I've written across years, through two beloved dogs, in between teaching, despite parenting duties, and because of a supportive spouse. My book is 140 pages, 40, 265 words long. At least it is today.
I continue to revise this piece of my heart. I remember when I completed the very first draft. I called my loyal, supportive writing friend who was on her way to a skiing trip with her family. I exploded with excitement. I exclaimed it a day of celebration. As if a baby had been born! It certainly felt as momentous.
That was three years ago.
Years have passed. Amber the golden retriever and Shadow the rescue dog have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. My story has sat for awhile. You see, once the first draft was done, I had no idea what to do next. (Well of course, revision. I am, after all, a teacher of writing. I know the process, for goodness sake)
I had never, ever, ever revised something that was made of 140 pages and 40, 265 words.
And so, I played with it. I ignored it. I edited it. I reread it. And reread it. And reread it...Oh, and I did enter a first 250 words contest which I did not win. But, I did hear from one of the judges who was intrigued enough to ask for the first 10 pages!! I had to call my loyal, supportive writing friend to ask her if she thought the email I received from the agent was a hoax. No, she said. It's for real. And then she danced right along with me!
It never went any further. The agent thanked me and gave me some words of advice. But that email, that request for more, has kept me hopeful. Now it's time to decide whether or not to leap beyond my Pottery Barn Kids overstuffed chair and into the "Writing World" of agents and queries and contests and conferences and classes and marketing and...rejection!
The thing is, I just reread my story, and I love it! I do not know if anyone outside these four walls will also love it, but I will never know unless I try. And it is not coincidental that the central theme of my story is hope.
I guess I'm going to enter and be counted. I paid my SCBWI dues. I joined James River Writers. Now I need to sign up for the 2014 JRW Conference. Do I dare sign up for a pitching session with an actual agent??
Wish me luck!