By Leslie Lindsay
Today I learned that an literary agent who I have had some “interest” in will be featured at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Writer’s Institute. I have been to both continuing studies programs the university hosts for writers. I love them. I was kind of considering going again this April, but hadn’t made a formal committment. Now that this agent is going to be there–and offering a chance for me to pitch my novel–I just may sign up.
But it scares the bejeesus outta me! Sure–my ultimate hope is for is my book face out at a local bookstore. Sure, I want readers. And I guess it’s got to start somewhere, right?
That means I need to finish polishing this darn thing pronto! That means I need to get some homework done before I pitch–what does my book compare to? What else is out there like it? Who do I write like? And then I need to drop 10 lbs and get a new outfit. Sounds so simple, right?
Okay–here’s my revised chapter I have been toiling over this week. Hey–do me a favor and give me some feedback on those market research questions above. I would really appreciate it!
[Remember, this is original fiction]
“My fingers flipped through the decorating book. Multitasking was my middle name: supervise Kenna and Madi at play in our family room, get decorating ideas, and watch television. Thick, glossy pages filled my mind’s eye with ideas and inspiration. I smoothed my pink tunic over my crossed legs. The color of liquid amoxicillin
Why can’t I be as fascinated with medicine as I am with decorating? I tilted my head and looked toward the television. HGTV. The girls would have preferred PBSKids, but I just couldn’t stomach another episode of Caillou. They seemed happy enough with the stack of preschool puzzles I had pulled out. For now, I could indulge myself in a little mind candy.
Kenna tilted her head and glanced down at her puzzle. Two empty spaces stared back. I smiled and reached for the colorful puzzle piece wedged under the sofa table, “Here, punkin. Try this one.” She nodded and snatched the wooden piece from my grasp.
“I recognize myself in my home, which is comforting,” the show’s hostess quipped.
I looked back at the television, grumbled and raised my eyebrows. Oh, really?
“Your home doesn’t have to be perfect.” A flash of the hostess’s pearly whites. “It just has to feel good to you.”
Steve feels good to me. I bit my lip. Would these thoughts ever end? The TV hostess strode to the set’s farmhouse-themed breakfast nook, taking a seat at the cozy table. She wielded a large display board tucked behind the shuttered cabinet—shabby chic, I deduced—and placed it on the wood-worn table top.
I gasped in awe. On the “mood board”—as she called it—fabric swatches and paint chips danced in happy unison. My mouth went slack and my eyes glazed over as I zeroed in on that television, the sounds of my children at play—their giggles and squawks—becoming muffled as decorating inspiration took over.
As I stared at that farmhouse kitchen set on TV, the cute hostess rattling on about the mood board, I couldn’t help but wonder what Steve’s kitchen looked like. The pit of my stomach flashed cold. Be in the moment, Annie. I scolded myself.
“The next time you tackle a home design project, visualize how you would like the room to look with a mood board—this is just a simple foam core mat I picked up from a hobby store.” She tilted her head. “Add photos, catalog snippets, anything that catches your eye. Don’t limit yourself to just decorating images. Anything can become inspiration for color, texture, and pattern.”
Like my amoxicillin-colored top.’