The Jam Tomorrow of the Writing Game

Posted on 19/07/2011 by


I submitted my first batch of queries yesterday. Apparently I was supposed to tell people that. There. I’ve told.

I didn’t say anything because it’s not time for celebration, it’s just the dawn of a widening chasm of hopelessness and despair *ahem* I mean, patient waiting period. There will be cautious optimism if one of those lovely people asks to see the entire manuscript.* Glee if they sign me. Excitement if they sell the book. True celebration is reserved for publication day.**

In the meantime, what I actually did after I sent those madly optimistic little emails on their way was play a few games of cards. As sort of therapeutic prompts. I figure if Tic Tac Toe can work as a metaphor for nuclear war, card games are a perfect example of the capricious nature of luck and timing. Also I like playing cards. I have the weirdest ideas when the analytical part of my brain is distracted.

First I played Aces High — to remind me that even perfect actions are dependent on the whims of fate and mostly you’re not going to be the lucky one. And then I played Royal Parade — to remind me that skill does make a difference, and practice and diligence can be rewarded. But you’re also still at the whim of capricious fate.

And then I stuck my fingers in my ears and went to live in happy-shiny-candy-land where as I type this a wonderful, brilliant agent is reading my query and thinking, ‘Golly gee, by gum, we have to have this!’. (And no, I don’t know in this scenario the agent is British and rather more than usually prone to clichés. That’s a part of my brain I choose not to question. We don’t know where it’s been.)

* But of course that day will never come. It’s the Jam Tomorrow of the writing game. And I will be doomed to labour unpublished, unloved, and… so on and so forth. Welcome to my neurosis.

** If someone actually publishes my work, which due to some vast conspiracy of the universe — or the fact that I’m really a bad writer — will never actually… Okay, shutting up now. See? This is why I didn’t bring it up.