I'm often asked how I got started as a writer and my answer is that I literally "fell" into it. Twenty-two years ago I was teaching art part time when I slipped on black ice and shattered my femur. After two surgeries my family suggested that I put a few craft ideas for young children and teachers into a book. I titled my book, "The Icky Sticky Not-Too-Tricky Craft Book." That book was bought by Williamson Publishing, who promptly re-titled it, "The Little Hands Art Book." And so began my new career of writing and submitting and waiting and waiting and waiting to hear from publishers. In those "good" old days, I would anxiously await the mail carrier and the return of my SASE. Would there be a letter from an editor with high praise for my submission and a promise to publish it immediately? Or would it be a "nice" rejection where the editor scribbled a few kind words at the bottom of a form letter? That feeling of anxiety was like buying a lottery ticket and dreaming about becoming an instant millionaire. But times, along with the book business, have changed. No longer are SASE's required for most publishers and many request electronic submissions with a response only if they're interested. Oh how I long for the feeling of my fate being sealed in a white envelope and slipped through my mail slot! So if you're among those of us who are anxiously awaiting a response to a submission, here are five fun things to do while you wait:
1. Read every book that was nominated for a Caldecott and Newbery award
2. Sign up as a volunteer reader at your local chapter of, "Reading Is FUNdamental"
3. Donate the children's books your kids have outgrown
4. Pay a visit to your local library
5. Buy a lottery ticket (hey, you never know!)