Dear Miss Snark,
I am looking for an agent for a narrative-driven literary novel titled "A Wedding, Water."
The wedding is a game, a bluff, a make-you-say-first "I want. I care. I do." A game like all the other unfulfilled, naked, squirming teases between them. So what if they've shared a bed since they first met months ago and they still haven't "done it" yet? It's crazy high stakes. And fun. And Ellen won't let a few nosy guests asking if she's pregnant ruin her weekend wedding along the northern California coast. She won't be distracted by a friend claiming "rights" to her and offering to give her an abortion. (YUCK YUCK YUCK...ZAP) Just give her time to plan her next move. But it may be too late. Two of the groom's guests, a couple unraveling after years of infidelity and too much drink, are pulling her into their self-destruction and discontent. The fighting has begun. And then on the water in a skiff off the shore, there is a shameful accident. Or something worse.
"A Wedding, Water" is a novel with tone: crackling high nervousness, squeamish second-guessing, and outlandish mockery. It neither fetishizes the wedding ceremony, nor worships the grit of commitment. It is about tantrums and angry shouts, the awkward forced intimacy of friends of friends, and not too little flirting. The dialogue is juicy, often witty, usually rude, and readers may find it reminiscent--in spirit--of an Edward Albee play.
Some characters here were taken from work I wrote that received the University of ABC's Blank award. Enclosed is an SASE and the first ten pages of the manuscript. It starts with a pouncing invitation. The complete manuscript is 85,000 words. Please let me know if you are interested in seeing any more of it.
Many thanks for your time.
I'm repulsed and confused. I think there's a movie about this. Oh wait, no, Dazed and Confused. That too.
You're so busy telling me what this is, you're showing me you can't write a focused paragraph.
This is a form rejection right here.
An invitation, of sorts
You are invited. We want you to come. (To come is what you want.) (If I didn't stop at the query, I'd stop here) The honor of your presence is hereby requested. We beg you; we plead. We do. This wedding screams for your attendance and the screams are so loud. Come to be seen and to see. You are like everybody else but better. (Or not. Who knows? It does not matter to us.) Your face has been slated for its warmth and its heft. Your smile is there to hide disbelief and momentary horror. It is your beacon and shield, that which persuades and protects. Lips and teeth, air, words and bite.
You will join, participate, be forced upon.
As you so sweetly know, a wedding is more than vows, more than twenty minutes to fill with the up and down traipsing of aisles, the staring at of dresses and gowns (the fingering of silk and panties), of untucked shirts and skin that welters under collars. It is the uneasy pondering of the minister's hands. It is the crying of tears both spontaneous and calculated. The excited shrieks of newborn babes. The ushering of matrons in hairnets and flowered caps. (The deflated men shuffle in alone.) Search, search. Do you see it? Bride and groom say "I do," and when you hear the pact-clenching final smack of their lips are they not transformed before your very eyes? Maybe, maybe not, but a wedding is more than vows. It is a place like an Inn, secluded and rimmed with a second-story balcony where you will sit outside and breath for once (finally, at last!) the Pacific Ocean air. You will drink dry California champagne (all right! sparkling wine! we can't pull any more fast ones on you!) and specialty beer brewed in small private tanks. Is there more frosting or cake? There is Chilean sea bass steamed in parchment (a French word on the menu) and wands of asparagus, disposable cameras like so many breeding robotic crabs and a trick using South African coins, arguments over an "upset" boxing match, a pair of shoes whose owner cannot be found, and a child who wants her to see him pee.
A ghost, or whatever passes for a haunting nowadays.
Which day? A wedding is the day before, or more than one day, from the first drink to the last. From one young body to the next. (Some soft, some hard). A boy from a farm and boy from a film. (They are not boys.) Unmarried college sweethearts, a grope from unknown hands, a mysterious streak across the skies, boisterous, boisterous pride, and a mirror.
This is a mess.