Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dear Reviewer,

Dear Reviewer,

It's only been a few weeks since we last wrote, and we've been talking on and off for a little while now, but I feel like I hardly know you. The space between us is so vast, sometimes I wonder whether our inter-continental attempts to communicate are lost. Your cut and paste letters arrive in my mailbox, dog-eared from forwarding and labeled with a baffling cipher. Even so, seeing the message awaiting my expectant eyes causes my heart to skip a beat. You surprise me every time - always waiting until I've almost forgotten about you to postmark your note. This roller coaster can't be healthy can it? I want to get on the page, reviewer. Help me to be on the same page as you.

When it comes down to it, you and I share a love. You know who I speak of. Beauty and Truth are her nicknames. Maybe you've had a few spats with her, too. For me, every time we make up and move on, she becomes more important to my life. I know I am just one small tool in her quest, but us together, my friend? We empower her! Without yours and my relationship, dear reviewer, she has no legs, no foundation. Her name means to split, to cleave; she is knowledge.

I don't mean to tell you how to be in this relationship. After all, I am many years your junior. Still in the cradle, really. And you! Where to begin? You have everything that I aspire to. The big house, the sweet toys, dutiful admirers... But think about when you were in my shoes. You know: with your name out in front. What was it that you needed from your young flings?

Do you feel the connection between us? You've already taught me a thing or two about life. But I have to admit: I want more out of our relationship. I'm going to make this easy for you. I want you to understand me in little chunks, so I am going to use that mainstay of my generation: the bulleted list.
  • You would really help me out if you could write to me in paragraphs. Heck, I'd even take numbered lists. But a single long paragraph makes it hard for me to see you amidst the debris. It's like you don't have time for me or something.
  • I've spent many sleepless nights of internal debate musing meaning, tense and commas; I get dressed up for you (but don't use too much makeup, just how you like); I even show you some of my vulnerabilities - the least you could do is use a spell checker. It would make what you write so much sweeter.
  • You talk about yourself too much. Sometimes it's like you didn't even listen to me! I know that J. Doe et al did groundbreaking work. That's why I referenced two of their papers. You want another one referenced? I can do that for you. That's how much you mean to me.
  • I sit at home reading every word of your letters. Take for example the time you said I looked like I was stained with weak grape juice. That really hurt. But I got through it. Acting on the wisdom of your comment, I actually made a discovery. (See figure below. Click to enlarge.) I never did hear what you thought about it. Am I to take this as an answer? Maybe we should both put this behind us.

  • Why do you have to be so schizophrenic? First you love me. Then you hate me. Then you think you might go to a movie with me, but just as friends. What gives?
Please don't take offense to these comments and questions. It's just that I don't want you to be like my past reviewers. They seemed like mere flings compared to you. I feel like you and I have a special connection. We have the potential for real growth. If this doesn't work out between us, I just don't know if I can take any more rejection. I might have to turn away from it all. Maybe I'll take a vow of abstinence. You know as well as any how that may turn out badly.

Sincerely,

The Author

4 comments:

gecko said...

Does this post indicate that you've gotten comments back on a manuscript?? Which one? I'm interested to hear the verdict.

Hope all is well out there in Eastern WA.

DrugMonkey said...

LOL, Thomas! Flag this one for your "best of" collection...

thomas said...

The review elicited a particularly interesting negative response. (There were two other receptive critiques.)

Drugmonkey said...

Congrats holmes!!!!
http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2009/01/the_open_laboratory_2008_and_t.php