So, if you really really really want to make a writer’s day, send her an email with this in the subject header line:
I loved loved loved your book…
It will not only make said writer burst into immediate tears of gratefulness, but also ensure that yours is the FIRST email she opens at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning. And if you wanted to make that writer weep even HARDER you could mention that the writing is “beautiful” and “thoughtful and original” and the metaphors are “fantastic,” the “characters” “real and fresh and funny” … oh, hellsapoppin, how about I just give you the whole thing!
…and I loved reading about the DC I used to live in, one that had almost nothing to do with the Hill and everything to do with odd personalities and tiny mom and pop businesses (and Safeway…)
OK, frankly: that’s it. That’s why we do this, am I wrong? I’m not. NOTHING feels that good. OK, getting an agent and a contract DID feel that good, I’m not going to lie. But you have to figure that’s not purely about the writing, if you know what I mean. You make someone stay in bed reading all morning, though — PRICELESS. Thanks Paige! Everyone, go visit Paige’s blog and see how wonderful she is! And not just because she — everyone, say it together! — loved loved loved my book, but because she has a great blog going on there.
And if you really want to IMPRESS a writer, here’s what you do: Be an actress!
I’m sorry, what I MEANT was, be a hilariously funny, charming, sweet-faced actress, who is VERY VERY BRAVE (direct quote from famous actor I’m not at liberty to divulge!)!
It’s not (much of!) a stretch. She’s all this in real life too — it’s just…doing it on a STAGE?? In front of people, probably the same people who are always waiting there in wings, secretly judging you? This is my friend Dana — as you will see from the absence of a hotlink she has NO WEB PRESENCE, WHICH MUST BE RECTIFIED IMMEDIATELY — and she was the BELLE of Shakespeare & Company this summer, her very first season. She had a part in Moliere’s Scapin as Nerine, the maid, who to me OWNED that show by the rollicking end of it. The girl also has VERY YOUNG children, did I mention that?? She has been nursing and shuttling to school and basically losing it every other second like the rest of us shlubs for the past six years, but then she went and got all shiny shiny and found some incredible source of energy and vitality and just went up and made a huge scene in front of everybody. She had an even better role (in my HMO, which is, for the record, Tufts PPO) in a staged reading for the directors of the company — they only had two weeks to rehearse, and the actors mostly carried their scripts — but NOT D! Oh no, she had her (many, many) lines memorized, and where she did THAT in between performing Scapin and her duties as House Manager and MOMMY, I do not know. Presumably that came out of Marc’s column; but I’m not going to ask.
Anyway, she was SO GOOD in this staged reading — she was all over the place, in the physical comedy dept. We kept thinking about Lucille Ball and oh, who’s that super-bendy one? Auntie Mame and the Cary Grant Girl Friday movie — Rosalind Russell! Thanks, IMDB! She had that quality of being totally inside the character and going going going with it — she even fell off the stage at one point, and it was totally in-keeping with her character but given Marc’s reaction I wasn’t sure it was planned — and it was the freakin’ highlight of the proceedings, may I add — and also the precise moment that I thought, How do you DO this? How do you get up there and just let it fly like that? No idea. I would just be up there with my sphincter in a twist, worrying about passing gas. Honestly, that is what I think about, ninety percent of the time I’m in a theatrical performance: Please, please dear God don’t let anyone pass gas. Because I would just DIE WITH MORTIFICATION for whoever did it and right there and then I would have to open my purse and throw all my cash at them and scream, “Flee, flee now, wretched soul, disappear into the darkness of night!!”
Anyway, this isn’t about gas. It’s about ME. Let’s not lose sight of that, okay? And *I* (damn, I wish I could capitalize that) was impressed that I knew a girl who could haul herself up in front of people and just charm the socks offa the house. WITHOUT passing gas, too, I’d like to point out.
Or, not so’s you noticed, anyway.