Torture a.k.a. submitting your work

Have you ever tried to flood out a gopher from its hole? I did. For over 15 minutes I tried to fill that hole with water from the hose and it never bubbled up. Not once. I was amazed. The only reason why I stopped is because I began to wonder if the water was flowing into my basement. Were there gophers ten feet beneath the surface of my backyard swimming? Had they some how figured out a way to siphon the water out? Was I doing exactly what the gophers wanted me to do?

Now, you may be asking yourself where in the world are you going with this and I admit, I did get a little side-tracked there. In a way, however, I feel that submitting to agents and publishing companies is a lot like trying to flood out a gopher. I've sent query after query to both and very rarely do any of them poke their heads out above the water. I've learned from attending conferences and talking with authors that a lot of those submissions, like the water, may be siphoning out in some ridiculously cruel fashion. The Slush Pile! The name itself implies something overly saturated. Why do my manuscripts have to be rerouted to the slush pile?

Anyways, where am I going with this? Maybe what I need is some really good bait. You know, something that will lure them out of their mile-deep gopher holes. I've heard that you can use Juicy Fruit gum to tempt and ultimately nab a gopher. Is there some sort of "Juicy Fruit" gum for the publishing world? If so, where can I purchase a pack?

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