During the eight years I queried literary agents, approximately a hundred rejections pummeled my self confidence. In truth, I think the number is closer to one-hundred and fifty. After a while, you just stop counting.
Some of them were soothing…”I really love your writing, but just can’t think how your book can fit into my agency’s marketing goals this year.”
One I loved came at the Writers Digest Agent Slam during one of their conferences. She was young, pretty, and held onto my manuscript for the entire week. At the end of the week, she said, “This is one I think I will regret, but I can’t figure out where this book would sit on the bookseller’s shelf..”
After a while, I developed a rather unique way to deal with rejection. An Irish curse!
Here are a few I spouted at my computer or mail box when the rejections threatened to sink me. The first was to one particular female agent with a Park Avenue address:
O cursed hag who prays not to Mary, may your teeth fall out and may you disappear under the sea.
To a male agent who sent me a form rejection:
May she marry a ghost and bear him a kitten, and may the High King of Glory permit her to get the mange.
And to an agent who signed me and then did absolutely nothing for eleven months.
O wretch of the crooked foot, the crippled knee, and the squinting eye, a thousand curses on you: torn clothes on your back and a pox on every inch of you.
Yes, you really do not want to piss off an Irish person!
Let’s end this with an ode to Jeanie Loiacono, my wonderful agent from Loiacono Literary Agency:
May God direct you in every task that lies ahead. God grant that you do what is best.
Please let me know what curses or blessings you’ve experienced from your ethnicity. I’d love to hear from you.
Jeanne Charters writes about the business of living your life to the fullest. Over the years through her magazine columns, books and blog posts, she has sought to help other women face life's challenges through humor, strength and perseverance.
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