Thursday, April 12, 2012

Agent Kristin Nelson In An Elevator

If by sheer happenstance you find yourself in a hotel which happens to be hosting a writers' conference, and if at that conference there happens to be some of the publishing industries biggest names, and if you happen to be a writer who has queried some of these big-named agents, it would behoove you to prepare for the possibility you might happen upon one of those agents.

Preparation means coming up with some sort of pitch for that once-in-a-career making novel you wrote that no agent without brain damage could pass on.  It means being the salesman you don't think you can be when you have to be without which you are nothing more than another writer who wants to be an author but will never be until you nail down that pitch.  It means whipping out that pitch with no notice and dazzling that super-agent so well they see sparkles for weeks.

Sadly, I didn't come up with this advice before needing it.

So, I'm in Chicago on a layover and there is a writers' conference in the hotel.  By gum, I think, I've crashed these things before.  Remember DragonCon?  Why not do it again?

A quick google turned up a list of attendees, including Super-Agent Kristin Nelson.  Wouldn't it be something to run into her, I thought.  Except that my time was limited.  I have to fly later today, so I looked over the workshops to see what would be the best one to sneak into.  Sadly, none fit my schedule, so I headed down to stroll around.

Well who do you suppose ended up in the elevator with me, but Kristin Nelson?  So, not thinking at all, I introduced myself and told her I'd sent her a query about a kid living on a pirate ship.  She very convincingly acted as though she remembered it, to which I quickly called her bluff.

Brilliant move.  Then I reminded her that she rejected it.  Not in a bitter way, just making conversation.  She laughed and told me not to take it personally, which I didn't and don't.

She had to run.  I had to run.  She remembered my name as we parted.  Classy lady.

But boy did I blow it.  Because when I got back to my computer and looked up the query I'd sent, it wasn't to her, but one of her staff.  Nit picky, I know.  Query one agent, query them all.  But it had been a while.  I should have pitched her the story right there.  I'm sure by the eighth floor she'd've been hooked.  Alas!

The point is I was unprepared.  Well I was never a boy scout, but you never know when you'll need those skills.

Anyone else have a similar stupid story?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Long And Short Of Nine Months

My son will be nine months old on Sunday.  The quickest nine months of my life.  Prior to his birth was the longest nine months of my life.  I thought he would never get here.  I had no idea who he would be.  Whether he would be a he.  Or a she.  We called him END Baby, to distinguish him from Our Korean, the baby we had hoped (and still hope) to adopt.  The weekly doctor's appointments.  The fears we would lose him.  The slow realization we wouldn't.  And then came the planning and prepping.  Buying baby stuff.  Decorating a nursery.  Arranging time off from work.  Visits from out of town relatives, eager to meet END Baby.  When all that was done came the waiting.  And the waiting.  And the waiting.

And then...

I was a dad.

Now he can pull himself onto his feet and has teeth.
He says Mama and, quite sparingly, Dada.

That was fast.  Too fast.