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:


69 thoughts on “If I Had A Septic System, I Would SO Call Them

  1. That is WONDERFUL! Yes! Oh I hope it gets bought and published.
    (I sent my first novel out about a month after 9-11. Good timing there, right? And no, it never got bought.)

  2. I’m a new reader, and a mom of a kid with autism. I sure hope that book gets published. I could wedge it in between the special diet books and the Floortime books and my sexy, sexy copy of the Physician’s Desk Reference on Nutritional Supplements.

    In our city there’s a septic company with the oddly fittlng name of P.R. Septic. Their truck is dark brown with yellow lettering. I think there’s a happy face on it somewhere too. If only it were a winking happy face, it would be perfect.

  3. Have I mentioned to you how much I love you dear Aunt Becky? You are so ful of the awesome it rock my socks.

    I have a septic tank and would love it if our local pooper scoopers were called Du-Du Man.

  4. You should call the Du Du Man, JUST to see how they answer the phone? Do you suppose the receptionist really answers the phone “Thank You For Calling The Du Du Man?”

  5. Congratulations, bravo and all that good stuff. I hope it gets snapped up immediately, but if not I have faith it will eventually. Sounds like a book a lot of people would appreciate. GL!!

  6. It is great that you are doing this. I have talked about writing a novel for years, have even started several, and end up getting bored with it. Just the fact that you are really doing it is amazing.

  7. I can’t wait to read your book. I know you ain’t Jenny McCarthy. 😉

    And that picture is totally what I needed for my post “Turd In A Jar.”

  8. I am truly blown away that you wrote a book! That is so freaking cool!!! When I told my husband of this news, his response was, “how does she find the time to write a book with 3 kids?” To which I responded, “Because she’s Becky Bitch!!”

    My father-in-law, whom I adore more than just about anyone on this earth has a saying. He’s very religious, but not in a freak, pushy sort of way. Anyway the saying is:
    Even if we fail, we will know that we failed daring greatly!

    Congrats on having the guts to accomplish such a task! So proud!!

  9. One of the septic truck guys in my area named his red truck “Rosie” and has the quote “We’re number 1 in the number 2 business” on the back. I guess when you work with poop all day, you need to laugh about something.

  10. You are my hero. Publishing is always hard, but you know what? You are a talented and enagaging writer.

    I’ve been working hard to finish up my first project and I, too, have reservations about my chances, but then again, I have bought some books lately where I’ve actually been stunned at the poor writing, poor editing, and the general lack of substance in these things – and yet they are out there for sale. Someone thought they were worthy.

    A lot of it is luck and a lot is perseverance, I’m finding. No matter what, I think you’re amazing. Who else could intrigue me by combining a heartfelt post about breaking into publishing, and writing about Autsim with the Du-Du Man? Answer: NO ONE.

  11. I want to read it! I will buy it! I will buy copies for all of my friends! Too bad I don’t have more clout in the publishing industry, lol. Du Du man was hilarious by the way. I really needed that this morning.

  12. I will so buy your book when it is published!!!

    You are amazing……………how do you find the time to do it all??? Do you ever sleep, my dear Becky?

    Good luck. all of my appendages are crossed for you!!

  13. That’s so exciting! Can’t wait to hear what happens.

    Thanks also for stopping by my little corner of the blogosphere the other day. Great to “see” you and so glad it led me back here!

  14. This book is totally gonna rock, I know this and I can’t wait to read it. The Du Du man pic, made my day. Oh yeah, who are those publishers again? I kid, I kid!

  15. WOOOHOOOO go you! My 5 year old son got a kick out of the truck. He asked what it was and I told him and he laughed and said “du du, man! That’s funny!” then ran If nothing else, your pictures are popular to a 5 year old…

  16. How awesome is it that you wrote a book? Let’s say that again, with feeling: YOU WROTE A BOOK! Are you kidding me? Be very, very proud of yourself. Whether you get published or not, you kick ass, in my opinion. I’ve been kicking around my novel for young adults for way to long, and this makes me want to just sit down and do it. You’ve made me think that maybe I can finish. So, thanks Aunt Becky! And congrats!

  17. My oldest is filled with pure, uninhibited JOY each time we pass a “pooper” truck on the interstate. I think he’d faint from ecstasy if one were to actually pull into our yard. And count me as a reader when that book gets published. ‘Cause it totally will.

  18. Here’s hoping that the Book Fairy sprinkles publishing dust on you in the near future, because I would so freakin’ buy your book and it’s not just because I adore you. 🙂

  19. dude! you wrote a book! that’s farkin awesome! 🙂

    also if you can’t find a real publisher, I think if you self-published it you would totally make bank, just from all your readers here snatching up a copy 🙂

  20. Girl, I would shell out $15 bucks for your book!

    $16, though? Well, that’s just asking too much.

    I really, really hope it works out, it would be awesome! And, you know, PS. You wrote a frikkin book! You’re amazing! Congrats on that!

