It’s National Clerihew Day. Don’t feel bad, I had no idea what it was either. Edmund Clerihew Bentley (July 10, 1875 – March 30, 1956) created his first whimsical, four-line biographical poem when he was just 16. He became a well-known English novelist and humorist. I am still wondering why they used his middle name for the day. As with most poetry, the Clerihew is defined by a set of rules. It must contain four lines, rhyming couplets of AA/BB, a person’s name in the first line, and say something about that person.
The National Day of Calendar urged me to try to write one myself. I came up with the following:
On this day Susan Sleggs
Is about to go to the list called Craig’s
To find someone to write her query letter
For they could probably do it better
Forgive me, the poem is supposed to be humorous. I don’t do humor very well, I’m not wired that way. Now drama, I can do drama. I digress. As the poem says, I have not been able to write a good query letter. I know the format and I’ve read countless examples. I can’t seem to put 6 1/2 years of a family saga story into a few sentences. There is just too much to tell. I’ve tried lists of high points, I’ve taken a class, I’ve complained to friends, and fellow writers alike. No matter what I write, it falls flat. The last advice I read said to write the letter when you are excited and upbeat about your work. How can I get to that feeling when I’m on number 300 try to get the letter to sound exciting. It isn’t happening.
Way back when, I wanted something very badly. I did everything I knew how to do and still couldn’t attain my desire. Then circumstances changed and I learned what I had wanted wouldn’t have been good for me at all. The lesson I learned was there is always a reason for delay. One might never know what it is, but if you believe in a higher power, you accept it and move on. Perhaps the timing for me to send a query letter to the right agent,for that long novel sitting in a pile on my desk, just isn’t right. (Please don’t tell me to self-publish. I’m not in favor of it.) And just maybe, if I can’t write the query, it’s because my writing isn’t worthy of being published. Don’t despair. I’m not ready to give up just yet. Seems if I can write a Clerihew on a moments notice, a letter should be a piece of cake.