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?