As some of you may recall, last summer I made mention of the words “book proposal” and “agents,” in regards to a Super Drooper Trouper (Grouper?) Tippy Top Secret project I’d been working on. Because somehow, a pair of agents (having agents PLURAL makes me sound impossibly cool, I know) had taken an interest to a collection of essays–much like blog posts but longer and better edited–I’d written and I put together a book proposal.
(I know, you can’t believe that I would be able to have the brain power to put together a proposal. Neither can I.)
Just as they were shlepping it out to publishers, the great crash of aught-eight occurred, and the publishing industry tightened up. Considerably. Which makes sense. If people are laid-off and facing foreclosure, I found it highly unlikely that they would consider shelling out $15 bucks for my pithy book.
But the bright spot in this sea of rejections was this: I had a couple of publishing houses suggest that I write up another different book, similar style, this one dealing with autism. Not one of those cure-all-vitamin-diet-no-vaccine-way; those have been done ad nauseum and I’m no damn authority on that anyway. Nor do I want to be.
No, what I ended up writing was a companion book. Not like a TRAVEL companion book or another-word-for-lover kind of book, no, not that book. A book that entertains you. Makes you feel less alone. Because with all of the therapy and cure-all’s and special schools and special needs that our kids get? We parents are left out in the dark. Hurting and scared, but afraid to talk about it because how dare you complain about your child? How dare you when there are so many that have it so much worse than you?
Having a child with special needs–especially as a young, single mother–was hard. It was isolating. It was lonely.
So this was the book I wrote: not what I thought I’d be writing about, but mine nonetheless. And this week the proposal will go out to publishers.
I’d gauge the likelihood of this book getting eagerly snapped up at about a 0.05 percent. Not because I’m trying to be self-deprecating or depressing and not because it’s not good: it is good, I know it is, but because I’m being realistic. It’s going to be damn near impossible to break into publishing right now.
And that’s okay. I wrote it. I’m proud that I wrote it. If this isn’t what I was supposed to do right now, well, at least I tried. Rejection (in this case) isn’t personal, and it doesn’t bother me. It is what it is.
I’m making this sound so much drearier than I feel about it. I’m thrilled, excited and completely reserved all at the same time.
So, let me end it on this note: this truck, if only for a moment, made me wish I had a septic tank: