Finally, I've done it.
Today I hit "send" six times. Six.
Six small strikes of a key on a keyboard.
Six huge lurches in my gut.
It's not the absolute first time I've submitted, but it's been while, and I've forgotten what a mini-production it is. It's like a tiny publishing cycle all by itself.
Write letter. Proof letter.
Write synopsis. Proof synopsis.
Write bio. Proof bio.
lather. rinse. repeat, until hair falls out.
And still. STILL I found errors. There was the Horror of the Missing Hyphen. Only to be followed by the Accidental Centering of the Last Line of Text. There was the Last Minute Discovery of An Agent's Name Needing Mid-Name Capitalization (think McIntosh, or DeLeandro). And all the time I spent on spacing paragraphs in Word so that titles had their own lines and page breaks (like great Byronesque poetry) had real meaning, was lost. Lost to the vagaries of email. Font choices stripped of all seriphs. Line breaks controlled by distant screens in distant states. It is now only the words themselves that can have impact. But isn't that the sign of a good writer? That the words have impact whether typeset for a hard-cover book, or scrawled on a bar napkin in a lightning-bolt-moment of inspiration.
In the end only two things got me to send those query letters.
1) another deadline for another project
2) realizing that sitting in my home office, the Ed McMahon of publishing probably woudln't be driving up in the Victory Van to write me my winning check.
Fly query letters! Be free! And then come back with good news or I'll hunt you down and burn you. Or maybe that's not the right spirit exactly...