|Photo by Deborah Downes|
I don’t know about the rest of you Mama Writers out there, but summer in the Bullock household means an enforced twelve-week vacation from any real productivity. Short of rewriting parts of my opening two chapters for the 327th time, I spent my summer shuttling children back and forth to various camps or living at the dance studio while my aspiring ballerina logged in ten grueling hours of class a week.
I didn’t mind the break because I knew that it would allow me to return to my finished manuscript with fresh eyes and see those places where the polish is a bit thinner, or the transition a bit weaker. There were times I looked longingly at my computer, but consoled myself with the thought that I had no reason to rush through final edits, polishing a query letter, or finishing the dreaded synopsis. Most agents I want to submit to would be on vacation anyway.
All too soon the baby I held back in 2001 will be in middle school. She’ll make new friends, try new activities, and continue to nurture her passion for dance. I’ll have to let her go, to watch and worry as she transitions that much closer to an independent life, to hope that I have guided her well and armed her with the courage to hold tight to who she is through those harrowing adolescent years.
An entirely different kind of adolescent waits impatiently on the hard drive of my computer. This one demands independence now, and very soon I will have to let it go out into the world. And I’ll check my inbox incessantly, waiting and worrying, hoping for word that I shaped it well enough to stand on its own.