Saturday, April 17, 2010

Room for the Holy Spirit

A couple of weeks ago, someone suggested that I befriend a cop so he/she could introduce me to a legal brand of Badass. I went on a fishing expedition (a la "Anyone know a cop?") in the normal channels- Facebook, etc- and came up empty.

Then I went to the New Member meeting at my church because my kids guilt-ed me into joining after 8 years of attendance. One other family was there- a retired cop, his wife and their daughter.

I'm not sure if it will turn into anything, but it sure seems like somebody's telling me to keep going, you know?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easy Rider

My 8 year old learned to ride his bike today, like ten zillion kids before him and another ten zillion to come. This particular right of passage, though, was hard fought and hard won. My boy has been risk averse his whole life- well, except for that one time when he was three and he stepped over a big brown snake in the backyard, but we won't go into that one because it gives me an irresistible urge to wash off the heeby-jeebies.

Actually, hang on a sec. I'm going to grab a quick shower.

Okay, I'm back.

So, my risk averse boy has been afraid of his bike since we took the training wheels off. Not just leery, but full-on afraid to the point that the mere mention of his two wheeler would send him into fits and tears and hyperventilation. I had almost given up ever having a family bike ride, had allowed myself to believe that this single thing was just too hard for my little boy. I believed that he wasn't strong enough to overcome it.

Then I saw him scooter. Apparently, his babysitter had a couple of razor scooters and the kids were taking turns on them after school and had been for quite some time. When it came to the scooter, my darling was a serious badass. He was fearless. He was a speed demon. He was an 8 year old X-Gamer.

I hatched a plan. If the babysitter was a brave place for him, if courage grew in the grass under her oak tree, then maybe the bike would be less terrifying and more possible there than it was here. I pondered, I puzzled, I weighed the pros (fully mobile kid who can do things his peers can do!) with the cons (broken arms! broken legs! getting smooshed by a car!). Surprisingly, the pros won.

I dropped the bike off at her house this morning. When I picked up my dearest boy at 4:15, he was riding like a pro. He was zooming up and down the street and he was sweaty as all get out and he was so. freaking. proud. He'd taken on his Schwinn-shaped demon and he'd won.

My kid is badass. Who knew?

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Sweet Smell of Rejection

Most people don't know this, but I write picture books. Yes, I realize it's odd that I don't draw picture books, but someone has to write the nearly 25 lines of text in your average kids book. I do that. It's much less stressful than trying to draw. Lest you confuse writing picture books with actually selling picture books or even- gasp- publishing a picture book, don't worry. You've never read anything I wrote, unless you've been perusing my hard drive lately.

Or unless you're a member of a certain writer's competition that I recently entered. You might have read my stuff then- right before you plopped it into the "No Way In Hell" pile. I know this because I received yet another in my long line of "thanks but not thanks" self-addressed, stamped envelopes. (And don't imagine for a moment that I don't see the dark poetry in ponying up my own stamp and envelope to be told yet again that my writing isn't quite what the committee is looking for.)

I suppose that I should be used to it right now. With only a couple of exceptions, nearly all of my non-professional writing has been rejected. From what I've heard though, there are like 10,000,000,000 writers submitting pieces for the 2 slots each publisher has available. Odds are better that I'll be struck by lightning or get killed by stampeding zebras or hell, even wear a bikini again in my lifetime. I may never publish anything.

But what if I do? Every time I summon my inner Pollyanna and muster up the energy to send off another manuscript (along with another self-addressed-stamped-envelope for the rejection letter), there's this sort of Schrödinger's cat moment where I haven't been accepted but I haven't been rejected. For a moment, I'm published by virtue of the fact that I haven't yet been rejected.

I have to believe that I"m badass enough to spit in the face of further rejection, to submit again an welcome the sight of yet another SASE in my mailbox.