Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why I Did It--Part the fourth

So now we're to the part that is hard for me to write about. I do not like remembering any of this. I do not like trying to remember it well enough to drop it into chronological order. I don't like the obvious insanity, or the not obvious insanity. I DO NOT LIKE THIS PART OF MY LIFE. 

And yet if I were given a "redo" button, I'd do it again. Because this was absolutely something that needed to happen. Because life.

Also: DREAM AGENT was and is forever awesome. This is not a slam against agents in general or them in particular. 


The first problem with the April Incident, ironically enough, was getting the money.

I had a week to get it together, and I was absolutely positive that I'd have my income tax check well before then.

Yeah, let's just say a quick google ended that right quick.

So now I turned to my Dad and asked if he could make good on his promise of getting the money through.

He hesitated.

This was not a good sign. There was a long, long history of "OH SURE SWEETHEARTS" that all eventually ended in pain and tears and little else. And this was the most important "oh sure sweetheart" I'd ever had.

Panic set in.

I will spare you the melodrama (too late!) but to sum it up, if anything could go wrong when I wanted something, it would. I was (and still am) not used to good things happening and working. Something, I was sure, was going to go wrong. And it would be all my fault when it did.

This was it, you see. This was my miracle. My whole life I'd seen it happen for other people. That promotion, or the missed flight that crashed, or the random check when you Really Really Need It. And this was mine. I had failed the year before, there was utterly no reason for me to have been successful this year, so now something would go wrong. Something had to go wrong. For some reason, I had to fail at this. Because that's just who I was. Good things just don't happen to me. 

But I reminded myself that only that Sunday I'd been told that this wasn't a test of me anymore. This was a test of God. And that meant it would work out. I would get that money. And finally, finally, finally, not just any agent but THE agent, MY DREAM AGENT, was going to read my book from cover to cover. And then everything I wanted would come true. Because God wouldn't let it get that far without going all the way. He wouldn't. He didn't do things like that.

And so I prayed. And prayed. And prayed. And while I was praying I called my dad. I priced how much my tablet would pawn for ("shit" was the general consensus). I talked to an aunt about loaning me money. I talked to my mom and we pooled resources. I called my dad again. I began researching short term loans. I thought about asking my boss for a loan. Mom and I realized that we could do it--barely--if my aunt could come through with part of it. I began to believe that maybe, just maybe, this all might work.

And then my dad showed up with all the money.

 All of it.

I don't know what he did, and I will never ask. This was the time for him to come through, and that was something that usually ended in failure, and THIS time it worked. This felt like rolling all sevens. After promising to pay him back once the income tax check came in (Which I did) I sent the money to the charity auction, and then sent my information and my manuscript to the person who would then send it to Dream Agent.

I was not profoundly happy. I was in a state beyond happy. I was in a state of full glow. None of that should have happened. I should not have won the auction. I should not have gotten the money. Things like that just did not happen to me. If just one thing had gone wrong, the way things usually go, everything would have fallen apart. But it hadn't. For the first time in my life everything had come through beautifully. I was thrilled. It was my very first miracle. Oh, it wasn't done yet but when it was, everything would come true.

The agent, I was told, would probably get back to me sometime in May. I thanked the contact and prepped for my first real vacation in a year. The restaurant where I worked would be closed until Memorial day weekend, so my boss could go to South America and relax. My mother and I would be traveling to Waco to visit my grandparents. We went. It was the first time in two years I felt really happy and really relaxed. I tried to remind myself that things could go wrong, but that little voice inside of me said "Would He have brought you this far if it were going to fall apart later?" and I couldn't shake it. My hopes were up. They were up so far I didn't think I could ever get them back down...and I didn't care. Because this was my miracle, and miracles never end badly.

I probably should have read my own fucking book.

Two days into vacation I got the e-mail from Dream Agent. I couldn't open it. I made my mom get into our rental car and drive me around half of Waco until I felt steady enough to read the e-mail. I reminded myself of all the things that had worked along the way. I reminded myself of all the things that usually went wrong once I got involved.

I opened the e-mail.

The Dream Agent hated my manuscript.

They saw no value in my writing.

They recommended that the novel be trunked. All of it, of course, was coached in that wonderful positive double-speak people use when they are trying oh-so-very hard not to hurt your feelings.

And in reality, it wouldn't have mattered what the Dream Agent had said. It was negative. It meant that the miracle, my miracle, the thing I had thought was impossible, that I had thought I had finally gotten, had turned out to be nothing at all.

1 comment:

  1. No value? None at all? Was this agent totally nuts?

    Wow. I mean, wow.

    You have a decent grasp of grammar and sentence structure and spelling, which automatically gives you a leg up on a lot of people (well, it does). So right there I see value.

    As for the story of that particular book, maybe not. Maybe it wasn't the Agent's cup of tea -- that happens. Maybe it had every cliche in the world (first books often do).

    But I'd have given you props for being competent and told you that this novel maybe should be trunked, but you should keep going.

    But that's me.