Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Tale of Two Trees

Tree #1: It Definitely Made a Noise.

When he got home tonight, John pointed out that I'd missed something important about the crane photos he took Tuesday morning. Below is one of the photos. Can you tell what I failed to notice and mention in last night's entry?

Take a closer look.

It's not just that our neighbors needed the crane to lift the tree. They needed it to lift the tree off the smashed-up corner of the roof!

Tree #2: Hope is Green

Two weeks ago, I showed you my favorite tree at St. Michael's, and told you that it was dying. Nearly all the leaves on it were cinnamon chocolate in color - which it to say brown, which is to say dried up and useless, at least to the tree. The landscaping guy I talked to as he swept up the fallen leaves did not deny that the tree was as good as dead.

Since then, I've said a few encouraging words to the tree each morning, expecting nothing. After all, there were basically no green leaves left on the poor thing. I think this was true as recently as a week ago. But look at it now!

My tree is making a comeback! There are lots and lots of tiny leaves now on lower limbs and outer branches, places where there aren't any of the dead brown ones. Yay! It's going to live!

Oh! They're so cool, these chlorophyll-rich little beauties! I did boost the color on these shots, to make the tiny leaves nice and visible and the overall pictures prettier. The brown leaves are a bit lighter than you see here, and a bit less red.

Many years ago, I read about talking to plants, that a scientific study showed that expressing affection for a plant does have a positive effect on it. Evidently Madeleine L'Engle read the article, too, or one like it, because she incorporated it into a scene in A Wind in the Door. I'm not taking credit for this tree's miraculous survival. More likely the gardener guy did something that helped the coolest tree at St. Michael's. I'm just glad - thrilled, really - that the tree is going to survive after all.

Happy Half - Anniversary

On February 23rd, 2006, at 10:22 am, the U.S. Postal Service recorded a certain large Priority Mail envelope as having arrived at a certain address in the Flatiron Building, New York, NY 10010. It was probably logged in by someone at Tor Books, who then added it to the slush pile. That's what happens to unagented work, and alas, it's been several years since I even tried to get a literary agent. Today is that envelope's six month anniversary on the slush pile. Maybe. It may not be there any more. It could be that someone has finally looked it over, seen that it's not utterly illiterate, and put it in another pile for further perusal. It's possible that someone liked it and wrote a little report on it, and now it's on yet another pile, awaiting Patrick's or Teresa's attention (or someone else's). It's even possible that it was rejected and mailed back months ago, and the post office lost it. But I hope not!

So now it's time to follow up with a query. The Tor guidelines say the following:

Please allow at least four to six months for your manuscript to be considered. If you haven't heard from us after four months, and wish to make sure your manuscript got here, please write a letter stating the genre, the date of submission, and the title of the manuscript, rather than calling. We will respond promptly.

I know it got there, and I know that Patrick Nielsen Hayden has described the movement of the slushpile as "glacial." Still, I'd like to know: has anyone actually looked at it yet?

So anyway, I'm tinkering with my email asking about this. Those of you who helped with with the cover letter in the first place, I'd appreciate some advice on the follow-up email. I just posted it over on Inspirations (my LJ). Take a look, will you? Thanks!


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1 comment:

Gaboatman said...

Sorry that your neighbor sustained damage from the fallen tree. I hope no one wqas hurt. Great news about your favorite tree at the church. Now, about the letter to TOR. I personally like the first letter. They must get hundreds of letters like this a year, so why not be entertaining in your querry and stand out a bit from the rest? If you bring a smile to an over worked TOR desk clerk, he or she just might be inclined to actually find your manuscropt and deliver it to the pile for the next step in the process. I wish you all the luck and hope for eventual sucess!