Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I thought the call would never come.

It was like being 14 and covered in acne smothered in Clearasil as I waited and the phone never rang. I’d check the mail daily and huge envelopes, the very ones I’d used to submit my wonderful future Academy-Award winning novel, were empty.

Except for a letter.

“We regret to inform you that your novel, ‘Heartbone’ is lovely and all that good jazz but certainly not suitable for our current list. Agents’ opinions are, indeed, subjective so we wish you all the best in finding eager and enthusiastic representation for your work. All Best.”

Oh, how I HATE to see that stupid-ass phrase, All Best, at the end of every piece of correspondence from New Yawk’s finest.

After spending most of my future-plastic surgery money on postage, I gave up finding an agent and decided I’d have better luck at reproduction.

No such deal. Why, one day I had to cart my former husband’s spermies to the fertility clinic. I tucked the plastic jar of “swimmers” in my little red coat pocket and demurely handed it to the nice nurse.

After a few months of my having quit writing and my husband changing over to boxers (to free up more sperm from suffocation deaths caused by briefs), we conceived.
I quit writing and begin non-stop eating, discovering the most successful career and most rewarding of the time. Buffets were my Pulitzers. Desserts my Golden Globes for “Best Original Screenplay,” or better yet, best Chocolate Molten Lava.

After my son, now 16 and a golfer-slash-juvenile delinquent, was born weighing 6 pounds while I’d gained 60, I decided to dust off my brain and start writing again.

What else does one do at 4 a.m. with her boobs hanging out and draining milk?

I promised myself a page a day. That way, in a year, I’d have my novel. At least the shitty first draft.

Long story short, snail mail was losing its edge and more agents would accept stuff through e-mail.

I compiled a fairly long list of agents, maybe 12, and sent them brazen queries.
I got quite a few of those crappy “All Best,” form letters and THEN…

Ding, ding, ding. The call.

It was Ethan Ellenberg with a great reputation and offices on Broadway in New York.

“I love this,” he said. “I predict it will go to auction.” Stars swam in my eyes along with dollar signs.

Honey, I signed on the line quicker than a ‘ho takes off her knickers. However, sad to say, my wonderful novel (I think it was called The Recycled Virgin) collected more rejections than I can count.

Not to be defeated, I gave up on fiction and tried humorous essays along the lines of my dear friends Celia Rivenbark and Laurie Notaro. Boom! My agent and I managed a hit, and I got another call, this one from a pretty big New York publisher telling me to break open the champagne.

We ended up doing three books – Ethan, Kensington and me. And then it was over.

We all broke up like adults, only I was left a blathering, crying mess.

“I have no agent,” I screamed. “I’m a loser. A has-been. I’m going to get a job now as a hooker at Croaker’s Rest Home.”

Other writers, kind souls we all are, came to my rescue, suggesting other agents.

And that’s how I got the call from Holly Root with Waxman in New York.
Poor Holly. She has my new novel, “Chimes from a Cracked Southern Belle,” which is getting tons of GLOWING praise AND REJECTIONS.

Also, it’s garnered quite a few “All Best’s.”

Susan Reinhardt is a humorist and public speaker. She is a columnist and author of three books, hoping to sell a fourth. Her website is www.susanreinhardt.com To watch her video shows, go to www.citizen-times.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your are always SOOOO funny. I love reading your essays.