Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Loose ends and updates.

Yesterday’s “Foreign Language Translations” post generated a number of comments and emails.

And I gotta tell you this. Carol read that post and almost LITERALLY rolled on the floor laughing. She was laughing so hard at one point that she almost choked. I told her, “Hey I chuckled at a few of those, but they’re not THAT funny.” She just shook her head and kept laughing.

Oh, by the way, when I was trying to “publish” that post Blogger was having server problems and kept giving me error messages. I probably hit the “Publish” button six different times over a period of 30 minutes. The result, as several of you wonderful, loyal readers pointed out, was that the post is on the blog twice.

Yes; I could just delete one of them. And I will in a few days. But there are comments on both, and I hate to delete the comments until you’ve all had a few days to read and enjoy them. I mean, I KNOW you all scrutinize every word on ROMANTIC RAMBLINGS to get full enjoyment, so it’s the least I can do.

Anyway, the post brought to mind some funny misspellings and other errors I’ve seen on job applications and resumes over the years. I passed one of them on to RobotJam (because, after all, he gave me the idea for the post) and he emailed me that it had him chuckling for 30 minutes. Since I would hate to deprive the REST of you of that opportunity to chuckle, guffaw, ROFL, or whatever your style is, here’s what I wrote to him:

A young man was describing his military experience, and on the blank (on an application) asking for "Type of discharge" wrote, "horrible." I don't know to this day if he meant "honorable," or was describing a medical problem.

That’s a true experience of mine, btw. I’ve seen a number of different attempts to spell “honorable.” Most people seem to remember that it starts with an “h” but get bogged down after that. Two that I remember are “horonable” and “honable,” but there were others as well.

Update on the trash pickup: I bunged the lot of it out by the curb last night, and by 9:00 a.m. today it was gone. No doubt it was hauled to the tip. Or put in a large skip — not sure which. (See yesterday’s post for an explanation.)

And finally (do I hear cheering?), an update on my querying of literary agents:
Total emailed: 57
Total snail mailed: 34
Grand total sent out: 91
Total replies: 30 (but some of the emails were sent out over 30 days ago, and I figure that a “no reply” after this much time is the same as a reply of “No thanks.” When you add those in the total becomes 44)
Total expressions of desire to see more, or offers of representation: 0

And the beat goes on.


Anonymous said...

Duke, I've been practicing as it was bin day yesterday.

"I went outside to the trash can and then picked out the garbage bags and put them on the sidewalk for the trash men to collect in their trash truck. I took my brown bag lunch and then got in my auto (which was full of gas) and headed down the freeway to work"

Am I getting the hang of this now ?

Duke_of_Earle said...


Not bad, not bad at all. You'd almost pass for an American now. Most of us would say "car" rather than "auto," but other than that if you just slur your words a bit -- maybe make "trash" a two-syllable word, like "tray-ush" -- and speak slowly, that accent of yours might be mistaken for Southern Hillbilly. Michael Caine made it work.

Keep practicing!


Ana Lee Kennedy said...

I had major troubles with blogger the other day too. I think most of us here did.

As for rejections, here's a few tips on reply times. 80% of the time, if you don't receive a reply to an electronic query, that means one of two things, A) not interested (look carefully on agent websites, some specifically say that if you do not receive a reply to an e-query within a month that means they're not interested.) and B) snail queries need _at least_ 3 months for a reply. Sure, I've got snail queries that are over a year old, and those I've written off as lost in the mail or the agent was just so busy that large quanitities of mail were thrown in File 13.

Many times e-queries are lost to cyberspace. What I usually do is re-query in six months. That goes for snail mail too. I've received replies to such queries the second time when I didn't the first time.

And another frustrating issue to factor in is when agents leave agencies to start their own the snail mail queries don't seem to go with them to the new agency, or an agency needs a bigger office and it moves. I've had requested manuscripts lost due to this and had to send the agent another copy.

Hope this helps a li'l bit!

Ana Lee Kennedy said...

RYQ: I've never even heard of that publisher.