Fed Ex Trucks
I have been waiting to hear from Random House ever since I turned in The Marys. Finally, my editor contacted me on Friday to say she was going to be sending the manuscript back with her suggestions and I felt excited and full of dread at the work in front of me.
Today, I looked out the window and saw a Fed Ex truck turning up my street. The dried grass waved its tassels in the wind. The river was a cold February gray and I told myself not to be ridiculous. Not every Fed Ex truck is meant for me. There was no way my manuscript could have arrived yet. I closed my eyes and took a long nap. When I woke up, I checked the porch and my heart stopped — there it was, sitting on the top stair, in one of those huge brown envelopes that publishers use.
It took me a while to open it. I did some dishes, ate a pear and paced around. Then, I flipped through. Her comments are in pencil and are highly legible and very smart. I debated turning on my computer and starting work, but instead I returned to the couch for another nap.
When my son got home from school, he saw me lying down — an unusual event during daytime hours — and the manuscript where I had left it on the dining room table. When he noticed the pencil scrawls and question marks and awks, he said that editors remind him of writing teachers. Then he looked at me, groggy on the couch. And writers are like students, he said. Bad students, he added. But even this did not shame me into getting up.