Miss Snark sighed and stopped to rub her eyes. This was the poorest excuse for a synopsis she had seen in years. She considered quitting as soon as she saw that the heroine was a librarian, an amateur detective and an award-winning yodeler -how original- but she reminded herself sternly that she was reading this particular submission for a good cause. Red pen flashing, she absently corrected 'will of the wisp' to 'will-o'-the-wisp' and 'galleycat' to 'alleycat'.
Crossing her elegant ankles, she glanced again at the query letter. Yes, she thought in annoyance, a border of promenading poodles certainly shouts 'serious writer!' to me.
George entered the room behind her. "Drop everything and give me ten...books," he teased, kissing her earlobe.
Miss Snark smiled slightly at his weak joke, but perked up when she noticed the gin pail in his hand. George gently set the pail beside her chair and cast an admiring glance at her feet.
"I don't understand how you can wear stilettos every day without getting bunions," he remarked, settling into a chair.
"Genetic good fortune and sheer force of will," she replied. "Now don't distract me or I will never get through this dreck."
"That bad?" he asked, wincing at the dark look on her face. He resolved to tell his cousin Wendy that he couldn't help her with her manuscript after all.
Miss Snark turned to the first pages of the manuscript and fought the urge to throw the entire muddle out of the window. "Let's see. We open with seven charming paragraphs devoted to the heroine's beloved pet terrapin. Then we enjoy a nun trading insults with said heroine, culminating in the Sister shouting: 'Your mother wears Army boots!' But my favorite is a description of a landscape that actually ends 'etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.'"
George leaned back and looked wistful. "Ah, Roar of the Greasepaint, Smell of the Crowd. We did it in high school. I made a wonderful Sir. Did I ever tell you”?"
Miss Snark gave him a look that quickly quelled his tangent.
George leaned over to kiss her hand. "Sweetheart. You shouldn't have to put up with this. I don't care if this guy does own 80% of Bombay Sapphire - a nitwit is a nitwit. Come on, let's go to bed. I think Bat Segundo has a new podcast out."
Ever the professional, Miss Snark left the pages beside the fire for Killer Yap. He might want to add some notes.
As she followed George into the bedroom, a smile on her lips, she decided that Mr. Segundo and his show could wait until tomorrow.
Slush pile porn..who could have dreamed?
Miss Snark rings for a cool compress and cabana boys to wave fronds in her overheated direction.
Scoring to come