Waiting For A Publisher To Contact You Is Like Dysfunctional Dating All Over Again

Today I stood at my window, and looked out, pondering the universe while looking at my watery reflection . Then I leaned my head and sniffed my armpit. Everything seemed fine, but I was worried that maybe I smelled like onions. Or maybe I’m just weird. I returned to pondering my reflection in the glass. I looked normal enough. Whatever. Surely, today they’d call. Because, it’s just like that dude in those Saturday Night Live sketches used to affirm “I’m good enough, I’m strong enough, and gosh darn it, people like me” (even if I smell like onions).

Then Kealoha came downstairs and said: “Tanya, what the fuck are you doing?” Not in a mean way, mind you. In a soft and gentle and loving way.


Here’s why I was staring at myself: last month, a publisher read the first two chapters of my memoir “Popsicle Toes” and requested the whole manuscript. But it’s been over a month and I haven’t heard anything yet. And then last week, I had a speed dating session where I met five major publishers in audiobooks who all professed to find my narration really attractive and gave me their cards. I have followed up with all the publishers (one for my book and five for audio/narration work for other people’s work). I composed emails that I hope made me seem witty, carefree, professional, totally sane, totally reliable and unbelievably talented. And now…now it’s just a waiting game.

Here is the model-version of me trying to WILL a phone call from a publisher.

And I’m having flashbacks to my single days where I questioned everything I’ve ever said or done on a date, and tried to read into the dude’s perspective. “He said he liked me and I’m not like anyone he’s ever met so does that mean he’s interested in me, or does that mean he thinks I’m schizophrenic? I mean, does he like me or is he just being nice? And why did he breathe when he said…”

Now it’s the same thing, only I’m questioning my talent and how long do I wait before I contact the publishers again, and if I email them again, will I come off as creepy and pushy…but if I don’t email them again then maybe I’m not present in their mind and, dammit, something or someone smells like onions here and I’m going insane, but I’m totally able to handle all of this and why, why, WHY don’t they want me? Aren’t I good enough? Huh? HUH?

Breathe, breathe, breathe.

I’m trying to remind myself that if they’re really, really interested in me, they’ll contact me. I mean, Kealoha filled out an application  to date me so that proves something, right? Except, it took him fifteen years to get to that point, and I really don’t want to wait fifteen years to get my book published or to get a recording gig with another publisher.

It’s time for a big ol glass of wine and to stare out the window again. If it were raining, it’d be even better. I think I’ll make faces like I’m trapped and trying to get out, just to keep the neighbors’ guessing. It will keep me from obsessing over when, or IF, my phone is ever going to ring.

(But they wouldn’t give me a business card if they weren’t interested, right? Right?)


On Weddings (more deep thoughts)


This weekend was a weekend of weddings with a heavy side of expectations and disappointments. Now there’s a sentence that will make you want to keep reading. It’s not depressing; I promise you.

We went to a friend of Kealoha’s wedding. Funny thing is, once upon a time, she was friend of mine. In fact, she was a housemate of mine fifteen years ago, in the very house I met Kealoha. She was the owner of the house and the hot tub (from which I emerged wrapped in towels). I lived with her for over a year or so and it was the first time in my teenager and young adult years (I was 22) that I lived in a home that was both beautiful and safe.

She was older than me…I think she was 35 to my 22 and I remember thinking how ‘old’ she was, something I laugh at now. Watching her get married, a peculiar thing happened. I was flooded with happiness for her, but I also felt regret…for ways I’d behaved when we were roommates. In my early twenties I was particularly self-centered. Lots of reasons for that, but a lot of it came down to immaturity. I didn’t understand loneliness at that time, or wanting to find a life partner, and I wasn’t very sympathetic to her wants.

Now, at almost 38, having felt deep loneliness and luckily having found my ‘life partner’ I can look back and think: man, I was an insensitive little turd. That’s right. A turd.

So I attended the wedding as I am now: 37, with my 2 kids and Kealoha and lots of learning under my belt, but my younger self was there too…in how people I haven’t seen in a decade or more responded to me, and that little ghost whispering behind my ear.

My roommate did eventually find love. She married and was happy for a time, and then became a widow. Then she found love again and the couple beamed with good humor and love and warmth. It was lovely. Plus, there was a crab boil afterwards. I don't know. It gave me hope for my girlfriends who are still searching.

It was light and summery and fun….and I just thought for a moment that isn’t life funny, the way it works out. 15 years ago, I never thought I’d have a family of my own, never imagined my life would turn out the way it has. Thankfully, where I’m at now is exactly where I want to be, even if all the details are different than I imagined.


Then for father’s day, we went over to Kealoha’s parents for chicken and corn and pie. Mmmm. After dinner and while the kids played over and around Kealoha, his mom and I went into the basement to look at photos. She showed me their wedding album from about 45 years ago. It was actually really interesting. I loved her dress and the bridesmaid’s….and how everyone was just plain young. She pointed out people in the wedding and on the dance floor and told me of their future.

Some of them divorced; some remarried. Some stayed single. Some were gay. Some died early; some died after a long life. Some struggled. Some were happy. Some she never saw again. It’s all very Our Town.

It was all so random…and then I had one of those moments thinking about the wedding we were just at, and the wedding we’ll have in October. How all these people will come together to help us celebrate. For that one moment, we’ll all be frozen in what will be (hopefully) a joyous occasion…and then life will go on. There will be heartbreaks, and disappointments and joy and love and twenty years from now who will be left? And who will be living exactly the life they envisioned they would?

Kealoha’s parents thought they’d be grandparents by now, but they aren’t. I feel for them. It's hard to have expectations and dreams that you have no control over. By this time, I thought I’d have a bestseller and a huge house and a kitchen with an island so big you’d get lost on it. (Actually, that was just a dream, not an expectation.)

I don’t know. I guess what I’m saying is I realized that even though you plan your life out, you never know what’s going to happen. I guess there’s something beautiful to that too. That life will, no matter what, surprise you.

My roommate found love not once, but twice. I’ve found love at 37.

We’ve all grown up, lived, suffered, rejoiced. I find this to be really, really comforting.



A List of My Faults & Yes, I'm Still with Biff

There’s something funny in there with a friend telling you to read the blog you just wrote. So I did read it. Oh. Okay. I see where you could infer that. No. I didn’t break it off. I was ready to. Internally, I had my car keys out and was making all the leaving noises I could: “That was fun. See ya later! Take care!” But then something stopped me. Two things, really. First I talked to Biff again. And secondly, I talked to myself.

Awkward Moment with AT&T Guy, Narrated by David Attenborough

There are moments when I am transported and suddenly become the star of a wildlife documentary narrated by David Attenborough. This happened just the other day when I was visited by a distractingly cute AT&T guy. Our eyes locked and instantly I heard Mr. Attenborough say: “Look how the female’s pupils have instantly dilated. This is, for sure, a sign of attraction.

Painting & My Ghost Self

So..what’s been happening here as I begin the new novel in my life…anxiety. Yep that about covers it. ANXIETY. I probably should take Valium, or at least give up coffee. Giving up coffee would be a good start, but I have this sneaky suspicion that if I give up caffeine, I may spontaneously combust and/or take uncontrollable naps. Narcolepsy, people. That’s what I mean.