Sunday, June 10, 2007

Quiet Time

Sometimes my son (unconsciously) likes to barrage me with questions. He only knows one speed: rapid fire. And the questions are mostly some variation of “why?” After about five minutes, my answers turn from genuine interest to, “because I said so,” followed by “OK, enough questions. Mommy needs quiet time.” Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But today, I decided to take time away from the family and come to my local Starbucks for some real quiet time.

After a very dismal Saturday weather-wise, today turned out to be B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. And on beautiful days, Starbucks is empty. Occasionally the front counter fills up with people making a quick stop, then off to someplace else. For me, that means snagging a larger table without guilt. I’m able to spread out my laptop, journal, and thoughts before me with very little distraction or annoying coffee-shop chatter.

Today I decided it was time to tweak my manuscript. To date, I have only sent it to one publisher and I haven’t heard anything yet since the open submission period closed at the end of March. Probably means they are reading through a huge slush pile. Or it’s really not what they’re looking for and my rejection just hasn’t come in the mail. Either way, I’m prepared for the worst, which really isn’t that bad. I’m no better off than I am right now.

What I’m not ready for is to have it accepted. What if they want it …what happens next? Lots of negotiation and revision, I suspect. No big book advance but certainly more opportunity and visibility. Honestly, the chance to promote blogging and Poetry Thursday would be reward enough for me. I wouldn’t have completed my manuscript with such enthusiasm if it wasn’t for all the wonderful people who stop by to see what I’m up to. AND, the feeling is mutual.

OK, enough of that. As you know, my mode of operation is to forge ahead with to-do lists, finding another publisher to consider my work—blah, blah, blah! But right now I just feel like reveling in the moment. When it comes to my work, I spend too much time with the what if’s instead of enjoying the act of completion.

So I’m typing this post while listening to Ray Charles’ version of Come Rain or Come Shine over the Starbucks airwaves. Coincidently, that’s the song that Tim and I danced to at our wedding. I think that’s a great sign, and a reminder to always enjoy a few moments of quiet time.


Kristine said...

When you said "I'm prepared for the worst", all I could think about is just how wonderfully courageous you are for taking the leap. The worst would have been if you never put your work out there. A 'no' is simply a 'you are not a match for us' and that means you have ruled out one place and can move on to the next as you find your perfect match. You are brilliant - don't forget it!

January said...

Thanks Kristine. It's such a process. I just have to enjoy the moment, but continue to look for publishers who can get behind my work.


chiefbiscuit said...

You have a great attitude. I know you will achieve what you set out to do because you're just that sort of person - one in a million!

Devra and Aviva said...

You are a living example of one of our mommy guilt-free principles "Live in the Moment." This is such a difficult one for us creative types, because it always seems like there is "something else" we need to be forging ahead to do. Taking time for yourself is so important, because just as you have described, it affords us the ability to think about things and really "live in the moment." Congrats on finishing up your MS and sending it! HUGE accomplishment and something you can share with your offspring and say "This is why mommy needed some alone time!" Teaches our kids that when they grow up, it's okay to take time for themselves too!

January said...

Devra and Aviva, thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the kind words.

I never really looked at it that way, but I believe that one day I'll be able to show the kids what I was doing when I needed the time alone.

January said...

CB--I couldn't have completed the manuscript without such words of encouragement. THANKS!


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