Monday, September 29, 2008

Here We Go...Off in the Clear, Blue Yonder

Years ago, more than a decade, I can remember sitting in the audience as a well-known, seasoned author answered newbie questions. I was a newbie. I was so new I didn't know the double-spacing, do not use pink paper rule. I raised my hand and asked my question. "How do I go about mailing my manuscript?" The season author rolled her eyes (I was so new that I didn't realize every seasoned writer refused to use the term 'rolled her eyes' because of its literal meaning). Years later, I know that the reason she rolled her eyes (She didn't throw up her hands; she'd edited that phrase out of her life, too) is because she thought I'd wasted her valuable time. I should asked that question to not-so-newbie sitting next to me. It's thirteen years later, and you know, I'm still mastering the 'How do I go about mailing my manuscript?' dilemma. Sometimes I still forget and put it in a big manilla envelope, only to get to the post office and tear apart my manilla folder with it's fancy label. If I'm lucky, which I seldom am, it's a week before it's due and I can send it regular mail.

I've done that once.

Roughly fourteen times I've gone to UPS. They lost me one time by closing early. I was frantic and finally discovered a FED EX in the neighborhood. FED EX was so nice and helpful, that even though they cost more, I go there now. I'll be there in a few hours. I'll carry in my manuscript loose (it's in a rubber band and the disc is there too). FED EX has hard envelopes. I'll fill out a paper that has multiple copies and requires me to read lines that are much too small.

Then, because I have to overnight it, I'll pay roughly what I pay to fill the tank of my SUV (Hey, I have a small child and a car seat and grandparents) and comes home to start the next book.

I still have pink envelopes.
I'ive had them for thirteen years.
I actually sent my first manuscript out in pink envelopes.
Hey! Maybe that's why it got rejected eleven times.


Jessica said...

I'm sorry about the eye rolling thing. It wasn't very nice. But it's true that we've all been newbies once. God bless the more seasoned writers who took the time to kindly show us the ropes. :-)

PamelaTracy said...

That writer no longer writes. She retired. When I think of my RWA group and the changes since I joined thirteen years ago, I think she's the one I miss the most. She didn't hold things back. She laid out the business and if you didn't like it, too bad, because that's the way it was done. She was one of the few who made a living as a writer. I learned a lot from her. LOL, come to think of it, that wasn't the only question I asked her that had her rolling her eyes. I was like a too friendly puppy wanting to play with an old dog who knew all the tricks.