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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Never Give Up

The Spice Girls is where the headline came from today. Am I a fan? Um... not exactly. I consider myself a member of the band. My stage name, Old Spice. The meaning of the headline today is what is really important. And no, The Spice Girls did not inspire me. Ever.

My book proposal is done, mailed, sent, no looking or turning back. I obsessed over that like crazy. I even had a mini argument with myself about which direction to place the contents into the envelope. Aimee helped me and kept me from losing my mind entirely.

I even went as far as sending it next day delivery so I wouldn't have any desire to lower one of my kids by their ankles into the big blue mail box on the corner to pull it out in the event I changed my mind. It is a weird form of stage fright or something. I feel really nervous knowing that a real live agent is reading my shit and judging me.

Just about the time I stopped mentally obsessing, and accepted the fact that this agent said she was interested and asked me to send her this proposal, and it was out of my hands, I got this in my inbox, "Dear Lois, Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately we are going to pass on the project. We appreciate you considering our agency and wish you the best of luck in your search for representation."

I get turned down all of the time and have pretty thick skin. I think the wording of her letter before this is what made me real feel like I'd nailed her down. This "no" was the first to ever really bother me. It was more like a kick in the kinish with steel-tipped cowboy boots.

So I was talking to my kids this morning, telling them the not so great news. They are such cool kids. Both were full of praise and reassurance. It's funny to get that from children and not feel like you're in a weird role reversal.

Lane 1 said, "Why is this bothering you so much? There's other people who are smarter than that dumb broad. Just keep trying Ma."

"I will keep trying buddy. I guess it's like studying really hard for a test. You're sitting in class writing the best essay of your life. You think you teacher is going to not only be impressed but you're pretty sure there is an A+ and gold star in your future. When you get your graded test back, you see an F- in big icky red marker."

"Oh, dude! That would so totally stink man! Dang Ma. I'm sorry."

Lane 2 chimed in, "You know Mom, sometimes teachers are just mean. They are all nicey nice when other teachers are in the classroom or when parents come, but when they have you alone they are just rude and mean. Not all teachers are like that. You'll find some agent who isn't a big meanie."

So the search continues. This time, no matter what they claim in their first contact or second or third, I'm not going to get roped in and become so hopeful that I set myself up for another potential fall. I'll be ready for all of the kinish kicking, dumb broads and the big meanies in Secret Agent Land.

I love my kids. They kissed my boo-boo, cleaned it, put medicine (that doesn't sting) on it and bandaged me up to send me back outside to try again. But this time, they made sure I had my helmet on.

Mr. Lane worries about me. He thinks I am too deep into, and too obsessed with the writing thing. That's what he calls it, the writing thing. He doesn't know about the turn down letter yet. He's on the road, taking one last trip with his father to California. I'll tell him when he comes back in a couple of weeks.

Every time he sees me get a rejection from a query letter or partial manuscript, he always says the same thing. "Lo, it's not who you know. It's who you blow."

His lack of confidence in me is annoying at best. But just in case he is right, maybe I'll add knee pads to go along with my helmet.

I tossed my hat in the ring to syndicate Home Fires. That also is stamped and sent with no looking back. It can take up to eight weeks to get a response, according to their website. I'm not obsessing over that one. I refuse. That is just too long of a time to hold my breath, so I soldier on and keep sending shit all over the place until the right answer comes along.

Hoss helped me tremendously with the submission. He is also the world's best cheerleader! He not only helped me choose what to submit, which took a whole day, he also compared me to some of the greatest humor writers of all time.

Here is a man who just lost his wife, taking hours upon hours out of his time for me. I can't begin to tell you how much that means to me. I have no idea what I did to deserve his kindness, but I'm sure as hell thankful for it.

As the end of the family business particulars unfold, my old man closed our cell phone account. So if you are one of those select few that have my cell number, it isn't going to be in service as of today.