I will spiff up the book and get it to my agent, how I love her, how I love her, by next Friday. Of course I will get to her sooner. Then she will send it out the week of the 14th. Today, she will get back to me about the title. We narrowed it down to two, with a couple of almosts.
I got the endorsements I needed. The door is cracked. I would say “open” but I believe in jinxing.
And I know now what to reasonably except. The book is not going to be a bestseller. It is not that kind of book. I already knew this but the thought of that happening was terrifying me so much that I discussed it with my agent. If we hit things just right toss it to just the right editor, we may get a good advance. Then hope that, if it gets published, it gets nominated for literary awards. It is that kind of book.
This comes as a great relief to me. I’ve always dreamed of having a bestselling book, but the thought of that actually happening is mortifying. I just want to go crawl into an old black boot, a very Godot boot, and turn in my consciousness for a big blackness that never stops. Which would maybe feel a little like being dead. Forever breathing dank leather. Okay, maybe not. Maybe rather an old steel-toed Sears & Roebuck boot from ninety-seventy-two. My daddy is slipping it onto his left foot. He stands up, Mama hands him his lunch box and thermos, and he’s out the door. I’ll crawl into the daddy boot instead. And put my hands over my ears.
So now that that’s taken care of, now that I can quit hoping/dreading the big time best-case scenario, I feel clean and clear. I have a good feeling about this. Not the please please please please please feeling I had waiting on New England Review to get back to me with a yes, but a, dare I speak it it so stinks so horrible, a GROWN-UP mature sense of yes, I’ve worked hard. No, I am not twenty-five. Or thirty-five. Or forty-five. But I am good. I’m not the best, but I am very very good. And it took me years to get here.
So the next few days I will polish the thing, and do it gingerly. If I let myself tweak too much I will push the prose too far into verse. That is the danger.
Then I will turn it over to the agent.
And try not to think about it.
Perhaps a wee word into God’s ear whom I am sure doesn’t care one witty shitty shit about my book even though he is included in it all over the place.
But then again, he does like me very much.