Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ice Cream Truck

Note: The wonderful Danielle interviewed me! Go check it out!

HUGE Note: Remember that time Kiersten White FREAKING HIT THE NYT BESTSELLERS LIST? Yeah, that was awesome.

When I was little, summer days were measured in how soon the ice cream truck was coming. He'd come everyday at about the same time in the afternoon, and as the hour drew nigh we'd sit on the curb and wait, planning what to buy with our meager allowance.

Crunch Bars, Choco Tacos, Big Sticks, Rocket Pops, Twin Pops, Push Pops...lots of Pops.

The wait seemed eternal each day, though we knew the tinkling sound of "Do Your Ears Hang Low" would eventually fill the air. Then his truck would appear and we'd cheer, our mouths watering.

But before that glorious moving sugar buffet arrived, it was always the same:

"When is he coming?"

"What if he doesn't come?"

"I'm going to DIE if this takes much longer!"

To pass the time we'd throw rocks into the street, color with chalk on the sidewalk. If we really wanted a rush, someone would strap on their roller blades, we'd all pile in the back of a wagon, and they'd pull us down the hill and around the corner as fast as they could.

That's how I got the scar on my chin—I can blame it on boredom waiting for the ice cream truck.

But looking back now, I wonder if that ice cream man waited as much for us as we did for him. We were serious regular customers, well-versed in ice cream truck delicacies and probably a much-needed part of his paycheck. Perhaps he never came early for fear that we wouldn't be there. Perhaps as he approached our street, his music blaring so loud he probably couldn't hear, it was always the same:

"Will they be there?"

"What if they're not there?"

"I will DIE if this takes much longer!"

Then we'd see each other and smile. My friends and I would wave to him, our quarters at ready. He'd wave back, relieved that we were still there, waiting.

I think sometimes we forget that the "other side" is waiting too, that agents or editors or readers hope we're ready on that curb, can't wait to see how much we have for them today. Just like we're standing on the curb, hoping they haven't run out of Rocket Pops yet.


  1. Aww, I love this post! So true they are waiting...

    And completely unrelated to your actual comparison, I hate ice cream trucks. The ones around here come around at the ODDEST hours and they are very loud and obnoxious and Darcy whines every time they come by because she wants an ice cream and I rarely have cash to go out there and get her one.

  2. That's a wonderful way to think of it, Natalie. Maybe I should stop doubting myself so much and thinking of agents as ruthless creatures who are just hovering over their keyboard to reject you and think of them as kind souls who want to nurture new writers. At the very least, even if a bit naive, thinking positively will help my writing.

  3. I'm with you, and with KaelaQLC. My job is to hone my work, and then get it out there, knowing that agents and editors are looking for good writing, and READERS are looking for good books.

    You are inspiring!

  4. *sigh* I miss ice cream trucks. Somehow, the chocolate eclair pop doesn't taste the same when you pull it from a cooler at the gas station.

    I love this analogy!

  5. Brilliant post and food for thought as well. Although now I want ice cream of course.

  6. What a great way to look at things! I really hope there's an agent out there just waiting for the perfect story that happens to be mine :)

  7. Awww this was so cute!! I love looking at things from the other way... it really gives everything much more meaning.

    I sometimes think of my soon-to-be readers and imagine them saying "Would she just finish that book so I can buy it and read it??? I'll DIE is this takes much longer!" :)

  8. I NEVER got to buy ice cream from the ice cream truck! My mom would always say, "We have ice cream in the fridge." (Which would, of course, be those huge buckets of vanilla with chocolate swirl. NOT the same.)

  9. Love this. I hope an agent is waiting for me, too. I think I may print out a pic of an icecream truck just for inspiration.

  10. I love your point of view! It put a smile on my face :)

  11. I never got to buy from an ice cream truck either but because we lived in Miami and my father didn't trust them not to slip us something drugged! (It's still on my secret to-do list, though. Someday!)

  12. Oh Bleep! I love this!!!

    Sometimes it's hard to remember there's a shoe on another foot out there somewhere.

    PS, My icecream truck played "Home On the Range!" Ah, sweet memories!

  13. :) Fabulous analogy. (And now I want a Firecracker!)