Kwality Writing

thnic grocery stores are hit and miss. Asian supermarkets, whatever you call them. Those specialty food stores in the neighbourhoods suburban white people don’t usually slow down in. They don’t exactly cater to the mainstream. Or follow the same refrigeration maintenance regulations as your local mega mart.

I know all the ethnic grocery stores in my city. Because I buy a lot of weird shit. And you have to experience each one to sort out the good from the sketch.

At the good specialty store– I’m gonna switch to specialty store; the ethnic thing is starting to make me uncomfortable. At the good specialty store you find amazing culinary surprises that you’d never in a million years find in even the most well stocked specialty section of your local franchise supermarket.

At the last bad specialty store I was in, I found maggots. They were writhing around in the packaged nuts. What’s that old joke: What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm. Cut your losses. Put down basket. Walk calmly out of store. Never return. Count yourself lucky it was before checkout.

It was at a place called “Kwality Market”. The place has been there for as long as I can remember. Somehow it does business. Enough people are okay with maggoty nuts for this place to remain open. You’d think that after so many years, the place would have to be quality; with a Q!

Now when Wife and I refer to something that should be good but is of inferior quality we refer to it as “Kwality with a K”.

“I thought this rocking chair was going to be great but it collapsed as soon as I sat down. That shit was kwality with a “k”.”

Periodically I receive query letters. Because I produced many of my own projects in the past, it seems my contact information has gotten onto some lists. Lists of producers or production companies that writers (not unlike myself) use to query their scripts.

A couple years ago, while still querying on a daily basis myself, I received my first script query from this writer we’ll call Scotty. Scotty had accomplished a lot. According to IMDB he already had a couple scripts produced. He’d won awards. His query letter, however, was the exact opposite of what I’d argue is the effective way to query.

The subject line was a mess. The email itself was extremely long winded. As was his logline. What’s more is his script sounded just terrible; some hackey cheerleader slasher thing. And he was clearly using an impersonal mailing list spammer. With a half-assed list, no less.

But he’d been produced… I couldn’t fault that. He was obviously unrepresented. Maybe he’d just fallen through the cracks. Who knows. I moved on and forgot about him.

… Until he queried me again. And again. Every six months or so. The latest hit my inbox just this week. The same rambling query letters. And his beyond the pale story ideas.

But this time I noticed something. Scotty’s list of accomplishments just gets long and longer. In this latest letter the script he was pitching last time and the time before that have both been optioned. Somebody had apparently optioned that hackey cheerleader slasher thing.

Now an option can mean a few things. Many options are what are called dollar options. Agreements signed for the token sum of $1 to see if the project can get off the ground. Mostly they don’t.

I wouldn’t want to assume anything about Scotty. Not saying his options weren’t legit. But he’s still querying like crazy which would suggest his phone isn’t exactly ringing off the hook.

The whole thing got me intrigued. I researched the producers responsible for these options. Found a whole world of B-movie producers with dozens of credits. It really seems like people are in fact responding to Scotty’s query letters. This doesn’t tell me if Scotty’s on his way or not, but he’s obviously getting reads.


For years.

Off these really terrible, kwality with a “k” ideas.

Scotty’s the old specialty market that’s been there forever. Everything about it seems wrong. There doesn’t seem to be any way this place can still be open after all these years – maggots, I’m telling you – and yet there it is.

Kwality Market.

It’s not for me, but to hell with my opinion: Somebody’s buying.


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