Fourteen Years Ago

Posted by on April 1, 2013 in glasswrights series | Comments Off on Fourteen Years Ago

(When I started writing this entry, it was titled “Fifteen Years Ago”.  Then I did my math.  I don’t care — I’m still sharing the story with you…)

I’m back online after another busy weekend in Klaskyville — we took in an incredible play at Studio Theatre (4000 MILES — which left me in good tears at the end), and then a shopping trip for a new monitor (to replace my dead-as-a-stone iMac; I’m now using my laptop as my main computer), and then spring cleaning (one closet and dresser gone through, at any rate — more to come), and the usual knitting, and reading, and television viewing, and, and, and…

But that’s not why I’m writing today.

I’m writing today, to commemorate (a word I can never spell correctly on the first pass) where I was and what was happening fifteen years ago on this very date.

Scene:  New York City.  The library in a law firm’s office, carved out of unused storage space on a distant floor from the main offices.

Action:  Our Fearless Librarian has spent the entire afternoon shifting paper copies of Federal Register (read:  heavy, slippery, paperback publications that refuse to stand upright) from one end of the library to the other.  After four hours without a break, Our Fearless Librarian hurdles piles of library refuse to check her voice mail on the one working phone in the library.

She receives a message from her agent, the man who agreed to represent her precisely 366 days before, the man with whom she signed a one-year contract.  The message says, “An editor at Roc is interested in buying THE GLASSWRIGHTS’ APPRENTICE.  She wanted to know if you had any sequels, and I told her you had two.  Call me when you get this message.”

Our Fearless Librarian forgets how to breathe.  By the time she remembers, it’s 5:02.  She phones the agent, who has already gone home for the day.

Our Fearless Librarian figures she won’t be able to get any more work done for the day.  She leaves the library and heads down to Times Square to buy a half-price ticket for some play, to take her mind off the exciting message.  That evening, she finds herself in a theater, watching a naked Matthew Broderick stumble around a stage in dim lighting and a fake thunderstorm.  The play is NIGHT MUST FALL, and it’s ghastly.  It’s supposed to be a murder mystery, but Broderick is revealed to be the (naked) killer in the very first scene — the rest of the play is everyone being astonished to learn that Broderick is the (naked) killer.

Halfway through the first act, Our Fearless Librarian realizes the date.  Her heart squeezes so hard in her chest that she can’t breathe.  Is her agent truly that cruel a man?  Could he be playing the world’s most wretched April Fool’s joke?  Is he that spiteful that the one-year contract expired?

The play ends.  Matthew Broderick was, in fact, the (naked) killer.  Our Fearless Librarian returns to her hotel room, where she sleeps less than one hour.  At 9:00, she phones the agent and is surprised when he answers his own phone.  She blurts out, “Are you the cruelest man in the world?”

He wasn’t the cruelest man, of course.  APPRENTICE did sell.  Ultimately, a total of five Glasswrights books sold.  And they continue to sell today — in print, electronic, and audio versions:

The play may have been a complete bust, but the writing career has been pretty much as grand as I ever could have hoped!