Saturday, 10 October 2009

Rejection, rejection, rejection

Well, it's happened. I got my first rejection letter.  


Exactly two weeks ago I sent off my crisp submission packet to the agent of my dreams. We all have that list don't we. We trawl through the Writers Yearbook looking through all the tasty agents on offer, and compile lists on who likes what, who our absolute fantasy agent is, and what they like in a submission. Normally this list is made sometime during either writers block, editing, or when we are just plain procrastinating! For me it as editing. Don't ask. I can't stand to even hear that word sometimes.  


Okay, so back to my topic at hand. Maybe I ought to say it wasn't even a letter, it was an email. What I do really like though (and I'm hoping/wishing/praying I don't sound like one of those 'yeah, but they didn't want it, but they said this, this and this!) was that it was a very personal email and gave loads of sound advice. She said that while it was very readable, and another person at the agency thought so too, it just wasn't 'big' enough for them. (We are talking about like the no. 1 agency in the country, so you know, can somehow bring myself to understand!) There were a few other points where I could amend and if I wished, I was to resubmit to her in the future and to address it personally to her. Yeah, was fairly chuffed about that! Because for all the reasons why it wasn't picked up, I love the fact that I didn't just get a bog-standard rejection letter, which lets face it, is all we normally get.  


So what's the plan for me now? Editing and amendments and....resubmission!

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Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Fear

Show of hands please, for those of you who have seen He's Just Not That Into You.  For all you guys, you are such liars!  Lol I'm willing to bet a fair amount of money lots and lots of you have seen it.  Anyway, that's not my point.  The reason I'm referring to the movie is for a little thing Mr Justin Long said.  His character was talking to this girl and was saying how we all have a little part of ourselves that wait just that bit longer to pay a bill, too meet a deadline, just for the thrill of the risk.  We like it.  We love it.  It's scary.  It's fun.  IT'S SHIT!

Okay so yeah, scary and fun, whatever, but what happens when reality sets in, and you realise, actually, hang on a minute, you're fucked!  This is exactly what I'm feeling right now.  FUCKED.  And not in a good way, trust me.

I did a really stupid thing.  Really really stupid.  Or maybe not all that stupid.  Rambling again...apologies.  So my stupid thing?  I approached an agent without perfecting my manuscript.  (Thump head off desk in sheer annoyance at self).  So it's not that bad, honest!  In my opinion, it's only the very. very, very, very last proofread away from being perfect.  But I'm feeling a bit of a dick now, and wishing I hadn't been such an eager twat!

My first three chapters were gleaming so much a partially sighted person could see themselves as easy as a...em...fully sighted person. (WTF?) I just didn't bother with the rest of it.  I just really struggle to get motivated by edits!  I hate them!  More than I hate bananas or that twat off Channel 4 on the weekends that annoys me so much his face actually offends me.

So now I guess my panic is...what if the agent wants more of said manuscript?  Well, I dunno.  I'm trying not to be negative and think that they probably won't want a full copy, but hey, we all know the chances...I guess the bigger question is WHY THE FRIGGEN HECK AM I WRITING TO MY BLOG INSTEAD OF EDITING?!?!?!?!!? Can't help it.  Even in my state of bewildered panic I'm still managing to procrastinate.

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Dumped or Dumpee

So my mother came to visit me earlier this week and mentioned something interesting she had heard on the radio. It was a discussion on what you would rather be; the Dumped or the Dumpee. My automatic response was 'chuh! Dumpee, defo,' as I think many of you guys would be too.  


But in the early hours of this morning, before it is a sane enough time to get up but too late to really attempt getting back in REM mode, it suddenly flashed back into my mind. I lay there thinking about it for probably longer than was really necessary. And the more I thought about it, I couldn't really decide what I would prefer; being the Dumped or the Dumpee. Because really, at the end of the day, both are just varying degrees of awful anyway.  


Now, I've hardly ever been Dumped, I'm usually the Dumpee. The few times I have been Dumped, I haven't really given two shits to be honest. I've just gone out with my girlies and celebrated the awesomeness that is single life. Preferably with a cute guy to maul at the end of the night.  


I can imagine for those in serious relationships, being the Dumped would be truly awful. And what is worse? Having the object of your affection own up to some adulterous crime or have them tell you that they just don't love you anymore. Because both suck and must hurt like fuck. I also imagine it must be REALLY hard to move on. It would be hard to get closure, especially if you don't see the Dumping coming. But is being the Dumpee any easier? I don't think so. I mean sure, sometimes it's real easy, especially if what you are going out with is just a glorified fuck-buddy who doesn't realise they are a fuck-buddy, and the sleepovers are just getting too much. But when you are in long term, serious relationship, it is really hard to get the courage to tell that other person you don't want to be with them anymore. The first time I broke up with someone it was awful. I met him when I was seventeen, my first serious boyfriend. I moved in with him really quickly and had a massive falling out with my family, most of them I didn't even speak to until things were all over with him. Once he had me right where he wanted me (ie shut off from everyone incl. friends and family) and just when I was head over heels madly in love with the boy, he started to show his true colours. The drink he enjoyed after work, during the football, on a Sunday morning, it became clear he had a drinking problem. After one of his bouts of drinking (Super Tenants - gad) he normally turned nasty. He would rape me, shout abuse at me, accuse me of cheating on him and anything else he could think that would hurt me. I got heavily into drugs for a while, believing his assurances that was 'no big deal' and it took me a really long time to bounce back from it all.  


