One Hurricane and Two Mergers
Posted on November 2, 2012
First, I want to send good thoughts out to those still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. While the incoming storm stopped my research trip short so that we could get back to our house before any tunnels and bridges closed, we really didn’t suffer as much as those north of us. My less-than-four-hours power loss pales in comparison to those still in the dark and flooded. I hope that everyone affected gets help and care.
In an ideal world, this week after such a great trip should have fueled my writing. But I found myself spending countless time on the internet looking at pictures of devastation and reading articles about how the effects of the storm will affect the coming election. Frankly, I’m tired of seeing real-life tragedy being bandied about for political gain. I’d like to think that we all put down our differences to band together in the wake of loss and disaster.
Knowing I had an original deadline of getting a query letter and 10-pages ready to send to a literary agent, the result of my one-on-one pitch I wrote about before, should have been priority number one this week. But my obsessive nature reared its ugly head to keep me trolling on the internet. While obsessing over pictures, Facebook status updates, and trying not to eat too much Halloween candy, two major mergers happened to add to my OCD tendencies.
The first is the merger between Random House and Penguin, something I got a whiff of late last week and found myself mulling over all weekend while away. It wasn’t until a few days ago where the macro picture of impact finally narrowed to the micro effects on me and my burgeoning writing career. The big picture is that the Big 6 is now the Big 5 in traditional publishing. When I tweeted a literary agent team about the impact for them and for new writers, they tweeted back that it meant that less competition means less deals to be made. The impact, as talked about in an article in The Guardian, is unknown at the moment. However, it is a large change in an industry that is fighting change – never an easy combo.
Forgive my delving into more selfish territory with the following. So I’m trying to figure out whether or not to go about business as usual, perfect my query letter, and still send it to the agent who invited it knowing that between the stress and devastation left in Sandy’s wake in NYC and the shake up in the publishing world, my chance of moving forward just reduced to almost nothing. Is it just rude to query not knowing what the agency office went through or how stressed out the particular agent still is dealing with everything up there? I’m a Southern girl, and we are raised not to be rude. But I’m also a hustler, and I know nobody gets the milk unless you approach the cow. So I’m stuck.
To add insult to injury, the internet exploded with the announcement of the second major merger – Disney bought the Lucasfilm franchise and is expecting to release a new Star Wars movie. If I have the strength, I will write a separate blog about George Lucas, Star Wars, and the Disney treatment. But for today’s purpose, let me just say that it makes me sad knowing that it is inevitable that a Jar Jar Binx-like character will be coming soon to theaters near you. Even a meme with Snow White dressed up as Princess Leia in any form can make me smile.
No amount of leftover Halloween candy (or even the aisles of Christmas candy that took its place in the grocery store) could bring me out of my funk. I just hope some clarity comes soon – or at least something to get me off the internet and into writing mode again.
Update: Based on tweets by some of the NY agents and the general information of the state of NYC, I’ve decided to wait for the time being. It’s time to focus on letting those in NY and the rest of that area recover rather than put my own needs first.
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