Children’s Lit class kicked off this 24-hour period. We talked about Dr. Seuss, but we spent most of the class period talking about banned books and censorship. Most of us were in agreement that talking with kids as they read difficult material or questionable material is the absolute best way to deal with tough issues. Removing questionable material from a library is not an answer.

Then I came home and wrote a couple hours. Went to bed and could not sleep, tossing and turning and debating a couple plot points in my head in Slider’s Son, which has been done for nearly a year, but has had major and minor editing going on either in my hands or sitting with my agent or a publishing house (only one has rejected it so far). At one o’clock this morning, I had the idea that could tie the pieces together…the way to make the last little plot twist work. I thought–aha–now I know, so I’ll get up and fix it in the morning. No go. Still couldn’t sleep, so I jumped out of bed and sat down at my computer.

When I looked up, satisfied with how the story turned out, the clock read about 3:45 a.m. I reread and checked that everything worked together, saved the document, and at 4 a.m., I emailed it to George, my agent.

I fell in bed, but left my alarm set at 6:15. I got up after  a little over two hours’ sleep and took Freya for a walk at the Prairie. Jeanne met us there. The morning glistened. Dew, frost, sunrise, golden reds on the hills….a spectacular walk.

Morning mist over the pond. And Freya pretending to a wild, pouncing beast.

Sunrise, finally, and morning light glistening on a frosted spider web.

Got back in the house and before 8, the phone rang. George had received the manuscript, had a couple questions, we talked about the title, and he said he’d look at it and send it off to Calkin Creek Publisher today. When I got to school, he had already sent it, and by noon, Calkin Creek responded that it was received. They’re getting an exclusive read, so we’ll know something by October 22. Wheeew. Didn’t know anything in the publishing business ever moved that fast….of course, rejections often do, and that’s what this could be, quite easily. Keeping hope high for now.

School. Walked in and met my buddies who are willing to help me grade some quizzes (thank you very much, if you are reading this). Erin from the bookstore told me she just opened a box of Kirstin Cronn-Mills’ new book–hot off the press! Beautiful Music for Ugly People is now in bookstores!  We called Kirstin in her office and screamed in the phone “It’s here!” and made her come down to take this picture. : )

Then a meeting, more grading, and another Freya walk this afternoon, and now I’m hunkered down to grade all evening (But not all night…can’t do that again). I just wanted to take a break and write this down before I forget this memorable 24 hours. I’m grateful for my life.

Actually, I think I’ll go to bed and get up about 3 and grade then. I can’t think anymore.

I’m being ultra conscious of my “use by” date…somewhere out in the future, but always looming closer. I have soooo much to write before that day comes.

Becky Avatar

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