Thursday, May 1, 2008

A brief interlude

Dear Sweetums,

Joplin Rock is an altruistic literary agent who thinks that everyone deserves a shot at the big time. To facilitate this goal, she sets up a blog where she critiques queries and offers valuable advice to wanna be writers.

Her site is a huge success. Fifteen novelists find agents thanks to Joplin’s advice. Not everyone is happy; however, as Joplin receives multiple submissions from a novelist who goes by the name of NOVELTY MAN.

Joplin, after dozens of pathetic queries from NOVELTY MAN, finally sends him a “Dear John” email and asks him not to contact her anymore. She also blocks his email address.

After a few months nanoseconds, Joplin forgets all about NOVELTY MAN. until Then a strange query shows up in her inbox. The query is from NOVELTY MAN 212, and it contains information from Joplin’s personal life that people on the outside would never know about. Such : her dog’s name is Spartacus, her favorite coffee is Irish Butter Pecan, and that she sits at home every night and watches reruns of The Merv Griffin Show on channel 16.

She calls the police, but they are of no assistance. After further emails; she becomes increasingly paranoid, and begins to carry mace.

One night while working late at her office, Joplin passes by the door of her junior agent Tony Manvel. In an epiphany; the puzzle falls into place- NOVELTY MAN is an anagram of Tony Manvel (and his office suite is 212).

Joplin turns to run, but Tony is standing right in front of her. Joplin reacts by sprayingsprays him with mace; and while he is bent over holding his face in his hands, she picks up a hole-puncher and plays “pepper” with Tony’s head. She thinks about killing him, but that is not the type of person that she is. Instead, she calls 911.

As the police are taking Tony away, he asks “What was so wrong with my queries?”

Joplin responds, “They were horrible, and now I completely understand why. Those that can’t write, teach about writing. Those that can neither write nor teach about it, become agents.”

My uncompleted 70,000 word novel- QUERY SHARK: ALL CHUM WELCOME, currently resides on the third shelf, of the third floor, of the third castle that I’ve built in the sky.

There is a fundamental failure of logic here: You've got the agent working late at the office. Everyone knows agents can be found only in the local waterfront bar after 5pm.


Josh Everett Ryan said...

I was totally on the edge of my seat. Then when she was FACE TO FACE with him... well, I fell off and onto the floor.


Icarus said...


RedDuck said...

LOL! That was great! Love it.

talpianna said...

Is this fiction?

kitty said...

Jaaaay-zus, I thought this really happened to YOU -- until you/she came face to face with him.


Julie Weathers said...

Too funny.

That's it, I'm switching to stalker thrillers.

Jessica said...

Lol, lol, lol.
Reminds me of the missing Miss Snark.
But you're right. She'd be at the bar soaking in a pail of gin. And I suppose you'd have your scotch?

Ramen w/ Cheese & Tuna said...

Please send pages. ;)

sex scenes at starbucks said...

As for the failure of logic, don't we writers call that "artistic licence"?

cslarsen said...

I keep waiting for Stephen King to come out with a sequel to 'Misery', based on an agent instead of an author.

Ulysses said...

I laughed nervously. There's a fine line between comedy and memoir.

R. Lyle Wolfe said...

All I can say is . . .Thank you Ms Reid. You have made my day, month, year(and sadly my writing career) by posting my query. I'm going to show it to all of my family and friends.

BuffySquirrel said...


Nancy Beck said...

Very snarky.

Me like. :-)

she sits at home every night and watches reruns of The Merv Griffin Show on channel 16.

Did she ever catch the Seinfeld episode where Kramer found the accoutrements of the old Merv Griffin Show and hauled them of to his apartment?

Nah, probably not. Probably at the waterfront bar. ;-)

R. Lyle Wolfe said...

Did I mention how stoked I am over the great comments that everyone has left :)

I'm starting the novel on Monday. It will be written in the spirit of Misery (if Stephen King inhaled nitrous oxide and rewrote the novel).

Julia said...

I paid for my whole seat, BUT I ONLY NEEDED THE EDGE!

J. L. Krueger said...

Good thing my keyboard was not deployed when I read this...mouse not so lucky. Good thing I have spares.

I never realized so much iced tea could come out a person's nose!

Beth said...

One night while working late at her office

Hey, I thought she stayed home nights to watch Merv Griffin reruns.

This was a hoot. But author--PLEASE learn the uses of a semi-colon. Hint:

In an epiphany; the puzzle falls into place

That isn't one of them.

Leslie said...