cafe mama

a domestic realist blog

writing and speaking . an agent and a Mom 2.0 conference . 12 april 2013

a photo taken in the mirror, of me

I am late to this.

What I wanted to weave you was a story of belief in me. What I wanted to spin for you was a yarn of passion. What I wanted to lay before you like platters of carefully-cooked food or artfully-arranged bed linens was the thread of narrative that starts back then and ends in I have opportunities!

And I was excited for all of this and time passed and I did not write this post. And I told my story to my friends and to myself. And I told my story in late nights and glasses of wine and olives nibbled out of fingertips.

Years and years and years ago, I wanted to write a book. All my life I have sat like a child in a cold shallow stream, waist-deep in words, my fingers spreading wide through the smooth round green-dusted rocks of rhythm and grammar and alliteration and punctuation, the breezes of story structure lifting my hair, the light of "voice" baking the back of my head into its strawberry heat.

My fingers are wrinkled now, and I have a sunburn, and an agent. She's a nice one, and she really likes the things I write, and I hope we'll sell them together right quick.

Jennifer is one of those people who fills the slot in your life, the one you've held open for someone who has the skills both of loving your way of writing (all of your ways) and being willing to work so very hard to sell it. After all the pitching to people who did not quite understand me, or who understood me but found my projects too niche or quixotic, it is a relief. We have agreed to work on the book project provisionally titled, Penelope and Other Heroes: Retelling the Myth of the Waiting Wife, a story of how I take on archetypes of the heroic and flawed sort to tell the story of my life as an Army wife, and also this project about emotional children.

There is another thing too. I am a preacher.

I am a preacher not of Bible verses or moral stories or platitudes, but a preacher of sales, strange as it is. I have pored deeply, at night or in the mid-morning coffee-fueled haze, over curves and charts and theories of creative funding.

I launched a Kickstarter campaign, and because that was not enough, I thought over it, I contemplated and theorized. In the end I had a presentation: a speech, to give at the Mom 2.0 Summit. The gorgeous, passionate ladies who run the event gave me the honor of the appearance. May 4. 9 a.m. The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.

You'll get more than crowdfunding, more than Kickstarter, you'll get 15 years of product development and 20 years of sales. I've studied at the feet of the masters and I've watched horrified at mistake, after mistake, after mistake (and only some of them were mine). Product development? Theories of influential contact? Lessons in social media strategy? Oh yeah. You'll get it all.

(And then there is the most important part, really -- spoilers! -- that before you produce anything you mean to sell, for love, money or plum star anise jam, you should evaluate not so much the thing you want to sell as the market. Your "users." The people who you think will want your Thing. Find out from them, what do they need? Make sure your Thing meets their needs and not the all-backwards way; that you're finding people whose needs meet your Thing. There's more, of course, but this you need to know.)

I can't wait to preach, and to meet you.

(Updated: At the conference, I presented this presentation on how to Kickstart your creative idea.)

ads, which strive, which fail to yield

read my previous post . spring breaking . march 27 . 2013

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