As I write this* I just hit send on a query. I feel sick. It’s a mistake. You only get one chance to make a first impression and I must have done something wrong. I’ve definitely done something wrong. I always do something wrong. My heart is pounding and my breathing is messed up and I am having a full-on fight or flight response.
All I did was send a fucking email.
Perhaps it’s time to let go of any hope of getting an agent or getting published and just view each query sent as another box I can tick on my way to the inevitable 100% failure. It’s like a rite of passage. All writers go through it. This novel is doomed.
Which is a pity because it’s really good. I would refer you to my beta readers but we all know that I’m far harsher on my own work than they could ever be. It is legitimately far better than I thought it could be at any point in the creative process after the point at which I actually started typing.
Of course compared to the perfect citadel of prose that I visualised before I started typing it’s a piece of shit but that’s probably unavoidable. The idea of a story is perfect but the idea is also an illusion. Until you pin it down and turn it into an actual thing the idea is nothing. I don’t regret killing my perfect idea.
I’m still regretting hitting send on that query but I’ll get over it. It’s the same thing really. In my head I could assemble the perfect query letter and synopsis and I could imagine them landing in the agent’s inbox announced by choirs of angels. The moment I hit send rejection becomes a possibility.
*I wrote this in the middle of the night. I’ll schedule it to go out at a more reasonable time.
Has anyone spotted the Zeppelins yet? I ask because it’s clear that the USA is experiencing a full on incursion from a Nazi timeline. That’s the only way I can explain actual Natzi’s marching in the streets with neither hoods nor masks and then being surprised when this doesn’t go well for them.
It’s almost possible to feel sorry for these travelers from another realm trapped in a world that doesn’t work the way they thought it did. They stumble around, expecting their violence to go unpunished, expecting to be lauded for their crimes, smearing their victims with insults that the world regards as nonsensical and when all else fails pretending not to be Natzis
Because let us not forget that these are Natzis. These are people who believe that some people aren’t people and that makes it totally ok to exterminate them. Even in their homeline they are arsholes without a single redeaming feature. They’re just used to getting away with it.
So what do we, the right thinking descendants of people who fought a war to put these arseholes back in their box, do about this?
We fight. We fight the very idea that it’s ok to be a Natzi. We enforce consequences. We remove the possibility of wearing a swastika all weekend and then pretending not to be a reprehensible piece of shit all week. When someone gets all uppity that no-one is condemning leftist violence let us pause briefly to point out all the times when people did condemn it before asking them if they have a problem condeming actual fucking Natzis. We show up to protest. We make it clear where the line is drawn and which side of it we are on.
Those of us who benefit from white privilege should weaponise that privilege. If someone has to tear down monuments then let it be those of us who will be charged with a misdemeanor not shot by some cop with a twitchy trigger finger. Let those of us who look like the imaginary Ayran master-race be the first to strike down the very idea of white supremacy.
One last thing before I let you go. While it is absolutely morally correct to punch a Natzi (but only if they really are a Natzi) it is illegal unless they attack you first. If you punch a Natzi you could be arrested, charged and convicted. So maybe don’t do it if you have people relying on you or if you can’t afford the conviction on your record.
More Zeppelin references
For the first time in months I haven’t hit my prefered posting schedule. It’s because I have not been well. Or in the vernacular of my homeland, “Ah’ve been nae weel”.
I’ve had an infected cyst and it’s been super painful. I’m now on antibiotics and almost back to my normal levels of nae weelness.
I’ve been dealing with the pain with a combination of regular painkillers, vaping CBD and playing Just Cause 3 on the PS4. It’s free this month to anyone with a Playstation Plus subscription. This is not exactly a review because I am not a reviewer. It’s just information for anyone else who might need distracting from pain or from the existential horror of life in 2017.
I’m not sure that Just Cause 3 is a good game but it’s certainly a fun one. There’s a lot of violence but so far not much gore. It’s funny but only if your sense of humour is like mine: as black as the earl of Hell’s waistcoat. You do have to hang up some of your critical faculties to enjoy it properly because the protagonist has to be mildly superhuman to pull off most of the stuff he does but his abilities have so far not been adequately explained.
If it’s distraction you’re looking for then this game does it well. It’s pretty to look at, the voice acting is excellent, the in game music is subtle but compelling, and the plot is interesting enough to drive the action but not so much that you don’t want to stop and do the challenges and side quests. There’s a variety of gameplay though there’s not much of a stealth option and I personally find the vehicle controls on the PS4 controller a bit shonky. This is a game that kept me entertained when the pain wouldn’t let me sleep and I had to wait for the antibiotics to work.
Also there’s a David Tennant voice cameo as the person kidnapped by the regime to do the radio announcements.
As I say it’s currently free on Playstation Plus and available cheap in any second hand games emporium. Or on Amazon it’s available for XBox One, PC and PS4. The XBox and PC versions are less than £15 but the the PS4 one is the gold edition and is more than £30.
So the CBD oil that I’ve been talking about in previous posts here and here is definitely working.
My background levels of pain have greatly reduced and it’s now easier to deal with breakthrough pain. However my right knee has clearly decided to be a horrible bitch about things. It’s swollen and it’s grinding and it won’t reliably bend and it hurts whenever I do foolish things like stand up or sit down or roll over in bed.
And something else has decided to flare up. Something really painful. Something that I really need to see a doctor about but I was too late this morning to get an appointment and I have stuff to do tomorrow that can’t be moved and if I leave it till Friday to see the doctor then I will have reached my own personal defcon 10 of pain.
