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I just woke up from one of the scariest dreams I've ever had--and that's saying a lot. I've lived through gruesome explosions, backed over my own child, and killed my best friend with my bare hands. (I may be a little disturbed, just saying.) But this dream was one of the worst. It went something like this.
I drove to the office of a famous editor to pitch my book. Why? because that is so how it's done, right? You just decide to drop by and tell them about your amazing story. Yeah, sure. Anywho, I sauntered into the office and stared at the mountains of slush piled everywhere. It was like I had stumbled onto the set of Hoarders, but worse somehow, because these manuscripts weren't empty pizza boxes, they were the life-time works of wanna-be writers. They were people's souls trapped in slush piles. (And yes, I can be dramatic, it's a dream.)
So, as I stood there, lost amidst the slush, the editor walked out and saw me. At fist she thought I worked for the post office. At least she did until I introduced myself and the purpose behind my visit, then she acted surprised. Weird, huh? But being a professional, she called her assistant and asked him to find my submission.
Now, this surprised me, because I hadn't submitted anything. I was going to pitch in person and make an awesome first impression. Right? Wrong. Oh so very wrong.
The assistant came out in about five seconds carrying a folder with my name on it. My name. I got excited. Somehow they knew about me! This was good right? You guessed it, wrong. Again. Are you sensing a pattern here? I am.
The editor opened the folder, and there, nestled inside, lay my submission. I stared. I think I even started to cry. Why? Was it my finished novel all professional and beautiful...and finished? No. It was my torn and battered first brainstorming notes ripped from a spiral notebook with the little hanging chad things flapping in the breeze from the air conditioning vents.
If it's possible to die in a dream and have it kill you in real life this would have done it. I stammered, then I stammered again. Then she started to read--out loud--from my "novel". I figuratively died again. It was bad. Oh so very, very bad. And the whole time, I just stood there and thought, How did you get this? How did my notes fall into your evil hands?
Then she turned the page and showed me the drawings. Little sketches of big scenes in the book. It was like some demented kindergarten teacher reading the world's freakiest horror book, because it was the death of my future. I knew deep inside that this one submission had blackballed me in the writing world. They all knew who I was. I looked down and saw, written beside my name on the folder tab, LEISHA MAW--THE CRAZY ONE.
I tried to leave, but my family showed up--all the kids, the hubby, the cats. They all came to tell the editor how much they loved my book, and that's why they'd sent in a copy without telling me. Only they sent the wrong one. Ha ha. Funny joke.
The editor sicked her dog on us. We tried to flee, but the stacks of slush toppled on us and buried us alive.
So, when you pitch to an editor, don't do that, and don't die. That's about all the wisdom I can share with you. Use it wisely.
Leisha Maw--The Crazy One.