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  • Writer's pictureChristy Warren

Please Literary Agent, Read My Manuscript

This is a real email I sent to a literary agent who was interested in my manuscript. For a year, she kept promising she would read it and to keep on her about it. I wrote her this story as my second to last ditch effort. She loved this story, and finally read the first handful of chapters. In the end, she turned down my MS, but directed me to the best memoir writer teacher lady from whom I am learning so much. I am actually thankful she turned me down as it sent me down a path I am extremely happy to be on. Just about everything DOES happen for a reason.

Once upon a time, in a land pretty close by, there lived a honey badger named Alice. Her short legs and different colored fur made her feel different from all the other honey badgers. Not to mention she swore a great deal more than was acceptable, even for a honey badger. Alice spent her entire life proving to everyone that she was the strongest and toughest honey badger in the desert. This continued on for forty-five years and left Alice exhausted and very pissed off. One morning, at around 9:30, Alice finally decided to ask for help. Alice left her burrow in the ground to walk the desert in search of the prodigious luminaries of love, compassion, and sleep. Along the way, Alice found other critters of the desert that were also exhausted and very pissed off. Her epic journey took four years to complete. Alice returned a joyous and content honey badger.

Alice thought perhaps many others existed who lived and felt the same way. She wanted to share her story with the all the creatures from the largest forests to the tiniest deserted Islands. Since honey badgers cannot write or operate a movie camera, Alice decided to develop a live show she could take on the road and perform to the critters all over the world that felt exhausted and pissed off. She decided to tell her story through dialogue, interpretive dance and a spectacular puppet show. Alice worked day and night putting together her show. She performed for many of her friends and they all loved it! “Hooray!” exclaimed Alice, “Just maybe I will be able to tell my story to creatures everywhere!”

Alice quickly realized she had an amazing show but still needed to find a way to get as many people as possible to her show. “I know!” she said, “I will attend a gathering of road show critters, develop a spiel, and walk around saying it over and over!” For three days Alice walked and walked and walked around the gathering place saying her spiel to as many road show critters as she could. There was one critter in particular Alice had heard about, an owl, who she believed, would be a perfect match.

On one of these days, Alice was very hungry and sat down on an uncomfortable piece of wood. She pulled out the Black Mamba snake she had hunted earlier and began to eat. Just as she shoved a hunk of the snake in her mouth, that special road show owl walked and looked towards her. Alice became nervous and excited. She couldn’t believe this special critter was really headed for her. She spun her head around to see if the special road show critter was looking at someone else. The owl approached and shook Alice’s hand and said, “Hi, my name is Lorraine and I am interested in your show.” Alice couldn’t believe it. The most important road show critter Alice wanted to work with had just approached her. Alice could tell that Lorraine carried those same gifts of the prodigious luminaries. Alice also noticed the Lorraine was very hungry and eagerly anticipated the arrival of her hamburger.

Alice swelled with anticipation of performing her show for Lorraine. Since Lorraine was such a special road show critter, all the other critters and creatures with road shows asked her to help them too. After the gathering, Alice headed to Lorraine’s office in the hollowed out Bristlecone Pine tree. “Holy Mackerel!” she exclaimed, “The line to see Lorraine is so long! It goes all the way to the edge of the forest and down to the farmer’s outhouse.” Disappointed, but not discouraged, Alice thought to herself, I should use this time to trek to the river and take a sorely needed bath. She hoped that when she returned, the line would be shorter. Alice returned to the forest and saw the end of the line had moved very close to the door! Alice eagerly joined the line only to find that the line had wrapped around the outhouse and all the way back. So instead of being close, she stood even farther away.

On her epic journey through the desert Alice learned to find gratitude instead of being pissed off all the time. Alice decided to make the most of her time standing in line. She knew her show could be even better. A platypus named Earl walked by. Alice asked him, “Would you be so kind as to watch my show and help me improve it?” Earl said, “I will gladly help you — for $1800 and a pack of cigarettes.” Alice agreed. She carefully listened to Earl’s feedback and made improvements to her show as she stood in line. Alice thought to herself, I am so thankful Lorraine has not been available yet. This time has been invaluable to improving my show. I will just stay patient. When the time is right, I will be able to meet with Lorraine and just maybe get help sharing my road show. The most special road show critters are worth the wait.

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