Instead of working on NaNo like a good girl today, I went to the Red Clay Writer’s Conference at KSU. I learned a lot (more on the conference later), but in the last session my phone started vibrating. Even on “quiet”, the thing was loud, so I popped it out of my bag and hit the “to voicemail” button. I didn’t recognize the number, and the area code was from out of state. Ten minutes went by as I listened to the speaker, and tried to figure out who had called me. It wasn’t an area code I recognized. I didn’t have the number in my phone. And I had just sent out a round of requested partial manuscripts to agents two weeks ago. Ergo, this must be an agent. An agent who had just left me a voicemail!
I smiled far too wide for the context, and bounced up and down in my chair, trying not to draw too much attention to myself in the half-empty room. The speaker gave me a funny look, so I tapped my foot quietly and prayed and dreamed and thought, maybe this is the day! Only an hour or so before I could check the message!
To keep me focused on the speaker, I took notes fastidiously, but deep inside my internal joy-meter was off the charts. The next hour was delightfully tinged in hope. And, as I limped out of the room (after six hours in pretty-but-new shoes), I walked to the car in a haze of happiness. I made myself wait until I took off the painful shoes, settled in the driver’s seat, and finally…. it was time!
I played my voice messages, found one from a friend, and pushed on delightedly to the second, my Mystery Number. It was time!
But it wasn’t.
The guy on the other end of the line wanted me to donate to an (admittedly deserving) charity, and was calling personally. On a Saturday. My heart collapsed into a little pile of do-do. This wasn’t an agent reading a manuscript on the weekend at all (and, my brain told me, I hadn’t even sent out the full manuscript yet). I told my treacherous brain to be quiet, sniffed a few times, and in utter dejection called my husband to demand he take me out for Italian food. With garlic rolls.
It was a four-roll night.
Afterwards, I’m oddly happy I was such an idiot. It was a lovely, lovely hour before all my hopes were dashed – and one I quite enjoyed. That and the garlic rolls, which were delicious.