Monday, September 06, 2010


                 by Gina Sestak

What did the Thanksgiving turkey say as it was being put into the oven?

Well, you can guess.  That's kind of how I feel right now, having received a (polite, encouraging, etc.) rejection from an agent who had my manuscript Four Weekends for the past few months.  OK, it's not all bad - he didn't hate it and his comments indicate he actually read it.

The same manuscript was previously rejected by an agent because, "I don't represent cozies."  Let's see.  In the first 5 chapters I submitted, my protagonist gets drunk and participates in explicit sex, armed robbery, torture, beating, and a kidnapping.  That agent either didn't read it or she doesn't know what a cozy is.

Forgive the rant.  It's just frustrating!

I have a room full of unsold writing and I'm running out of space.  Yes, I know about electronic copies, but as technology changes those lose accessibility.  If I didn't have paper copies of things I wrote on my old Tandy TRS-80, they'd be gone forever.

Anyway, here's a poem I wrote about my writing/unsold manuscript storage space a few years back:

I write within a dim and timeless space
Not by my whim, nor genius' grace.
The light blew out, poor victim of a surge.
As for clock batteries, I haven't had the urge
To know how much time slips away
In keyboard touch, day after day.
The floor is oak.  The walls are green.
File cabinet: broke.  Dust bunnies: seen.
An oriental rug lies bold beneath tottering reams
Of manuscripts unsold, my wasted dreams.

 Yeah, I know.  I'm wallowing.  I should get back on the horse and start sending everything around again, maybe even revise Four Weekends to address the agent's concerns and ask if he'd be interested in seeing it again.   Or maybe I should just sit in a corner and cuss for awhile.

How do you deal with rejection?


PatRemick said...

How do I deal with rejection? Denial. I am the Queen of the Land of Denial, and it can be a very happy place. Sorry about the rejection Gina, truly, but I've heard that until we rack up about 90 of 'em on one manuscript, we can't wallow yet -- just keep buying new envelopes or pushing that "send" button. Don't give up -- there's an agent out there for you!

Laurie said...

I agree with Pat. I tend to put things that upset me out of my mind (best as I can). I guess that means I'm also a queen of denial.

I'm sorry to hear about the rejection. Don't let it get you down though. Keep on querying!

Jennie Bentley said...

I know you know this, but finding representation - just like finding the right editor after you're represented, because - yes - it doesn't end there - is all about pitching the right project to the right person at the right time. Sure, sometimes the project itself is lacking, and when we're just starting out, that's a logical explanation. But that isn't always the case. Multipubbed authors get rejected all the time, too. My agent doesn't love everything I want to write, and every editor she sends my work to doesn't scramble to make an offer on it. It could be the wrong timing - someone else just sent a book about a dog sitter - or the wrong agent/editor - she's a cat person - or just the wrong day, because the agent/editor has received 150 queries/proposals so far this week, vs. the usual 75, and (s)he is looking for any reason to reject one.

You know how they say it's 5% talent and 95% perseverance? Keep plugging. Sooner or later the right project will get to the right person at the right time, and you'll be on your way.

Patg said...

Rejections are a bitch, but when you get those idiotic ones that prove the agent claims to represent mysteries but doesn't know the sub-categories, well that is rotten.
Keep plugging, is all I can say. I've given up on agents. There may be a few good ones out there, but more and more I think the business is littered with fools.

Annette said...

Love the poem, Gina.

Have some chocolate and send that manuscript out there again. And again. And again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Gina said...

Thanks, everybody.