Thursday, August 25, 2016

8/25/16- Patience

While I have not been writing blog posts for almost 2 weeks, I have been writing.  I've been drafting query letters and revising my picture book manuscript.  It's been 3 (or maybe it's 4?) weeks since I attended the Society of Children Books Authors and Illustrators (SCBWI; they pronounce every letter, to which I wonder what's the point of an acronym) conference in Los Angeles.  It was a great experience for me, with lots of knowledge (to the point of almost overwhelming) and friendships and professional contacts made.

I wish I could say that I signed on with an agent, or better yet, a publisher declared right then and there they'd print my book, but alas, that did not happen.  I was prepared for that to not happen though. It was a reoccurring saying to first time conference attendees, "do not get your hopes up."  Along with, "this business is subjective."

There were positive messages too.  Like authors who shared how long it took them to get published (decades), but they finally did.  "So stay determined, don't give up, believe in yourself."  There was also, "we need diverse books," which really resonated with me, as I'm passionate about diversity in engineering.  I do lots of STEM outreach with children, promoting diversity in engineering.  It's great to hear that there are people in SCBWI who are passionate about seeing diverse characters and diverse authors in the children's book industry.

So with these positive messages weighing more on me then the negative, I have used the opportunities presented to conference attendees.  One of these opportunities is to submit directly to editors at major publishing houses.  For the uninitiated, the author usually cannot submit directly to publishing houses, as most require that agents submits on your behalf. No unrepresented solicitation basically.  And thus why the past few weeks I've been working on query letters to editors.

I submitted these queries yesterday, and now it's wait and see if they write back.   It is hard for me to wait.  I want to know now. I'm so hopeful  that I'll get positive feedback, that I cannot wait the six weeks or longer it might take to hear book. Or they might not ever write back.  Then my hope is left dangling there for eternity.  I'll take polite decline with feedback/critic any day; it's better than not hearing anything at all.

Also, my son Jack is now a full toddler.  No trace of baby left in him. The baby face gone, the hours of rocking him gone, and the sweet baby personality gone.  It's miscommunication (how are Bobby and I supposed to know that daddy was potty; it sounded so much like daddy), refusing to eat what is on his plate, and tantrums.  However, it's also him using imagination when playing, giving kisses,  and saying I love you (I think; see miscommunication above).  I know some of the negative associations with toddler hood (like tantrums) while get better and fade away; it's a matter of both sides learning and growing.  But  right now, in the moment of him being a toddler, I need patience.

That's this week's word, patience.  I need it for my writing, and I need it for my son.  It's skill I haven't developed well.  It's a skill though, like the other skills I do have, that can be learned.  I have some ideas on how I can learn this skill: perform yoga or mediation; take deep breaths when son (or whoever else for that matter) is frustrating me; write the emotion down; and make it through Paw Patrol without making a snarky comment.  I'd love to hear other ideas on how I can learn or practice patience.  Wish me good practice, dear reader, as I (and Bobby) enter this stage of life!

Patience? Or maybe I just need to be more like a samurai

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