My Day as a Psycho Celebrity-Spammer on Twitter

So, let’s talk about CELINE FUCKING DION. (You’re welcome.)

This story starts a few months ago, when some literary agents were telling me that my author platform wasn’t strong enough to warrant a book deal in today’s sure bet-driven marketplace. Which, in other words, means that I don’t have enough Twitter followers. Which, in other words, means that I’m not popular enough. Which, in other words, means that the publishing industry is basically Mean Girls and — Oh my God, Danny DeVito I love your work!

The fucked up thing about it is that if I actually did have a hundred thousand Twitter followers, I’d probably be one of those entitled, douche-y assholes who’s all, “Duh. Get with the times. Of course I have a huge platform; what do you think I am? A loser?

So maybe I’m a hypocrite, it’s fine.

One day in March, coming off the bitter sting of a fresh rejection, I was IM-ing with my friend Kaci.

  • Nic: Ugh. Still not popular enough
  • Nic: How do I get more followers on Twitter???
  • Nic: Maybe I should just start harassing celebrities in hopes that they’ll retweet me?
  • Nic: Which ones, though?
  • Kaci: Celine
  • Kaci: obvi
  • Kaci: I need to start getting cats and committing to dying alone
  • Nic: That’s it!
  • Nic: I’ll ask Celine to adopt a cat with me

And then a monster was born.

1

RE: the whole “Aegean” thing: basically I just Googled “cat breeds” and then chose the one that I felt would read most elegantly within the context of a tweet to Celine Dion. But apparently my elegance didn’t matter, because Celine ignored me as if I were a creepy Internet weirdo or something.

But then! I figured out why:

2

Still nothing. So then I moved into the anger stage and was all, “Fuck Celine! I’ll branch out to… Martha Stewart.”

3 4

DROP G’S! I thought it was brilliant. But Martha clearly wasn’t amused, as she ignored me too, forcing me to wonder if maybe my Internet fame wouldn’t be best found through middle-aged divas (one musical, one domestic) catered to the daytime-TV-watching crowd, so I went after the Jonas Brothers.

5 6

BUT NO LUCK THERE. (On the kitten or the marriage.)

So then I went back to Celine in a final, desperate attempt to get her to at least adopt something with me, but for some reason by that point in the day I became an incoherent mess who required three tweets to finish a thought and close a set of parentheses:

7 8 9

Celine continued in her staunch dedication to not acknowledging that a crazy person was spamming her on Twitter, which made me frustrated.

Frazzled and feeling like if I didn’t get at least one celebrity retweet by day’s end that I’d NEVER GET PUBLISHED, LIKE, EVER, I proceeded to do this:

10

By the end of it all, I reviewed my timeline’s activity and felt highly, highly ashamed of myself. Who does shit like this? I wondered. This is pathetic and embarrassing.

But then my thoughts wandered into a more gratitude-y place — feeling relieved that, well, at least I didn’t have a hundred thousand followers watching.

 

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Sassy Gay Apologies: A Querying Disaster

So I wrote a book (think Eat, Pray, Love except less international and more riddled with penis references) and lately I’ve been doing this thing that writers have to do in order to get books published, which is query literary agents. It’s not as fun as actually writing books, but it’s like, “a necessary next step” or something, and so it must be done.

The good news? I have two ridiculously talented fellow authors, Julia and Steven, who are also in the throes (or soon to be in the throes) of the querying process to help guide me along the way.

I don’t know where to begin with Julia, but I guess I’ll start by saying that she is the best thing to ever happen to me as a writer—the woman has read not one, but two typo-ridden drafts of my manuscript. Her eye has been invaluable, providing no-nonsense feedback and always urging me to dig deeper. For example, in my earliest drafts, I’d write things like, “…and then I had sex with my ex-boyfriend after having been estranged for two years,” and she’d be all up in the margins like, Um. This is kind of a big deal. Explain?

