Waiting for the Mail

24 May

rusty mailboxMy addiction to the mail began when I was fourteen and developed a mad crush on the teenage drummer of a band who came to play at one of our high school dances. Sadly, I wasn’t there with a date, but as a member of a high school service club I was required to stay and clean up after the dance. The drummer’s name was Bob and he had feathery brown hair and a real mustache. He and the rest of his band mates wore matching peach satin shirts and tight-fitting cream-colored bell bottoms (cue Bee Gees soundtrack) and I willingly gave him my address so he could write to me. Every day for two weeks I eagerly checked our rusty mailbox after school expecting a letter—nothing. I’d pretty much given up all hope when it finally arrived—a square white envelope with my name scrawled across the front in untidy black ink. To this day, I still remember the absolute thrill of holding that letter in my hands.

Thus began my life of waiting for the mail. The college acceptance letter. The Christmas check from the wealthy aunt. The airmail letters from my husband (then boyfriend) who, after our intense three-week affair, left me to go back to his hometown in Mexico.

Although I still love to receive letters in the mail, my new obsession is all about email. Instead of running to the curb to check the mailbox for love letters, I constantly check my phone to see if any literary agents have responded to the queries I’ve sent out about my novel. Most agents tell you that it will take eight to twelve weeks for them to respond. I’ve had some responses—so far it’s been mostly No, thanks, although I have had a couple of requests to read the full manuscript. I’m hopeful someone will believe in my work enough to take me on as a client.

I suspect that this time I’ll be waiting quite a while. Good thing I’ve had lots of practice over the years.

Sorry I’ve got to go now—my phone just dinged!

letters

One of the many letters Rene sent to me from Oaxaca while we were apart.

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3 Responses to “Waiting for the Mail”

  1. Deborah May 24, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

    I went to a talk by an author who described good and bad rejection letters. If the letter addressed her by name, she and her husband would go out to dinner to celebrate. Eventually her first of many books was published. It was an inspirational talk!

  2. Jayne Martin June 8, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    There are so many independent presses out there that accept novels from writers without agents. Plus many competitions where you can enter it and get a publishing deal. Worth researching. Meanwhile, I’m so proud of you. Writing a novel is a huge accomplishment! I’m sending you tons of good wishes.

  3. brittonswingler July 12, 2016 at 10:57 am #

    Toes crossed that just when you least expect it…

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