Monday, September 15, 2008

The Call

No, not THE call.

Not yet, anyway.

I'm talking about the unexpected phone call that warms your insides from the roots of your hair to the tips of your perfectly pedicured toes.

I got one of those yesterday, and I'm still smiling.

Right in the middle of what looked to be the Redskins second loss of the season, the phone rang. I wondered who dared to call me in the middle of a football game (solicitors don't give a damn if you're in the middle of screaming at the TV because Jason Campbell just threw another incomplete pass). I checked the caller ID, prepared to let the machine pick up.

I was a little surprised to see who was calling. Allowing my curiosity to get the best of me, I answered and greeted the caller happily, even though, by this time, the Redskins were falling so far behind the Saints, my mood was halfway to I-can't-believe-they-let-these-guys-play-in-the-NFL-ville.

Anyway, the caller greeted me and quickly launched into their reason for contacting me on what I consider the most sacred day of the week from September through the first weekend in February.

For no other reason than just being kind, the caller and her husband wanted to let me know they'd decided to do something nice for me and my books. In the past, they've complimented my books and told me how much they loved the stories. This time, they also complimented me personally, as a writer.

For a while now, I've questioned my writing career. Although I love what I do, I have to admit, if there's anything in this world that's eventually going to teach me patience, it's being an author. No instant gratification here. This is a hurry up and wait business; complete torture for a girl who wants what she wants NOW. I'm still waiting for agents to call, for the next book plot to pop into my head, and for my books to end up on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller List. I've often questioned whether or not to just give it up all together, wondering if I'm wasting my time.

Today, I decided I'm not. Why?

Because of that football-game-interrupting phone call. That's why.

Maybe since I've yet to receive a comment or review for The Long Road Home , or because I've hit a temporary road block in my current work in progress, or because lately I've literally been questioning the reason for my very existence...I've lost sight of things.

Until yesterday, I'd forgotten how much enjoyment I get from good it feels to sit down lose myself in a story only I have the power to create...and how much several people have, in the past, told me how much they love my books.

That call yesterday put it all in perspective. It made me realize all that matters is my work is loved and appreciated by two very special people who took the time to tell me so.

The Redskins beat the Saints 29-24 in the final minutes of the game. Looks like we both found something that was missing, at just the right time...

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