A Moment of Jen
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Thursday, August 08, 2002
posted by Jen at 8/08/2002 10:29:00 AM

Adam and I were walking with Wendell a few days ago when a big dog approached. Wendell, as is his wont, began growling. The fur on the back of his neck bristled like a little spotted Mohawk.

"Wendell!" said Adam. "Calm down!"

We continued walking. The big dog was still heading our way. Wendell started growling even louder.

"Wendell!" said Adam. "Take it easy!"

The big dog got even closer. Wendell was growling and quivering and obviously dying to see if the big dog wanted to take it outside.


So I, of course, cracked up. And Wendell stopped growling -- probably because he was so startled by Adam yelling and me laughing. The big dog sailed serenely by, and we continued on our way.

And now, an administrative note. I get a lot of really wonderful email from people who've enjoyed the book, who've identified with the book, who've felt inspired by the book to get to work on their own writing. Many of them write to ask for details about my agent, the divine and beneficent Joanna Pulcini, who is responsible for so much of the success that GOOD IN BED has enjoyed.

So I'm very sorry to have to report that Joanna isn't taking any new clients right now. She's not reading manuscripts, outlines, or summary paragraphs. Nor does she have associates or partners who are looking for new material. So if you write to me and ask for my agent's name and I write back and say "Sorry, she's not taking new clients," please believe that I'm telling you that because it's the truth, not because I like hearing myself say it, and do not try to persuade me that even though I said she's not taking anyone new, surely (surely!) she wouldn't turn down a chance to read your fabulous novel/outline/summary, or that of your husband/girlfriend/son, or, at the very least, pass it along to her assistant/partner/associate, who would then be absolutely guaranteed of making millions/kajillions/bazillions of dollars. She just flat-out absolutely is not taking on anyone new.

I don't mean to be harsh. If you read my "For Writers" essay, you'll know that I understand and remember very well the painful process of trying to find the perfect agent. And there are many great agents out there who are eagerly seeking new writers. Unfortunately, mine isn't one of them right now.

Here's what I can offer by way of consolation -- Anna Maxted, talking about how she wrote the very funny and very real GETTING OVER IT. And thriller writer Ben Mezrich, who survived one hundred and ninety rejection letters, six agents, five editors and four publishing houses, plus an appearance on "America's Sexiest Bachelors," and lived to tell the tale.

And, eventually, we'll have to talk about Anna Nicole Smith (you knew we couldn't avoid it forever, right?)

Seeing a plus-size woman as the star of a TV show -- good for the community.

Seeing a plus-size woman slurring, staggering, talking about her absent sex life and flatulent dog -- not good for anyone.

I can't figure out whether she's a not-very-bright blonde on heavy-duty drugs, and is to be pitied, or whether she's shrewdly adhering to the Gospel According to Ozzy, which instructs us that America likes to see semi-famous figures slur and stagger their way through their larger-than-lives, and is crazy like a fox, and is to be admired. I will admit to laughing out loud when she instructed the dog "Sugar Pie, stop farting!" I do like the opening credits song. And I'll keep watching, trying to figure it out. Consider it my gift to you, the reader.
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