Sure I pitch doggie toys to Evie for thirty minutes or so twice a day so she can rip and race through the house. But I'm talking about a different kind of pitching.
What in doggie snacks was I thinking?
I've never pitched before. Nor do I have anything ready to pitch except for a half-finished manuscript called "The Golden Charm." Something I envision as book one of a 3-book series about Men in Tool Belts.
I've talked about this story before and it seems like ages ago. While renovating a house for new owners, carpenter Eli Golden finds a tin box hidden in a hidey-hole. Inside are old love letters, a few pictures, and a chain with a golden heart charm attached. So begins two romances. A couple during the Vietnam War and a present day couple with the heroine being the granddaughter of the sixties heroine. Two romances, one with an HEA and the other one ending tragically.
Mercy, I don't even know how to classify it. Straight romance? Historical and Present-day romance? Each chapter is of alternating time periods. As an example, here are the begonning few paragraphs of the first 2 chapters.
Eli Golden swore and pulled the long wooden splinter from his finger, wiping the blood on his worn jeans. Minor hand injuries were part of the job as a carpenter or remodeling contractor. As owner of Golden Home Improvements, his absent carpenter’s helper was at the top of today’s list of annoyances. This inch-long splinter was merely a blip.
Eli snatched the crowbar and wrenched off the trim of the narrow built-in shelves the new owner wanted removed from the office. In its place, he’d ordered a wall-to-wall book shelves and a computer desk unit. Eli had to agree with the new owner—the placement of the narrow shelves was odd.
To his surprise, he found a latch hidden on the top one. When he moved it, the back swung open revealing a hiding spot. He peered inside. What was this?
In the secret compartment was an old advertising metal container, about the size of a hardback book. Eli removed it from the hidey-hole and examined its pristine condition. The tin was covered with pictures of lions from an old movie, “Born Free.” He checked again for more hidden items, but the small area was empty.
Turning the object over to examine it, something softly shifted inside. He pried off the lid and found old pictures, letters, and mementos. There was also something wrapped in a yellowed lace-edged handkerchief like his grandma used to use.
This hankie had a pink rose embroidered in the corner. Grandma loved violets and always placed them on hers. She had pots of them in her kitchen windows. He closed his eyes. For an instant a vision came forth of his grandmother humming as she kneaded her homemade bread. The sourdough rye bread she only made for him because he loved it so. He could smell it baking. He opened his eyes and smiled. Memories were so precious.
Now, he held in his hand a container of someone else’s memories.
Why would someone go to such trouble to hide them? Why not lock the tin in a drawer or a safe? He stepped off the ladder and sat on an upturned bucket to examine his discovery. Sherlock, his pale yellow Labrador, trotted over from his watching spot, tail wagging, hopeful for an ear scratching and maybe a treat.
All the seniors were ecstatic when they burst through the school’s front doors. Excited chatter and boisterous laughter bounced off the hall walls behind them. Today was their last day of classes before graduation and they had an early dismissal. Mary Beth Kestler and her best friend Connie Massie rushed into the bright May sunshine and bounded down the wide steps.
Freedom! No more homework. No more gym class with those disgusting open showers afterward. No more teachers checking the length of your skirts. God forbid you should show your entire knee.
“Look, Mary Beth. There’s Jimmy flirting with Louisa and her platinum dyed hair. Her roots are showing and they ruin her Marilyn Monroe look. You know he lives on the corner of my street. His Harley Davidson makes so much racket when he comes home late at night, it gets all the neighborhood dogs barking. He must not have a curfew.”
Connie pulled her tube of white lipstick from her purse and applied another layer. “What’s he doing with her, anyhow? Didn’t he ask you to go to the movies?”
“Yes, but Father said I wasn’t allowed. He yelled for over an hour, claiming a boy like Jimmy Evans would be a bad influence. Looks like he’s moved on.” Mary Beth’s heart sank as Jimmy leaned over and whispered in the girl’s ear. Louisa had breasts like grapefruits and loved showing them off in tight sweaters. Mary Beth glanced at her lemons inside the starched pink blouse and sighed. God hadn’t been exactly fair.
Jimmy’s dark head rose and his blue eyes locked on hers. He patted Louisa’s arm and sauntered in Mary Beth’s direction.
Her heart rate sped up so fast, it must have laid a patch of rubber in her chest. Jimmy was the cutest boy to ever pay attention to her. All the other guys knew she was a preacher’s daughter and kept their distance, but not him.
He hooked his pinky finger with hers and her tummy did all kinds of twitchy things. “Hi, Mary Beth.” His deep blue gaze stayed on hers while he greeted her best friend. “How are you doing, Connie?”
She stuck a pencil in her teased hair to lift it a little higher. “Fine, Jimmy. Be good, you two, I’m going over to ask Judy if she’s coming to my pj party tonight.” Connie rushed off.
Jimmy tugged Mary Beth closer. “A pajama party and I wasn’t invited?” He leaned down, his black hair nearly hanging over an eye and lowered his voice. “Maybe my brother told her I don’t have any. I sleep in the nude.”
Mary Beth gasped and he chuckled. She’d never heard him laugh before. He was more the brooding type. But the smile that ignited the twinkle in his blue eyes touched something her heart lacked—a yearning for someone special in her life.
The conference runs from Sept. 14th through the 15th. I'm to pitch to an editor from Sourcebooks. I'm doomed already. Then I pitch to an agent from a hot shot agency. Do I even want an agent? Think I could cancel my flight reservations?????
Before I sign-off, Happy Labor Day to you all.