Friday, April 9, 2010

I double dog dare you!

Don't be deterred by a title call out. When I saw a submission call for Chicken Soup for the Soul,Devotionals for Mothers, I immediately thought, Darn! They want stories from moms, probably young moms. Then, I raised my foot behind me and gave myself a swift kick in the pants. I searched my files for a story that I had written ten years ago, one that has been rejected by many publications. It has always been dear to my heart, BUT it's written from a grandma's perspective. I wavered: They won't want this 'old lady story'. Maybe I should change the point of view. Then I came to my senses and said, woman, stop that negative self-speak and send it off. The worst that can happen is another rejection.

Yesterday I received a contract stating that my story has made it to final round. Woo-hoo! It is about Bill's verbose granddaughter who, at age three met me at our door, tugged me by my heart strings and brought me to my knees with one sentence. She has forgotten the incident; I shall always be guilt-ridden.

So instead of bragging about my success, I want to encourage YOU to write from your heart even if it is about a topic you think you have nothing to write about. You might be surprised. My greatest Chicken Soup success story is about The New Mom's book. Years ago I sent the story; they sent a contract and then at the very last minute they pulled it. I sent that same story five years later (retitled it) for another New Mom's book, and they accpeted it.

Writers have to bide their time, believe in their abilities and take a chance. So the next CS call out with May deadlines are for the Cat and Dog books. Start writing. What's that? Do I hear you saying, "But I don't even like cats. I don't own a dog." So what! Did you ever see a stray cat on the edge of the highway scouting for food? I have and it bothers me. I may write about that. And dogs, well, even if you don't own one, you've had an experience with one. That shaggy dog who swiped my baby's ice cream cone in a gulp...well, I was laughing so hard I couldn't do a thing about it. But now I can write about it. On second thought, I think they are calling for stories about YOUR pets, so come up with something. I dare you.


Lynn said...

Way to inspire us Linda! Thanks!

Pat Wahler said...

Actually I did send something to the CS dog book. We shall see!

Bookie said...

Congrats on that sale, Linda!
I did send a story to the dog call out when they said they would take other pets. I sent a piece about turtle pets, those ones from Kresge you know?

At last night's local guild meeting a woman said if CS has not contacted you before the deadline date, they have tossed yours. I checked this morning and March 30 was deadline date and figure no chance now. Do you agree?

Linda O'Connell said...

Hi Claudia,
No I do not agree. I have been notified a year or more after submitting, because even though they state a deadline, the development of a book takes longer. So never say never! And yes, I do remember the turtles at Kresge's. What a flashback.

Hi Pat,
I hope you and Claudia both receive an acceptance. Don't be discouraged. Just keep sending.

Tammy said...

Thanks for the reminder. I had something similar happen when I signed a contract, but the story got pulled at the last minute for being too long. I added parts that made it better (and longer!), and it was published elsewhere. I like to think it's a matter of finding their right "home!"

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Linda - great advice and a nice push to submit. We all need to remember that being published requires submitting, and submitting requires jumping in with both feet even if the water feels cold. On good days, it does warm up!

Julia Gordon-Bramer said...

Hmmm... I sent a CS story about my cat years back, and it wasn't accepted. I wonder if it's worth dusting off now? You are indeed inspiring. xo