This morning I did what you might consider a terrible thing.

I was cleaning house, after a tearful episode with Jack in which he asked me point blank how I could spend so much time on the Internet surrounded by piles of newspapers and dirty clothes and cat litter and yada yada yada. It was the moment that I reluctantly confronted my status change from powerful media figure (ha ha) to ordinary stay-at-home mom, and how unimportant I felt doing housework. Once I dried my tears and took out the garbage I realized how good I feel when the house is clean, but while I was clearing off my desk I came across a pile of query letters I'd brought home to review before I lost my job. Several people had written to pitch articles, and here were all their ideas, with SASE, waiting for a reply, some of them since October. And you know what I did with them all?

I threw them out.

If there's one thing I've learned about proposing stories to magazines, it's that half the time you don't get a response for several months, if you get one at all, and it's the people who follow up and bug you relentlessly that get published, often simply to get them off your back.

So I've put my karma at stake once again, but the hard truth of it is, if these people haven't already called or written the magazine to ask about the status of their queries, they don't deserve to get their stories printed anyway.

Boo! Hiss!