For the last three years I have had one story always in the back of my mind. I have read so many Church Histories, John Ray Young's memoirs, science books, talked to various people-including some very helpful BYU students working at the Bean Museum...all to research this one story.
I have learned the difference between crickets and katydids,struggled to understand the challenges of polygamy, felt John Ray Young's loneliness and helplessness as he crossed the plains, and learned about wheat. I studied houses built by early pioneers, read recipes involving ox hide and sego lillies and sorrowed for the first pioneer baby born and burried in the valley.
I have developed a thicker skin when faced with criticism of my own work. I have developed a story telling style, then thrashed it out ten more times. I have learned who will criticize my work and who will say "oh that's nice", and for whatever reason gone back to those with red pencils. I have become VERY grateful for spellcheck, computers and email. My last version was called "Screech the cricket" because I was running out of different ways to say the title and was tired of Miracle1, Miracle2...
I have learned about publishing companies,and researched them. I chose a company and found as many of their children's books as I could, to read and study them. I learned how to type with just one space after the period.
I have had obstacles. We have welcomed three little girls to our family since I started this story. There have been all sorts of family life. My parents have returned form their first mission, gone and come from a second and had various health issues. My husbands parents have struggled through Dad's partial paralysis. There were always a thousand other things clamoring for my time and attention.
For the last fifteen minutes I have had an email drafted and waiting to be sent. It was the manuscript of Miracle of the Gulls. My last three years of sporadic effort all encapsulated into one email. This was my husbands advice "You'll never get a rejection letter if you don't send it!" Off it went. 10 little pages, and the cover letter, author questionaire and plot summary (HOW can a plot summary for a ten page story be so difficult?). How could it take so much effort to write one simple little story? I remember thinking three years ago, that it really couldn't be THAT hard!
Tomorrow I'm going to the library to research Utahraptor and Henry Knox.
I'm not waiting for the rejection letter. I am a writer.