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Saturday, I drove to a Hyatt in Brentwood to pitch my novel to a new publishing house. (I guess I should explain that I wrote a book a few years ago and I have had zero success getting anyone to publish it. I would actually settle for getting a literary professional to read it at this point.) I sat across a small table from three lovely ladies. I had my book proposal in hand and only my wits to keep me from shaking apart into tiny bite-sized pieces.

Here’s the unnerving part: I had to “sell” my story. “Who would want to read it? Why? What’s the marketing plan? (I totally gave up on that one.) What experience have you had?” I’d forgotten what it’s like to sit through an interview, seeing as how I have been unemployed for ten years. I’m unaccustomed to lauding my accomplishments and talents. Sure, I fantasize that the produce manager at Kroger will approach me after he’s seen how carefully I select my cantaloupes and compliment my expertise. But praise for stay-at-home moms is few and far between. If we get a “good supper, mom” we’re ecstatic!

I propose that we should begin an evaluation system similar to when I was teaching. Three or four times a year, I can sit down with Brent and the kids and they can tell me how I’m doing. Maybe they can fill out a sheet with specifics and numbers one to five. (I came across an old evaluation form from when I was teaching recently. I got fives–the highest number–on everything but grooming. What?! That must have been when I started casting off my apple-themed jumpers.)

Now that I think of it, I may be better off the way it is. Do I really want to know if Ella finds the scent of my fabric softener choice too strong? Will Lucy give me a poor grade for “frequency of vacuuming”? What would Knox say about my treat-to-vegetable ratio?

Never mind the evaluation. I take it back. If my family isn’t going to toot for me, I’ll have to just learn to do my own tooting. Hmm...poor word choice but you get the idea.



Tooting my own horn

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