds pretty interesting.

Ben

Paul Michael Murphy said...

The mythical place is here:

Query Project

chris said...

hey thanks anita!

believe me, my book isn't half as good as my query.