I hope you're all having a great weekend. Here in Illinois, we're having great fall weather. I've spent a lot of time on the deck reading, writing, and just enjoying the sunshine. It's nice to be outside without sweat rolling down places sweat should never roll. You know what I'm talking about.
If you've visited my blog before, thank you for coming back. If this is your first time, welcome. I built this website and started writing a blog because of a rejection I received from a literary agent. She said she liked my writing style and the concept of my story, but she couldn't find me on social media. And for her, this was a firm NO on offering me representation.
At first, I was crushed. Rejections felt like someone slapped you, kicked your dog, and took away your birthday. But I put on my big-girl panties and got busy building a presence on social media. I built this website, joined Twitter, and created an Instagram account.
The website has been going well-I have a nice group of subscribers, but I'd love to have more (yes, that is a shameless plug). I've found an amazing group of writers on Twitter who're helping me learn so much about improving my writing, editing, formatting, and the expectations of the literary world. I have 2 fabulous critique partners I meet with via Zoom every Sunday. We share pages, read them aloud, and give each other honest feedback on the writing. To Paula in Texas and Cheryl in England-thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I believe it is due to their help and my presence on social media that I FINALLY have some good (sort of) news to share! I entered a few chapters of my manuscript in a contest where the prize was professional editing. Mine was chosen and the feedback was incredible. There was another PitMad on Twitter at the beginning of September and I pitched my book again. The same agent that liked it in June, but rejected it, liked it again. So did a couple of publishing companies.
I submitted to all of them. One publisher and the agent emailed me directly (not a form letter) and that rarely happens. They really liked my chapters, but felt it needed some "polishing." Instead of leaving it at that, they offered concrete, specific suggestions for improvement and asked me to resubmit when I'd had time to revise. This is big, folks-it wasn't a hard NO. If I could still do cartwheels, I'd be doing them up and down the street.
This is the first bit of good news about my book in a long time, so I'm guardedly, hesitantly optimistic. I have a lot of work to do, but fingers crossed.
During remote teaching and our SEL lessons, we've been talking about perseverance.
I've learned a lot about perseverance in the last two years since beginning this journey to the bookshelf. But this week, I got a look at this concept from a totally different perspective. My co-teacher read Chelsea Clinton's book, "She Persisted" to both our classes. I've loved that book since it came out a few years ago, I read it to my social studies classes every year. But this time, I listened to the stories of little Ruby Bridges, Oprah Winfrey, and many other amazing women who faced being told they couldn't do something. But they each persisted, achieved their goals, and became tremendously influential women.
Our nation lost an incredible woman this week, The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. She was told repeatedly throughout her life that she couldn't or shouldn't or wouldn't be allowed to do things because she was a woman. But she dug deep, fought hard for her beliefs and ideals, and she persisted.
So with an adorable 5-year old from New Orleans, the granddaughter of a maid from Mississippi, and a tough octogenarian from Brooklyn as my inspiration- I will persist, too.
These women all had a vision, a goal, a dream. They didn't let anything or anyone stand in the way of achieving their dreams. They persisted and so will I.
I see it's time to think about dinner, so I'll leave you with a quote from Ms. Bader Ginsburg.
~~~So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great,
Until next time,