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A literary agent, for any writer, is a great thing to have. At least, that's what I hear. It's kinda like having a new car- everyone wants one, but hardly anyone (on the average) can legitimately get one without jumping through hoops. I personally think the true evil of being a writer is wanting to get a story published. Why is it evil, you ask? Well, because you need an agent to get published.

Well, there are normal magazines and Zines galore, but I've got a greedier appetite than that. I want to put out a book. Sci-fi, mostly, that's what I write (it's what I know, because, let's face it, LIFE is a pretty damn good sci-fi story if you really look at it).

I recently bought a book that lists quite a large number of literary agents and publishing houses. Quite a useful tool, if you ask me. Very helpful and insightful. "Must send all manuscripts with SASE. No email queries. Call only on Tuesdays. Second Tuesdays. At four." I cracked open that damn book and just drooled for a few hours while drinking cigarettes and smoking coffee (yes, I said that right). Out of nearly 1,000 names of agents, I came up with a list of 10 who suited my needs and looked "right". The rest scared me. There was one entry for an agent, I won't say which one, that took up almost a full page- and they don't even accept sci-fi stories. There was another that proudly stated that it was responsible for launching dozens of new careers, but wasn't accepting new/unpublished authors anymore. A third said, "Don't call us, we'll call you. If we don't call you, don't call us." And that's just the agents!

The publishers listing was immensely large and broken up into more sections than I could count. "Novels, Magazines, Zines, Poetry Collections, Poetry, Magazine Anthologies, Periodicals that end in Y...." the list went on and on and on. I was so intimidated by the sheer size of the publishers listing that I completely bypassed it. After all, I'm looking to find an agent- let the agent (if I ever get one) deal with finding a publisher, right?

Do actors have this much trouble finding an agent? Or is finding an acting agent like shaking a nut tree- shake it hard enough and you'll have a pile of 'em at yer feet in no time? I wish I could just flip the book I just bought upside down and shake it thoroughly until some names just flutter out of it. That would make this SO much easier. But if it was that easy, then EVERYONE would be selling books, wouldn't they? Hrm....

And so... I'm off to edit some of my short stories and perhaps a few chapters of some of my books. When I'm done with that, I'll start sending out emails and letters to agents, asking them if they want to represent me. Wish me luck. I have a feeling that the opposition is stacked against me.