Tuesday, September 18, 2007


So all day I'd been looking at an e-mail of introduction an editor I've worked with for a few years had sent to an editor I'd like to work with on my behalf, trying to figure out how to follow up.

The problem was that Editor the First considers anything that doesn't involve putting a gun to someone's head and demanding they do what he says is a soft sell. His e-mail made it sound like I'm the Second Coming of William Shakespeare, or so it seemed to the Mr. Self-Deprecation, here. Now the new guy might actually think I'm good at what I do...that cant end well.

Finally I started work crafting a mail that would hit just the right note of humility, humour, and...something else starting with H that means "trying to convey to someone that I like what they're doing without blatantly kissing his ass."

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a little obsessive about e-mails, about any kind of online communication, really. I'm always worried about my words being interpreted in the way they're intended, and bend over backwards to try and ensure that my habitual use of irony isn't read as me being a sarcastic prick.

I mean, I am a sarcastic prick, but I don't like people I'm e-mailing for the first time to know that. Especially people who might give me work. And pay me for it, to boot.

I was about two thirds of the way through my first draft when Tiina bursts in the door. "Put on some pants!" she cried, and right then I knew something was up, because she almost never notices I'm not wearing pants. It's one of the reasons we function so well as a couple.

Tiina's Dad was (and, from the sounds of the phone conversation I'm hearing bits of downstairs as I type this, still is) at the hospital, with a nose that's been bleeding for the last several hours now. This is the second time this has happened in the past week. But it was the first time Tiina (and, by extension, me) could do something to help out.

Fall's coming early this year. All over the neighbourhood, tree leaves are turning all manners or yellow, orange, red and generally not-green. Tonight is the first night in several months that the temperature will dip below the freezing point. And there were boxes of fresh, garden-grown tomatoes--big, heavy boxes, by my Mother-in-Law's estimation--sitting in their backyard.

T thought she needed my help to move them inside to prevent them from freezing. I was so flustered by the pants thing that I went to save my 2/3rds of an e-mail...

...and instead hit send.

Which flustered me further. I rapidly wrote out the final third with a note mentioning that I'd sent the previous note accidentally, and sent it--without a third to sixth polish. I'm not really sure what's in there, and I'm not sure how it's all going to look to Editor the Second.

Well, at least now he knows that I'm not everything the first editor claimed I was. Like, for instance, competent...

No place to go but up, right?



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