15 May 2010

Vernon Story Tweets - April 2010

Despite advice found in every issue of "Writers Digest," Vernon had come to recognize no one gets published without connections. New York was too big, his neighborhood too buried, for him to garner any meaningful connections with publishers. Besides, New York publishers didn't really appreciate his experimental form of prose. Heck, no one really cared for it.

That wasn't exactly true. An agent from San Fransisco had fawned over Vernon's submission during a recent author conference.

* * *

"It's about time someone had some guts," said the agent from the writers' conference. "And it's even readable." The man gritted his teeth as he read through Vernon's brief manuscript. At best, it was a novella. The man's legged twitched. "Yes, yes, yes!" The people in line at the Harper-Collins table lurched in sync as the small press agent burst out with approval. "Let me take this back to my boss," the agent said. "It's exactly the kind of experimentation he loves."

Vernon bit his bottom lip and wished he had spent the money to print up a copy of his manuscript. "But that's my only copy."

"Well," said the hirsute agent. "When you're ready to get serious about publishing give me a call." He handed Vernon his card with the manuscript. The paper was bare, except for the man's name, phone number, and email.

"Where are you located?" The agent didn't hear him at first; he was too busy shaking his head at the authors in the Haper-Collins line. "Excuse me," Vernon spoke a little louder.

The agent turned and said, "Made a copy of your manuscript already?"

Vernon blushed and stammered over the restatement of his request.

"San Fran, baby!" The agent swiped his finger across his nose.

Vernon thanked him and wandered down the aisle, winding his way around lines of would-be authors queued up at the major houses.

* * *

The subway all but emptied after the first stop. Vernon had found a paper clip and attached the agent's card to his manuscript. 'Experimental?' He stared at the ream of paper awhile, then let an all-too audible groan. 'I wasn't going for experimental. Come on, vern. Put this in perspective. He liked it. He really liked it. No one's told you they liked your writing before.'

He looked up, scanning the remaining people in the car. One woman fiddled incessantly with her iPhone while a vagrant watched her. Two seats down, a man read a paperback novel that looked as though it once resided in some back alley gutter. Vernon returned his gaze to the business card on his manuscript. 'How different could San Fran be from the Big Apple?'

The subway screeched to a stop with more urgency than normal. The woman dropped her iPhone, but the vagrant caught it before it hit the floor. The woman looked terrified, unsure if she should reach out for her gadget or write it off as lost. The bum extended the phone back out to her.

The guy two seats down watched the whole scene go down, his brows furrowed mostly at the woman now cuddling her phone.

Vernon went back to the card and his work. "How different, indeed," he mumbled making the woman squirm even more than before.

* * *

Standing at the threshold of his mom's abandoned apartment, Vernon scanned for anything he might have left behind. His pillow and blanket lay crumpled in soft rolling hills beside the deep indents where the couch used to rest. The pillow was new, full, plump. His aunt gave it to him for Christmas. His mom scowled at the gift.

His Aunt Joanie had kicked him out a couple years back and enjoyed not-so-subtly razzing her sister for taking in Vernon.

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