The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tearing Out Hair and Gnashing Teeth...

         Many years ago, I  went to a workshop that focused on the social consciousness of kids.  Two of the books they used to prod us into writing had a permanent impact on me.

          One is Faithful Elephants.  It is a picture book, a true story, and is reportedly read aloud over Japanese airwaves every year, in the hopes there will never be another war like it.  Every time I read it aloud to a class, I am sure that--this time--I won't cry, because I am so familiar with it.  Yet every year I sob...

        The other book that made an indelible mark on my 
     life is Go Home!  The True Story of James the Cat.  I can 
     still remember the anguish as I listened to that story, 
     the first time, wondering how it would end. (It's the
     story of  a stray cat, and chronicles all the dangers a
     stray has to endure, in a very realistic manner.)

         Several years ago, having thought all along
   that there should be a companion-book for
   Go Home!, one about a stray dog, I worked
   for a year or two on a picture book.  I took it to
   a writing retreat and had a response group
   help me with it.  I met with a friend at a local
   book store---our own little writers' group---and
   got her to critique it.  I had my #1 editing
   friend give me her take on it. Then it sat for a
   couple of years, gathering dust.

           This summer I bragged in my blog that I was
finally ready to send it off.  I even stupidly said I'd do it by the end of the month (August). Someone I had recently met, Donna , made sure I followed through when she commented on my post, "So that means August 31, right?"  That meant there was no way I could back down...

        According to the post office, it should have arrived on September 3rd.  When I did not hear anything the next week, I was surprised.  But I gave them a little leeway.

        Now, since they have had it for almost a month, I am sure there is some incredible battle going on.  Probably, other publishing houses heard about my story, and have tried to snag it from Albert Whitman & Company. They probably have hired professional cat burglars who will rappel down the walls of the building at night, so they can break into the office where my manuscript is... 

       Or,  perhaps all of their editors are arguing.  Which one is going to get the privilege of working with such a gifted author?  Each one is vying for the prestigious position, and there is tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth over the prospect.

        If you are a writer, how do you wait patiently for a response? Do you let your imagination run wild (as I obviously do)? What do you do to keep your hope and faith from flickering into nothingness? 


  1. I can't give any help on what to do while you wait on a response for a book. Since I write short stories I try to keep as many as possible submitted so I don't worry about getting a response to only one story. The more the merrier!
    Or at least saner for me. :)

  2. That is great advice from Janel. I keep looking at my submission chart, knowing I should be sending more out. Alas, that's my goal for October. Keep hanging in there, Sioux. At least you did go a step ahead by sending your story out.

  3. What to do while waiting to hear about your book? Write the next one.
    And yes, waiting is an agonizing process. Writing will help distract you from counting the days your manuscript has been in the slush pile.

  4. I don't have much experience with this, because I've been writing under contract. I hope to have something else ready to send to publishers for consideration some day, though, and then I think I'll be checking my email about a million times a day! I'm sure it is tough waiting once that package is stamped and on its way (or launched into cyberspace). Good luck!

  5. You completed the writing process and submitted! Congratulate yourself for that. It sounds like you submitted to only one pub. That leaves ooh-gobs of others if this one disappoints. Start working on something else and try to "think positive". The anticipation is tough, but it is part of the rush, too, don't you think?

  6. Hey Sioux! That is awesome that you did send something! I didn't know that! Congrats!! And let's see....what to do while you wait....Hmm..I remember the very first thing I submitted was to Chicken Soup for the Soul. I knew how huge they were and that they probably rec'd thousands of stories. But that one, in particular, had some "problems" and it took a year and a half to find out I didn't make it! :(
    The next couple were kind of nerve wracking, too...but you get used to it! Until then....I say, Dream Big, because dreams do come true!


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