Julia has helped me grow. And? She’s basically me. Except heterosexual and female and (only slightly) less profane. Read/follow/worship her here. Steven, meanwhile, is also basically me—except he has a boyfriend and harbors an inexplicable hatred toward (the goddess that is) Christina Aguilera. Read/follow/worship him here.

So, querying. The other day I was sending out some letters, infusing every line with equal parts positivity and personality (and absurdity, of course), when I impetuously hit Send on an e-mail to an agent whom, for the purposes of this blog post and the protection of her real identity, I will refer to as Natasha Toestor.

Why was this a big deal? Because I forgot to proofread and accidentally addressed the e-mail like this:

Dear Ms. Toaster,

…I know!

It was an instant debacle. My heart flipped and my palms moistened and I cried like Taylor Swift circa “Teardrops On My Guitar” as I watched my credibility with this agent disintegrate into the ruthless black hole that is Gmail’s lack of an “unsend” feature. (OMG, remember that function on AOL, though?)

Before making this heinous mistake, I had been chatting with Steven on Facebook in a separate window, so I promptly clicked over to get his advice—but of course Firefox froze and happened to be NOT fucking RESPONDING in that moment, and my panic escalated more quickly than you can say Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Meanwhile, Internet Explorer (where I had my Gmail window open) was functioning dangerously perfectly. So in a dramatic, hazy moment of desperation, I decided to frantically follow-up with Natasha on my own accord.

Here’s what that looked like:

Dear Ms. Toestor,

My sincerest apologies for misspelling your name the first time around! I’m sure it drives you crazy when writers make this (major) faux pas.

Nic

Then Firefox started working again.

  • Nic: OH
  • Nic: MY
  • Nic: GOD
  • Nic: I just queried an agent. Her name is Natasha Toestor. And I wrote in my query, “Dear Ms. Toaster.”
  • Steven: oh no
  • Nic: SO THEN
  • Steven: …
  • Nic: I MADE IT WORSE by sending an immediate follow-up

[Steven reads my apology email]

  • Steven: omg
  • Nic: I don’t know who I am
  • Steven: My entire life is
  • Steven: I just
  • Nic: WHAT DO I DO?!
  • Steven: I am experiencing ALL the emotions
  • Nic: I’m that guy
  • Nic: I’m THAT guy
  • Steven: I am laughing hysterically… I am cringing…
  • Nic: Should I send a third e-mail saying, “Dear Ms. Toestor – again, I’m so sorry”?
  • Nic: Should I have kept going in my original follow-up e-mail?
  • Nic: I’m so fucked
  • Nic: with her, at least
  • Nic: hello?
  • Nic: Oh well
  • Nic: Just gotta #KeepItMoving
  • Nic: #DearMsToaster
  • Steven: omg
  • Steven: please
  • Steven: stop

The next morning…

  • Nic: Twitter has just assaulted me
  • Nic: ASSAULTED
  • Steven: ?
  • Nic: my e-mail notification popped up, and I was all “Oh, an agent!”
  • Nic: but it was one of those Twitter suggestions e-mails, based on whom you’ve recently followed… and I kid you not, it was “Suggestions similar to Natasha Toestor”
  • Steven: OH MY GAWD
  • Nic: she is my demon
  • Steven: “Dear Ms. Toestor, My sincerest apologies for the misspelling of your name the first time around! I’m sure it must drive you crazy when authors make that (major) faux pas”
  • Steven: I’m STILL dying
  • Nic: and, by the way, the “sincerest” was in ITALICS
  • Nic: it’s almost like I was mocking her
  • Nic: like, “Oh I’m SO sorry, bitch”

[Author’s note: I swear, I wasn’t mocking her at all. That apology, with the italics and all, was just my honest-to-God knee-jerk reaction based on years of being a certified crazy person.]

  • Steven: LMAO
  • Steven: I’m dying
  • Steven: it wouldn’t be so funny if you didn’t SPAZ the fuck out and e-mail her right away with sassy gay apologies…
  • Nic: Sassy Gay Apologies! That is so the name of my next book.

So, yeah. That’s how good I am at querying.

Pray for me?

 

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