Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Editor, The Agent, & The Epilogue.

“Cathy I'm lost I said though I knew she was sleeping
I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They've all come to look for America.”
--- America, Simon and Garfunkel 

Hey my little blades... I have been remiss and did not blog yesterday -- and thus, I have two to make up tomorrow! Which I shall. Indeed.

1. The Editor. I have been working away at my memoir. And I have the opening. Yay!!! And it ready to send to the editor -- amaaaazing editor -- tomorrow. She requested 40 pages. And all I have to do for her is to write a proposal/description of the memoir. And bam! I am sending that one off. The RAD thing is that I emailed her on Friday, kind of late in the day, because I had some friends in from out of town and they stopped by and so, I got to my computer late. I emailed her to tell her that I was ready to send it. And how many pages would she like to see. And Monday morning when I checked my email, she was one of the first messages and telling me that "40 is great. Thanks!" And she is a BIG DEAL EDITOR. I feel SUPER STOKED to get my memoir to her. This has honestly been a dream of mine since I was little. A dream of mine - to honor my mom and write about her and share her story. To inspire and excite people, move them, lift them up and make them feel life, live it through my stories -- which will invariably become their stories. In other words, they are only my stories until the moment I share them and then, they are all of our stories. I love that about art. Once shared, it is given away and not possessed, it becomes universal. It becomes everyone's  life in a way, everyone's story. That we all share in. Are all a part of. And I am learning that the most courageous thing we can do is to share our story -- because there is always someone out there who will hear it and be inspired. And feel less alone and more connected to the world around us. I learned that in an acting class actually -- when I got up and did a monologue that I thought was so me. So Kieren. That's all. No one else's story. But as I made my way back to my seat, both the Latina model and my beloved New York teacher each pulled me aside separately and said, "That monologue is so me. Thank you." I was stunned. Good stunned. It comes from courage.

And I, my friends, am FINALLY submitting this story that has been inside of me since Barnard. I got a Grant from The Ford Foundation to write it and now, I am ready to share it. This is the year. Fearless.

Or as I read that Matthew Perry said, "Feel the fear and do it anyway."

So, the editor will have my complete, shining excerpt in her beloved inbox before 4pm PST. Yayayayayayay!!! I have worked hard and long to be able to say that. The time has come. And I am thrilled.

The Agent. So, this amaaazingly generous editor also referred me to a great literary agent in New York. One of the best. And when I emailed her also late on Friday, she also wrote me back and I had it in my inbox first thing Monday morning. She told me she'd like to read "between 50 and 75 pages." And was SUPER prompt as well.

The thing is, the universe hears us, guys. When we are serious and committed, the universe hears us. And people respond. It's like they can sniff our change inside of us. It pours out of a frickin' email. It is MAGIC. Energy is felt. It travels. It is magical...

And so, I am going to send her between 50 and 60 pages. I am still editing the extra chapter that I am putting in her excerpt. And thus, I still have to see how much I shall expand on it. I  And if I need more than  that, I have some other great chapters I am SO excited to add as well. Tomorrow I shall have my memoir out to BOTH OF THEM. Words I have dreamt of saying since college!!!

3. The opening. The last words on this blog are the first lines of my memoir, the epilogue actually. It will be the first page, the first words they both read. Ahhhhhhhhhhh... :):):)

I wrote these words as part of my novel about my mom in college. And they are finally getting their due. Hopefully they will both dig. My words. Honoring my mom. And my memoir/non-fiction novel... Yay!!!!!!

And thus, tomorrow, March 3rd is a BIG DAY. And my birthday is 8 days from tomorrow. And I am planning a party and I shall let you all know.

Looooove... Always...

p.s. The quote is my favourite line in a song. Because it is utterly disarming, honest. Saying what we feel deepest because we know the person to whom we are telling our scariest secrets is sleeping... So lovely what S & G captured in this song. Plus, my memoir is very much the American Story. And so, the quote feels perfect.

And now, I sing to her. I sing in the midnight hour of Mississippi, to the shortly trimmed lawns and the standing hair appointments, to the swimming pool at the grammar school, to the sweet tea my mom once sipped, to my grandfather’s grocery store, now a chain in the South, to the bus ride my mom and her big brother and sister took past the playground with the swing set. I sing to the girl who was nine when she came to America. Whose words whisper to me closely tonight and beg me to run, to sample, to live until the earth below me sags under my feet and I am weary in my grave.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am very inspired by your courage to bless the world with your stories. You are right. We get to own the stories we hear and in turn bless another soul with it as we tell it ourselves. That is how we spread LIFE in written words. I believe you deserve all the best in finally making it happen. More power!

  2. Congratulations! The first steps to making change are always the hardest. "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" is actually a book by Susan Jeffers. That book, but especially that phrase has always given me a tremendous push. There is nothing harder than putting your dreams out in the world. I wish you the best of luck.