I still have her voicemail message on my phone.
Excited, cheerful, amazing. When I listened to it for the first time, a little part of me couldn't believe it and a really big part of me wanted to jump out of my car and do a happy dance in the parking garage! Someone read my book and called me ten minutes later to say she loved it!
Clearly, the stars had aligned.
I was also destined not to sleep for the next two nights from excitement.
A couple of days later, sleepy but still glowing, I listened to a friend tell me about an exciting job offer she had received. "I feel so lucky," she said.
"It's manufactured luck," I reminded her. She'd worked really hard to make it happen.
A lot of writing feels that way. A mix of hard work and luck.
Run the film back three years.
I longed to go to a Highlights Foundation workshop for a long time. Ten years, to be precise. It felt like an unearned luxury. Time away from home, the cost, the sheer decadance of spending so much time and energy on a dream, the excuses were easy to come by. Finally, no more excuses. I called it my DIY MFA, since I wasn't going to be able to do one of those for an even longer time, and buckled down to create my own way.
At the workshop, I made a friend who is funny, quirky, hilarious, sweet, and we stayed in touch, sharing the ups and downs of writing and life.
Roll the film foward. An agent walks into a store. She talks to the woman with the pile of picture books, the woman says "you need to talk to my friend," and next thing I know I'm getting an email: send her your book right now!
So I did.
And she asked for more.
And she read it all and called me.
Then I didn't sleep for two whole nights.
The best part, though, is knowing I didn't just find an agent. The perfect agent found me. I suppose it's a lot like making friends. You know what's important to you, you have lists and ideas, but when you meet someone and you really click, you just know it.
That's how I felt after our first call.
And the second one, too.
She gets my work, she's funny, she's thoughtful, smart, and I'm looking forward to whatever's next.
(I'm going to have to rename the Binder of No the Binder of Not Yet)
So, Molly, here's to our story!
(Originally published February 22, 2016)