I’m back. But my belly is sore. You see my friends, I am recovering from what is known as EBFS. Otherwise known as Extreme Belly Flop Syndrome, EBFS, occurs when you suffer public embarrassment. This can occur at obvious places, such as the public pool, coming out of a restroom, or in my case, online! Others may refer to this as a banana peel moment.
I have a whole blog series dedicated to humbling moments. I am anything but immune to them. But that doesn’t mean I am open to disclosing each and every horrific detail. Ohhhh noooo. No, no, no.
Oh wait. Yes I am.
Learning about the online pitch contest for EMLA agent, Tricia Lawrence, was like learning Ben and Jerry’s was having its annual free -scoop giveaway! Normally closed to submissions unless by referral, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to pitch my quirky picture book to Tricia, since I had recently read she would soon be opening her doors to picture books. I also read that she really liked a particularly quirky book, I WANT MY HAT BACK and I thought, hey, I have a quirky picture book where characters have frizzy chest hair! I mean they are basically THE SAME! =) I put two and two together and went for it! Well, it turns out, I think I need to brush up on my math skills a little bit. Two and two did not equal five in this case.
As a participant in Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12, I let my online writer family know about the contest. We got our query letters together , the first 250 words of a polished manuscript, and posted just under the wire. It was exciting. Hope was in the air.
And then the results were announced.
It was AMAZINGLY AWESOME! I am almost positive that each of my 12 x 12 friends made the cut. My heart leapt for each of these people. I am proud to know them and they each deserve this recognition.
But my name wasn’t on the list.
Gulp. Enter the onset of EBFS. I sulked all the way to where my children were sleeping, squeezed between them , curled up in fetal position and let it out! Well, it was more like I tried to keep it in but the tears came out it spurts and gurgles. It was very attractive.
It looked like this only I have a little more hair and a tad more wrinkles.
Belly flops hurt.
My work was out there for the world to see, to point and laugh at. Exposed to cringes...
and intimate conversations between hypothetical readers and their Great Aunt Velma that probably sounded something like, “Hey, come ova to the computa and git a load of this gal. And she wants to write fa kids? Oy.”
But now, a few days later, my achy brakey heart has healed. I realize that it was one manuscript and it is only the beginning of my writing career. While more belly flops are guaranteed, so are manuscripts that will knock the knickers off some agent, if they are the kind of agent that chooses to wear knickers. (I do not discriminate.)
P.S. I have also convinced myself that there still may be an agent out there that has a thing for silly, macho men with frizzy chest hair. Hope is in the air.