Happy holidays to friends, family and blog readers anonymous!
I remember thinking last year at this time, “OMG, this is the year I’m going to get an agent. This is the year I’m going to publish my book!”
What a naïve newbie.
Here’s a limerick to summarize it all:
There once was an author in waiting
Whose disappointments left her debating
The book’s great! No it’s not!
Should she stick it out or just stop?
Success will not come if she just sits around crying in her tea (or is it Mexican hot cocoa?)!
Okay, I sort of ruined the traditional rhythm of a limerick. But it’s true. Being a bump on a log is not a strategy for goal attainment. So, I’ve sent the manuscript to a professional editor for review and will start sending queries to agents again in January.
And, I wrote the first chapter of my next book which was a blast! The working title is Call Girl – about a new mom, stressed about balancing life with a new baby and her job as Call Center Supervisor at a daily newspaper in the Pacific Northwest. It will be a total and complete departure from my middle grade historical fiction (read on and you will understand). Some will come from personal experience and plenty will totally fabricated. Here’s a sampling of the first chapter titled:
My prostrate body and specifically, my ass, more than covered the empty bedpan. Fusion jazz played softly in the background, and the monitors whirred and blinked. My husband, Charlie, looked at me expectantly. The pretty young nurse with the bouncy blonde ponytail raised her eyebrows, sucked in her lower lip and held her breath.
Never was there a more anticipated BM.
“I can’t go,” I announced. Nurse Cheerful exhaled and patted my arm as if to comfort me, because, I failed her most basic instruction to poop in a pot. I was a BM-less pregnant cow.
“Here comes another contraction” I moaned.
“Breathe Missus Marelli-Lindstrom, breathe!” Nurse Perfectly-White-Teeth directed.
“I feel like I need to go again. What is going on here?”
“Ohhhh! I know what’s going on now,” Nurse Cute-as-a-Button-Dimples-Including-One-in-her-Chin lifted her dainty finger. “It’s not a bowel movement at all, it’s the baby! Every time you have a contraction, it pushes the baby downward, putting pressure on the rectum.”
“So I’m having a baby from my butt?” I gritted my teeth as the wave of pain crested.
“Oh no, Missus Marelli-Lindstrom! It’s back labor. Most babies come out with their faces down, but yours is sunny side up. That’s what’s causing your low back pain.”
“Are you sure it’s a baby? Maybe I’m just constipated,” I smiled weakly.
“Constipated for nine months, Julia? Come on now, that makes no sense,” my brilliant husband schooled me.
“It was a jo….jo…Oh God!” The pain rolled in like a tidal wave.
“It was a what?” Charlie asked. “A jo? What’s a jo?”
“Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” I shrieked. “Turn off that stupid music, Charlie,” I hissed.
“They told us in birthing class to make a tape with soothing music as part of her labor plan,” Charlie told Nurse Tiny-Waist-with-Pert-Pear-Sized-Boobs.
“Just turn it off!” Why was sperm-donor-man-and-the-reason-for-my-misery making nicey-nice with that woman?
“I can understand why you’re feeling grumpy. It’s perfectly normal when you’re in pain, and it has been, oh, let me see,” she looked at her Mickey Mouse watch, “seventeen hours since you started,” Nurse Crusin-for-a-Bruisin observed. “Let’s see how far you’ve progressed, shall we?” she said as she put her adorable face between my cold, purplish-looking, stirruped legs.
I was raised by Italian parents, highly protective of my femaleness (Cover up Julia! But I am covered up. No, cover up your neck. There’s too much neck showing!), but I lost all sense of modesty when my doctors started putting their fingers in my girl-hole at the pregnancy check-ups. And being that it was a training hospital, sometimes one doctor fingered my hoo-hah while an intern watched.
Nine pound, twenty one and a half inch Charles Arthur Lindstrom III was born at 9:45 pm on April 4, 1988. Since we didn’t need another Charlie or Charles in the family, and this baby was Charles Lindstrom “the third”, and “3” is “tre” in Italian, we decided to call him Trey. Trey Lindstrom, a perfect blend of my Italian heritage and Charlie’s Swedish maternal side, or Swetalian as we liked to say. Or Italidish. Full head of dark brown hair, long fingers, pudgy cheeks, giant grayish-sure-to-turn-brown eyes. In short, he was perfect. How could an egg the thickness of a strand of hair and a sperm, twenty five thousand times smaller than a ping pong ball meet up on such a chance occasion and make this miraculous being?