Eventually, I learned not to feel "chicken" about submitting. As I got busier and took on the job of planning conferences and workshops for SCBWI, a friend wished me luck in keeping "all the monkeys off my back." So I couldn't resist:
I'm pretty good at staying organized now. Collecting rejection letters, working many, many hours--with little acknowledgment--toward publication inspired me to collect turtles. Slow and steady wins the race, I told myself.
Recently I discovered a quote from Martha Beck in Finding Your Own North Star:
"Turtles have everything a writer needs: tough shells to deal with criticism, soft, sensitive insides, the need to stick their necks out if they want to move forward; and the slow-and-steady patience to keep slogging away, day after day."
Exactly! I still collect turtles. But I may be getting carried away:
Technically, Sunny and Sandy (not pictured) are my daughter's pets, but I can't help loving these sweet little tortoises. Slow and steady wins the race--oh, and eat your veggies.
So now I'm a published author. And I've got this guy sitting on my desk. He's a green-eyed sock monster (From Othello: O, beware, my lord of Jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster that doth mock the meat it feeds on).
Turns out I'm 100% human (and I do sometimes feel jealous). So I've put this cutie in charge of worrying about Amazon rankings, book reviews, other people's big book deals, etc., etc., so I can focus on what I love best: writing.
I can't even imagine what I'll want to put on my desk next... So do you keep anything around to keep you on track or provide inspiration?