I take a deep breath, not wanting to repeat it. To give the editor’s words new life, but Mom has to understand. “They said their dog could write a better book than I could.”
Her mouth gapes, her eyes bugging like a strange goldfish.
My heart races. Isn’t she going to say something?
Mom bites her lip, a snort escaping anyway. She throws a hand over her mouth, her stomach bouncing as her eyes dance.
“It’s not funny!”
“Honey, when are you going to grow out of these hysterics?” She reaches for my arm and I stand numbed. “You’ve come up with some epic stories before, but this one takes the cake. Admit it. You didn’t even go, did you?”
“I did.” I stamp my foot, practically feeling the steam shooting from my nostrils, my inner child taking full reign of my mind.
She sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose. “Okay, weren’t you referred to this editor by the last publisher you talked to?”
“And you truly expect me to believe a professional, who I’m sure has seen worse stories than you could write in your sleep, told you this?”
“Well, yes.” My stomach flips. “I mean, I heard him say it.” I swallow. “To his secretary.”
Her shoulders slump and she slaps her forehead. “Peeeeeny! You have no idea he was even talking about you. Please tell me you didn’t walk out after that.”
Mom’s eyebrows rise. “Continue.”
I open my mouth and quickly close it again. Not without tea. This conversation needs a hot beverage.”
For the next five minutes, she and I bustle around the kitchen making tea and pulling cookies from the oven. When we’re finally settled at the table, steaming mugs in hand, I look longingly back to the safety of my stove.
“Not a chance, missy. Your butt is in the seat and the cup is in front of you. Tell me what’s up.”
“When the meeting started, he was nice enough. Complimented me on how error free my work was.”
“I though he said—”
“That’s when the mallet hit me.” I sip my jasmine tea. “He said my writing needed to be cleaned up more before he was willing to work with me and, under her breath, I heard his assistant say it’s not his job to hold my hand as she was dusting his bookshelf. Followed by, talentless hack.”
To be continued….
Thank you for reading! Check back next week for the conclusion of the story.