  21. I think what you wrote is probably so very NEEDED by many parents. And heck, you’ve got a great shot with your blog “platform.” (Still trying not to hate that word.)

    I’ll keep fingers and toes crossed!

  22. I will be keeping fingers and if I can get my toes, crossed for you!!!

    If we had a septic system AND this guy was around us we would HAVE to call him just because!!


  23. Dude! That is super-amazing-awesome news! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

    Does that company make tee-shirts? ‘Cuz you should totally get one for the Daver. Ha.

  24. You’re so smooth…”Oh, my book proposals and agents are no big deal, here’s a picture of a truck!” Very exciting!

  25. Congratulations!
    I think that could be really good. Knowing up close how hard it is with a child with autism, that could be so good for parents. They are all tearing their hair out and feeling alone.

  26. Your book is exciting news! So many people don’t even get to that stage.

    What with Oprah giving Jenny McCarthy a blog on her site, I think the topic is timely, so you have a good chance. Break a…typewriter ribbon?

  27. I’ll be rooting for ya.. just don’t forget your humble beginnings when you’re rich and famous.

    I love our septic truck, too. On the back it says, “We’re #1 in the #2 business.” Those septic guys have a good sense of humor.

  28. I think you’re underestimating the market – the book market may be struggling, but there are certain niches in that market that will always be hot. Autism is a hot niche right now (that sounds kinda dirty…), with what is it? 1 in 150 kids falling somewhere on the spectrum? I think you’ll get published – and when you do, I think a LOT of people will find it helpful to know someone else knows what they’re going through. Good luck.

    Love the du-du man…and who says you gotta have septic to call? Maybe they can come and roto-rooter your drains.

  29. Good luck with the book. I’m earmarking $15 for purchase of the same.

    By the way, I love the Du Du man because he’s alway’s on doodie. And when we play cards, he gets a Royal Flush. (somebody stop me!)

  30. That sounds like a truly amazing book, Becky! When I was pregnant with my oldest, I couldn’t get enough of “What to Expect” and the like–much like I’m sure parents just dealing with autism diagnosis are looking for instruction manuals or cures or something. But a few kids and a few years later, what I need isn’t so much instructions as reassurance that I’m not alone. That I’m not the only one who ever loves and wants to throttle her kids, that I’m not the only one who’s scared she’s doing everything wrong, that I’m not the only one to find mothering surprisingly isolating. And I’m sure that parents who are raising kids with autism are looking for the same thing–something that lets them know they’re not the first people ever to deal with this. And you are totally the person to write it!

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it gets published, because it’s totally the right thing to do (because it will make them tons of money!). Congratulations on finishing it and I certainly hope to get to read it. And the truck totally made my day!

  31. Good luck with the publisher!!

    I’ve had a septic tank for 11 years and so far have never needed it pumped. A well taken care of septic system should not need pumped. I have had plenty of plumbers out though because pipes are a problem

  32. Last week, some really good friends of ours received a diagnosis of autism for their youngest son. They are spinning out badly, and don’t know what to do.

    Becky I would TOTALLY buy your book ….. I really really hope it gets picked up. Well done for writing it!!

  33. I’m proud of you. Writing a book. That’s a great accomplishment Bex. When it DOES get published, let me know. I would love to contribute to your vodka fund. Or whatever your gonna use the wheelbarrows full of chedda for.
    But if it’s vodka, let me know. I’ll be on the way lickety split.

  34. That’s so great about the book! I would definitely get a copy and then I could tell all my friends about that awesome blogger who is sooo cool!
    Du du hehhe

  35. Coming out of lurkdom here – if you don’t get a book deal, consider self-publishing with CreateSpace – a branch of Amazon. You automatically get an ISBN number and a listing on Amazon, and since it’s on-demand printing, it’s not a huge outlay.
    I’ve published 3 books with a publisher and three on my own, 2 self published and 1 with CreateSpace. If I wasn’t tied into a contract, I’d do it all with CreateSpace. Regardless of who publishes, the author still has to do most (if not all) of the promotion themselves.
    PS. I don’t know who your typical reader is, but I’m a 51 year old with 6 grown kids, two bi-polar (try getting THAT diagnosed in a three year old…) and I think you are hilarious and wiser than you admit.

  36. i hope it gets published!

    the camp I’m working at right now has a kid who is has both autism and cerebral palsy, and it’s been an interesting challenge for us working with him.

  37. That would be so wonderful for you and your family!!!! I’m glad you are being realistic about what a cold cold world it is out there, but we can get our hopes up for you. I wish only the best for you! xoxo

  38. I’ll buy it, of course! My cousin has three autistic kids, so I’ll buy two.

    Hey, if the publishers don’t like it, you could always change it up a bit and make it about autistic teen vampires. They’ll publish anything about the vamps these days!

  39. I’m always late to the ball game these days, but I wanted to congratulate you. It IS a REALLY big accomplishment! Most people can’t sit still long enough to write a letter much less a book!

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