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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Most Mockable Moment EVER

The point of Mock Me Mondays has not necessarily been to open myself up to mockery (though I'm okay with that) but rather it's a means for me to come to terms with all the stupid stuff I've done. And as regular Mock Me readers know, I've set the bar pretty high.  But I've outdone myself this time.

I was going to keep this most recent humiliation to myself, but I'm hoping a public airing will help me "get over it"...and so I'm not waiting for Monday.

Imagine you took time off blogging so you could concentrate on finishing up your manuscript (guilty)

Imagine you had a great idea that changed the last third of the book
(mmhhmmmm)

Imagine after said blogging hiatus, you go to a conference 
(I did). 

You have a lovely time listening to the expert's break out sessions and meeting other writers
(I sure did). 

Imagine you attend a couple pitch sessions with Real. Live. Agents.
(yup. been there, done that).

Imagine that the sun, stars, and moon align and said agents ASK FOR PAGES.
(YAY! One full and one partial!  I did the happy dance in public)

Imagine you exit the pitch room and celebrate with other waiting (hopeful) writers.
(writers are the nicest people on earth)

Imagine you drive the five hours home, still giddy with excitement. 
Agents are going to Read. Your. Stuff.
(my poor husband...might have been a little too giddy)


With me so far?


Now imagine you get home, open up your document to find it corrupted.
(oh nooooo...)

Now imagine your last good back up is the old version...not the one you pitched.
(oooohhhh NOOOOOO)

30,000 words gone

Welcome to my hell.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Worst Nightmare...

THIS is why I don't walk over grates in the sidewalk or manhole covers or too close to sewer drains.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Update

Thanks for all the positive vibes -- I got the job I wanted and will start the first of May.  I hope to get back to regular blogging soon after.

I'm off to the Missouri Writer's Guild conference in St. Louis this weekend.  Anyone else going?  I had a fabulous time last year and am looking forward to another great weekend.

I've got two pitch sessions this year and am freaking out just a bit (okay, a lot).  So I'm spending every last waking minute going over my MS.  It's killing me because I'm second guessing EVERYTHING.  Should I keep this scene here or move it? Or maybe I should just delete it and work the bits in somewhere else.  It's okay.

They're also doing a panel where we submit the first two pages of our MS and a group of agents will read a random selection (out loud) and tell us what they liked and didn't like.  I sat in a similar session with Kristin Nelson last year and it was VERY informative.

Hope to see you all soon!




Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Feel Their Pain

I've always thought that a query letter was a bit like a resume.  A query letter is intended to hook an agent into finding out more about your book while a resume is intended to hook a hiring manager into finding out more about YOU.

One of the reasons I've been away is that I've been hunting for a new job.  There's a whole week's worth of posts behind the reasons, but I'm not going into those right now. I've had a couple very positive interviews, so while I'm waiting for the phone to ring, I'm starting the search for my replacement.

Which leads me to this post.

PEOPLE!

I have a feeling the problems I've been seeing in the resumes I've been reading are probably very representative of the problems agents read in the query slushpile.  Only difference is SOMEONE is going to get this job, so already the odds are better for my applicants.  Agents can say no to everyone if they want, they don't HAVE to find someone to offer representation to.

Problem #1: Not following Directions
I very clearly stated I wanted to see a resume, a cover letter, and a salary range.  (Yeah, I hate it when I see this in ads but I understand why they do it).  I get resumes with no cover letter.  I get a resume and cover letter but no salary range.  I even got a response without any of the above, which leads me to...

Problem #2: Mysterious Links
Someone thought it'd be smart to send me a LINK to a video of their qualifications, promising the opportunity to download the resume/cover letter at the end. Not only did this person not follow directions, they showed poor judgment.  Who is going to click on a mysterious link with so many weird viruses out there?  MAYBE I could understand the video if the position were for some sort of videographer or film editor.  Since it's an administrative support position, I'm just tsk tsk tsking as I click on someone else's response.

Problem #3: Things Don't Match
I've received some nice cover letters.  I'd get all excited, thinking this could be The One, only to be disappointed when I looked at the resume.  I understand the need to stretch the truth a bit -- especially when you're new and don't have that much experience -- but there are impressive things in the cover letter that are NOT on the resume at all. Did they take it off because they didn't want to be repetitious?  Are they even able to do XYZ?

Problem #4: Overpromising
Back to the great cover letters.  Jane Doe claims she has experience with fill in the blank, but on the resume you notice it was for a completely irrelevant industry or maybe just a class.  Again, I know we have to put a positive spin on everything, but it's like applying for a position as a Nascar driver only to say your driving experience is with the bumper cars at your state fair. 

Problem #5: Failure to Proofread
People, people, PEOPLE!  I WANT to like you.  I would love to give you this job, but when you do such stupid things as misspelling common words, use awkward sentences, or a sloppy format, you worry me.  If I'm generous, typos are a three strikes kinda thing.  Three or more, and I toss the resume out.  But even if I keep it in the running, someone with flawless experience could go to the bottom of the pile when someone else has paid attention to all of the above.  So do yourself a favor and proof your resume and cover letter then let someone ELSE do it for you.

Oh, and then do the same with your query and manuscript!

Hope to be back soon...if you can get that job offer to land in my lap, it'll be REAL soon!