So I got a pretty creative rejection letter from a literary agent today, and this goes to show you that the current trying financial crisis we’re in is hitting everyone — everywhere — and affecting everything, as if we needed even more proof:
“Thank you for considering us, but due to the economy, we are reluctant to represent women’s fiction at this time.”
‘Due to the economy’? Reluctant to represent women’s fiction?! They mean, of course, “chick lit” — an incredibly popular genre, if I do say so myself. Books by Sophie Kinsella, Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner are regularly at the top of the bestseller’s list, and just tonight at my bookstore I’ve sold multiple copies of books by heavy-weight writers like Laura Weisberger, Candace Bushnell and Jane Green. Though imprints such as Red Dress Ink may not be welcoming new titles, I beg to differ that the genre is not profitable — in fact, I think that’s downright wrong.
But now I’m being told by a reputable agent that she cannot — or will not — represent me as a new women’s fiction author.
Can someone, like, swoop in and fix this whole mess? That would be great. Kthanx.
If I were to wake up tomorrow on the set of a big-budget melodramatic film with a director standing by my bed — bullhorn in one hand, Starbucks cup in the other — demanding for me to summon every single tear I have in my body to cry — cry, cry, cry as though it would save my eternal soul — would I think about my first love, sitting across from me in a quiet restaurant, telling me he was leaving town (and leaving me) and was there really much left to say? Would I think about family illnesses or the loss of my youth, high school graduation or the death of a family member? Would I think about how fast time goes by and how we all, someday, have to face the consequences of the decisions we’ve made?
I would think of my dog.
I got really excited for a few seconds this weekend when I thought I saw our favorite pumpkin stand on Route 5 had gone up! It’s too soon, of course — and there was nothing there but an old, crumbling building and an empty pick-up truck. But I’m slightly concerned because, after picking out our prized gourds last October, the woman working at our stand told my dad she wasn’t sure they would be continuing to sell on Route 5 anymore. I think she said her father, who technically owns the operation, was getting older and wasn’t able to keep up with it.
But what will I do without my pumpkin patch?! My mother has photos of my sister and I toddling along as children, pointing to the pumpkin we wanted so my dad could haul it off to the back of the van. We have the same pictures year after year — all of us standing in front of a scarecrow or witch or bale of hay. We pick out the gourds, then listen as they rattle around in the backseat on our way home . . . then pick a quiet evening, scoop out the “guts” and decide whether to make our pumpkin faces “scary” or “pretty.” In later years, as we’ve gotten busier and busier and somehow couldn’t find time to actually carve them, we’ve painted them with glitter. They’re always displayed at a place of prominence on the kitchen table or the bar.
A fall without my Route 5 pumpkin patch? Insanity! Unfathomable. The world will have gone mad! Here’s hoping it really does appear sometime soon . . .