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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mike and I are heading to Spokane for the weekend. We have an Engaged Encounter Unit Board Meeting and will also hopefully squeeze in a brief visit with his fam before returning to our boys. (Our offspring will be living it up with my parents). We will stay at the retreat facility where Spokane Engaged Encounter weekends are held. This retreat facility just so happens to be at a convent! I’m so pumped to stay at a convent. I’ve been brushing up on my The Sound of Music numbers like, “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” and “The Hills are Alive.” I hope they have a Swiss-Alps-type hill for me to perform that one on. I’ll need space to spin and enough open room for the helicopter to fly over. Also, I’ve worked up a couple of routines from Sister Act. I’m not too familiar with the musical Nunsense, but I think I better look into that one as well. I’ll fit right in at the nunnery! You can actually quote Hamlet to me, “Get thee to a nunnery!” And it would be perfectly acceptable and appropriate.
When I haven’t been practicing my nun-themed musical numbers, I’ve been doing extraordinary things like finishing a book! (As in writing one, not reading one). Yesterday, I printed off 157 pages of my completed manuscript. OK, it’s not at all completed and shouldn’t even really be called a manuscript, but that just sounds much more impressive than, “I printed off 157 pages of my first draft that needs a lot of revisions.”
I typed the last sentence, hit . and just sat there. I’m done. Wow. This is not at all how I thought it would feel. I’m not exactly sure what I expected but a little bit more somethin’ somethin’ than this. It’s not like I realistically anticipated that I hit “Save” one last time and then the phone rings – it’s an Agent on the phone saying that he/she would like to represent me and my 157 pages of literary genius and, Oh, they already have a publishing house interested…actually a few are ready to seduce me and my poor Agent has had to fight them off with a stick (in a polite, Agenty sort of way). Agent will have to sort through the mayhem and negotiate the most amazing book deal offer ever. “We’re making history, Dame Martin. Oh, why am I calling you Dame, Martin?” asks Agent. “Haven’t you heard that the Queen lady-ed you?”
I’m not really sure how it works, but, you know, a guy who’s fancy-impressive like Sir Isaac Newton or Sir Elton John gets knighted and amazing women, Dame Judi Dench, for example, get lady-ed. I think I even beat J.K.Rowling to the Ladyhood.
So, the phone didn’t ring and an Agent didn’t call. Not that I expected that. Nor did I expect a marching band to come parading down my street playing John Phillip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever – not because it’s patriotic so much as, in my head, when I think of hoorah! Yippee! Congratulatory music I usually hear the opening notes of that…and then once I start singing it [the words go “duh, duh, duh-dun-duhn, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh! Crash! – that’s the cymbals], I can’t help but get up and march and clap. It’s a pretty sad sight to be with me on the 4th of July…I just can’t be contained.
No Agent phoned. No marching band strode down 127th PL. Nothing. But I did write a book – from start to finish, and you can call me Dame Martin. Although, this weekend, at the convent, I’ll probably answer to Mother Superior.

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