Reporting to you live from Kansas City Missouri… So it snowed for 24 hours. And it was beautiful. I went out in it. I took photos of it. I put photos of it on Facebook. (As you do.) And when a TELESA reader in Sydney, Australia challenged me to wear a lavalava and jandals in it – I did. (Because I’m
stupid cool like that.)
But that snow proved to be my undoing, the reason why I will most probably NEVER EVER dazzle a New York literary agent or score a contract with a Big Six NY Publisher. Yes readers, years from now when I am a haggard, worn creature riddled with regrets, I shall look back and see this as that defining moment. The one that destroyed my promising golden literary career. What happened?
The snow wasn’t sticking and there was only a very light layer on the ground. I wanted to film myself making a snowball to show Bella. (Because that’s what Bad Mothers do when they leave their children to go gallivanting about at book conventions – they find cheap-as creative ways for presents.) The nice doorman told me to check the snow late that night for better snowball consistency, but warned the temperature would be going back up by the next morning. So, I dutifully ran downstairs at about 10pm and out onto the grassy front of the Sheraton Hotel.
It’s cold, windy and wet. The snow isn’t a very impressive layer and its really muddy out there. And really cold. But hey, Im a DEVOTED mother and I’m making a snowball for my kid, dammmit! I realize too late, its rather unpleasant to make a snowball when you’re not wearing any gloves. And its tricky to make a snowball when you’re trying to film yourself making a snowball. I drop to my knees in the wet and start scrabbling snow together with one hand, holding the phone camera with the other hand and talking the process through with a fake cheery voice so Bella will think I’m having bucketloads of fun making her present. I am so focused on my task that I barely notice the sleek town-car that pulls up in front of the hotel entrance. I don’t see the stunning stiletto heels that alight, or the beautiful people that are wearing them. No. Because I’m on my knees muttering to myself in the mud.
And then I hear a loud, Alabama-accented exclamation of surprise, “Laaani! Is that you? What arrrrre you doin in the mud?!”
I look up.
Remember those fabulous author friends I mentioned that I was coming to the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention to meet? Well, some of them are #Number One New York Times bestsellers, and they had gone out to dinner with their editors and literary agents. And returned just in time to see me looking like a homeless woman or a little matchgirl pawing at the ground in the wintry wind.
Everyone – authors, editors and publishers alike – look at me, astounded. (Okay, lets be honest, it’s more like horrified and faintly pitying.) I say, “Umm, I’m trying to make a snowball?”
Of course my friends think that’s hilarious and proceed to express their hilarity with extremely loud American-accented-ness as they explain to their publisher, ‘She’s Samowen and her kids haven’t seen snow…’ And then they take pictures of me kneeling there in all my muddy beggarly glory. Because that’s what friends do.
I can see the fancy publisher people shaking their heads as they all walk inside where it isn’t snowing and muddy and wet. Because that’s what you do when its snowing and muddy and wet. You go stand inside and reflect on the idiocy of people who are wallowing in the snow, mud and wet. Oh, and don’t forget, you take more pictures too. And I’m laughing like crazy at that point because what else am I going to do?
It was a moment that outranked most of my hideously hysterical (shameful) moments. But then, I could be wrong. There’s been quite a few of those moments along this journey of Bad-Mother-Author-Wannabe.
So I’m pretty sure I didn’t make the right kind of memorable impression on any editors or agents or publishers in Kansas City last night.
BUT I did get a snowball-making film clip for Bella. So I think I deserve some kind of Kickbutt-Mother points in heaven for that.