Saturday, November 26, 2011

Let the Manuscripts Sing

One of the most nerve-racking, daunting, intimidating, SCARY parts of this whole writing/trying to get published thing for me is the thought of my manuscript (all that hard work, countless hours of writing, revising, cutting, rewriting, tweaking, revising, shifting, rewriting, and more revising), sitting there on the top of an editor’s giant slush pile stack of manuscripts, waiting to be read.  And then, the assistant—not even the editor—opens it.  Skims his eyes over the first two lines.  Scrunches his face in thought for a second.  Two seconds.  Three.  And then tosses my manuscript into another equally giant “rejection” pile to be returned with a form letter saying “Thanks, but no thanks”. 
I’m not trying to be a pessimist!  Not at all!  I just know that this is the reality for so many manuscripts that are sent out, whether they are great or if they are in dire need for improvement. 
BUT, I can’t think about that right now, as I seal my eighth envelope containing my cover letter, full picture book manuscript, and my SASE which I hope will come back to me containing some great news.  So, with hope and excitement, I send off two picture book manuscripts, and several poetry manuscripts, to a handful of publishing houses, hoping that my work will sing loudly and beautifully as someone—whether assistant, editor, chief editor, or whoever it may concern—reads my words, and allows my words to touch their hearts.

Off go the manuscripts, and now, comes the waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  Oh, the process of publishing.  But that’s okay, because as I wait, that gives me ample time to begin working on more work, more poetry, more stories, and more manuscripts. 

Good luck Manuscripts!  I wish you the best!



According to the Encarta English Dictionary of North America, inspiration is:
 “Stimulation to do creative work.  Stimulation for the human mind to creative thought or to the making of art” (found on the Microsoft Word Encarta Dictionary, November, 2011).

As a writer, I try to find different ways to spark “music” in me.  Something that I have realized that seems to never fail for me is nature.  Listening to water gurgle as it drifts across river rocks.  Hearing the wind dance through the wind chime hanging from my balcony.  Smelling cement that has just been bathed by the season’s first rain.  Feeling my fingers tingle as Winter tries hopelessly to freeze them through my mittens.   But especially, the brilliant colors of fall, burning like fire from the branches of trees that line the streets, freeways, parks, fields.  Out of all the poetry I have written, I think that Autumn and her vibrant leaves have been my most written about theme.

From the books I’ve read and my own experiences, finding what inspires can certainly help creativity percolate and begin brewing inside the writer. 

But, what inspires you?  What is something that when you see it, touch it, smell it, taste it, hear it, words or pictures automatically begin playing inside your mind?  If you can’t think of anything, now would be a great time to begin allowing your senses to find what inspires you!