Yesterday was a time of reflection. It was my birthday and every year at this time I look back at the past 365 days. I take a moment to say my goodbyes to the not so great moments since my last birthday and remind myself of all the wonderful blessings I've enjoyed over the past twelve months.
1. Restful sleep. For some reason I am not sleeping as well as I have in the past. I have calculated that over the eleven weeks of summer I will have lost over 220 hours of sleep which equates to 27 1/2 DAYS of sleep at summers end which I can't get back.
2. My old mailbox. Things have been exceptionally quiet on the other side of the hedges and I can only pray it stays that way. My new mailbox isn't looking quite so new after the last 4 am party but it's still hanging in there and for that I am grateful.
3. Household clutter. I have been gathering things in preparation of a yard sale next month and my study is starting to pile up. I'm counting down the days and hopefully when it's over my house will be a little more empty and my pockets a little more full.
4. Rejection letters. I'm collecting those like trophies. All are wonderfully positive but in the end I am discovering my voice is too unique for this market. Either I need to uncover an agent who will boldly go where no agent has gone before...or I need to check out new markets.
Hats off to...
1. Publication. My short story "Shortcut To Peace" was picked up by Chicken Soup For The Soul: Angels Among Us and released in January of this year. It was a much needed validation that at least some of my writing has merit.
2. Picture Books. I started off last year with not even a strong idea for a story and now, after PiBoIdMo and 12 X 12, I have 9 solid stories with 5 of them ready for querying and the other four in final revision stages.
3. WIPs. I have 16 other works in progress where I have written the basic outline or even written a very rough draft but need to go further with them.
4. Novels. I worked some on Lacey's Bridge but it has been Lunadar: Homeward Bound which has captured my passion at the moment. So little time and so much of this story floating around in my head and nowhere to go until I can free up some moments for my writing.
5. Nonfiction. Expanding in an arena I have had an interest in for more than a year. Working on research is like searching for buried treasure! Can't wait to see what I uncover next.
6. Contests and submissions. I have spent time this year doing a lot of submissions. Agents, Contests. Magazines. I'm testing the waters and narrowing my search for representation.
7. Participating in Julie Hedlund's 12 X 12. Where else are you GUARANTEED an agent specializing in picture books will actually read your story? And in most cases, they are providing valuable feedback on how to improve our writing.
8. Rejection letters. Yeah, you read correctly. Hats go off to these as well because in the whole scheme of things they assure me that I am doing the right thing. I am getting myself familiar with the processes involved in getting my work seen by the right people. Those letters might contain NOs for now, but one day soon there will be a YES and then I will be forever grateful for the ones who taught me perseverance.
Goodbye to my old life when I was a year younger. I better grab some sunglasses. I'm looking to the future and my future is looking pretty bright!!