It was the kind of call I'd been hoping and hoping for. She thought the revision was "amazing," the voice, "beautiful," the writing, "rich and deep."
I had to work for it. A few months ago, this agent had given me three big suggestions: make the story seem like it could or could not have actually happened, flush out the male characters and their subplots, make another stab at the overall metaphor. Then see if a new conclusion wrote itself.
And while she was suggesting, (and I was scribbling down every word,) I agreed with everything. The ideas were already flowing.
"Did she tell you to write a new introduction?" my husband asked sceptically.
"No," I told him.
But once I unravelled the whole end, I had to do the beginning over. (I know you know exactly what I mean.)
It was a lot of work. A lot. Hours and hours and hours and hours over days and days and days. While my students' research papers on terrorism were pouring in. While my boys had Fifth Disease. While Daney went on field trips.
I cried to my writing partner, Anjie. "I'm not living," I told her. "This story, it's all I can think about. I'm not a good mom."
"Stay with it," she told me. "Stay in the zone. If you feel the story, you have to go where it takes you."
My kids were understanding. And after a couple months, I was back in Starbucks with my incredible writing group, sharing the last five pages.
I love this agent. I love her. She knew this revision took hours and hours and hours and hours over days and days and days. I confessed that I was able to do it because my unbelievably supportive husband fed me. And shoved me out into the rain to take walks. And started the shower for me when I came back sopping wet and frozen, but ready to write some more.
I love this agent because she gets us writers. Because she says she loves my work. Because she was so right about all those suggestions. Because on top of all that awesomeness, she's a good person.
So there is That Call. From New York City. At six AM.
And it takes everything I'd ever heard it does. Tenacity. Revision. Hard work. Querying.
It takes a lot of patience.
But I promise, That Call is so worth every speck of waiting.
FALL 2015 TOUR
1 year ago