Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Got Pitch?

by Elizabeth

So I sent my first queries. And now I wait.

Every spring for the last six or eight years I have doubled up on Pilates in preparation for bathing suit season. Which is funny, because the most bikini action I see is usually on a river, with a t-shirt covering my midriff and water shorts covering my rear but still. It's good to tighten up, increase my strength, prepare. This year, and maybe it was I knew we weren't getting on a river, I somehow just didn't. Instead of my four classes a week being a combo of yoga and Pilates, two and two starting in March or April, it was all yoga. Which was useful in a lot of ways, but my stomach noticed. And I'm noticing my stomach all these months later, and enough is enough.

So last night I went to Pilates again, vowing to do so twice a week until Thanksgiving or so at least. Besides, it was good to see the teacher, a woman I really like, and whose name I wanted to add to my acknowledgements list since yoga teachers are definitely due my gratitude with this novel. She incorporates plenty of yoga into her classes, and I asked if she also teaches that. Nope, just practices it herself. So what? She gets the nod anyway, both for what she's done for my core over the years and also for what she made me realize last night. When I asked for her last name, I told her I'd written a book, and of course she asked what it's about. And I ... flailed!

I don't have an elevator pitch! Wow. I wrote and polished a query, spent hours with synopses of three different lengths, wrote the dang book, but a succinct and interesting thirty-second summation without the word "umm" in it? Don't have it.

I've blogged before about coming to terms with admitting out loud I'm a writer. I've even gotten fairly good at that. But now that I'm querying, and hopefully publishing in the not-too-distant future, that line "I'm a writer" will of course be followed by the question, "What's it about?" And I'd better be ready.

So today, instead of obsessively checking my email, I'm going to work on my pitch. Write it out, polish it, cast it to memory, maybe practice it on unsuspecting Target clerks. And then next week, when I'm again gearing up for Hundreds and Saw and Rolling Like a Ball, I'll be ready to tell my teacher what it's about. Ready for the season. Ready for the world.

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