Wednesday, December 7, 2011

As Virtues Go, Patience Is Severely Overrated

Think about it. Have you ever heard a eulogy that includes the phrase, "And the deceased was truly patient." Or a politician saying, "I don't want to blow my own horn but I'm a lot more patient than the other candidates."

In fact, I don't even think we'd know patience was a virtue if there wasn't a cliche declaring it one.

Bad cess on patience. That's all I've got to say. Well, bad cess on patience and on the possibility of 2-6 inches of snow tonight, especially since just yesterday, I was bragging to a friend of mine in California about how mild a December this has been.

Way way back, all the way back to two full days ago, I patiently pointed out that no decisions are made in December about books or the suchlike, and I knew, because of how extremely and nobly patient I am, that I wouldn't hear anything until 2012, which is three weeks from now, if not more, given that New Year's Day is on a Sunday, which practically stops the new year from starting until Jan. 8 at the earliest.

Patient Griselda. That's what they call me. Except for the Griselda part. And the patient part.

All right. I know better than to expect my editor or my agent to let me know how wonderful my story is, since it would take them at least 5 minutes to read it (maybe 7 minutes if they sneeze in the middle and don't have a tissue on them). Add another minute to write me an email to say how wonderful it is, 2 minutes if they need to use the thesaurus for additional awe inspired adjectives (sure, I know marvelous and fabulous and the greatest thing ever written, but editors and agents might need a little extra help to come up with them). Fine, 3 minutes, if they need to pick and choose, and there's always a chance that they get so involved in the subtle differences between fabulous and marvelous that they forget who they're sending the email to, and have to look it up.

Seven minutes with sneezing and three minutes with searching and forgetting, and it still adds up to ten minutes, which the last I saw, was a mere 1/6th of an hour, and not very much time at all.

In reality (stop giggling; I know what reality is), I don't expect to hear any words of praise or loathing (I'm accustomed to both) for a while, especially since it is December, and nothing happens in December. But I'm a tad peeved that neither my editor nor my agent has bothered to send me an email to say they got the story and summary. That's a one minute event, even with a sneeze (assuming they have a tissue on them).

So if you should happen to run into my editor or my agent, could you suggest to them that they email me to say the story and summary arrived, and it's positively breaking their hearts that they won't get a chance to read it until 2012, and possibly even 2013, given the Olympics and the election and other time consuming events, like having to buy a box of tissues?

Severely Patient Griselda would appreciate it!


Alejandra said...

I know what you mean, waiting can be tough, I'v been there.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Ale and thank you-

I don't like waiting (in case you couldn't tell!).

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Dear Griselda,

Patience is also highly over-rated. I'd sic 'em for you, if I could.

~~~ Bonnie

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Bonnie Jacobs-

I don't lack for virtues, or at least so I tell myself, but I have a long way to go before I achieve Griseldahood.

Probably as long as it will take for my agent or my editor to email me acknowledgment of the arrival of my story!

Anonymous said...

I've never liked waiting, especially for long-distance responses -- part control issue, part not liking the scenarios that tend to form in my mind when I don't know the answer right away.

Anonymous Santa Fe

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Anonymous Santa Fe-

I just don't like waiting for anything. I'm a very impatient person (and given to whining!).

John Jordan said...
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