"A whiter shade of pale" has been the Whirlwind's latest discovery among her father's music collection. She has been working her way through it and I have been getting comments about what she likes and does not like. Although she thought the words were nonsense this was a like. "It's sort of sad but like it's a bit happy too - and it has a proper tune."
We looked up the references to the song on the internet but they were long, involved and confusing. I turned to our friend Roger instead. There is very little Roger does not know about the music of that era and he has produced a sensible, intelligent and intelligible response. I will be interested to know what she makes of it.
Following her questions about the music she returned the last chapter and grabbed the next one.
"Hurry up and do the next bit. I want to know what happens." I am revising and she is being allowed to read. She will tell me if she does not like it. I will get told if it is "silly" or someone "would not do it like that". I will not be told about the actual writing. That is still beyond her.
There was another e-mail in my personal in-box this morning. Another agent has turned me down. She "very much enjoyed" reading what I wrote but it does not have the "competitive edge in an increasingly competitive market" although I "might get a different response at other agencies" and she would "certainly recommend" I try elsewhere. All very nice and I am trying to be grateful for the encouragement but it is not, of course, what I really want!
This is the third time this has happened. I know it is not many in the scheme of things. The first submission was turned down as not being for their list (and I knew it was unlikely but they were open for submissions) and they urged me to try elsewhere. The second try produced something very like this response.
I am still not sure what to make of this. Good but not quite good enough? Agents are apparently not known for being encouraging of poor writing so I am trying to be hopeful. But I wonder if there are other things getting in the way?
I have been looking closely at the books on the shelves in the children's section of the library. I have talked to children in there. They think there is room for "an adventure story". They tell me that what they are reading is sometimes "cool" but more often "all right" or "okay". I would like to be thought of as "cool" rather than "okay". I would like my writing to have a "proper tune". The question is, "Am I musical enough to do it?"