Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I love children + I love books = I write children's books

This post is related to getting pregnant in only the slightest of ways but my blog, my rules, right?!

My general love of kids led to many child-centered jobs and activities when I was younger (and could afford to live on the low salary). I have substituted in a preschool, been a camp counselor and a nanny. For me, the most rewarding of those was being a nanny. That's probably because I did it for an awesome family who treated me very well. I came to think of the two boys almost as my own. I started when one was T-minus 4 days old and the other 18 months. They are now 11 and almost 13. Holy moly how time flies -- I think I just had a heart attack seeing that written out.

Anyway, as a nanny I got to read a lot of children's books. Some were awesome (classics from my own childhood and some new faves) and some ... not so much. As a writer, reading them inspired me to create my own stories. Over the years I have written 6-7, but only a couple of have struck me as real possibilities to become published.

Though I've had them on hand for quite some time, life has gotten in the way and distracted me from making a real effort to start sending them to publishing companies. Plus, it can be very discouraging to read the statistics concerning an unsolicited manuscript's chances of getting picked up. So, from time to time I get motivated, revisit and tweak the stories and consider sending them out. I usually get no further than the consideration stage.

Lately, however, I have felt a sense of urgency to stop just waiting for things to happen and start MAKING them happen (hence, the intense attempt at baby-making). This includes getting published. So, I did some research and found a company in Massachusetts that still accepts unsolicited manuscripts -- a rarity in the industry these days. Even better, I could send two different manuscripts, saving me the effort of trying to decipher which of my stories I think they might like more.

Earlier this week I packaged up two of my faves and sent them on their merry way. As exclusive submissions, I'll have to wait around three months before I can even hope to hear something ... and that's only if they are interested. If the lines are silent after then, I can start sending them elsewhere. So, here's to actively trying to make some of my dreams come true and ... the sanity to withstand the waiting!

Editor's note: I am adamant about having my stories published in tangible, actual pages-with-cover form. No e-books for this old school girl. I will rebel against the e-reader revolution till the end!

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