Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Phone Call

I left you hanging yesterday. Sorry. Suspense trick I learned in the trade. Here it is. The moment of truth. Lexa's phone call.

The Phone Call
from "Storm's Story," July 10, 2008, my original website

I finally got Lexa on the phone. We talked weather for an uncomfortable couple of minutes, and then she said, “Well, I have good news. We want to offer you a two book contract. We’d like to buy TAKEN BY STORM and a second book.”

She caught me way off guard. “Two books?”

“Yeah. We want you to know we believe in your prose.”

“My what?”

“And the Mormon angle. We don’t find it a problem. We actually think its a big plus.”

We went on to discuss details of the contract. Lexa warned me we’d have to cut a lot. They wanted it down to 60K words. Within a few days, we had an agreement. A few weeks later I had my first editorial letter.

Leesie’s relationship with Michael challenges her spirituality in a way that nothing has before. Lexa wanted me to make that more accessible for the reader. The first thing she asked me to do was add a Leesie poem prologue that expresses her faith.

I cried.

And then I wrote this:

Leesie’s Most Private Chapbook
Poem # 24,  What does it matter?

What does it matter if
another jock pinches me
as I walk down the hall to Physics
and high fives Troy, celebrating
like he just scored
the season’s first touchdown?

As I stalk past
the architect of my torture,
I’m frozen, a block of ice—
not a single drop melts.

All hail the Mormon Ice Queen.

What does it matter?

I know the commandment,
but I don’t even consider
turning the other cheek.

And, yes, it hurts, but
life without pain
isn’t much of a test.

This feeling can’t be lonely—
I’m not alone.

I walk with His hand on my shoulder,
His voice whispering in my soul,
His love soaring in my heart,
His suffering

What else could possibly matter?

And then Leesie meets Michael. Hang on, girl, it’s going to get rough.

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