Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Maybe it's some self-conceived notion of professionalism mixed with a genuine sympathy for the first-novel potential author (being one myself), but I like to think that I'm never "in the mood to reject." Today I so barely walked the line on that, thankful that almost everything coming through was an auto-reject (too long, author doesn't know grammar, wrong genre for agent). I was wondering why that was until I went home and discovered I had a 100 degree fever. Mystery solved. I'm only up now because I'm between does of Tylenol.

In lieu of answering questions, which will have to wait, I will say that one of the most confounding things to happen to me at work is to read a partial from a high school English teacher who doesn't know proper grammar. I'm not talking about where commas go - those rules are actually fairly complicated. I'm talking about knowing to start each new speaker's dialogue with a new paragraph, and then using an indent to do so.

I was once in a fiction workshop with a woman who was and had been an English teacher for 20 years. Her story consisted of several long paragraphs in which many different speakers did many different incoherent things. Briefly I wondered if I should bother correcting her, as there was no way she couldn't actually not know the rules herself. I know English teachers. One of my roommates is an English teacher. Instead I politely inquired as to why she had decided to write her story that way, to which she replied something along the lines of, "Well, I really feel that it makes the piece work."

I hate this person. And that's not the fever speaking.