The words were finished in 2008 and it was time for...
The place was my hometown of Broken Bow, Nebraska. The date was Wednesday, December 10, 2008. I had originally planned to wait until after Christmas, with the excuse of excess mail, but I was ready. And when one is ready, why wait?
It started as such a common task—stuffing an envelope—which I have been able to do since I was old enough to write a letter. So I set forth with a perfunctory attitude, not fully realizing what was occurring. Neatly filled and addressed, the manila envelope was sealed. I then placed it aside for a couple of hours. There were other things to do before a trip to the post office could be made. During those two hours, I occasionally glanced over at the envelope. Just checking to see if it was okay…possibly to make sure I did not imagine its preparation. The amazing and stunning nature of this manila-in-waiting was sinking in.
Finally the time arrived. I slipped on my shoes and a pullover jacket; then shoved my billfold and keys into pockets. I gently took hold of my cargo and walked towards the post office. A last minute decision caused a minor detour. I needed to stop at the library and share the moment. After all, they had put up with me for the last two years while I wore out their computer keyboards.
I showed them my envelope and immediately they knew. The looks on their faces were of shock, which did not upset me. That was also one of my sensations. After a brief discussion, I was given a “Good luck.” I promptly replied, “You’re welcome!”— exposing my nervous excitement. I corrected with a proper “Thank you!” before leaving the possible future home of my name.
The post office suddenly loomed and I was ripe with anticipation. I entered and was pleased to find my usual clerk. She weighed my cargo and slapped the postage label on the top right corner. I paid her, thanked her, and then glanced at the manila envelope, safe in her postal hands, one final time. It was on its way and I was in a daze!
My head was light and my heart was full. Colors were vivid, hemorrhaging, while physical objects became figments of my wide-eyed gawking. I seriously wondered if this feeling was an equivalent to being in love. Somehow, through my lurid landscape, I arrived home without incident, but I was not content to idle. My sister and I hastily decided to go for a celebratory orange sherbet at a nearby soda fountain.
We sat by the picturesque store window, watching foot and motor traffic around the town square, and conversed of my personal accomplishment. That innocuous manila envelope contained what was once personally deemed impossible…a query to a literary agent. To some this could be a shoulder-shrugging moment, but for me it was an enormous step forward. An initial step on my road to becoming a published author.
For the record, and in hindsight, I understand why this and other literary agents sent rejection letters my way. They saw that my writing would not hold mass appeal and therefore I would make an unprofitable client. These last few years have proven this assessment accurate, but, on a positive note, my name does reside in the library, in a self-published way.
P.S. The Beginning was also the title of my very first post on this blog...