No, not those foul yellow marshmallow candies shaped like chicks.
Yesterday as I was checking my email one more time before dashing out to get Lola from school I finally got a response from the agent who has had my manuscript since August. I had one of those bumpbump moments where everything except the squeezing of my heart stopped for a bit and I tried to decide whether or not to open it before leaving home. Then my true (impatient) nature returned to me along with my breath and I clicked on it. No go. The comments were kind and seemed genuine, but the agent apologized that, although she enjoyed the book, she didn't have the "conviction" to take the project on. It has taken me about 15 hours to fully appreciate this.
I was disappointed and somewhat at a loss, but decided to sit with it for a bit before making my next move. Well, at least my next tangible move. In the meantime, I've had an absolute hurricane of activity going on in my brain as I examine options surreptitiously while pretending not to. Even to myself.
Fortunately, I had an early morning breakfast to look forward to. The Women's Funding Alliance held their annual fundraising event and there were so many reasons I was supposed to be there that I went.
- Kathy LeMay was the featured speaker and at the time that the breakfast was publicized, I had just completed a book review for Feminist Review that contained an essay written by her on philanthropy. (The book is called "Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart" - it is fantastic and inspiring and uplifting. My review is here.)
- So many of the local organizations that I support are funded by grants from the Women's Funding Alliance, and I am all for streamlining my efforts, so the fact that there is an umbrella organization that is passionate about supporting the same things that I do in lots of different ways is immeasurably cool.
- My sister-in-law, who is plugged in to all things "Strong Women" invited me.
- It offered a morning off from dragging reluctant (ha!) children from their beds, force feeding them protein, stuffing lunchboxes full of snacks and assortments of healthy foods as well as those they will actually eat, and ushering them off to school. Bubba didn't so much 'offer' to do it as show up when ordered to do it.
So, I went. And I was awed. Inspired. Reminded why I wrote the book I wrote and what I want it to stand for. I watched a group of 30 or so teenage girls get up on stage and tap dance at 7:30 to Aretha just to pump up the crowd. I listened and was moved to tears by women who are committed to creating a world where girls and women can express themselves, trust their own instincts, follow their dreams, believe in themselves, and live safely and without bias.
I am reconsidering. If my goal is truly to get this message out, then maybe I need to just do it. Perhaps pitching the stories in my book as a series of articles in the local women's magazine would work. Maybe I beat down the doors of some local, progressive publishing houses and tell them why I love this book so much. I don't know. But I do know that I've been reminded who my "peeps" are and I'm grateful to that agent for knowing that what she needed in order to represent me and my book was conviction. I don't want anyone working on my behalf that isn't excited about this book and the way it gives voice to so many women.
*You can read a little about my project here. I will post about it more in the days to come.