# of pages revised: 214 (aka my entire manuscript)
# of literary mags submitted to: 0
# of agents queried: 3
Yesterday I queried three agents about my novel and was surprised to hear back from one of them right away – asking to see my full manuscript!
I had been assuming it might take weeks to hear back from agents, and I was expecting them to ask to see the first three chapters, or the first fifty pages. I’ve polished the first fifty pages of my novel. The rest of it? Not so polished.
I decided to give it another read-though/polishing before sending it to the agent. This pretty much took all day, and I wasn’t finished by the time I had to go to trivia.
Oh man, I thought. I don’t want to go to trivia. Working on my novel is more important, and the money I make from hosting trivia is so minuscule it’s really not even worth it. Maybe I should quit.
But it was too late to cancel trivia, and I figured it would be good to take a break from sitting in front of my computer, so I packed up and headed out.
And boy am I glad I went. It was the best night of trivia ever! There were SIX teams! And several of them were GROUPS of people! And everyone was EXCITED about trivia! (You can tell from my capital letters that these are things that don’t often happen.)
Plus, of course, there were some awesomely-quirky people, as usual. Uncle Sam was back. He is the autistic man who always wears a red and white striped Cat in the Hat hat. Last night I asked him, “so, do you wear that hat just for trivia, or do you wear it all the time?”
“I wear it all the time,” he said. “Except in the shower and when I’m sleeping.”
“Wow,” I said. “Well, it looks good on you.”
“Yes,” he said. “Ninety percent of the feedback I get on this hat is positive. Today somebody shouted out their car window at me, lose the hat, but you know what? I’m not going to. I asked the people in my apartment building if they liked it. I got twelve positive responses and two negative ones, so that’s about eighty-six percent of people who like the hat. And one person just said ‘well, I don’t like it, but if you like it, what do I care?’”
“Exactly,” I told him. “If you like it, that’s all that matters.”
Uncle Sam did not win for craziest person of the night, though. That award went to a youthful looking man with a skinny head and sleepy eyes. He came over to ask me what song I was playing and then stood staring at me while I talked into the microphone.
Eventually he went back to his bar stool. A little while later, I looked over and he was having a very animated conversation with no one.
“Well, yeah, definitely” he was saying, talking with his hands and looking at nothing, unless you count the Big Buck arcade game in the corner. “I mean, I think that’s really important. It’s a very important thing to realize.”
He continued talking passionately. It seemed as if he really thought that there was someone standing in front of him, but I guarantee you, no one was there. I watched him for a while and even got up and walked over to see if perhaps he had a blue tooth in his ear and he was talking to someone on the phone. But no. He was just talking to his imaginary friend.
Besides Uncle Sam, I had two other veteran players. Old Gray Beard was back, as was Jimmy Joe (this time he’d brought two friends with him.) There was a new team called Meat and Taters made up of some extremely drunk dudes and their super nice goth girlfriends (or girl friends, it was unclear.) It was unclear partially because the dudes kept telling me I was sexy. They started writing it on all of their answer sheets and screaming it out when I was talking into the microphone.
“And the answer is…the Suez Canal,” I would say.
“You’re sexy!!” the boys from Meat and Taters would scream.
I also had a team of Brits called Team England. They were very excited when one of the questions was about the Beatles and would randomly scream out, “more Beatles questions!”
Old Gray-Beard surprised everyone by getting the final question right, winning his fifteen point wager, and going from fourth place to first place. At the end of the game, I went over to give him his thirty dollar gift certificate.
“Wow,” he said, grinning. “I can really drink myself into a stupor with this.”
“Well, it’s actually only good for food,” I said, pointing at the fine print.
His face fell. “But I don’t eat. I only drink.”
“Hmm,” I said. “Maybe you might want a little snack sometime? Or maybe you can give it to a friend?”
“I guess,” he said. “I’ll figure something out.”
I went over to the Meat and Taters team. They had come in last place because by the end of the game they were either forgetting to
turn in answers, or simply writing “Your sexy” without attempting to answer the question.
“Thanks for playing, everybody,” I said. “I hope you had fun. I hope you’ll all come back next Wednesday.”
“Girrrl,” the guy with the reddest face slurred. “I’ll be back if you’ll be back. Dammmmn, you’re sexy. Look at you, girl! You’re so sexxxxy.”
One of the goth girls, the one with the black lipstick and Hello Kitty choker, smiled at me. “Sorry about him,” she said.
“Oh, no worries,” I said. “I like being told I’m sexy. I’ll see you guys next week.”
It’s true. I like being told I’m sexy. And I like interacting with crazy people. And I’ll definitely be back next week.
Anais Nin once said, “my ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.” It’s true. How could I ever give up trivia? With just two hours a week, it is supplying me with a lifetime of characters and ideas.