I can hear you all now; so WHY was it a hardship to break up with him? Easy. I thought I was stuck, I thought I didn't have a choice. But the worst bit of all? Because I loved him. When he didn't drink, he was my best friend and I saw the man I fell in love with. But somewhere down the line, the fog cleared and I could see my way again. It did break his heart when I left him and I'm just glad I did it when I did. After I broke up with him, he started fooling around with a fifteen year old (he was twenty-two) and proceeded to get four different girls pregnant. I see him from time to time. He looks like shit.  


The second boy after that, was just a boy to me. He was a few years younger than me, but still acted like a kid. It was nearly two years after I broke up with my first boyfriend before I felt secure and happy enough in myself to allow myself to be with someone again. He was way more into the relationship than I was and he pretty much suffocated me. I invited him to stay over one night. He didn't leave for eight months. THAT break-up took all night.  


So let me ask you the question. What is better; to be the Dumped or the Dumpee. Guess it depends on who you are asking. What's my answer? I haven't figured that one out yet.

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Baggage

I've never really given much thought to the baggage we carry around. Some people may be lucky and have very little in the way of emotional crap, but what about those that do? I bet a lot of people would think, 'oh, I don't have that much,'. Take a closer look. It's more than you think.  


So what sparked this train of thought off in me? As I walked into town the other week I paused at the crossing (you know, not a big fan of getting run over by twats and really big buses) and couldn't help overhearing a conversation behind me. I would be a bare-faced liar if I said I didn't like eaves dropping. As a writer I get my inspiration from everywhere and I find the lives of other people fascinating. (I HATE reality TV - go figure) So anyway, there I was about to cross the road when another couple mosy on into hearing distance. A girl was saying something I didn't quite catch, but then the guy came out with a doozy: "My ex pulled a knife on me." Girl: "...oh?" Man: (chuckle) "It's why we're not together anymore." YA THINK?  


Pretty much the rest of the afternoon all I could think about was that couple. My first initial reaction was to turn around and catch the girl's reaction. But being in Britain and all, didn't think I would get away with it. Plus didn't fancy my chances, who the hell know's what the guy was like? Maybe to know a psycho you gotta be one, ya know?


Anyhoo, I started feeling really sorry for the girl. In the beginning of most relationships the Ex File is a big deal. No one really wants to open it, but at the end of the day we are either too damn nosy for out own good, or closet masochists and just can't help ourselves. We gotta know where our current partner has been. Just gotta be done. My very first boyfriend (or the Asshole, as I fondly think of him) had a Hell Bitch Demon as an ex-girlfriend who had been known to - ahem - assert her violent side on frequent occasions. I'm not vain or anything, but I kinda like my face the shape it's in, thanks. (And girls, you know it, I know it, everyone know's it, we all hate the New Girlfriend. Almost as much as the Old Girlfriend) So I very much feared for my face when she found out I was dating her Ex. In the end, she was actually pretty cool and I started to really like her. Until I found out she was still fucking him...then she went down in my estimations ever so slightly.  


So, yes, way off track now!  


All I could think about was that poor girl. She probably was all happy in that beautiful new excited way a spanking new relationship is and oh, what's that? A big thunderous cloud to piss all over your happy feeling? Shit. Nothing like a knife-wielding Ex to take a piss on your parade. If I had been that girl, I'd have been terrified. What kind of guy was he? Surely he couldn't have been all that stable himself to go with such a girl. But then...the more I thought about it, I felt pretty sorry for him, too. He had done nothing wrong (that I knew of, anyway) so surely it isn't far to be judged fairly harshly on the acts of another person. He HAD to know that kind of statement would send a girl scampering off in the distance to search for a guy with less baggage. So here is my question: How much does baggage matter, and how much are we willing to take? A suitcase? Carry-on? Little clutch purse?  


I think we all need to take a breather and stop judging people so harshly. Not easily done, It's not unusual for me to bail ship if I think something is gonna be too hard. What makes me think now is, it could be me. I have a fair amount of emotional baggage that I carted around for a LONG time before accepting things and setting it free. Don't get me wrong, I still have some issues but now they are manageable and more importantly, they don't show in my relationship. If I met a really nice guy that I thought I could fall for, it would really hurt for him to ditch me all because of things that have happened in the past. (I should mention here that I am married and in no way do I constitute affairs, this is all just hypothetical). Plus, if one day down the line I find myself a single mother, hello! Huge child-shape baggage! I find that things aren't as easy as they once were. Relationships are getting harder and baggage is becoming heavier. Maybe this is all part of growing up. Who can honestly say they have gotten to the end of their twenties and have no baggage? Slim few, I reckon.  


So, again, guys. How much is too much and what does it matter?

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