Sunday, July 08, 2018

Back to the real world!

Yesterday's blog post asked you guess how many manuscripts I'd read during this past reading retreat.

Some of you were pretty skeptical of my reading speed!
John Davis Frain guessed 1
Steve Forti guessed 6
Lisa Bodenheim guessed 7
AJ Blythe guessed 8

Sharyn Ekbergh, Melanie Sue Bowles
and Karen McCoy all guessed 9
Some of you were pretty skeptical of my need for sleep, food, or water!
lamandarin guessed 42
Jennifer R. Donohue guessed 48
Amy Johnson thinks I'm the Tasmanian Devil Reader: 104!!!

Here are the ones closes to the correct number:
22 Dahcee Sahaydak
22 Adele 
22 Kate Larkindale
23 April

25 Heather
25 Donnaeve

26 Jen

27 Megan V
28 Peggy Larkin 

30 MB Owen
30 Sam Mills
Jen was right on the money, it was 26.

Then I looked at the more difficult category: the most common phrase.

It's very clear a lot of you have gotten enough form letters to recognize them

Cecilia Ortiz Luna There is a lot to like about your ms, however

Adele Thank you for sending me your work, however  
Sharyn Ekbergh Some great writing here, but

RosannaM There is a lot to like about your work, but

Charlogo Just one agent's opinion

Jeannette Leopold Not quite right for me

Jennifer R. Donohue Thank you very much for the opportunity to review your manuscript, Regretfully

Jen "not what I'm looking for at at this time"

Dena Pawling Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to consider your work

Joseph Snoe I have to pass

Barbara Ellis not quite right for my list. However writing is subjective and I'm sure another agent will feel differently

Kate Larkindale While there's is a lot to love about this manuscript, I'm afraid

Some of you took the criteria literally

C.M. Monson Best of luck

Sam Hawke Very best wishes to you

AJ Blythe Regards, Janet Reid

Sam Mills Good Luck

Beth Carpenter Best of luck

Sherin Nicole I finished

Colin Smith Dear/Not right for me

April not a good fit

Some of you channeled the Hopes of All Writers
Amy Johnson (she of the 104!) love, love, love it

Craig F rewrite and resubmit

CynthiaMc I can sell this book!

Timothy Lowe I love this

And the best of the Optimist lot is Claire Bobrow's
If you have not yet found representation, I would be happy to discuss your project further. Would sometime next week be convenient for a telephone call

Some of you were pretty darn hilarious (no surprise there!)
BrendaLynn Have you any salt?

John Davis Frain This is how I define unputdownable. This is also how I define markupable

And of course, the all time prompt word wrangle champion Steve Forti:
They don't think it be like this but it do
which is not something Marlo Stanfield says in The Wire, but should be.

I didn't express myself well enough on the blog post. What I was looking for was a word or phrase I used during this particular reading retreat, one I didn't use regularly.

Some of you intuited that was what I was looking for:
Curt David Please forgive

Sherry Howard I'm so sorry to have kept you waiting so long

Megan V Thanks for/your patience/writing to me about your work/sending me your tears, they were delicious (JR: ok, 3 out of 4 here!)

Peggy Larkin I'm sorry for the long delay in my response (but I'm sure you've enjoyed a lot of exercise on your hamster wheel in the interim ) (JR:not the parenthetical, even if I thought it!)
But no one actually got it quite right: "I apologize for the unconscionable amount of time it's taken me to reply to your email of (date.)

Megan V
and Peggy Larkin and Jen all came close enough in both mss count and common phrases that I think we need three winners today!

If all y'all will email me with your mailing address, I'll get a copy of Jeff Somers' Writing Without Rules out to you you. If you already have a copy, we can pick another book!

Thanks to all of you who weighed in on the question! Reading these made a nice transition back to the real world, and, sadly, leaving Intern Ty my fuzzy friend.



Claire Bobrow said...

I loved reading the results of the tally - but Janet, you did so much work it's clear you're going to need a vacation from your "vacation." Fortunately, the blog readers provided many wonderful suggestions for future travel :-)

Last week I listened to a podcast in which an author said all writers should "find a way to cultivate stubborn hope." That's my new mantra, hence my optimistic response to part two of Question Seven.

Happy Sunday, all, and stay optimistic!

Jeannette Leopold said...

This was hilarious. Thanks, Janet! Very cathartic to read people's form rejection guesses.

Mister Furkles said...

Ty: Fuzzy headed thinking is the best thinking.

BrendaLynn said...

Pending apology accepted. And thank you again.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

I loved this exercise. Congrats to Meg, Peggy and Jen!

But, oh, Lord. I really hope what Janet said about receiving form letters won't become a self-fulfilling prophecy because I haven't submitted my MS to anyone.


Jen said...

[Does happy dance]

My kids are staring at me like I've lost my mind. lol.

And, wow! 26 manuscripts is amazing! Janet, you deserve a glass of scotch and a foot rub.

Theresa said...

And will we get to know the fate of the 26?

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

This was a ton of fun... but, Janet, I was sorta cringing over the fact that it was also more work for you. All that tallying.

Congratulations you three winners. Terrific!

Janet Reid said...

Theresa Nope, not specifically unless the writers choose to share.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congrats to the three winners.

Intern Ty looks quite pensive now that the week of sharing lap with manuscripts is done.

Amy Johnson said...

Congratulations, Megan and Peggy and Jen!

104 is perfectly reasonable. We all know the Queen has superhero powers. Why would anyone not think those powers include super-speed-reading skills as well as the ability to predict the future (i.e., if she requests material, she already knows she's going to love, love, love it)?

AJ Blythe said...

Congrats to the three who channeled Janet the mostest. It was a lot of fun reading everyone's guesses.

Will DoY suspect you've been cheating on her with Intern Ty? I suspect a truckload of catnip will be descending on your apartment in due course to clear the air...

Craig F said...

Congrats to the winners and congrats to my Queen for surviving three manuscripts a day.

I keel good about downing one book in three days

Never in all my born days would I have expected the answer. An agent apologizing for keeping writers hanging on.

C.M. Monson said...

I had fun reading everyone's guesses. Like Jeannette, cathartic was the first word that popped into my head.

Congrats, winners!

Glad to have you back, Janet!!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Tis the last night before assimilation, mere hours before life resumes as it was, less the search, discovery, or discard of someone else’s dreams. A weighty task deserving ruthlessness with heart. I do not envy our queen her enterprise because truth begets both joy and sorrow. As noble as it is, as worthy as it may be, it’s an undertaking that has gotta suck sometimes.

Lennon Faris said...

Congrats, you three.

Janet, that's impressive.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. I miss the blog but I've really enjoyed the interim, too!

Megan V said...

Congrats Jen and Peggy!

And I'm with Lennon: I've really enjoyed this hiatus, but I am also looking forward to the return of the regular blog posts.

Peggy Larkin said...

Wowee zowee, what a delightful surprise - my greatest writing award to date! I'm honored to share it with Megan and Jen. :)

Can't wait to use Jeff's book to propel myself to the next level on the heels of this triumph! I'll send Intern Ty my contact information posthaste.

(Comment edited to correct an error I already corrected twice in the comment window - autocorrect, knock it off!)

Betsy said...

I'm curious to know, of the 26 full ms you read, how many you're interested in representing.