The rain began yesterday around noon. Torrential. Of course, I’d put off grocery shopping to the last possible day. Cherry’s academic awards assembly for the seventh grade and Coco’s last elementary school field day were scheduled. The first happened. The second didn’t. By five, the rest of the calendar was trashed. I envied my friends already headed for the coast, where for once, it wasn’t raining.
In the middle of the night, thunder woke up our dog guest. We’re pet sitting this weekend, so Lucky cuddled up next to Coco. Jasmine slept on my feet, oblivious. I shoved her away to turn off the desktop computer and unplug the laptop. When I came back to bed, her head rested on my pillow. Who knew an eighteen pound schnauzer could be so hard to move?
Between six and seven this morning, four inches fell. In twenty-four hours, twelve inches. We live on a hill. The rest of the city isn’t so lucky. A city bus loaded with passengers floated into a ditch. Before ten, the fire department reported seventy high water rescues. The news: stay home. Slip a disc in the DVD player. Watch Barbie and the Fairy Secret. Eat chips and hummus.
We’ve had these days before. A year or so of nothing but dust and dark clouds. Then, the clouds crack open. We catch up. Become the subtropical paradise the city’s PR firm advertises.
I’ve been dried up too. In August, I lost my brother. In April, my sister lost her husband. Too soon. Too painful. Couldn’t write. Couldn’t dream. Now, Heaven’s floodgate is open again, and I can breathe.
Last week, I answered a questionnaire for a national polling company. The form asked, “Do you work?” They meant. Are you employed? I paused, pen suspended over dual boxes. Yes or no? I scribbled in the margin.
Yes, I work. Everyday. I take care of my family. Full time. By choice. It’s 2013 not 1957. This is a sexist question.
Fourteen years ago this month I changed day jobs. The current one doesn’t garner a paycheck. I’m on call 24/7 to complete tasks that may require a philosopher, an engineer, a maid, a chauffeur, and a chef. All at once. The position demands stamina, focus, and a generous portion of pixie dust.
Here’s last month’s portfolio.
Pitch Madness is like tossing a line in the water and waiting for a fish to bite. A writer pitches her work by summing up a manuscript in a tweet (less than 140 characters) and hashtags for the event and genre. An agent favorites the stories he wants to read. The writer responds via email with a query letter and sample pages.
When I keyed in my log line, I had nothing to lose. I’d just watched Bené Brown’s TED talk. I was ready to be vulnerable. What I didn’t know, besides how quickly I’d have to reformat the first ten pages of my manuscript, was that I’d enjoy reading the other pitches and benefit from the kindness of other writers. Instead of crazy oneupmanship, they retweeted the competition. You could feel the love. Seriously.
The hashtag #PitMad trended on Twitter on March 29. I can’t wait to try it again.
*Twitter blocks the agent’s avatar when it’s embedded in a post, but the writer knows the agent’s identity.