Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pitch Room Panic

Back in October, I attended the Muse Online Writer's Conference. Have you enrolled before? There are a gazillion workshops to attend at your leisure, chat room workshops, and major downloads to be had. There is also an opportunity to pitch your work to both agents and publishers alike.

This latter prospect is done in a pitch room, which is in chat room format. I think they should change the name to panic room. Want to know why? Read my story:

Lea Schizas, the Muse Conference Creator, informed me via email of my time slot to pitch. I was watching the conversations flow in Chat Room 2, waiting my turn. The moderator announced I would be number two in the Pitch Room, a totally separate chat room.

The previous pitch session with another agent was still going on and I had like 5 minutes before mine started. Then I noticed not much was being said, no one was adding to the conversation scroll. So I wrote something on the chat board. No response. I clicked over to read my email - it says NO CONNECTION. Oh Crap-ola!

I closed the internet and went back in. NO CONNECTION. LOL! Talk about panic! Well hell, you know the feeling. I ran out to the garage where our wireless router and modem is and saw the modem was down. While I have the landline phone up to my ear calling the cable company (so NOT a good time for an outage right then), I'm disconnecting cables and wires and re-connecting as fast as I can.

The lights come on s-l-o-w-l-y as full connection is resumed. AHHH!!!

I run back into the house, opened the internet, zoomed as fast as my connection would allow back to Chat Room 2. And, I think I've forgot to mention - I had to pee so bad!

As soon as I got in and told the moderator what happened, she said, "Just in time. You're up next." Oh Man! Hands shook, heart's pounding, I'm wiggling in my chair 'cause I gotta go... Then I get the bold letters, all in caps: GO.

First you have to log out of Chat Room 2, then log into the Pitch Room with your password. My hands were shaking so bad, I could hardly type the letters in. Did I mention I had to PEE??

I pitched my MS online while standing up at my desk, praying the connection would stay. The publisher's rep starts asking me what my plan is to market my book. Huh?

Well it's a good thing I just read some marketing stuff from a Muse class that very day, because I would have said zero.

Pee is now slugging my bladder to get out, yelling at me to hurry, hurry, hurry!

As soon as I was asked to send the full, I beat it out of the Panic Room as fast as politely possible. Logged out of the Pitch Room, logged into Chat Room 2, and told everyone else in line for their pitch what my results were.

Then I posted that I wanted my transcript, if available. When I was told to wait on Lea, I started cramping. I HAD TO PEE!! Didn't the moderator understand that? To make sure she did, I posted just that. Now the whole chat room knew, not that I cared at the moment.

And then the Rep I pitched to (who turned out to be the owner of the publishing company) came into Chat Room 2. Now I had to stay and make nice-nice with her! Which wasn't hard since she was a very nice lady to begin with.

Finally receiving my transcript answer, I announced a good luck to all, thanked Betty the publisher for her time, the moderator for her great work, and left Chat Room 2.

My groan of pleasure in the bathroom was probably heard all over my side of town.

If you have a good pitch story to tell, comment and leave it. I'd love to hear all about it.


Ash said...

OMG!!!! That was a GREAT story! I can't even imagine having to handle that-you did very well!! Tooo funny and just goes to show that anything can and probably will happen!! Ok, now that I've read that...I gotta go PEE!!! LOL

Brenda said...

LOL....LOL.....LOL.....LOL...wait, have to pee...*cue elevator music*...I'm back. LOL....LOL...LOL....

Brenda said...

And hey congrats on the full request. Have you heard anything?

Sheri Fredricks said...

Ash: I can tell you, it wasn't funny then! I was also screaming out loud that I had to pee, and to reject or accept already! What I didn't mention was that I also had to 'sell myself' to the publisher, especially WHAT made my book different. She was starting to reject and it's a damn good thing I can type 90 wpm! LOL!

Sheri Fredricks said...

Brenda: Glad you emptied your bladder on my account. :-} I haven't heard from the publisher yet. I sent her an email nudge but nothing yet. I was discouraged until I read Ambrielle's post that it was MONTHS later before she heard back. But I'm on to other things, which keeps my mind off it. I'll get back to querying after the new year.

Martha Ramirez said...

It was like hearing a new story all over again even though I was there (via online).
LOL. That is some great storytelling, Sheri!
And as you know about my story--I'd have to agree--Panic Room is a great name for it LOL. I had a problem getting throuh with my password. My hands were shaking, heart rattled all over the place, and I knew then just how you felt during your first pitch. Talk about adrenaline rush. Who needs 5 hr shots when you have the panic room?
Great post!!

Sheri Fredricks said...

Mart: I was so glad to have you tell me to quit freaking out on instant message! LOL And now that we can both look back on the experience together, wasn't that FUN?? --not that I want to go through that again for a very long time. But I remember your panic room just as well!! ROFL!

Tabitha Blake said...

You are so right those chats can really be stressful. But is sounds like you did great. And congrats!

Anonymous said...

So I read your blog post, and yes I smiled. Why? Because I have been in a situation where I had to go, and go now, and couldn't.

I was in Food4Less. I had taken (a big mistake) my diuretic pills that morning, and they performed as they were supposed to, BUT, I couldn't find anyone who knew where the toilet was. Wheeling the cart along the 4 walls I finally found it, almost too late. I parked the cart at the door and ran inside. Now I was ready but the urinal (just one) was in use, I opened the door to the sit down @ the John, and let go. Absolute ecstasy. Nothing like a good pee when you absolutely, positively must go. Whew.

There have been other times but I'm not a writer looking for a publisher, but if I were, I'd prefer one who publishes short stories on old guys who have to pee badly and cant find a potty.

Love, Bill (your dad)

Sheri Fredricks said...

Tabby: Thanks - The feeling of elation to be asked for a full! Now the waiting continues...

Dad: Next time, I'm having you write my blog! That was too funny! Sorry, but it was.