Waiting…

…is a necessary part of this writing business. At times we feel jumpy, and need to burn off steam. Somehow. Seems like I’ve been doing more than the usual of this, lately.

At the moment I’m waiting for:

– the Spring 2019 issue of Transition Magazine, which will include a much-loved creative nonfiction piece that took over 10 years to find its home. “This Place of My Father’s Heart” addresses my late dad’s love of the family cottage in Dorset, Ontario, where he spent all of his childhood summers – intersecting with my own visits to Dorset, the last of which was to bury a portion of my dad’s ashes near the shore of Lake of Bays.  It’s  one of those pieces I’ve fervently believed in, from the start. After bouncing around the marketplace for so long, in fall 2018 it was named one of the prose winners in a  Saskatchewan-based literary competition. Validation! But still not published… So I continued sending it out. Just a couple of months ago, I heard from an editor I’d sent it to well over a year ago, with no response. Was my piece still available? Technically, it wasn’t – because I’d recently submitted it to one of the high-profile Canadian literary magazines. But…the wait time there would be at least 8 months! I quickly pulled the piece from the literary magazine, to hand over to this editor with whom I’ve already worked several times. (No revisions! And the cheque will be nice, too.)

– Also in the publications department: I know it’s still a couple of months too early, but I’m very eager to receive my copies of Caught in the Crossfire, due out from Pearson Education Australia in June of this year. I’ve looked to see if the cover might already be posted on their website – but no such luck. In June of 2018 I was ecstatic at a completely unexpected invitation from Pearson Australia to write a very short historical fiction book for classroom use on how pacifism affected kids during World War II. This wasn’t a totally random thing.  Before Pearson Education New Zealand sold out to Pearson Australia, Pearson NZ published 7 of my books including This Land We Call Home, which addresses the forced relocation of Japanese Americans from the West Coast to primitive desert camps. (It so happens that my mother’s first teaching job was at Poston Camp III in Arizona – and in school where I grew up in Central California, about 20% of my classmates’ parents had been in those camps.) One member of the New Zealand team apparently thought so highly of This Land We Call Home (which coincidentally won the 2008 Saskatchewan Book Award for YA literature) that she passed my information on to the Pearson Australia team. Actually, it was a perfect fit for me, as I was raised pacifist and all of my uncles were Conscientious Objectors during World War II. Deadlines were extremely tight, and I guess there were no major changes because they never sent me any revisions to work on(!) In this case, I was paid nicely, pre-publication (in New Zealand dollars). Caught in the Crossfire will be one of 40 titles in Pearson Australia’s newest Mainsails Literacy package for classroom use with middle years students.

In the “will they possibly say yes???” department, I’m waiting on a whole bunch of things:

– a much-loved YA science fiction short story, “Crystal Sister”, which has been bouncing around the marketplace about as long as “This Place of My Father’s Heart”.

– a new picture book manuscript, “The 1-Dogpower Garden Team” which is on its first visit “out” with a U.S. publisher I’ve never tried before.

– and Harlequin! In November I sent 3 sample chapters plus synopsis of a completed novel, “Strong As a Pharaoh”, to their Special Edition line. (If this happens to be accepted, I’ll be using a pseudonym!)

– and the real nail-biter, also with Harlequin. Last month I submitted chapter 1 plus synopsis to their search for new authors for their Love Inspired line (in which a friend of mine, Donna Gartshore, has already published two books). At this stage we are all guaranteed feedback  (how I hate writing synopses!! – particularly for a book that hasn’t been written!) This, as of April 30 at the latest, and some people have already received a “yea” or “nay”. If “Lost & Found Dog” (working title) happens to be approved for Round 2, I’m going to be extremely busy writing another 50,000 words to make the August 1 deadline…

….and I’m also waiting to hear back on several other things in the children’s book realm – an early chapter book “Tyler Evans the Great”, and at least two other picture book submissions.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of unfinished manuscripts in my files, ranging from my adult time-slip novel, “Murder at Glencoe”; to YA historical “Free to Come Home” (sequel to This Land We Call Home); a young middle-grade novel “The Hole in the Ice” …. and a whole bunch of others.

So there’s plenty to do – supposedly the perfect remedy for waiting…

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