Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Babies

I have a new baby.

Duh, right? Nearly every post for months has mentioned my darling Charlotte.

But that's not the baby I'm talking about. I'm talking about the book I'm writing now. Actually, I'm talking about any book I've ever written. They're all my babies. Even the ugly wart-covered ones I wrote as a child. I birthed them all from my heart and brain, devoted labors of love for hours on end.

Some books took me years to finish. I would let them sit in the final scene, mere pages from ending, because I knew the only way they could end was to kill off a character. And by then I loved each of my babies so much, I couldn't bear to kill any of them off, even though I knew I had to. A loving mother never hurts her babies.

Right now, one of my precious babies is out on submission, already in the hands of several New York editors at the biggest publishing houses. Which means that every day it's being scrutinized, discussed, dismissed, considered, critiqued, and at times even outright rejected. The publishing industry is Ivy League and only a few get in, and as much as I want my little baby to grow up into a Harvard gem...it's hard. I mean really hard. My baby might not be right for Harvard. My baby might be a better fit for community college, or never graduate from high school at all. (How's this obnoxious extended metaphor treating you?)

And that's okay. Because I'm a proud mama no matter what, just because my baby exists, and I created it.

I can't wait to find out what happens to my babies in the future. Even the newborn 3000-word novel I just started writing. One day they will all grow up to be whatever they are destined to be. Hopefully their paths will take them to bookstore shelves, but I'll be happy with however my book babies turn out, even if it doesn't fit my dream. Sometimes mamas have to just let go of their babies and hope for the best. I've done my job by writing and editing and polishing and releasing them into the wild. Now, it's up to the wild to complete them.

Still...keep your fingers crossed for Harvard!

TJ