Slow Your Roll

I don’t know about you, but I usually like to get where I’m going as fast as possible. Why drive a Civic if you can’t drive fast? Okay, I hear you mumbling out there, since I admitted in a previous post that I had a bad year when speeding tickets followed me like crows. (Yes, that was an oblique Lord of the Rings reference.) But that’s not important now. What is important is that I get where I’m going quickly.

Today was one of those days where I hit every red light. No matter how fast I sped up, I still couldn’t make the yellow. And even when I reached home and was about to turn in my driveway, there was a little kid, his thin, shaky legs pedaling a bike with training wheels. So, I sat watching him, realizing that this was God’s way of saying, “Slow your roll, girl.”

SN1212SD-Detail-Parking

Another way is through the wait for agents. Those of you on the search know the drill: you query and wait. And wait. And wait. And no amount of blowing or pacing will speed up the response. Trust me on this: I feel your pain. I’m in the middle of that myself.

Perhaps you’ll appreciate the irony of this: I was a manuscript reader for a publisher for almost nine years. (I won’t say which one, so please don’t ask.) Thousands of manuscripts arrived each year. As aslush pile reader, I had to weed through the dreams. With the publisher’s 98% rejection rate, I knew most of those dreams would be quashed until another querying session revived the flame again. (Believe me, saying no to someone is not easy. I never relished the task.)

Anyway, I’ve received a few rejections from agents in recent months. (Go on. Say it with me: “Slow your roll, girl.”) With each rejection, I had to take a step back and rework and cut and cry and try again.

As I considered the daunting task of reworking my WIP yet one more time, one stanza of a poem that I wrote for an exercise came to mind. Since you’re already here, I’ll share it with you, even if you run away screaming.

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To Hope
Keats talks of ethereal bursts of hope
And sky-bound drifts of inspiring thought.
I feel earth-bound, on a bus, dreaming of
Clear skies, blue and crisp like fresh washed sheets
and ice cream clouds on a picnic, scattered wide.

Slow your roll—what do the words mean to you? Like me, are you waiting for a response to your literary baby? Are you battling an illness? (I had my share last week.) Facing a decision that tempts you to leap before you look? Tempted to write an angry text or email that could have long-lasting repercussions?

You know what to do. Slow your roll.

P. S. I don’t think I properly thanked Patty at Petite Magique for nominating me for another Sunshine Award and Kristen Mazzola for nominating me for another Liebster Award. So kind!!! Thanks, Patty and Kristen. Had to slow my roll to remember to do that!!!

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Photo from thejanedough.com.

Spread a Little Sunshine

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Quick post to acknowledge the gracious nomination for the Sunshine Award by Patty at Petite Magique. Patty is a wonderful, multitalented artist. Stop by her blog and say hello and then ooo and ahh over her poetry, photos, etc. Since I would probably nominate some of the same blogs I nominated for Liebster, I’ll just say thanks for the nomination (which will remain a nomination since I haven’t nominated anyone else), but still share 10 things about myself as per the rules.

1. I LOVE to encourage people in any way I can. (Um, but this does not mean encouraging someone to go into a life of crime or quit school. Stay in school, kids!)
2. I have partial hearing loss in my right ear (since I was a child). But please don’t shout at me if you see me. I can hear you. Please note the word partial. 🙂
3. I like rollerblading, but I don’t do it enough.
4. When I was an undergrad, a friend told me, “Why don’t you major in something useful like biology?” (I majored in writing through the English department.)
5. I love discussing books with kids and teens.
6. I’m still grieving the loss of my betta fish, Sparkly Rose, that my well-meaning neighbors overfed. 😦 (By the way, a class of first and second graders chose the name Sparkly Rose. Isn’t that sweet???)
7. I would love to write a graphic novel.
8. I attended a grad school with some of the most talented people in the world. You’ll hear from one tomorrow about her new book (coming soon to a bookstore near you). Stay tuned. Same Bat time; same Bat channel.
9. I still wonder how my life would have changed had my sister lived. (She was stillborn the year before I was born.)
10. I have a wonderful supportive family (which includes the best in-laws a person can have).

Thanks again, Patty!