Monday, July 19, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Caper or How I Got Crowned - Part 1

I passed the refrigerator and heard a chocolate chip cookie whisper my name. "Susan, oh, Susan." My mouth watered at the thought of a large cookie dunked in ice cold milk.

With my Snoopy mug and cookie in hand, I sat down at the kitchen table. With no A/C in the house, I keep my cookies in the refrigerator, making the chips almost as hard as pebbles. I bit down and winced. Hmm, probably one of the chips. I finished, put the glass in the dishwasher, and went to my computer.

My tongue sent an alert to my brain. "Sharp tooth, left side, upper." Uh-oh. That chip wasn't chocolate. I swallowed part of my molar.

Faced with the dilemma of going back to my former dentist - Five-Shots-of-Novacaine- that-Still-Didn't-Work-Dr. Pain - I froze. Eureka! The Yellow Pages listed a lot of dentists. Ah, here's one I'd heard about in favorable terms. I made an appointment for a consultation.

I entered the dentist's lair and leaned on the granite countertop. The decor, the staff walking around, talking in hushed tones, all spoke of success - not to mention high fees.

One of the women led me to an examining room, and peered into my mouth. "I'll need an X-Ray, and then the doctor will see you." After ten minutes, the X-Ray was ready, the doctor was ready, and the hygienist was ready - but I wasn't ready. To be continued...

Have you ever had a bad experience with an editor/agent appointment? It makes you nervous and wary of scheduling future meetings. How do you overcome, "Editor Anxiety?"


Jessica Nelson said...

Oh, poor you. :-(

At the last conference it felt like I had bad meetings. Not that there was anything wrong with the agent or editor, just that I didn't connect and felt SO awkward.
Next time I'll just have to try again and hope for the best. :-)

I'm sorry about your tooth! Is it fixed now?

patti said...

Oh, YES! I've had a couple where the person was curt, disinterested. Made me wonder both why I was there and why they were there.

You keep writin' for the audience of one, girl.


Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I was at a writers conference and had scheduled a meeting with an editor. Before I hardly got the words out of my mouth, she started asking questions about where I was born, lived, etc. And I kept interrupting to pitch my ms and at the end of our time she told me she wasn't interested. I made a mental note to never deal with her or her agency again!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I love that you have a Snoopy mug :) Sorry about your tooth, though. I dread the dentist every time I go even though my dentist is fabulous!

I'm going to the ACFW conference this year so I'll have my very first editor and agent appointments. I am soooo nervous because I have a hard time talking to people I don't know--especially about my writing. I hope the meetings go well and I can set aside my nerves because, even though it's hard to tell sometimes, I'm really excited about my writing and I want that to come across.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

Life's been interesting around here for a couple of weeks. I have two more appointments scheduled, which should wrap up this adventure.

You had a definite advantage over me with your first conference. You were already blogging and learning a great deal about fiction.

When I first started going to conferences, I was about as green as a Christmas tree. If I'd known a bit more, I could have saved myself a lot of grief.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Patti -

Most of the people I've seen have been super. It's the one or two rough experiences that make you wary.

If I had to do it over again, I would not have approached editors or agents with my book for several years. I wasn't ready.

Yes, I keep reminding myself to stay focused on Him. It's the only place of stability, for life as well as writing.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Donna -

Most people go to conferences to meet an editor or agent. It's too bad your time slot didn't yield even a courtesy look at your work and some feedback.

On the website for the Philly conference, Marlene gives details on what a person is seeking. I've never been to any of the other larger conferences. Do they give detailed information?

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Cindy -

It's not only a Snoopy mug; it's a Snoopy WRITER mug. A dear friend gave it to me. :)

I fully understand the nerves, especially with a first appointment. It's something akin to stage fright.

How to overcome it? Good preparation, rehearsing with a friend, a dynamite one-sheet you can hand to the editor in the event you get brain freeze, and LOTS of prayer.


Karen Lange said...

See, your adventures really do translate into writing opportunities! lol I haven't had many awkward moments with editors, thankfully, but am open to input.
Karen ;)

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear about your tooth! Ouch! Looking forward to hearing how it all turned out! My husband views the dentist much like you - loved the way you described his office as a 'lair'! Have a wonderful week & God bless!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

You know me - there's a devotional, article, or something for my book projects in every experience. :)


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Maria -

I don't care how beautiful the office is decorated. When I go to the dentist with an emergency, fun will not be the operative word.

Two more visits, and I should be finished. The permanent crown will be installed on July 29th. Two weeks later, I'll go for a check-up.

Susan :)

Jody Hedlund said...

Oh, Susan!! I'm so sorry to hear of your tooth. What an ordeal! One of my daughters just recently had one of her permanent front teeth cracked when she was swimming (part of the tooth broke completely off). She has to go in next week and get it "filled." I'm thankful for modern technology that can do so much for us.

By the way, now you've made me wish for chocolate chip cookies! I may just have to bake some soon!

Jeanette Levellie said...

I wonder if fixing your A/C would've been less expensive than the dental work? Maybe not...

The first time I met with an editor I was a nervous wreck. I yakked so long about everything in the universe 'til he finally asked, "And what can I do for you today?" So embarassing!

By the Lord's grace, that man has published several of my articles over the last two years.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jody -

Yes, I'm thankful they can fix these problems today. Historical writers might want to look into dental and medical practices of years gone by. I think Julie Klassen did a fabulous job in the Apothecary's Daughter.

Ah, always the writer brain going full steam ahead.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

LOL! The A/C didn't need to be fixed. The units had to be installed in the windows. It definitely would have been less expensive than fixing the tooth.

I have the exact opposite problem with agents and editors. I freeze, and can barely get out a coherent sentence. I'd appreciate prayer for the upcoming conference. :)


Nancy said...

I don' know about the editor part, but I can realte to the dentist. I sure hope this story has a good ending. You were brave to try a new dentist. As everyone knows, the familiar is usually less "painless" than a new venture. I'll be waiting to hear the end of the story.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

I couldn't face going back to the old dentist. I'd only gone to him once and that was enough.

Hmm, I guess I did make this post a cliff hanger. LOL! I'm getting practice for my books.

Susan :)

quietspirit said...

When I went to a secular writing conference, one of the ladies in my group misunderstood and hadn't brought a manuscript. She asked if those of our group could talk to to her. She consented.
She told us that she didn't "accept any manuscripts with
'ing' words or 'ly' words."
Later on in the conference, we heard a speaker, also an editor, who we all felt better about.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

I'd be in big trouble. While I've gotten rid of the adverbs, I do use "ing" words.

Susan :)

Sandra Heska King said...

I didn't even bother to take a manuscript to my first conference. I wasn't ready. But I soaked up everything I could.

Speaking of soaking . . . I can just taste that cookie. And I had my permanent crown sealed on Tuesday. I don't know how that tooth broke. All of sudden. Sharp.

And I can never go to the dentist any more without thinking of Nemo.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sandra -

Oh no, you too? All of a sudden, I'm hearing of so many people with a broken tooth.

You were smart. I jumped in the publishing pool with both feet, and the water was too cold.

Susan :)

Kristen said...

At one of my very first editor appointments I pitched my first novel. I had my pitch down (in my inexperienced mind) and I did my best, only to hear the editor say, "That sounds interesting, but we don't publish YA."
That'll teach me to do my research. So now I also make sure I know my project will fit their criteria.