Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm On American Idol!

You may have noticed, dearest blogging friends, that I have been somewhat absent of late, so I guess I need to make some sort of announcement regarding this. I'm not going on hiatus. I'm going on half-ass, which is a little different. My daughter is visiting from out of town for a few weeks so I will be online a lot less. I'll still pop in and take a looksee when I get a moment, but mostly I'll be in the living room watching Buffy or Angel episodes on DVD which is... what we do when we're together. I know it's not incredibly exciting, but I'm fairly poor and can't afford to eat out and hang out in theaters a lot.

During our drive back home to Texas from Colorado over the weekend, I had an epiphany of sorts. I've compared querying to fishing in a tiny boat in Lake Erie with 1,000 fish in the lake and thousands of other fishermen (fisherpersons?), and that felt pretty accurate, but now I've struck on a new, more accurate metaphor.

We're all on American Idol.

When we are at the query stage, we are that hopeful pre-fame starlet who is standing in line with a thousand other hopefuls, waiting for our chance to stand in front of three judges (agents) in the biz and have them tell us we're the most awesome thing they've seen all day. We all think we can sing (write) and we all think we have something fresh and new to offer.

We get our turn, and all eyes are focused on us. We might be a little out of tune, or possibly our dance moves look a bit like a puppet on puppet crack, but when we're done, we stand there, hopeful to have made at least one judge interested. There's plenty of Simons, aren't there? The ones who think we'll never make it. Then there's the others who see potential, but nothing they haven't seen before. Most of us leave the stage in tears or anger.

A precious few get to hear those precious words, "You're going to *insert name of city*!" and in the writing world those words are, "I'd love to see more. Send me X amount of pages."

Then the nail biting really starts. Will my performance be as good as/better/more marketable than the others? We wait in agony while our performance is in review, something we poured our heart and soul into. Only a handful of us, however, move on to the finals. In the writing world that is, "Please send me the full MS."

More agony ensues. We doubt ourselves. We dare to hope. We wait, we check our emails, we look around at our fellow hopefuls and wonder if the judges secretly like them better.

Then more heartbreak. They can't take us all. In the mighty words of Sean Connery, "There can be only one."

What stage in American Idol are you guys? I'm in the agonizing wait mode. I've four partials and one full MS out in the void right now, being judged. I'm hoping none of them are Simons in disguise. I sent my query feeling relatively confident, but now after weeks of waiting, I feel the doubt creeping in. It's no surprise. Like most writers, I'm my own worst critic.


Delia said...

Wow, that's a lot to have out in the ether. Sending vibes your way that all your judges are Paulas -- without the annoying seal-clapping.

Me? I'm still in voice lessons trying to learn what the hell "pitchy" means.

Have fun with your daughter!

Emily White said...

I'm waiting in line right now exercising my vocals. :D I'll be querying in September, but right now I'm just trying to get the whole thing as ready as it can be.

Good luck with your submissions! The waiting must be excruciating.

Alleged Author said...

Yay for the 4 partials and 1 full!! I just know this will be it!
I sat for 2 weeks and watched all the Buffy episodes straight through because I love them! Now have a huge crush on Spike and Oz.
As to the American Idol question, I'm in the waiting phase as well. I have 2 partials out and am waiting to see responses before I send out any more queries (sent out 6). I was told 4-6 weeks. Yay!

Jaydee Morgan said...

Love the American Idol analogy. I'm still practicing in the wings, waiting for my turn to audition.

Enjoy your time with your daughter!

Matthew MacNish said...

This is a bit sad, but a very astute analogy. Personally I'm back at the drawing board, so to speak, but I am hopeful of getting back in front of the judges!

Tamara Narayan said...

I made it to a request for a full, but only got to enjoy that thrill for four little days before the R came. So while the waiting is tough, it also is a gift. It allows you to dream.

I also have a partial out, but am not holding much hope for it. I figure the criticisms from the full rejection may doom it. But I'm rewritin' that sucker as we speak, so next time the agent will have find a new reason to pass--probably too much foul language. What can I say? I'm gettin' ornery in my old age.

As for American Idol, I think the people who go to Hollywood are like writers who land an agent. Those in the top twenty-five are writers whose manuscripts sell, and the winner(or top three) are writers whose books sell more than a thousand copies.

vic caswell said...

hee hee! watching buffy was what my mom and i did to bond back when i was in high school and the episodes were new!

american idol analogy: pitch, intonation, lyrics, tone, timbre?!?!? wtf. i thought they just auto-tuned all of that crap!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I haven't even made past the auditions!

May your daughter's stay be memorable and happy. The most cherished memories are those of simple times spent in laughter and love. I think you will have them with your daughter this visit.

Have a great weekend, Roland

Anonymous said...

I am currently watching the show, trying to determine if I have the guts/talent to get out there and give it a shot.

I really like this analogy, Christi. I've had an American Idol-esque idea for a while now. Maybe I'll use your post as a springboard (giving you credit, of course).

Enjoy the time with your daughter!

Lenny Lee said...

im just trying to find the line. ha ha. if i do ill be right at the very back. i hope you have lots of fun with your daughter. money doesnt matter just being together does.
...smiles from lenny

stu said...

The difference being, presumably, that we're not being stared at by millions as we do it, revealing slightly nauseating back stories in an effort to garner sympathy, or secretly hoping that our mum votes for us twenty thousand times.

Tahereh said...


no but seriously though, MY FINGERS ARE CROSSED FOR YOU!! four partials and one full -- that's AWESOME christi!! :D

hang tight!!

Sage Ravenwood said...

A very apt description. I would say with 4 partials and one full, your definitely a contender. (Hugs)Indigo

Sarah Ahiers said...

i think you missed a stage, the one before people see the judges, where they cull the average.
Because we understand what a query is and actually read blogs and junk, we're some of the few who actually get to meet seacrest and be judged by simon and co.

At least, that's the way i see it.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm in wait mode right now too. In fact I just e-mailed the publisher and it looks like i might be in for at least a month longer of a wait. Le sigh...

Aubrie said...

I love your analogy with AI. I'm at the four partials wait stage myself! Ack! It's so hard to wait.

The Words Crafter said...

What a great analogy! I'm still learning the notes and keys...good luck with your queries!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great analogy :)

Good luck with all those partials and fulls out there!

Susan Fields said...

I love your analogy - so true! I'm waiting to get to the waiting mode - isn't that sad?

Mia Hayson said...

I will miss you!

Also that is a fabmazing analogy. I'm, uhm, totally just that hopeful kid who sings in their bedroom on their own and occasionally to friends *nods* Yea. I have THAT far to go.

*hugs super tight*

Lisa Gail Green said...

Hang in there! The good news is, once you're kicked off Idol, that's it. But for us, we can keep going to new judges all the time!

xoxo said...

Buffy and Angel reruns, that sounds like my ideal hiatus. I love Buffy :D


Kellye Parish said...

I can't stand American Idol (liked it back when it was new, but it's progressively gotten on my nerves) but this is one of the best analogies I've seen yet for the writing game.

Good post Christi, I enjoyed this one a lot.

Terry Towery said...

I'm back. Are you? (I miss you.)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Like Terry, I miss you. I never left however. Though I will "die" on Friday's post.

Hey, if you insist on getting trapped in your own fictional world, you have to expect these things will happen. Gypsy takes it badly.

Hope all is right with you. Well, as right as life will let it. Roland

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