Hello, wonderful friends. No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. And I haven’t abandoned you. In the last two weeks, in addition to stuffing my face with any food that has the word “sugar” listed as one of its top two ingredients, I have been super duper busy putting the finishing touches on a book proposal, which I completed and emailed to my agent yesterday. Talk about feeling great. Or good. Well, scared shitless, actually.
To be honest, I’m not sure I can even call her my agent yet, since nothing has happened with the book proposal other than it is now in her inbox. She hasn’t told me if she likes it. Or if she sees it becoming a book whose author needs the representation typically provided by an agent. So I guess instead we should call her the lady who might become my agent if the thing I’ve created as a proposal becomes elongated into something called a book.
I got so excited yesterday after I completed the proposal that I took the photo below using my laptop and posted it on Facebook while hubby and his parents watched the movie Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. They didn’t notice the twenty flashes (I always take that many photos before I find one I don't entirely dislike), perhaps because the movie was so engrossing. I wouldn’t know, because if I watch anything on a screen that's more dramatic than Dirty Dancing I’ll have nightmares for days. I did hear Emily Blunt’s voice, though, and it sounded very nice.
I publish the photo on Facebook, along with this caption. "Done. Book proposal submitted. Whether the agent will actually like it is a whole different ballgame. Let the wine drinking begin."
Before I know it, about hundred people on my page have liked the update and photo and have offered their congratulations. This made me feel bad for two reasons. The first is that they probably think I actually wrote an entire book instead of just a synopsis, a first chapter and an outline of all the rest of the chapters. I wonder if I should clarify and decide that would be weird. The second problem is that now if my “almost agent” doesn't like what I’ve written I have to go back to all those people, now numbering 148, and tell them I’m a complete and utter failure. And that doesn’t seem like a whole lot of fun.
So now I wait and think about important things, like how my hair isn't growing out very nicely or how I’ve eaten chocolate ice cream and a chocolate chip cookie every day at lunch for the last week. Or how my first cousin’s wife passed away today, only four days after her fifty-first birthday.
This morning my husband and I were on a walk and I said I’m worried something bad is going to happen to our daughter. He said I was being ridiculous. Then I said these exact words to him, “I feel the angel of death today.” Please note: I am not religious. I am not a believer in the afterlife, though I have to admit I think it would be so awesome if that psychic Theresa Caputo on TLC's Long Island Medium wasn’t completely full of shit. But that’s what I said. And then this afternoon I received an email from a family member saying my cousin Cheryl was gone. She was a healthy woman. A stunningly smart, devoted, caring mom and wife. And now she’s gone. It’s the second time the angel of death has visited someone I love recently, and it’s heartbreakingly sad, especially when it happens so unexpectedly and especially when there are kids involved.
I’ve noticed I haven’t written much funny stuff lately and I apologize for being such a heavy. I promise, I’ll get back there again. I still want to make you laugh and smile, and I still want to make me laugh and smile, even when life’s sorrowful moments are upon us. That's the strange thing about this little world of writing. We've formed a bond, you and I, through these pages and the words that now connect us. And while I’m tempted to keep things silly and light, I know that by sharing life’s hardships we may eventually discover there is still something to smile about, even if it’s simply the fact that we’re not alone. Sometimes, I hope, just that little bit of knowledge will be enough.