I was looking for the outline of my unpublished and (allegedly) stolen children's book when I stumbled upon the over 600 page and over 91,000 word MS of The Role Model, my first (unpublished) novel.
I was informed by a representative of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts that they couldn't pursue my case, because I had exceeded that statute of limitations, but I did get "Yes Dear!" out of the ordeal, which I published in The Poet.
The Poet took a stab at writing a novel
that didn’t sell well. Though, it was quite artful.
Then he decided to write a children’s book
that he had outlined in a cahier notebook.
How hard could it be? He thought one night.
But it turned out to be very difficult to write.
Who knew there was a method to the silliness.
The Poet’s struggles made him a bit anxious.
He read How to Write Children's Picture Books.
And read a lot of children’s picture books.
After six months the manuscript was done
and [e]mailed to every agent in Manhattan.
Soon the rejection letters came in electronically;
And he lost hope of getting published quickly.
Seven years later a former student said,
What was the name of your MS I read?
Wasn’t it titled Yes Dear!?
She was getting a PhD in child lit at MSU
when she spotted the contraband askew
upon an oak bookcase
in a Serif typeface.
Well, I just read Yes Day!
and Yes Dear! sounds like Yes Day!
She Camscanned Yes Day! into her iPhone
and sent the PDF which was almost a clone
of The Poet's unpublished book.
To which he said, "That crook stole my book!"
He emailed Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
which is an organization that imparts
counseling and pro bono legal representation
for artists who are in the statute of limitations
Dejected he said, “Well, back to poetry I go.
No, let's do a book on the history of espresso?”
Over six years ago, I let a supporter read The Role Model's MS. Days later, she handed it back to me and shook her head as if I had offered her a warm slice of slimy okra pie. For some reason, I didn't edit the MS. I didn't even ask her what was specifically wrong with my book, but I immediately sat down at a Mac and began writing Katie, my complemented but out-of-print second novel.