Tomorrow is an exciting day for me. The only items on my agenda are 1) take my trash and recyclables to the transfer station (Norfolk’s fancy name for the town dump); and 2) write.
Not only do I have copious amounts of free time, but my only company for the day will be canine companionship. Considering the three dogs I’ll be with are the inspiration for my middle-grade book Top Dog of K-9 Academy, I think I’ll be in good company.
I have a lot of different writing projects I could work on, including my aforementioned middle-grade book, as well as another middle-grade book I finished the first draft of this past December, and several picture books that need revision. I also have a nonfiction picture book I’m doing research on regarding therapy llamas (who know they could be such a wonderful companion and therapy animal – which is why I want to tell the world about them) and I have a children’s story that someone in publishing told me could make a good magazine article, so I need to investigate publication possibilities for that.
Since I am always optimistic with my time, I’m going to focus on the revision of Top Dog and believe that I will finish the entire revision in one day. We’ll see. But on a positive note, I already have the first six chapters revised, so only 25 more to go.
Realistically, I’d like to have the complete manuscript revised and ready for submission by June 10th, which is the date of the next writers’ conference I’m attending. This will be my fifth writers’ conference since I started taking my life dream of being an author seriously. The first one I attended was in November 2014 and it was one year later that I told myself I was not going to attend another writing conference until I had a book finished.
At the time, a friend of mine recommended that I meet up with her at the North Carolina Writers’ Network fall conference and I flat out refused. I had decided that I needed to put all that I had learned thus far about fiction writing and children’s writing, in particular, to good use and it was time for me to actually finish a novel. I made a promise to myself that I was not going to attend any more conferences until I had something to pitch to agents or editors in the event I randomly struck up a conversation with one of them somewhere.
It only took me a year and half to make good on my promise. Pretty good, I think, considering it took me eight years to finish my PhD program (although I did have undiagnosed narcolepsy the ENTIRE time). I also like to remind myself of this accomplishment whenever I feel I need a boost with my writing life. I have to remind myself I haven’t been at this for too long in the grand scheme of things and I’ve come a long way.
I also like to remind myself that I went from being single to married in only three weeks. Just like that, my whole life changed for the infinite better and my dream of finding the perfect partner came true.
When I think about how this can happen with my writing – maybe it will be today, maybe it will be tomorrow – an agent or publisher will say the magic words of book contract, I get giddy with the possibilities of the situation. Because, honestly, I cannot imagine a better husband than the one I sat down next to that fateful night when we randomly met at a restaurant bar I had never been to before, so I can only imagine what’s going to happen when this publishing dream of mine comes true.
I’m already looking forward to telling you about it….