Monday, October 26, 2009

I am not very smart

(If you are an agent, possibly drawn here by my query letter, please look to the right and see the link "The best artciles on this site" and read some of those first. Thank you.)

Apparently the quest to become the ultimate metrosexual is endless.

Wendy has asked me multiple times if I wanted to go to the gym with her. My reply has always been “no.” My logic has always been: I need to run, and I need to do pushups and I don’t need to pay for anything. If I can focus on that, I can be in the shape I want.

And now, I am so exhausted I can barely type.

For some reason, the other day I said “yes, I will go to the gym with you." It’s a new very modern gym that we just wanted to check out with a free day pass. Wendy did an aerobic dance class and I did free weights. I used to work out a lot. Not a little, a lot. Of course, I was in my twenties then and I am forty-four now. But, doing bench presses was like embracing an old friend. I grabbed the bar and I was surprised how much weight I could still do, which was encouraging. I did bench presses, curls, incline bench, triceps, shoulder press, sit-ups, biking, all of it, and it all felt great. I got a good workout in but didn’t push myself too hard because I know you’re not supposed to on your first day back.

I am done with running. I don’t know why but I have not been running in months. It no longer appeals to me. I have not worked out in twenty years and I loved it. It was more fun than I have ever had working out. We did it again two days later and I pushed myself to exhaustion.

Then I went downstairs to the best part of this gym. They have a spa with a steam room, a sauna, a cold pool, a warm pool, and showers that hit you from three directions at once all over your body. (Honestly, we haven’t figured out how to get those to work right yet.) Oh yeah, and the warm pool has different places where you press a button and water comes out of this big water spout and massages you with crushing force and they have places to sit, press a button and it becomes a Jacuzzi.

It is very cool.

Yesterday I went shopping for Halloween. I am not very smart. I have never loaded a cart up so much that I needed to carry extra bags home as well as the wheeled shopping tote we use to being groceries home. We are having a Halloween party this weekend so in the tote was a twelve pack of beer, six bottles of wine, a twelve pack of Diet Coke, eight diet Fanta limon, a six pack of non-alcoholic beer, seven jars of cocktail weenies in water which weighed 5 lbs all together, cheese, random beer called “Hell” and “Judas” and I don’t remember what else. It was the heaviest tote I have ever wheeled home AND I had a bag of groceries (eggs, tomatoes, pepper, other stuff that isn’t light), toilet paper and paper towels in the other hand.

I always think I can do anything. I don’t know why, but I do. There is nothing I cannot carry, no one I cannot defeat, nothing I cannot do. I have carried, literally, hundreds of pounds up five flights of steps to our apartment. Today was different. It took me so long to carry up the first load, then rest, that Wendy actually called my cel to see where I was. I was on the stairs, resting between floors as I tried to carry the rest of the groceries upstairs. As I type this, I am still tired. I don’t know if I have ever been this physically exhausted. I remember two times when I was awake for over thirty-four hours and I was exhausted, but in a different way. This is muscle exhaustion like I have never experienced. This isn’t “please, can I go to sleep” this is “please don’t make me move.”

As I said, I am not very smart.

I am going to the gym today but only to use the steam room and the warm pool.

Then I’m going to approach another twenty agents about my book “I’m not an Alcoholic, I’m just European.” So far I have received a bunch of rejections, one request for a partial and one guy who rejected me but said the title was hilarious, so, I’m on the right track with that at least.


  1. Hey James,

    I can't believe that lady agent didn't go for your work??? Do you want me to beat her up for you (or with you? LOL). You may want to try sending the book straight to some publishers at the same time as agents. This one should have a high interest level, and there are some that may grab for it. Maybe someone's trying to tell you you don't have to pay the middle man here? Good luck!

  2. Muajajajajajajajajajajajajajajaja, everything was very moving, but what it really choked me was the part where you were buying non-alcoholic beer. My dear GOD, why someone would ever make any kind of effort to carry something that it doesn't have alcohol on it!!!!!

  3. You two are both hilarious.

    Sadly, the woman I thought was a perfect match for my writing sent me a rejection letter last week. Hey, at least she responded: about ten percent let you know yes or no, the others state that that they will not respond when they are not interested. Can you find her and break her kneecaps for me Tanya? Thanks. :-)

    Diana, I buy non-alcoholic beer when Wendy decides to skip drinking for a couple weeks. I actually like the taste but want to show solidarity in sobriety. In actuality, I think it's about as dumb as drinking de-caf coffee - seriously what is the point? But if I'm not drinking real beer, I'll drink fake beer because I like the taste at the end of the day.

    We miss you.

  4. Sorry about the rejection letter; it's always worse when you think you have a slight chance.

    A publisher wanted to see the manuscript for my second book, so I sent the whole thing. EIGHT days from the date I sent it to them, I get the (form) rejection letter. I re-checked what I sent them, no clue what was so bad about it that they only needed a few seconds to see it sucked hard.

    Anyway some important details about this business:

    Over 99% of books are commercial failures (that's what publishers/agents tell you, which is why they reject so much).

    100% of those commercial failures were considered what should be successful by the professional, expert people you're sending your work to.

    99% of the commercial successes were rejected by 95% or more of the professional, expert people that judge what should be a failure. Even wildly successful books get rejected by dozen(s) of publishers/agents before finally getting accepted.

    So, the folks you're asking for a break from generally get it wrong 99.5% of the no need to take it personal, any more than a barking dog is personal.