Monday, September 03, 2007

Experience Is Necessary

Sometimes, experience really is necessary. Last week, two things happened that reminded me of that. First, my son took a turn too fast and scraped up the side of the car on the way to school. Luckily, I had almost finished my first pot of coffee, so I could actually give out coherent advice. After hearing that he, his sister-and for the most part, the car-were okay, I told my son to get on to school. Then I, feeling frustrated and irritated, went on upstairs to work. When I’m working, I’m in control. Well, kind of.

My goal for the morning was to fill out the art fact sheets for my May release. Filling out art fact sheets is a pretty fun task. You go to a Harlequin site and fill out information about the heroine, hero, setting, and favorite scenes. The artists use this information for the cover. It’s exciting to imagine what the cover will look like. It’s exciting to realize that a story I created will be on the shelves on day.

For me, it’s also a humbling endeavor, because in order to fill out the art information, I have to scan down through all my submissions over the years. Why humbling? That’s easy to explain. See, I’ve sold six books to Harlequin. Hooray!

But I’ve submitted over twice that many. Yep, I’ve got a whole lot of rejections logged in online. So, last week, as I was stewing over my son, the state of the car, and the fact that my husband never seems to be in town when anything out of the ordinary happens, I stared at those submissions on-line. And it hit me…Those books weren’t right. They deserved to be rejected.

Over the years, when I submitted, and submitted, and submitted again, my writing wasn’t quite ready for prime time. Oh, I could write—but not quite at the caliber needed. Hmm. Kind of like a new driver. My son scored really well on all his driving tests. But, well, he also has a few things to learn about driving, day after day. He needs more experience.

Hmm. I thought about this as I filled out the art fact sheets. Thought about it some more as I did laundry, got to work on my book-in-progress, and carefully told my husband about the car mishap when he called to check in.

That afternoon, when my son came home, we both took a walk around the car. He told me about his day. Told me about what had happened with the car. We talked about what he could have done differently. Then, just as I was about to do what moms do—give sage words of advice-we heard the frantic bark of Suzy, the weiner dog. It turns out Phoebe the beagle (the beagle who’s always hungry!) snatched Suzy’s bone and gave her a little bite, too! Suzy was bleeding.

Unfortunately, we have plenty of experience with dog emergencies. This I knew how to deal with! We called the vet, grabbed the dachshund, and hopped into the car. And, as my son drove me and the pup to the vet, he asked why I had the cell phone. For one, very good reason-so I could be sure and call my husband and let him know what else he missed! I’ve got experience in this one, too.


Estella said...

Isn't motherhood great!

Anonymous said...

You said it all, Estella! I bet everyone could come up with a story or two about crazy days.


Heather Webber said...

Shelley, what a week you had! Glad the kids and the dogs are okay!

Nathalie said...

Motherhood...I am still young and posts like this one makes me think I won't be a mom before very long!