Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dang it, Mike, I thought you were my friend.

The last 24 hours can only be described as 'eventful'. I found myself in the back of a police cruiser for one thing. And for another, I got perhaps the most exciting email of the year this very morning. But where to begin? Man-oh-man, my head is spinning.

All right, the only way to do this is chronologically: Ten o'clock last night, I ran to the video store to get a movie for my bored family (yeah, we're on vacation again). I also got popcorn, and some Mike's hard lemonade for Cindy. So on the way back, in about exactly the same spot as my three previous times, I struck and killed a freaking deer. That brings my total car/deer accidents to four, and all of them on the same half mile stretch of rural 64th avenue. I'm tempted to break off into a vulgar string of expletives at this point, but I'll restrain myself - for the sake of forward momentum.

The 911 dispatcher said it would be a half hour until an officer could get there, and an hour later, he finally shows up with his professional demeanor and massive flashlight. I couldn't find my registration, I couldn't find my proof of insurance, and guess what Mike did to me?

He spilled all over the floor.

Yeah, two of the Mike's hard lemonades smashed on the floor of my van, so guess what the officer smelled? "How much have you had to drink tonight, sir?" Honestly, I'd had two Guinnesses much much earlier in the day, so I told him that (cuz without my honesty, I am nothing).

"I'm gonna have to ask you to step out of the vehicle."

So the field sobriety tests consisted of a series of impossible tasks that anybody would have had trouble with even if they were sober which I totally was, but ultimately, I didn't do so good. Probably because, yes, I was nervous as crap. Like following his finger in the darkness outside the pool of light from the flashlight directed in the center of my face. What kind of test is that?

After a series of daring stunts both physical and intellectual, I found myself locked in the back of his cruiser while he filled out paperwork. Out of the goodness of his heart, he wanted to allow another fifteen minutes for my breath to "cool off" before he administered the breathalyzer. (I happened to smell like alcohol because after an hour of waiting for him to get there, I was sick of getting gnawed on my mosquitos and had just put on a heavy layer of bug spray)

Meanwhile, Cindy had found a current proof of insurance and wanted to call and tell me. Since I was, at that moment, being questioned in the back of a police cruiser, I chose not answer. So she called back - repeatedly - because she was concerned. That turned into a mini-ugly in itself, but, that's another story.

Anyway, I blew a perfect zero-point-zero-zero-zero, and he let me go with a warning about the insurance. Of course, two hours of emergency flashers had run my battery dead, so I had to call Cindy to bring me a crowbar to get at the battery. I tell you, the fun never stops.

I did get it home, though. First thing this morning, I dismantled the hood in a retrograde fashion to survey the damage, and yeah, it's fairly bad. I asked Eddie to come over and give me his opinion, and while we were looking at it, this salesman pulled up in the driveway. I explained to the guy that it really wasn't a good to look at his five-hundred dollar textbooks (in case my kids want to do a bunch of extra studying), but he would not take 'no' for an answer. So I indulged him, for what he called "five minutes" - enough time for Eddie to almost totally tear down the front end of my van.

Sooooo..... the insurance guy wanted to send an adjuster over to take pictures, and yeah, we had to put it all back together. That's where things stand right now.

But how's this for timing? I finally walked into the house, sat down and checked my email, and the first thing I see: is a request for a full manuscript of Elfhame - from Amy Berkower. For those of you who don't know, this is pretty much the most successful literary agent in New York City (I'm not exaggerating - here's proof - I totally want my books listed alongside these) and she's been my number one dream agent for the last three years. Thing is, I haven't sent out a single query letter in four months. Yeah, she requested a partial back in March or so, but then I didn't hear back from her, so I figured it was more than likely a 'no'. And then moments after the whole 'van/deer/drunk test/pushy salesman/unnecessary auto dismantling' thing, she requests a full manuscript.

I was excited. So I called Cindy into the office. And she was excited. She literally jumped up and down. "Ray, Ray, Ray... this is exactly what I've been praying for - that you would hear good news from an agent by our anniversary."

Course our anniversary was two days ago, so, God couldn't possibly have anything to do with any of this, could he?
All right. Take a deep breath. Mull things over. Then check out our latest video on Youtube. Me and Hailie and Chantze did a music video parody of Hannah Montana and Billy Ray Cyrus. Click this link, or the one on the side. Don't really matter none which link y'all use, the important thing as that you watch it. And maybe comment, or better yet, subscribe.


VeeFlower said...

OH MY GOSH! How exciting is that!? I am so excited I had to comment first before even turning to the video on You Tube...a zero zero zero zero! Psych....I was really referring to the request by Amy Berkower. This could be it, Ray. It's a cracking good story and it could be the one that breaks the ice. I will pray about it, too! And by the way, I am glad you didn't get hurt by the freakin' deer. But have you ever thought about putting a plow on the front of your van?! LOL! I have been reading some other stories in Beacons, and hey, did you read some of those bios? Some of those folks are writing teachers at colleges, dude! And some of them have been published several times! And you whooped ass. All I can say is, wow.

bunnyjo georg said...

Ray, Ray, Ray, Ray. Wow. Dang it's hard not to jump in my mind from book deals to a monetary advance to book signings and a 2-hour author reading on C-Span's Book Review channel. This is the most exciting news we've had in our family since....you won the Beacons of Tomorrow contest. Or when Jamie won the trip to Maui. Wow, this is big!! I'm so excited!!!! I can't wait to hear what happens next!

Speaking of which.....that was the best worst story I've ever heard. It knocks every story of mine clear out of the water. I reluctantly pass the crown of thorns to you. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Ray! You shouldn't be writing fiction, you should be writing true comedy! The funniest things happen to you! This reminded me of your story with Damon & running & mud & ...... a lack of essentials! Congratulations though!

shortensweet said...

I AM SO EXCITED!! I will pray about this too. Cindy seems to have it in good with the big guy! I can't wait to hear more.
Gods timing is perfect even though we may not agree!!

BTW - you have moved up the list of respect for being in the back of a crusier :)

One more BTW - when I read the part about her requesting the full thing, I got big ole tears of pride in my eyes :)

bunnyjo georg said...

Hey, one other thing. I'd love to be able to watch your videos and in fact have tried....problem is, my computer has no sound. It somehow loses something when you can't hear what is being said and why Paige is balling her eyes out. Rather discourages one from future video endeavors.

Mary O. Paddock said...

Many congrats Ray! You've earned it.

Ray Veen said...

Thanks for your kind congratulations, everybody. You are the best people I know.

Perspective-wise, she didn't actually offer to represent me, so, I'm still pretty much where I was a few days ago. It's just that being asked for a full manuscript from your dream agent is very encouraging, especially after months of nothing, and then in specific answer to prayer.

I learned a long time ago not to get my hopes up about these kinds of things. But there is this sense of magical fate faeries flitting around with their wands of miraculous representation leaving swaths of beautiful success sparks across the sky. I mean, you feel it too, right?

Serena Woods said...

This is so funny! Congratulation on your Elfhame manuscript request! That's exciting.

BTW: Thanks for commenting on my blog!