“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” Walt Disney
“Why do we fall, sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up.” Alfred Pennyworth, Batman Begins
These two quotes have touched my soul the last month. Not only do I agree with them but I’m an example of them. Recently I received my kick in the teeth and I did indeed fall. It took me a few moments, and several tears, before I was able to pick myself back up but when I did I came up swinging.
One of the few things that I wanted to accomplish this year was to win a specific award from the local romance writer’s chapter that I’m a Pro Member of. I had help with my submission and polished until the story became a distant blur to my weary eyes. I sent it in and prayed for a good outcome. Well, in a way, I got just that. I waited and waited as I compulsively checked my email for the good news that I felt was coming my way. I had even started making affirmations about this award being mine.
Then I saw it and my heart plummeted. A few of the talented ladies around me were named as finalist but I wasn’t. It hurt, for days. I felt so disappointed in myself that it was a physical ache. But I was so proud of my friend who got the official nod and I applauded her work as I cheer her on to the next step. She deserves it, enough said.
It took me a good two weeks to pick my curvy butt up off of the floor of the Pitty Party Holiday Inn and walk outside to the possibilities that lay outside that great revolving door. This was not a sign that I should throw in the dish towel. This was a Disney kick in the teeth, without the cheerfully sweet fictional characters frolicking about. This was where I would do something drastic and I did just that.
I took a couple of hours and started researching publishing houses. I made myself a sturdy list of who was taking what and the guidelines for each submission. I used a few lunch breaks and insomniac moments to devise a plan as I sent my babies out into the world, award or not. I submitted all three of my manuscripts to about nine different houses and seven of them responded to me for full submissions. I was floored, but not on the same floor at the above mentioned Holiday Inn but at the Twilight Zone Hilton. It seemed surreal, as if this wasn’t my life and I was just enjoying a moment of someone else’s happenings.
But it was real. Not only did I catch the eyes of some wonderful publishing houses but I also got my first offers for contracts. Yes, plural. I have to keep pinching myself and I know my job’s going to start asking me if I’m in an abused relationship soon. I can honestly say, with a wicked smile, that I am because I got my fictional teeth kicked in and it made me stronger. I’m not naming any of the companies that want to do business with me because the ink isn’t quite dry YET. When it is then I may see if an out of work crop duster will put my blissful script into the morning sky, for all to see.
So, to all my writers out there, pick up your teeth and get in line for braces because the world certainly gives us all something to chew on. Make it happen and never never ever give up. Walt never did and he left a legacy behind for the entire world. 😉