Tag Archives: rosh hashana for literary agents

A Day in the Life of a Literary Agent: Working from Home

I’m spending the day today working from home and also preparing for Rosh Hashanah, one of the holy days for Jewish people. What I do to “prepare” is cook. A lot. Like for the 17 people who are coming to dinner on Monday night, when I’ll be in synagogue during the day on Monday. But cooking, for me, is like a meditation. I get to chop and peel and sear and sauté and mash and grate and (mis)count tsp. and tbs. and whisk and stir and. You get the point. And all the while, I also think. *cue Winnie the Pooh saying Think Think Think* I do this for about two hours starting about 7am and then sit at my computer for a few hours working while things cook (i.e. brisket and potato kugel) and then I take the stuff out of the oven, repeat the procedure with different foods for an hour or so, return to my desk and make phone calls and edit and respond to e-mails, etc… Multi-tasking at its finest! So what am I thinking about while I cook? Well, I’m wondering if that editor has read that manuscript yet and if she likes it. And I’m hoping my husband will remember to buy wine for the holiday. And I’m trying to figure out how to actually get to the 300 queries waiting for me in my inbox. And I’m berating myself for (still) not finishing the edits I wanted to be done with. And I’m crafting a submission letter in my head. And I’m remembering what the editor with whom I had lunch yesterday said. And I’m thinking happily about a client’s forthcoming book. And I’m creating a second round submission list for that client whose book I can’t believe the first round editors didn’t snatch up (it’s so good; what’s wrong with them?!). And I’m thinking about story arcs and building tension and creating characters and how difficult I find it to adequately convey to writers how to successfully do these things. And wondering what (the fuck) I’m wearing to synagogue on Monday, because nothing fits. So yeah. I’m looking forward to sitting in synagogue. My brain will shut off for a while and my heart will open up. I will hear the sound of the shofar being blown and be reminded of the long tradition from which I come. I will sing the Hebrew prayers and probably throw in a harmony here and there, because there are so many people singing that if I mess it up nobody will know (or care). I will thank God (or whatever) that I’m part of a Reconstructionist congregation that reflects my values and the things that are truly important to me. And that I have a rabbi who makes me laugh and think. And then I’ll come home and serve dinner to 17 family members. I wonder if the brisket will taste different because I cooked it thinking about SciFi or if the kugel will be particularly crispy because I was choosing my words carefully for a submission letter? Wishing my Jewish friends a sweet New Year and sending all others some love and peaceful thoughts. 

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