Wednesday, April 6, 2016

HOW I ALMOST MISSED "THE CALL" by Hannah Rowan


Back in the days before everyone had a cell phone, our household had three phones—the main number, the teen number, and the fax line.  Both the main number and the teen line had call waiting, which meant we could toggle back and forth between two callers on each line.  The teens in question had strict instructions…

“If a call comes in for Mom that has something to do with writing, you must get off the phone immediately and give her the call.”

Because it was entirely within the realm of possibility for either teen to be talking on all four lines simultaneously.  Violation of the rule would lead to loss of phone privileges until said teen turned thirty-five, or began paying his or her own phone bill, whichever came first.

But what of the newly retired husband?

It’s not as easy to lay down the law to a spouse as it is to a child whose phone bill you’re paying.

So a few days after I’d crossed my fingers and sent my latest manuscript winging toward Hilary Sares, Precious Gems editor at Kensington in New York City, I arrived home from my errands to discover my husband chatting on the phone with someone or other.  A while later he said something along the lines of, “Oh, I almost forgot.  Some editor called you.”

Some editor?  Some editor?  Who? Who? Who?

Image result for phone call

 He wasn’t sure.  He’d written it down somewhere.  Maybe.

It couldn’t have been the editor of the newspaper I wrote for, because he knew her.  Yet it made no sense that it would be Hilary Sares.  Why would she call me a mere three days after I’d mailed in the manuscript?  Unless I’d accidentally stuck my phone bill in the envelope, or she’d spilled coffee on the manuscript, or…what, exactly?  I couldn’t imagine what she might want.  After all, everyone knew that when you sent a manuscript to an editor, you had to wait months for a reply.

“What did she say?” I asked my husband.

But he couldn’t be sure.  He’d been busy talking to a friend and simply told her I wasn’t home.

It was a Friday afternoon and I was so afraid she might have gone home early, but I found her number and gave her a call.  Luckily for me, she was still in her office.  And even luckier, she was calling to say she wanted to buy my book for Precious Gems!  My first sale!

I don’t think I could have survived an entire weekend wondering what she had been calling about.

As for my husband, I forgave him, that time.  I even dedicated the book to him, “the inspiration for all my heroes.”

After all, he did remember to tell me that “some editor” had called!

14 comments:

  1. Lol. I think some version of that conversation has happened at our house, too. Glad she called back!

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  2. I might have killed my husband. Lol. Congrats on the quick sale. Those are the best.

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    1. Karen, me too! I mean, what was he thinking??? Great post Hannah. Enjoyed it!

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  3. I definitely would have killed my husband. Oh, except I divorced him just before "the call". I sold 5 books that year and told everyone who asked for the secret to my success that I lost 'the anchor'.

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    1. LOL, Kathleen! That's putting a positive spin on a difficult situation!

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  4. Oh my gosh! Grounds for, oh, I don't know, something! I'm glad it all worked out.

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    1. Grounds for a lot of nights of not having to cook dinner, maybe?

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  5. Sounds like your hubby relays messages the same way mine does. They need deciphering. :-)

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  6. They always called on Fridays...and yes, I had to wait until Monday to talk to her. But it all worked out.

    I'm loving these walks down memory lane...Thanks Hannah!

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    1. I never knew they always called on Fridays!

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  7. Glad it worked out for you with the editor and your husband.

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  8. Hannah, great post. I had to laugh because we just can't train our husbands, can we?

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  9. I know this is off topic. But I was going through some very old papers, and I ran into your 'Suburban Life' Commentary 'Out of my mind', and some people were annoyed with it, and I and a few others also wrote to the Editor to praise your column. This took place December 1989 to January 1990. - Andrew S. Katz

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