First order of business: Call the school district, and while trying to keep the giddiness and sheer joy out of my voice, politely remove myself from the phone tree list for substitute teachers--forever. I don't know if I succeeded, but I have the feeling they were slightly relieved to take me off the list, as they probably thought I was a bit touched as I giggled my regrets.
Next order of business: Find men.
Now, to give you a very brief description of my experience finding men, it's rather pathetic. I was a shy, chubby, introverted teen who didn't have a first date until my senior year in high school. I then met my future husband at 18, when my mom brought him home for dinner, thus ending my experience finding men.
So there I was, on a glorious April day, at a casting call booth in the center parkway of Victoria Gardens, an upscale shopping venue, in search of hunky men. Wow, did I feel like a fish waaaaay out of water, like a grouper dumped in the middle of the Sahara, but that drive to become a published author trumped my pounding heart and shaking hands. Joining me that day of Trolling for Men were my two writing partners and Tammy, our amazing, wonderful, generous and creative photographer, who, by all rights should be in Los Angeles or New York or Paris shooting top supermodels, but by some incredible twist of fate or placement of the angels, was based in my little home town. Finding her was our second best thing that happened to this project.
At first, it was kind of slim pickings as the parade of men trickled in, but by late afternoon, we actually had a line for a brief time. Then, after a few hours of being emboldened by the whole experience , we began hunting them down ourselves. If a cute guy walked by but didn't stop, one of us would grab a business card and chase him down. We were on a Man Quest, and neither soggy grass nor sinking heels kept us from our destiny. Believe it or not, we found several of our great models this way (more on them later.) And the fact that they didn't get put off by sweaty, puffing women was a real plus on their application.
The day resulted in finding nearly 2/3 of the models we needed. At first, we kind of panicked, wondering where we were going to find the balance of boys. But we needed not to fear, because as word of our search got out, men started hunting us down, asking to be in the book. Ah, life was good.
When all was said and done, we had found our great models, and we made plans for principal photography to commence.
Next up: Lights, camera, baby oil.
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