Patience Panties

A gal I talk to on Twitter, @Uppington, recently finished reading Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides, which remains one of my all-time favorite novels. There’s this exquisite moment when the mother shows the children the sun setting at the exact moment the moon rises. Conroy is a master of character and setting. He weaves both together to create in the reader the magic of that moment.

I don’t know if Conroy suggested it to me, but I always feel the magic of that moment. Here it’s the moon setting into the valley, an ocean of fog, the quiet blues and blacks of night giving way to glimmering pinks. I turn around, and there is the sunrise, blazing into the fire of day.

Those moments between are unbearably full.

I’m waiting between things right now. Writers are often cautioned to be patient. (I’ve mentioned before, this is not my forte.) The romance writers often put this in terms of “putting on your patience panties.” I don’t know if this is because the overwhelming majority of romance writers are women and identify with the lessons of girlhood or because they’re accustomed to the language of motherhood. Writers who become upset about bad contest scores or book reviews are often advised to put on their “big girl panties” and suck it up. I suppose men will tell each other to “cowboy up” or some such. It’s the same thing.

So, what’s happened is, an epublisher offered to buy this little erotic novella I wrote. They have a good reputation, so that will be fine. Another epublisher with a slightly better rep also has it, so I inquired with them if they were close to a decision or if I should just withdraw the novella and go with the other publisher. I got a very strange, misspelled, answer back that basically said I’d hear when I heard. The first epublisher is looking better and better all the time.

Meanwhile, this agent has my full manuscript. She requested it from a query I sent, so I’ve been somewhat more hopeful on this one. The other agents who’ve requested my full MSS are ones who met me at conferences. When agents or editors meet you in person, I think they’re somewhat more inclined to ask for the full MSS, because they know you and want to give you the best opportunity they can. One of those agents also has Obsidian: The Revision. She’d passed on the original version, but agreed to read the revision. I haven’t heard from her, so I’m not holding out much hope there.

But the agent reading from the query… Well, let’s just say I’ve been to this prom before and came home without an engagement ring.

At any rate, I emailed her to ask if she cared if I entered a deal on the epubbing of the novella. I expected her to say no, but she answered and said she’d read the full right away and we could discuss then.

So, I’m waiting. Knowing she’s reading it. Making a decision. Totally out of my control. I’m afraid to check my email, since that will likely be a “no.” I’m carrying my cell phone out to the mailbox with me, in case she calls with a “yes.”

I’m thirteen again.

At the same time, I know this day will end with the sun setting and the moon rising to replace it. Fire will give way to black and tomorrow morning it will all repeat.

And I have my own washer and dryer, so I can wash my patience panties as often as necessary.

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