Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Eggs and Lessons
Life is filled with lessons, just like the chapters in my third book, which touches on the highlights of my teaching career. This ol' teacher learned a major life lesson over the past year.
Seems I'm kinda thick-headed cuz I should have learned this lesson long ago when the grade school teachers at Lincoln School were introducing us to Aesop's Fables. The one that always fascinated me image-wise was the one about sour grapes and the fox. The one I should have heeded more faithfully, however, was "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."
Yeah, I've heard it many a time in my life, and, yeah, I've practiced it occasionally. Life is, indeed, all about options, but sometimes there's too much work involved in considering all the options. In my case, I could have submitted my manuscript to several publishers early last year but chose to stay with just one publisher's in-basket. She led me on by refusing to reject the manuscript and even suggesting she'd rather I not send it to any other publishers until she had made her decision.
Being of the old school, where respect, courtesy and trust reign supreme, I took her at her word and allowed two years' worth of my work to sit at her office for a year. Usually, publishers give you the word no later than eight weeks after submission. My pea brain deduced that if she wanted sole control of my manuscript, she probably wanted it to publish. Lesson learned: don't put all your eggs in one publisher's basket, no matter what you perceive.
Granted, it does cost a lot to send off a manuscript. I noticed each time I sent her a notebook of 300-plus pages---once with the original, once with the revised edition in September, it cost about $100 with copying and mailing. I went the Staples route where they copy it off and put it in the notebook for you---thus, saving a lot of work on my end. Regardless of cost, I still should have explored more options with my manuscript because the book might have been in stores by now if I had.
Well, it's not. And, I've since received my copy from the lady who coveted it for so long and finally issued a blunt NO. Since then, a copy has gone to my sister-in-law Mary (the world's most wonderful editor---hands down) and a copy has gone to Mr. Chris Bessler of Keokee Creative Group here in Sandpoint. Mary's read it. Chris has read it. Mary and I have talked. Today, Chris and I will talk.
So, the next chapter in the long saga of Lessons with Love has begun. I have learned a major lesson from the first chapter of this ongoing publishing adventure, and I'm sure many more thumps on the noggin will come with the second. If all goes well and I eventually learn all the lessons needed to get a third book published, readers will have the opportunity to thumb through the chapters and learn about some other lessons I learned during 33 years of teaching.
Stay tuned. Keep your fingers crossed. And, remember what to do with those eggs. Go to the store and purchase some more baskets! And, be sure to get plenty of grapes so you don't have any angry foxes.
Birthday note: Happy 59th to my Catholic friend Ann Gehring-----due to become a saint next year.