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A postal post

Okay, so at Comic-Con I talked to an editor I know and he expressed an interest in seeing an outline and sample chapters for my first spec novel.  So over the past week or so, I’ve been doing one last revision pass on it, to incorporate some new thoughts I’ve recently had that let me unify its concepts better.  This morning, I printed out the outline and sample to mail to the editor — only to find I was out of manila envelopes.  “Oh, well,” I figured, “I’ll just pick up some envelopes on the way, get a few groceries while I’m there, then stop at the library to pick up that book being held for me and fill out the mailing and return envelopes while I’m there, then go to the post office and mail the whole thing.  It’s cold enough that it’ll be okay to get groceries first and leave them in the trunk for a while.”

So first I had to brush all the snow off my car.  Then came grocery and envelope buying — except I forgot which of three possible stores  in the same area (a grocery store and two pharmacies) carried the envelopes I like to get, the self-sealing kind where you just peel off a strip to expose the adhesive.  It turned out to be the third of the stores I tried (the second pharmacy, which I went to after getting grocerie).  I got a batch of the regular-size envelopes plus a package of three larger ones, which I figured would be necessary to hold the fairly hefty set of pages I was sending.

So then I went to the library to fill out the envelope.  I found that I’d accidentally grabbed two packages of the larger envelopes (and yes, the clerk did notice what I overlooked and charged me for both).  “Oh, well,” I thought, “I’ll probably need them eventually.”  So I opened one package and filled out addresses on two envelopes, one for mailing and one for return.

Then I drove to the post office a block and a half from the library, only to see that its lot was so full that there was a car just waiting in the entry drive for a space to open up.  No way I could get in there.  So I drove a few blocks to the next nearest post office, a little place near where my father lived before moving to the retirement community.  I didn’t turn where I should have so I had to take the long way around, and I parked a block or so further away than I needed to because I couldn’t tell if there was a better space and I’m a lousy parallel parker.

So I entered the little post office and there were only two people ahead of me. Great, except the guy at the desk was apparently having some trouble sorting out what his mailing options were.  That didn’t take too long, though, and eventually it got to me.  The clerk weighed my package, and it turned out to be just too heavy for first class mail.  I had to send it by priority mail, using the special envelopes the post office has for that.

Which means I bought and filled out those envelopes for nothing.

Oh, well.  I can just cover over the mailing address and reuse them for something else later.  Still, if I’d known, I could’ve saved myself a couple of stops.

So anyway, the clerk gave me the envelopes and the labels to fill out, so I went over to the side table to do so.  When I was done, I turned around and saw that there were now about four people in front of me.  Arrgh!

After a couple of minutes, the clerk said to an old lady who’d also been filling out stuff at the side table that she could come up ahead of the line — but she didn’t say that to me, even though I’d been there before the old lady.  That didn’t seem fair, but I didn’t complain, because I figured maybe she was being more considerate to the frail older person.  I was hoping maybe she’d get to me next, letting me hop ahead of the others in front of me, but she didn’t.  Maybe I should’ve complained, but I’m too diffident.  And those other people didn’t take too long.

Anyway, I finally got the package mailed off.  After all that, I really hope the editor likes it and wants to see the whole novel.  Although then I’ll probably have to mail a considerably bigger package.  Well, at least it won’t be near Christmas then, so hopefully the post offices will be less busy.

  1. Larry Brennan
    December 20, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I had no idea that there was a weight-limit for first class mail. I hope the editor likes what you sent. Congrats on having an editor waiting for your submission. Break a pencil lead! (I’m not sure what turns of phrase are not OK in the publishing world…)

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