The Mail I Get

I got this very odd email today  (I've edited out  his publisher and the title of his book):

This is not a fan letter but just let me say that my folks and I loved Martial Law (my mother was amazed at how agile a fat guy couls be) and Sliders especiallly the episode where Rhys-Davis hunted down babies to kiss in his campaign for public office.

Anyway, a new ebook imprint, XYZ, published a pdf ebook sf/f/h poetry collection by me, XYZ. The poems are comments on the body of work by sf/f/h authors and other creators in the three fields. I hope you consider ordering one.

This is strange but as I am writing this letter an idea for a series idea popped into my head. Before I write it down I would like your permission before I pitch it to you.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this one. At least he was pleasant, polite, and asked me if I was interested in his pitch before he sent it to me. But still...what was he thinking? Did he really believe I'd reply "Oh yes, that book sounds fantastic. I love poetry about sf authors. I'm ordering a dozen copies of your PDF for myself and my family. And please send me any TV series ideas that occur to you. I would love to hear them." I'm simply astonished by how clueless some people are. 

But I didn't say any of that in my response to him. I saved that for you. Instead, I congratulated him on his book, told him I wasn't interested in his series ideas, and wished him the best in all his endeavors.

8 thoughts on “The Mail I Get”

  1. He had me at, “My mother was amazed at how agile fat guys could be.”
    Look on the bright side. He could have been asking you to buy a book of homoerotic seaQuest fan fiction. Progress!

  2. I think you’re getting it, Lee, if you don’t mind me saying so. Polite, patient, up-lifting, encouraging while also communicating a pass.
    At one of the life insurance companies I worked at, it went like this: somebody who knew almost no technical details about business or IT would talk and say nothing, and then come out with a gem. It meant little in their mind, but in the minds of higher-ups it turned to gold, and the higher-ups would never have thought of it themselves.
    It’s amazing how brilliant the average person can be at times, when I look for the gold. I call it “downloading a file from their mind to mine.” Of course sometimes there’s just muck!

  3. As a beginning writer, I came originally to your blog to glean insight into A Writer’s Life BUT I have to admit that I get perverse enjoyment from reading The Mail I Get. All these folks who spend all their time on being clever rather than working (you know the old-fashioned way instead of through you)give me hope! I like to imagine these are the same people who inform me how well they are moving forward in their writing careers while I keep trying to be a writer by writing.

  4. I always love reading this section of your blog. I’m a lowly production assistant trying to work my way into the TV writing biz. Just telling people you want to be a TV writer someday immediately makes you a target for all of their TV show pitches. It would be funny if it wasn’t so annoying. Judging by the emails you post here I’m guessing you have to put up with it a lot more once you actually become a TV writer.
    Keep up the great posts!

  5. You should collect the ‘Mail I get’ quips into an ebook collection of f/sf/h poetry and sell it online via http://www.publishamerica.con
    I’m sure plenty of agile fat guys and Hollywood writers devoid of pitching ideas would buy at least 3 of them…
    Always a smile on a wet Tuesday, thanks


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