Off The Cuff

First of all, since it’s in the news and I asked this of the TV anchor last night, I’ll share here.  If the federal government is incapable of distributing enough flu vaccine in a timely manner to all of the citizens they claim to be at risk or even just those who want the vaccine, WHY IN THE WORLD would anyone think the federal government should be in charge of HEALTH CARE for the entire country?  WHEN has the federal government not bungled anything it put its greedy fingers into?  If you’ve got a brain in your head and even one ounce of common sense, you can not think government-run health care is healthy for the country or for you.  And you should share that thought with your elected officials.

Now then, having got that off my chest, I’ve been up since about 4:15 this morning.  Something to do with a full moon and Daylight Savings Time, I’ll bet.  Now there’s something I think the federal government might be able to do something about.  Abolish Daylight Savings Time.  It’s pointless.  Everyone knows it’s pointless.  The reasons it began in the first place haven’t been relevant for years.  So could we please get rid of it once and for all?  Why doesn’t some enterprising Congressman introduce legislation to change that?  If he plays his cards right, such a move could catapult him to national fame and he could be our next president.

Oops.  Didn’t meant to get all political on you.  So I spent a lot of time this morning deciding what I want career-wise.  Part of that is do I need or want a literary agent?  I’m sitting on the fence on this one.  I’ve heard horror stories about them.  I’m sort of disillusioned with the idea.  But I don’t know if I have the ability to negotiate a publishing contract on my own and do it well.  Especially if it’s got a lot of complicated legal jargon.  The alternative to an agent seems to be a literary attorney who will simply negotiate the contract for a fee.  Which is kind of appealing.  Except you have to find a good attorney.  Probably about as easy as finding a decent agent.

All of this is anticipatory in the belief that I’ll soon be offered a contract that will require such negotiations.  I’m sort of annoyed at the idea that I might be able to find a decent agent only after I’m offered a contract.  Where were they all when I needed them to represent my unpublished work and get me the contract?  Why should I give one 15% of my take now when s/he didn’t have to do anything to sell my book?  Even if, let’s say, I missed something in the contract an agent might have caught and it costs me money, would that error of mine cost me 15% of my potential income?

Do I want an agent who’s already turned me down?  (That’ll limit the pool of possibilities substantially!)  Sadly, I think I’m being very childish about this.  I want to stick out my tongue and say, “Nanananana” to all of them.  Sort of like in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts returns to the store where the saleswomen were snotty to her and shows off all her shopping bags and says, “Big mistake.”

I think what it comes down to is not one of the agents I queried over the years (okay well, maybe one did) were impressed enough with my ability to offer me representation.   They couldn’t or didn’t see my potential, didn’t want to take a chance on an unknown, or whatever their reasons were.  My ideas weren’t original enough, my writing not distinctive enough–what-ev-er.  So now, suddenly because I prove I can interest an editor at major publisher–then I’m suddenly acceptable to the same agents who turned me and this project down?

 Hmmm.  I think I just talked myself out of looking for an agent.

 

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