June 3, 2008

THANK YOU!

On the occasion of my 100th blog post, I want to say, “THANK YOU!

This writing gig is quite a journey, and I’ve been lucky enough to connect with amazing people along the way.

First and foremost, thanks to Hubby. He’s been both friend and cheerleader (not to mention breadwinner) through it all. You rock my world, babe!

Thanks to my two sons, who drive me nuts and melt my heart in equal measures. Despite what I say sometimes, I would never trade you guys for a hamster and a goldfish.

Thanks to my father-in-law, Jake, who stood beside me through everything and stood taller in heart than he ever did in height. I miss you, pal.

Thanks to my family and family-in-law for all the laughter and love.

A huge, honkin’ thank you to the friends who have seen me though good times, bad time and the wonky times in between. There aren’t enough words . . .

A heart full of hugs for my writing buds, who understand the neurotic personality of a writer like no other.

Thanks to my agent, Tina Wexler, for encouraging me to tell Vanessa’s story. I’m so glad to have you in my corner.

Thanks to my editor, Stephanie Lane, for embracing a certain klutzy character and a certain awkward writer.

Much appreciation to the educators, media specialists, principals and students who welcomed me into your schools this year. And to the kids who wrote me notes, like this one from a third grader: “Thank you so mush for telling us all about you and how to rihte a book. I think when I am groin up I miht be a rihter.” (This is exactly what my writing looked like at this age.)

A bouquet of thanks to the librarians who embraced my novel, especially my local librarians, who purchased my book for every one of their branches. And who never look at me strangely when I hover around the children’s books for hours.

Thanks to fans who’ve sent me uplifting e-mails, like this one: “I recently finished As If Being 12 and 3/4 Isn't Bad Enough, My Mother is Running For President! Anyways, I really liked it, and I wish I had a Michael Dumas of my own. I only seem to get Reginalds... My sister made Mrs. Perez's lemon squares, and they were really good. I think it's pretty neat that you use your friends' and family members' names in your books.”

Three cheers to Steve Mooser and Lin Oliver for dedicating much of their lives to a little organization called SCBWI. You two are the fairy godmother and godfather of many a writer’s and illustrator’s dreams coming true!

It took me only twenty years of writing (greeting cards, articles, stories, puzzles, essays, etc.) and six unpublished novels to realize my dream of publishing a novel for children.

In Aaron Shepard’s book, The Business of Writing for Children, he reminds us, “It takes about eight to ten books to “establish” a children’s author.”

That’s why when I tell my agent I’m thinking of becoming an interpreter of Swahili or am sure I should write a book about the mating habits of albino kangaroos, she calmly talks me down from the ledge. “Donna, just write the next book.”

She’s right.

That’s all we need to do. Write the next book. Write the next chapter. Write the next sentence. The next word.

The rest will follow. I promise.

My novel did not garner a six-figure advance. It did not rocket to the top of the best-seller list. It did exactly what it was supposed to do – it went out into the world and touched some readers’ hearts and tickled their funny bones.

It allowed me to enjoy some amazing experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise, like sitting in the audience as the Newbery winners were announced and having Sid Fleischman touch my arm and compliment a speech I gave at a conference.

So, for this magnificent journey (so far) . . . thank you, thank you, thank you.

With love,

Donna

6 comments:

kathleen duey said...

Donna,

Thanks for including me in this moment...reading your anniversary post made me smile and nod. Indeed, it is a weird little profession, writing is, but worth it. And it never gets easy, so it never gets boring.

All best wishes,
kathleen

Wild About Words said...

Kathleen,

You've had quite a writing journey this year. Congrats on your hard-earned successes!

With all good wishes,
Donna

Debby G. said...

And thank you for writing books that kids enjoy!

Bookworm said...

You go, Donna! Can't wait to read what's next from one of my favorite authors! (:(:

Best Wishes,
Bookworm <3

Mary Hershey said...

Happy 100th, Donna!

I love a grateful gal--

(((*)))
Mary Hershey

Wild About Words said...

Thanks so much for the kind words!

Donna