June 16, 2006

jumping out of the airplane

This week, a young American soccer player compared playing in the World Cup to going to war. Personally, I find such analogies disingenuous. Nothing but war should be compared to war; perhaps if we were less cavalier about comparing sports to war, we would have fewer wars.

Be that as it may, I will use another analogy that really doesn't work: I just jumped out of the airplane. That is, I sent my query for Jumping The Stream out to an agent. It's not really a leap of faith in the way that a skydiver has faith that his parachute will open. It's a different kind of risk--if the agent declines, really I've lost nothing other than a potential opportunity. If the parachute fails to open, the skydiver is likely to lose somewhat more than the opportunity of slowing down.

I think this would be a more momentous occasion if I had not already sent the novel once to a small, independent publishing house for its first rejection. I've learned a lot in the ensuing six months, and the novel is much improved, as is the query itself.

Wish me luck. Or don't, if you don't like me. It's really up to you. Just remember: In publishing, it's a war out there.