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?
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!