For two years, my children ate pasta so frequently that they would periodically burst out into long strings of Italian in the middle of the night.
For a lot of that time, we had almost full-time nanny help. We were paying someone else to care for our boys, even though I was not bringing in an income.
When we did not have help, I got up early or stayed up late. I took full advantage of nap times. I stole away on weekends. Even while we were moving and in temporary housing, I kept on at it.
We did it all in service of the dream. We could picture that book. J believed it would happen even more than I did, because if I brought my head up too long to think about it, I would get too distracted to write.
I landed an agent over a year ago. A good agent with a track record and excellent editorial insights. She and I have been working closely to get the book in shape. In September, the same week I gave birth to Lilah, she began pitching the manuscript.
We came close several times. People would read it three times before rejecting it. But, ultimately, they all rejected it. So, I revised in December because there were more people to send it to in the new year. I revised with one hand while breastfeeding with the other, and the book was, even in the author’s eyes, good.
But, my agent has not been pitching it. Not because she doesn’t believe in it or because she is a negligent person. There is nowhere to pitch it. Publishing houses are folding. Those who are in good financial positions did not get there by buying depressing books written by unknown authors at the onset of a depression. No one wants dark books right now except the British, and the UK publishing industry is collapsing.
So, we talked last week, and she is shelving the book. She says she’ll try again this summer if things look less bleak. But it is hard not to feel like Molly Ringwald yelling “What about prom?”
And it is mighty hard to remember that Chekov also probably couldn’t have gotten published in this climate. Because I know Chekov is a good writer, and I have no validation (other than your generosity) that I am.
We are all relatively healthy. We still have our home. There is still an income coming in. (Did you just hear me knock wood three times?) And, although it is taking all the false belief in myself that I can muster, I am starting in on another project.