There are two kinds of people in the world. The first kind is looking at the title of this blog and going, "What call?"
The other kind of people are going, "YOU GOT THE CALL?!??!?!?!!"
So, for those people not familiar with Writer-ese, The Call is when you are signed by an agent. Usually, a productive step toward publication of your writing.
In other words, someone else in this world besides the author (that would be me in this case) and their mother (Hi, Mom!) agrees that you write great stuff. Validation - and proof that it's not all in your head!
So, here's how my birthday went. Yes, you read correctly, my birthday.
Jake the Three-Legged Wonder Wiener woke me up at 5:15. And since the Agent had said she was going to call between 12 and 1, I knew I wouldn't get back to sleep.
So, at 5:30 in the morning - on my birthday - I was scrubbing a bathroom. You could say I had a little nervous energy to burn through. I also put away two loads of clean dishes, wiped down the kitchen, and removed a layer of grime two inches thick from the washer and dryer top.
Yes, that's right. By 5:45 in the morning, I was washing the washer. Inner peace.
After my guys got up, we did the breakfast-dressed-open a present because it's my birthday-out the door thing. I hit the gym, walked my tush off, and came home to laundry.
Tip: Scrubbing a bathroom is enough to distract your mind. Laundry isn't.
I think I managed to edit all of five words in the bull riding book. I moved a rug, did more laundry, showered, and took my dog for a walk. The whole time, I was talking to myself. The neighborhood no doubt thinks I'm even more insane than normal, but I looked at the scheduled Call as a Job Interview - and I hate being unprepared. And being unprepared means being nervous.
I tried to eat lunch. It didn't go very well.
As the clock zeroed in on noon, I began to panic - in the have-a-heart-attack kind of way. So I sang my "Happy Energetic Mood Music" song list as loud as I could, danced around, instant messaged my sister, and played more solitare. All at the same time.
And by the time the phone rang at 12:12, I was calm.
I had a great talk with the Agent. (I'll tell you who she is as soon as the official signing of the contracts is completed.) Did you know that I hire all the contractors who work on our house based on 'vibes'? Yes, I know it's a totally nuts new-age concept, but it's true.
The Agent has excellent vibes. She seemed to get my (slightly nervous) sense of humor; I thought she was easy to talk to, and - this is the very (damn) important point - she loved the Noseless Cowboy book, aka A Part of Her.
How much? Like "I usually do a line edit (read with pencil in hand to mark errors, you non-writer people!) but I was so engrossed with the story, and I wanted to make sure I signed you before anyone else did - I thought, I can do that later!" That much.
To be clear, not even my mother has said something that effusive.
So, she loved my work. She thought the book that I wrote after that sounded interesting - especially after I mentioned that that book (Remember the world's worst title? Warrior, Lawyer? That one.) had just finaled in the Chicago RWA North Fire and Ice writing contest in the Single Title category (one of three finalists!)
She loved the premise for the bull riding book. She laughed when I explained the book after the bull riding book would be a carnivore v. vegetarian, jock v. nerd, red blooded American male v. bleeding heart liberal set up.
In her follow-up email, she said, and I quote,
"I am thrilled with your answers about your willingness to revise your work, your super-fast writing pace, your creative and fresh ideas for plots and characters, your commitment to writing contemporary western romance novels and just your bubbly personality in general. . . I believe wholeheartedly that your work is sellable and that there is an audience for your writing."
So, you know what that means.
I have an agent.
It was one of the more exciting birthdays I've ever had.