It’s not really a book club but rather an online course on writing a book proposal. Thanks to the encouragement of friends and family, I’ve started this 4-week course which will guide me through the complex modus operandi to preparing a professional proposal for a nonfiction book.
First thing I learn is that a professional book proposal could be 35-38 pages in length PLUS one or two sample chapters. Uh, question? What if my whole book is only going to be 35-38 pages?? I’m so glad this course is on line and I don’t actually have to raise my hand in class to ask questions out loud.
Next I read through the bios of my fellow classmates which number 20 or so. There are doctors and psychologists looking for guidance in writing encyclopedias and manuals, there are economists and executives looking to write professional trade books, several artists and ministers interested in writing self-help books that will guide us to the path of healing and a wine master who I sure hope is going to write a book about how to make your own wine at home that tastes just like Wolf Blass (but I somehow doubt it), just to name a few. Fully half of the class have already written books or been published in some form. Gulp.
Needless to say, I am totally out of my league. I’m already thinking of playing hooky tonight during our real time “lounge’ chat. On my first posting to our ‘blackboard’ I meekly added, “Such class diversity and talent! I am so impressed! Well, leave it to me to drag things down a notch and write a book about ‘a day in the life’ of a typical hockey mom”. To this, I received only one response: “Oh how cute. Good luck with that.” Sounds like she liked the idea though.
My first assignment is to write a catalogue copy. Publishers read this first to determine if they want to read your proposal. It’s kind of like the back flap book summary that helps you decide if you want to buy the book. Well, here goes….here’s my rough draft:
Intentional Offside: A Day in the Life of a Hockey Mom
Catalogue Copy – Version July 2009
Her vocal chords and stern advice would impress a veteran drill sergeant. Her unwavering loyalty would unhinge a marine. Her vehicle serves as transportation, restaurant, after-school homework club, therapists couch, and customer care centre, music machine and sleep chamber. She is but one of the tens of thousands of hockey moms diligently doing duty all over North America.
What is essential arena attire? Who manufactures the ultimate travel coffee mug? Hockey equipment costs how much?? What the heck is an intentional off-side? You expect my friends to buy raffle tickets to win THIS? What, Who and Where is the Rink Rat? What can you feed a family who will eat at 3 different times while saving leftovers for the teenage ones who’ll bring half their team home after the game? Did I really volunteer for this job?
Even if you’re not a hockey mom – you may not even follow hockey – you’ll enjoy this hilarious epic “day in the life” narrative that chronicles a mother’s journey over the slippery slick surface that is being a true Hockey Mom. Stompin’ Tom Connors wrote about her, now you can read about her. You may laugh, you may cry and you may even learn a thing or two about hockey.
I don’t know. At least my real book club serves wine and cheese.