Well, today I finally gave in. I mailed off my entry to Lee & Low's New Voices contest. I say finally because, for some unexplainable reason, I procrastinated up until the very end. It's been ready to mail for about a week now, but I've been dinking around with it, changing commas, adding extra "ands" here and there, and even designing a cover to propose. I decided against the cover. I probably should have had it copy edited one last time but, oh well, it’s gone. And I did get myself completely flustered with some math issues. There are no consistent birth or death records on the subject I wrote about. I used three books as sources for research, and various online biographies. Birth dates, death dates, and everything in between was all over the place, nothing added up accurately. I finally decided to use the dates from one of my sourcebooks so that, at least, the story would be consistent with one credible source. I finally slipped it into a manila folder, and clipped it to a cover letter. I stuffed in the ubiquitous self addressed stamped envelope, and dropped it off at the post office.
It was all rather uneventful. I imagined a live 12-piece orchestra playing some sort of marching music as I stepped out of my truck, slamming the door several times because the latch is broke. As I would saunter into the post office lobby, I imagined, every head would turn in my direction, their eyes drawn to the envelope in my hands. They would want to know what I was mailing, and who I was mailing it to. To appease their interest, I'd explain my journey. I'd explain how I illustrated children's books. I'd explain how I suddenly had an interest in writing. I'd explain to them how I started two blogs as a means of exercising and developing my writing. Then I'd pull out my manuscript to a crescendo of ooohs, and ahhs, and gasps as I read them the first line from my manuscript. And their attention would be glued to my every word.
That didn't happen. Instead, I paid $13 dollars in postage to mail 6 sheets of paper, and a self addressed stamped envelope to a publisher half a world away.
Somehow, writing ain't no more glamorous than illustrating. At least not yet.
I plan to frame my first rejection letter.