Once upon a time there was a story, and I was in love with it. It came to me in one fell swoop and got a lot of positive feedback. I revised it and received a scholarship with the Highlights Foundation Chautauqua conference using it as my manuscript sample. At Chautauqua, Patricia McKissack read it aloud to me and I cried to hear someone put a voice to words I had written.
I subbed it once or twice and received a couple of personal rejections. And then a year after Chautauqua, it was one of the picture book manuscripts that landed me an agent — a smart, savvy agent who soon sold three of my picture books.
But not this one. We got personal responses on it, along with "please send us more of this author’s work" to the few places we’d sent it, and also two revision requests that both pointed to the same problem. You may remember my lamentations as I began to revise it. And then slowly, I gained my footing, and began to love the new version. We submitted the revision to one of the editors who had asked for it.
I crossed my fingers.
I held my breath.
She asked for more detail.
I added a bit more context and sent it to her again.
I waited. A. Long. Time. (Okay, so not that long. But it crept by. Interminably.)
And then yesterday, out of the blue (as if I’d forgotten about it), an offer.
Big Happy Sigh. This one feels like the long-coming culmination of a lot of hard work and believing and dreaming.