Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So, our modem died yesterday. It was painful. It took several hours to figure out what was wrong. Then Mike went to buy a new one, and then we tried to install it.

One tiny problem. Three years ago when we signed on with AT&T this service had a mail account associated with it. A mail account we've never, ever used.

Back at AT&T central, they wanted to know the user ID and password for this account. We really had no idea. We talk and talk with a rep,. he tells us the UserID is listed on our bill, and if we get the UserID and then try to log on, then tell them we forgot the password, the system will tell us the UserID.

But, I ask, wouldn't they send it to our email account? Which we cannot access? And besides, we can't check our bills because they are online-only. And we can't try to get a password for this account without the Internet.

Finally he gives us the option of answering a security question. There is one question. "What is your favorite restaurant?"

But there is one tiny problem. Neither of us EVER use this for a security question. We have a classic roster we always use: mother's maiden name, best man at your wedding, favorite pet's name (though we have different votes depending on whose question it is).

Favorite restaurant? Umm, where? In the Netherlands? In Charleston? In our home towns? In Connecticut?

He gives us a hint: It starts with an "S".

We guessed and guessed, to no avail. He would not ask us anything else.

Finally, at 930 I went to our neighbors' (Katie and Matt's) house for some Internet. I logged into our AT&T billing account, and pored over our bill. No User ID. I went to the help section, and found a notice describing where to find the UserID on your bill. It says very clearly "under the Internet section of your bill." I went back to the bill.

Nothing in the Internet section. Nothing at all.

Then I just started clicking around, finally, after half an hour finding a portion of their website which deals with accounts. There I found the UserID, and based on that, Mike and I could guess the password.

By the time I got home, I was so tired I didn't even bother hooking up my wireless. I just checked my mail on Mike's computer and went right to bed.

I was SO antsy about mail because I was hoping for some feedback on the many queries I just sent out.

Okay, looking at these stats is much too depressing. But... because I work with and teach statistics I know a little secret. You can get numbers to support just about any theory. So here is my new theory. I am not an agentless author with no hope, I am a quickly-improving-author who will likely one day (one unnamed, unpredicted day in the near to very, very distant future) acquire an agent.

So here goes:

Percentage of queries in February/March meriting full/partial requests: 4.0%

Percentage of queries in April worthy of full/partial requests: 3.2%

Percentage of queries in May deserving full/partial requests: 14.3%

Percentage of queries in June earning full/partial requests: 7.4%

Whew. Self-esteem restored, and totally supported by the numbers.

It is such a excruciating process. I feel like the work I am doing is good, but the question is: is it good enough? Some days I feel like it is, and some days not so much. Though in other aspects of life I can get my confidence from within myself, for this it really does matter that someone else like it.

So, with bated breath I rushed to check my email last night, after a WHOLE TWELVE HOURS of not obsessing over it.

No responses on queries. *sigh*


  1. A crazy person, eh? When will you be posting that story? ;)

  2. Very interesting stats, and that sucks when your internet goes out. I always feel so lost, like a limb has been cut from my body.

    good luck in the query process,

    Found your blog through YA highway.


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