aqua fortis

Friday, September 30, 2005

Dreams of Not-So-Grandeur

I had this really bizarre dream last night. It definitely seems to reflect my literary stress. In the dream, I was at a party at my friend Cindy's family's house. All her relatives were there, and at one point I remember I was warming her grandmother's cold hands between my own. I had brought a casserole dish with some sort of ham and potatoes au gratin in it, which I seem to remember calling a "ham-n-cheesy bake." At the bottom of the casserole (yes, in the dish) was the latest letter I had gotten from an agent to whom I'd submitted my YA novel proposal. It was opened and lay flat underneath the food, but I hadn't read it yet for some reason.

Then, before I really realized it, people had started cutting into and eating the casserole, including the papers underneath. So I said something like, "Hey, wait, I didn't read that letter yet." A few people tried to look at the pieces they held in their hands, but then I said, "It doesn't matter because it's probably another rejection anyway." It was a brief letter.

Later in the dream I was sitting at a dining-room table, perhaps at a different party. I had just received a packet, presumably a rejection, from an agent. Tanita (aka TadMack) had gotten accepted by an agent, Steven Chudney, whom I had just been rejected by. He happened to be at the party, and she got in conversation with him and a woman who worked in his office. Meanwhile, I looked at the letter I got, which was impersonal (Dear Author) but so long and convoluted that at first I couldn't tell if it was a rejection or not. It turned out that, despite the impersonal salutation, it was a sort-of acceptance. The two reviewers who looked at it had, at the opening of the letter, each written their names and one word, chosen from a short list, that best described how they felt about my submission. Their two words were "jealousy" and "choice." I noticed that one of the other words on the list they were choosing from was "denial," which I assumed would have meant a no.

I went on to scan through the letter and saw at the end that they had requested me to bring a whole array of "supporting documents" to their office, which was in Boston. I thought, I can't afford to just fly to Boston, unless they pay for me to go there. The bullet-point list of supporting materials included various photos/slides of Welsh landscape and history (this makes sense in light of my novel). They asked for the photos to be put in sleeves and bound with a binder ring. But I was still excited about it. I thought, I'll have to tell them about the two lettters I sent to publishers just last week (true).

Then Tanita and the lady from Steven Chudney's office came over to say that Tanita had been telling them about me and they were interested in talking to me. I said, "How can they be interested in me? They just rejected me last week." They were both taken aback/embarrassed/confused. I said, "Anyway, it's okay; I just got from another agent." The letterhead said they were an agency "of color."

And then I woke up.


TadMack said...

Hee! An agency of color?! Now, that's helpful. I can't tell you the number of times I've had strange literary dreams, but yours -- honestly. I'm having people over for dinner this weekend and seriously, locking up all my rejection notices herewith...

a. fortis said...

I ought to note that I got rejected by Steven Chudney in real life, not just in the dream.