That’s not 10 out of 10 on the pain scale. That level of pain is just screaming until it stops. Defcon 10 is out of my mind with pain, distraction and frustration. It’s a result of having to just put up with a level and type and location of pain that no-one should have to put up with. Defcon 10 is dangerous because it makes me want to knife 40 people at random. Hopefully the CBD oil will help with this kind of pain.
If anyone is interested I will post links to the kind of vape pen, cartridges and oil I’m using.
+++COUNCIL INSTRUCTS PROPERTY DEVELOPER TO INCLUDE GAY VENUE ON THE SITE OF THE JOINER’S ARMS+++TOWER HAMLETS MAYOR’S OFFICE WILL SEND IN INSPECTORS TO MAKE SURE IT IS GAY ENOUGH+++
+++LONDON MAYOR DEMANDS URGENT ACTION TO HALT THE DECLINE OF LGBT BARS+++LONDON MAYOR’S OFFICE PUSHING PLANNERS TO DO MORE TO PROTECT LGBT VENUES+++
Authorities in London are worried that the nightlife of the city is insufficiently gay and they are taking steps. That’s something I never thought I would see. For most of my life LGBT venues needed preserving from city authorities not by them.
So how will they check that the new venue is gay enough? The reader who sent me the the link imagines an undercover LGBT Inspector’s report would go something like this:
Inspector’s Report on the Joiner’s Arms:
Entered the club at 20:10., three adult males seen dancing topless on the dance floor. Two women observed kissing in booth at the back. Approached bar and was served at 20:21. Drinks on offer included 3 types of wkd, various vodkas and standard selection of lager. By 23:39 an eligible gentleman had been approached. Left club with said gentleman at 02:30 the following day.
The new Joiner’s Arms shows satisfactory levels of LGBT+ activity.
Poppers should be offered at the bar.
Change Drag night from Tuesday to Saturday.
I’m predicting a 6.9% increase in the chance of Zeppelin sightings over London. These will be the rare rainbow Zeppelins associated with the LGBT+ future utopia that Captain Jack Harkness off of Doctor Who will be born into sometime in the future.
I, for one, welcome our fabulous overlords. It’s getting dangerously dystopian round here. Sign me up for the glitter and the loud music.
Follow the Zeppelin link to the rest of the Zeppelin posts.
+++PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP CALLED NEW HAMPSHIRE A “DRUG-INFESTED DEN” DURING PHONE CALL WITH MEXICAN PRESIDENT, JANUARY+++
+++TRUMP SAID,”I WON NEW HAMPSHIRE BECAUSE NEW HAMPSHIRE IS A DRUG-INFESTED DEN” AND “KIDS ARE BECOMING ADDICTED TO DRUGS BECAUSE THE DRUGS ARE BEING SOLD FOR LESS MONEY THAN CANDY,”+++HE CITES MEXICO AS THE SOURCE FOR THE SUPER CHEAP DRUGS+++
+++NEW HAMPSHIRE RESIDENTS OBJECT TO THE PRESIDENT’S CHARACTERISATION OF THEIR STATE AND POINT OUT THAT ALTHOUGH HE WON THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY HE LOST BOTH THE POPULAR AND THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION+++
Ok, that last bit was me joking but the rest of the story appears legit. There is a genuine opiate problem throughout the US and New Hampshire has been particularly badly hit with a tenfold increase in deaths from opiate overdose from 2011 to 2015. I don’t think this increases the chances of Zeppelin sightings since this is clearly a long standing problem however it does suggest a new runner in the apocalypse stakes.
Apocalypse watchers I give you the Drug Apocalypse. This is the apocalypse where an increasing reliance on drugs blinds the lower classes to class iniquity and allows the super rich to hijack democracy leading to an inevitable societal breakdown. It’s the only possible explanation for the drugs being so cheap. If the super rich weren’t subsidising the drugs there’s no way that they could be cheaper than candy.
There’s now a page on the blog collecting all the Zeppelin related material: Zeppelins!
I’ll be honest. There are very few Harry Potter references in this post*, just some JK Rowling quotes**.
A friend pointed out an excellent agent for my novel. I’ve decided that I want to query and they are currently open for submissions. This agent has made statements that would tend to suggest that they might actually welcome the kind of genre hopping, funny/dark thrillers that I write. There are literally zero rational reasons for me not to query this person.
It’s been more than two weeks and I still haven’t written the query. There are no rational reasons for this delay but there are about a million irrational ones. I haven’t had time (I do have time I’ve just been avoiding my computer unless I have some other task to do on it). It keeps slipping my mind (it only slips my mind when I’m using the computer). The agent is definately going to reject the novel so what’s the point (I’ve got nothing to loose by the wrong agent rejecting the novel and if they’re the right agent they won’t reject it). I’m scared (I don’t know what I’m scared of). I might I fail again (in this instance failure will cost me nothing).
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” J.K. Rowling
She’s right of course. Not querying the agent is a far bigger failure than querying them and being rejected would be. I know this intellectually so why is it this hard to accept?
The most confusing thing for me is that rejection is something I should be used to. I’ve been rejected all my life. As a fat, disabled, middle-aged woman I am pre-rejected by society. It doesn’t want me and it’s not afraid to say so loudly.
Maybe it’s because I know that society’s rejection of me is meaningless. Society isn’t rejecting me it’s rejecting the false version of me constructed by prejudice. When someone rejects my novel they’re rejecting the product of the best part of me doing it’s very best work and that is meaningful. That is personal. That really fucking hurts.
* By very few I mean none.
** By some I mean one.