My book may or may not be sick, but a diagnosis is required, so I've called in a book doctor. Hooray for refinancing the mortgage, which frees up some bucks for this expenditure.
This literary effort of mine will soon be declared dead or alive by the sentries at the publishing gates, the literary agents who will sit in judgment on my words. My engagement of a professional editor to critique my work before I send it out to agents (for the third or fourth time) is either evidence of my confidence (it's worth investing in) or total lack thereof (Help!!!) I turned to Grub Street, a writers' organization in Boston, which offers critiques by several area writers and teachers. I'm asked to choose the two readers I like best. I linger over the bio of Semi-Famous Writer With Movie Connections. But her interests aren't a great fit with my work, so I move on, finally selecting two candidates.
I hear back about three days later. I've been assigned an editor I'll call Amy. A day later, Amy sends me an email telling me she'll start reading that day, and hopes to have my critique (three written pages and an in-person meeting is what I'm paying for) by the end of December, and possibly before Christmas. I'm tempted to find out where Amy lives so I can go over to her house and smash her TV so she'll be forced to do nothing but read my novel and write thoughtful, helpful comments about it for the next few weeks, but I manage to talk myself out of it.