Finding the Right Box

Now that my agent uses a Kindle, I no longer have to worry about printing out my manuscripts on nice paper from a nice printer or fret about finding the perfect manuscript box.

Finding the perfect manuscript box used to be quite an affair. It was a quest of mythic proportions, at least in my little world.

I swear to God, it took at least six weeks to find it.  I didn’t want to send my manuscript in a box that had Kinko’s or Staples all over it.

I wanted a clean, white box. I wanted it to say the title of my novel and nothing else. I wanted it to look perfect.

I tracked down a local copy shop where they had the perfect manuscript boxes but you had to print your work there.  So I printed my manuscript there and it cost something like $75, which is a lot when you’re broke, and it messed up all the margins.  So I had to chuck it.  But who cared!  I had the perfect white manuscript box.  I got the clerk to give me 5 more for 10 cents each.  And I horded them for all future unwritten manuscripts.

Last time I sent my agent a manuscript, I spent a good week digging around in my closet for that perfect white manuscript box, spending a chunk of change printing up the manuscript and then schlepping it all down to the downtown post office where you never can find any parking and sending the whole thing FedEx because it was a very important affair, at least to me.  And everybody knows nothing signifies VIP like a FedEx box.

I waited a few days, pins and needles, and then my agent emailed me back saying, “Would you be so kind to send your MS via email? I read everything on my Kindle now.”

Who knew?! Technology.  I tell you.

Now, one click of the email and you’re done.  Six months, a year’s worth of work, two year’s worth, whatever, and it’s off with one click of the mouse.  Easy peasy.

And then you wait.  And it doesn’t feel real.  It’s just a bunch of words that exist only in the ether.  It feels weird. Like that whole printing process and finding the right box and taking it to the post office where the post office master wraps it up like the holy grail and you say a silent prayer over it…I don’t know, it just made it feel real in a way, that I was finished, that I had written a book and now I was going to send it out into the world and whatever was going to happen to it was going to happen to it and I just had to let it go.

But I don’t feel that way now, which is weird. Because I know that I’m finished, but I don’t feel finished. And I wonder what the hell I’ve been doing with my time and if I’ve been wasting it and what is the point anyway and maybe I should have gone into something like real estate or investing but I’ve never been any good with money and the only thing I’ve ever really cared about are words — no matter where you find them, in books, online, or even on a Kindle.

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