Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Break From The "Serious"

With 9 queries out, I'm taking a break. I don't want to get too many sent out and exhaust my agent search this early, so I've got to force myself to think about other things.

Yeah, right.

Got any suggestions?

In the meantime, the latest installment of my column came yesterday. It's a smaller, local publication, so there's no link to give, but I'll post it here. Should be good for a distracting laugh (at my expense). From Every Mom's Column in The Buzz, Summer 2008 edition.


I think I might quite possibly be the clumsiest person ever. Sometimes I know the origination of and reason for an injury, but often times I find surprise bumps or bruises and wonder, “How’d that get there?” I’ve rammed into open doors (car and cabinet), smooshed fingers (and not just my own), fallen on the steps (going up and going down), and done other silly things… like land face-down on the floor because a teeny—but sneaky—swatch of carpet tripped me up. It’s a wonder—a big wonder—I’ve never broken a bone. I’d knock on wood here, this second, but likely I’d wind up hurt.

What got me thinking on this was an MRI I had recently. MRI, in my case, stands for Motherhood-Related Injury. It’s an injury I’ve sustained merely because I’m a mother. A clutzy mother. And it directly (or indirectly) relates to a kid (or not).

The night was seemingly moonless and pitch black, filled with slumbering quiet. I was fast asleep, perhaps dreaming of iced mochas or the clearance rack at Target, when my heart jolted me awake.

“Mommy! MOMMY!”

It was my toddler, crying hysterically from the top of the stairs. Panicked from my bed, I hastily grabbed my glasses from the nightstand. Throwing them up my nose, I rounded the bed, aiming to breeze through the family room to the stairs. But in my groggy—and I can’t stress this enough: clumsy—state, I cut the corner a smidge too closely. Just there, where the wall extends adjacent to my door, housing a built-in bookshelf, I met the flat, solid expanse with a great, loud force.


My body bounced backward and my glasses sprung from their perch, landing—surely broken, I thought—off in the distance. My hands found my poor nose as I bellered into the night, “I think I broke my nose!”

My husband, none too concerned with yet another of my self-inflictions, snuffled a bit and rolled over. Grumbling and hurt, I righted myself, retrieved my glasses (still intact!) and continued—ever so slowly—to the stairs.

In the few seconds between my collision and the journey upstairs, wouldn’t you know it, my daughter calmed herself. So I tucked her back into bed and made my way to the closest mirror. Just what I’d suspected: My nose had had a good battering. I doctored it up, hoping to keep any swelling or discoloration at bay. And as it turned out, by morning time I had very little to show for my midnight accident. Just a small boo-boo with some tender, very faint bruising. It was hardly anything to wink at, and I couldn’t get compassion from anyone.

Which, in all actuality, was just as well. I’d rather keep such incidences quiet, since they’re so embarrassing. So you’re sworn to secrecy. Share the details of this MRI with no one. It’s just between you and me…


ETA: Refreshing Yahoo every three minutes to check my inbox for query responses isn't a productive way to spend my time, is it?


WendyCinNYC said...

I liked your article, Janna! I'd want ti be friends with someone like that. Hey, I AM friends with someone like that (at least online). Well, whaddya know.

Start on your next novel. Right now. Or get a BlackBerry, so you can take your OCD on the road with you.

Janna Leadbetter said...

Aw, thanks Wendy. Sometimes I think it's too chatty and sarcastic a voice, but it fits me best for this kind of thing. And the feedback I've gotten has been positive.

How funny you mention starting my second book! (Maybe you saw my AW posts, I don't know.) I've been debating on whether to do just that. I haven't committed to completely jumping in, but I'm going to dip my toes in until I get used to the idea. I've at least decided on the premise, so I know where to begin when it feels right.

Travis Erwin said...

I like to work on short stories when I'm heavy in the query process of a novel.

Janna Leadbetter said...

Short stories are something I've never thought about. Hmm...

Janet said...

Sarcastic? That wasn't sarcastic, it was cute.

You must be related to me.

And I agree with Wendy and Travis. Go write. Write short stories about the characters in your next novel so you can get to know them. Or whatever. Find something else to stew about. And I would recommend writing away from the computer.

You may feel free to quote all of this back at me and gloat when I am at the same point.

Janna Leadbetter said...


Thanks for the advice, Janet!

Melanie Hooyenga said...

What a great article! I'm glad your nose is ok.

I must say it's nice to know I'm not the only person who sometimes wishes for a more noticeable bruise for sympathy!

Janna Leadbetter said...

"I'm glad your nose is ok."

The nicest thing anyone's said to me all day...


Melanie Hooyenga said...

Poor Jannna. ;)

Terri Tiffany said...

Very good!! I too like to write short stories more than I do a book. Something about the quick results...
I'll be praying you hear back from an agent really soon!