Me: (writing emails early this morning)
Hank: Hi mama.
Me: Hi Hank.
Hank: Whatcha doin’?
Me: (with the tone of someone off to the dentist for a root canal) Writing emails.
Hank: To who?
Me: You mean to whom? If you would say he or she you would use who. If you mean him or her you use the word whom. Unless it is formal and the recipient is undeclaired then it is whom.
Hank: English is hard.
Hank: So yah…
Me: To whom are you writing emails?
Hank: Sure. That.
Me: I am writing an elevator pitch to a literary agent.
Hank: What is a… Huh? I have too many questions about that one sentence.
Me: A literary agent sells books. A literary agent is a person who works for a writer and represents them to publishers as well as other agencies that would like to buy the rights to use a writer’s work. An elevator pitch is a phrase used to describe why you would buy, invest, support something said in the briefest and most direct language possible in the length of time it takes you to enter and exit an elevator.
Hank: So you have to read this email in an elevator?
Me: (grinning) The elevator part is metaphorical. It represents the length of time you have to sell your idea or in this case my latest book project.
Hank: Ooooooooookay. I understand. Wait, that must be hard for you. You talk a lot.
Me: (raised eyebrow)
Me: (loudly slurp coffee, eyebrow still raised)
Hank: I mean in a good way. It takes you time to tell your whole ideas. This is why you are a good writer.
Me: Nice save.
Hank: (relieved) Thanks. I was worried. You know what I mean though.
Me: I do. Trust me. I hate these query emails. I hate writing press releases for the blog. I hate promotion. I feel so slimy. Like I am standing in front of a group of people I respect and shouting, “Hey! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! Aren’t I great? I am soooooo great. Oh, you think I’m great? (death metal growl) GOOD THEN PAY ME.”
Me: But I have to start using my creative writing to pay me more so I can freelance less or else the blog and my book projects have become very expensive hobbies that I can’t continue to devote so much time to.
Me: (shock, horror) My god.
Hank: Where is Manchester? Is it in London?
Me: No, it is in the north of England.
Pai: (stopping to listen)
Pai: Children and Teens are terrifying to some people. They represent the future where their ideas will no longer be powerful. They are taught to love and accept all people and that education is the real power not fear. That makes them a target.
Hank: Children were there at night? This happened at 10:30pm, right? Why were there children there?
Me: (large lump in my throat) A child is any person under the age of thirteen.
Pai: They were your age, Hank.
Me: That could have been you.
Pai: And you, Joy. I would have bailed rather than sitting through a pop concert.
Me: More likely Hank, you and one of your Tias or Primas (aunts or cousins).
Pai: It would be like walking into school and the majority of your class wouldn’t be there today.
Hank: This feels normal. This feeling I have. This feeling is becoming normal now.
Me: That is what the sick and sad people of the world want.
Pai: They want you to be afraid and angry.
Hank: I am not afraid or angry. I am so sad that there are no word and no tears. I can’t even cry. I just want to find a person who is thinking about hurting people this way and be their friend and love them enough that they know they don’t need to hurt people.
Me: (nodding, rubbing Hank’s back) Hurt people hurt people.
Hank: I just want to love people.
Pai: That is probably the right answer, Hank.
Me: We need reconciliation.
Hank: What does that mean?
Me: It means the restoration of friendship.
Hank: That is exactly what the world needs.
Me: It starts with us.
Hank: (nodding, numb)