Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Way Things Happen...

It's been a while since I posted. Things are going well, if strangely, some of them more strangely than others. Which brings me to the title of this post.

Sometimes things happen in the very strangest of ways and no matter how you try to steer toward normality, you miss it by a mile but end up in the same place anyway.

Most of this blather was inspired by the epic saga partaken by my mother and I in our hunt for special item X for my father. I'm not going to say exactly what it is because it's still in the works and I don't want any chance of him somehow finding out. And he's one of those people who always finds out somehow, even without trying.

But I digress. Mom and I have been on a hunt for item X. Turns out that item X is very hard to find. Very expensive. And pretty much impossible to get ahold of.

Then we found what we were looking for on eBay. I am not an eBay expert, but I know something about it. We bid. We were outbid. We bid higher. We lost.

Then I got an email from eBay saying I'd received a Second Chance Offer because the original high bidder had failed to pay or the sale had otherwise fallen through. This offer means that your high bid becomes a Buy It Now price, which you can agree to pay, or pass on. So I replied that I was interested, but had several questions which I itemized in the email. I had 3 days in which to respond to this offer. I got no reply from the seller until the end of the 3 day offer period, which was annoying but not insurmountable. At the end of the offer period I received a confirmation email from eBay stating that my offer had been accepted and gave me all the information required to pay by bank transfer. I also got an email from the seller saying my offer was accepted and to let him know when I got the confirmation from eBay. I replied, saying I'd received it, but I was confused because originally there had been several options for payment, and now it was only giving me the option to pay via bank transfer, and I didn't want to. While awaiting his reply (mind you, he hadn't responded to my first two emails) I tweeted about how it seemed weird that he was taking so long. A friend replied to my tweet and during our conversation, she told me it all seemed strange to her, and that I should do what made me comfortable but that she thought it was fishy. So instead of biting back my frustration and rushing to the bank to complete the transfer I didn't want to do in the first place, I felt bolstered by her support and did nothing but wait for the seller's reply. When it came a full 24 hrs later is said simply 'Please pay with bank transfer and I will ship item to * address supplied by me*' He still never acknowledged my questions nor answered them. At this point, I wen to eBay and contacted the seller directly through them, instead of by email. And while I was doing all this, I discovered that eBay has warnings about second chance offers and states that if you received one, you need to check your eBay message center because you will ALWAYS receive a Second Chance Offer there, in addition to you email. Guess who DIDN'T have a message in their Ebay message center? I promptly forwarded the fraudulent emails to eBay's security center and they have since emailed me, confirming the scam and letting me know that they were already attempting to track the emails down.

You just never know. Thankfully no vital information had been passed to the scammers.

BUT while I was on eBay dealing with all of this, I found ANOTHER item X even better than the one I'd lost which had spawned the spam (it should be noted that the original seller is innocent and on the up and up. He was getting scammed the same as me, as his name was being used in the commission of a crime. Thankfully neither one of us has suffered irreparable damage) and I was able to Buy It Now, and have already received proper invoices etc.

So, something crazy bad awful ALMOST happened, but didn't and as a result, I found the one thing my Mom and I wanted most. And God willing and the creek don't rise, this will work out perfectly.

It's sort of the same with querying. Not that agents try to scam you (well, not any REAL agent) But just that sometimes you think you're headed in just the right direction but then something happens and it's all a mess and you're on the verge of flinging yourself off a cliff and suddenly you end up precisely where you wanted/needed to be.

During all of this item X drama, I opened my inbox to find, utterly unexpectedly, an email from an agent I'd last had contact with in about November of 2012! She wasn't someone I'd queried, but someone I'd gotten involved with via a blog contest. But I love this agent! She is someone I've secretly pined for. I admire her, and I'd love to have the opportunity to work with her. Not because she's an agent and I'm a writer who wants an agent, but because she's who she is. And guess what? She was asking me if I was still seeking representation and if so, would I send her the full because she was intrigued!

Now, since I sent her my first fifty pages, my ms has been through a huge edit, mostly because of feedback from an editor at a publishing house. It was good feedback, and since requests for my ms had trickled to a virtual halt, I'd decided to look hard at the ms and revise. So I had. But now an agent wanted to see it. So I sent her the full, and explained everything. The first fifty she'd seen and my current fifty aren't gargantuanly different. It's the rest of the ms that's changed. I explained that to her as well.

Maybe having the ms change will bother her. Maybe she'll think I did the right thing. Maybe something awesome will come of this. Maybe it won't. But you just never know.

The way things happen... well, they can be amazing and unexpected and wild. And sometimes you end up right where you need to be, despite everything you went through on the way there.