The Golden SPANX… and other weird events

Some weeks the glass is half-empty.

Other weeks you look at the glass and think, “Dang, I wish that was vodka instead of water.”

This week, I was just happy the glass was metaphorical, because otherwise it would have been smashed by the rollicking earthquake of good news I got.

It started with an email. “We at Larsen-Pomada would like to talk to you about your manuscript.”

Seriously? I thought, sitting at my father’s (dial-up) computer in New Orleans. They seriously want to reject me in person? Isn’t that a little. . . sadistic? (And me, without my rejection pants!)

So I charged my cellphone, reassured myself that a few other agents were still reading my manuscript, and went to a coffee shop to wait for the soul-crushing call. The phone rang:

THEM: “We’d like to offer you representation.”

ME: (choking on decaf) “Excuse me?”

THEM: “Um, representation. We’d like to represent you.”

But, but… this was Laurie McLean, agent extraordinaire of Larsen-Pomada. MY DREAM AGENT! Well crum, I thought. Exactly what kind of mushroom was that in my lunch salad?

Then Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, Laurie’s fabulous assistant (and agent-in-training with whom I’d been emailing), got on the phone and confirmed. Nope, no hallucination. Dream agent likes me.

For the next few days, I doodled in my notebook, “Cecily White, repped by Laurie McLean,” then I added, “and Pam van Hylckama Vlieg,” because two agents are better than one, right? I drew a bunch of flowers around it and started smiling a lot. My kids didn’t think this was weird at all. They began referring to Pam as Agent P, and Avery started asking things like, “Mommy, if you get published, will I be famous?”

ME: “Yes, dear. Absolutely.”

EVAN: “Does this mean I don’t have to eat vegetables anymore?”

ME: “Only if you want to get scurvy and die young.”

AVERY: “I like carrots.”

I thought the wave of joy had ebbed when Monday morning rolled in. Then the second call came:

PRANK CALLER: “Hi, this is Nikki Enlow calling from Romance Writers of America®. You’re a finalist for the Golden Heart®.

ME: “That’s not funny, Stephanie.”

PRANK CALLER: “No, really. You’re a finalist.”

ME: “Dude, you know I have caller ID, right?”

Turns out, she wasn’t kidding. Apparently it’s okay for judges to eat funny mushrooms too, because I can only assume that’s what they were doing when they read my manuscript. So yeah, I’m a finalist.

Which means my photo is going to be up on a widescreen in Anaheim and now I have to lose like, ten pounds so my butt doesn’t obscure the attendees’ view when I get there.

MY SISTER: “You can’t wear jeans.”

ME: “I don’t own anything else.”

MY SISTER: “Go shopping.”

ME: “But I look good in jeans. They’re slimming.”

MY SISTER: “Invest in Spanx.”

Yes, clearly, only Spanx can save me now. And so, at the end of one of the most adrenaline-packed weeks of my life, I am left with a nugget of awesome and a handful of Lycra.


Some weeks the glass is half-full.




  1. Hilarious recap, Cecily. Huge kudos. I’m very happy for you. YEA! YIPPEE! SNOOPY DANCE!

    P.S. If you need to lose 10 pounds, omg, I guess I need to lose 20! You look great. Be your sweet self, famous girl.

  2. Big congrats on your successes. BUT your post is cracking me up. Surely Stephanie wouldn’t do such a mean thing. I hope you’ll be live tweeting from Anaheim!!!

  3. Cecily: I’ve been telling you how great you are. Do you believe me now?
    I am so proud!!!!

  4. You are too funny! So glad you thought I’d prank call you. Tiara and walk time! Will you let me be in your entourage? Happy times! SOOOOO EXCITED!!!!

  5. Lose 10 pounds?! Sweetie… you always look perfect and ‘famous’. And to think we all knew you when! :-) Love and Hugs!

  6. Hey, Soul Sister,
    Very funny account of events. It couldn’t happen to a more worthy person. But…as I said on Facebook…you are the only one who is surprised at all of this.
    Luv ya!

  7. Hi, Cecily, I love your write-up. Had kind of the same experience, which started — less than a year ago! — with an e-mail from the awesome Laurie McLean, “Can we talk?” She signed me five days later, made a two-book deal eleven weeks after that, and my first novel, Summoning, is on shelves this month. A year ago, I hadn’t met her yet. Not till June. Laurie is amazing. Took a field trip with her last week to meet my publishers at Night Shade Books. Being with Laurie is like being drunk the whole time. And I had orange juice. I look forward to reading your books.

    • Woot!!! That makes me feels all warm and bubbly inside!

      I will now go tweet about your success!!!

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