Those words are the first in my novel ‘Rewind’ which was my last novel, but they are relevant to my new one. Time is ticking down on my submission to three literary agents. As I mentioned before this is the time of demoralisation, with long periods of no news and then the inevitable rejection email. Yet things seem to have changed, and not for the better. Of the three agents I submitted to, two of them do not actually send any rejection email. They just state on their website, if we do not contact you in 12 weeks then we are not interested. Not even time for a “After careful consideration we do not think your work is right for our lists” or words to that effect. So one waits and waits and then one has to assume it has been rejected. Now, this does not seem right to me. At least if you get a rejection email you know someone has looked at it. If you do not hear anything at all, how do you know anyone has even looked at it?
Tick-tock! Tick-tock! It was Star Wars Day, May 4th, when I finished the novel, and by the time I had done my own proofreading and sent out the first submission it was 23rd May. The 84 days for that agent actually ends today. That particular agent is not the one who expects no news to be considered as a rejection and they do say on their website to contact them if nothing has been heard. I did write to them on Friday – Friday 13th – but that did not go well. Rather than write generally to a firm of agents, authors are now requested to write to specific agent at the firm. The person I submitted to in May had an Our of Office message on at the time but it was only for two days. Ominously, she had one on on Friday too and with no return date this time. What is more, her assistant, to whom one is referred, is also out of the office.
That one then is possibly still is still in abeyance. The other two periods expire on 4th and 12th Sepetember. Tick-tock! Tick-tock!
As stated above, I did do my own proofreading but a colleague from work – also a writer, with two published novels – offered to go through it too. Her view after Chapter 4 was that it was too wordy. Another person that started to read it – also at Chapter 4- said it was confusing. Fortunately the agent only has the first 3 chapters.
In other news, the new football season is here, and we unusually started off with a quite impressive performance. One hat-trick though does not make a season. Even our 5-1 win had me a bit irritated because I had a 50/50 choice of Mo Salah or Bruno Fernandes in my fantasy football team and I picked the former. Fortunately, two assists and a goal nearly made up for it. It is a fact though that playing fantasy football can make watching football an angry affair.
Things have not been great anyway. I dinged my car against a pillar which I have parked next to for 16 years and my collpased disc in my back has gotten worse giving me nerve pain in the leg.
What does one do then when one needs a pick me up? The answer is not watch UK comedy, usually. The last UK comedy series I liked was ‘My Family’ and the only current series I watch is ‘Brooklyn 99’ which is from the US. In between there have been shows such as ‘Scrubs’ and ‘Two and a Half Men’ but no UK stuff. If I am stuck for a laugh I usually just put three numbers into the Sky remote and then have a 50 / 50 chance of hitting an episode of ‘Friends’. Not recently though – things have got spooky.
I had heard of ‘Ghosts’ but like so many shows when I miss the first episode I don’t then watch it. However, I did think I might ought to try this one and being prompted by seeing the third series starting, I dove into the box set. I was pleasantly surprised and quickly devoured the first two series. Now I am up to date. The twist here on the haunted house theme is the spirits from different ages of the same house. The genius is having a caveman that has been there forever and is the smartest of the bunch.
The only disappointing thing is each series is only 6 episodes. Why in the UK do we never ever have a 24 episode series like the US do? And I am not talking comedy here but any show? A nice 6 months chunk of viewing. We used to but you have to go back years. ‘The Persuaders’ from the 70’s was 24 episdoes and ‘Randall and Hopkirk Deceased’ from slightly earlier was 26. What do we have now 6, 8 or at the very most 10 – which I have only noticed for ‘Doctor Who’.
Short lived then per series, but at least it gives a chuckle – which is definitely needed in thse times.