Sunday, September 05, 2010

Get yourself a good SDT

The Shark Delay Team has five members. They rotate duty schedules so someone is always on call.

The call looks something like this:

SHARK: Oh my F/ing G/ing D/ing H/ing Hornswoggle Hootenanny! Did you see THIS! Can you believe THAT! Oh MY GARAMOND. I must set them straight! Here's the text of my reply (email drenched in gasoline proffered)

SDT#1: (reading text) Egad! My eyeballs are on fire!

SHARK: I'm amazingly cogent when I'm furious aren't I?

SDT #2: Step away from the keyboard, Shark. Here, let's play some nice Bach. Light a candle, not a blowtorch. Would you like a cupcake?

SHARK: Are you daft? Didn't you see this? Read this, I added a new pithy phrase and snide point (waving flame singed email text)!

SDT #1: (wiping soot from eyes) Sit down SharkForBrains. Do. Not. Hit. Reply.

SHARK: What? I must reply! The fate of the free world, not to mention my ego, depends on my personal one and only refudiation of this malicious and totally stupid blog post. I Must Reply or..or Die! (grand theatrical leap out of the water, splashing noises and shrieks of terrified swimmers)

SDT#2: Have you picked the hymns? Called the priest for last rites? Because I will murder you myself if you touch that keyboard. AND I will take all your scotch.

SHARK: oh. Hmmm. (pause for conniving thoughts)

SDT#1: No. You cannot connive your way past us. We have the liquor cabinet key.

SHARK: (whimpering noises)

SDT#2 (comforting tone): Put it aside. You can always send it later.

~~Later arrives~~

SHARKFORBRAINS: oof. That was really not a good idea. Thank goodness yet again for the Shark Delay Team. Saved!

I mention this to you, who perhaps do not come unglued quite so readily, because now that query season has reopened I'm hearing back from people who aren't happy that I respond with a form letter, or respond too soon.

Quick reminder: the only reply to a rejection letter is either "thank you" or silence. No other option.

I need trusted friends to talk me off the Reply ledge periodically. You might too.


BJ said...

But... but... but you CAN'T reject me! I put a lot of work into...

Oh wait. You really can't reject me, because I haven't subbed to you yet... hmm. ooops.

Could I borrow a member of your SDT?


Just many times did you accidentally switch the "T" and the "D" when you were typing this?


Janet Reid said...

Why Ms. Fenske, bless your heart! So kind of you to be concerned about my spelling!


JD Horn said...

As someone who has submitted and gotten a rejection, but who still thinks you are an amazing person, let me just echo the sentiments of a very wise person "Rejection Sucks."

That being said, you put so much time into this blog, into query shark, into trying to help those of us who need to write and are crazy enough to want to get published, into coming up with the writing contests, I say thank you. You do a lot more to help us writers than I would guess 99.99% of other agents would ever dream of doing.

Tara Maya said...

Isn't it funny how some random blog post can just send one into the upper reaches on a rage rocket. And if it weren't a random blog post... but a little more personal... Oy.

I have had the Urge To Respond With Deadly Cyberforce many times. I don't have a coordinated delay team, but distractions from my toddler have the same outcome. Usually.

Ricky Bush said...

Silence works for me. I've got a feeling that you outwit the SDT and hit that reply key every now and then. Before my next query...what brand scotch do you prefer?

Suzan Harden said...

Thanks, Tawna. *snicker* That's how I read the title at first.

Marjorie said...

A fast response with a form letter is perfect. And yes, silence is the only reply to a rejection.

I am like a Pavlov dog when it comes to replies to blog posts... but you would make an excellent deprogrammer and perhaps have the cure.

Margaret Yang said...

I'm still wondering why fast responses could ever be considered bad. Ditto for form letters. I love the form! I could wax poetic about the form letter. (Maybe that could be one of your writing contests.)

jjdebenedictis said...

Thank goodness you don't have a keyboard that features one of these:

Handler of Fools

Patty Blount said...

Is it wrong to admit I laughed so hard at this, I pulled something?