I stood in the empty bathroom staring at myself in the mirror, repeating the same sentence over and over and over, forcing myself to look me in the eyes as I spouted my pitch.
Practice, practice, practice. Breathe, breathe, breathe.
There were two of them, one right after the other. They each sat at the end of a long table on the far side of a small room. I didn't come away with an agent begging me for my whole manuscript, but I did walk away from the two critique sessions at today's writing conference with validation and hope and encouragement.
Each of them, the experienced author and the agent, gave me suggestions on how to improve my children's book, but overall, they liked it. In fact, the author said she loved my main character. It made me feel the same way I did when a teacher praised one of my children.
(Everyone says they aren't looking for validation at these things, but it sure feels good when you get enough to make you feel your work hasn't been a total waste of time, and you feel motivated to keep working on it rather than tossing the file in your virtual trashcan.)
Here are a few other sweet! moments from my week...
Sunday: watching the Super Bowl with your parents; being able to check your email on your phone
Monday: plumbers who come out right away to fix your parents' broken faucet; helping your mom get to her doctor's appointment; the crunch of gravel on your caliche road signaling you're home
Tuesday: running for the first time in days; a slow day at the winery so you have time to take photos; recognizing one of your son's friends at the grocery store, despite all the whiskers on his now-grown-up face; Girl Scouts and Girl Scout cookies
Wednesday: a busy day at the winery, with great customers, so the time passes fast; the contrast of storm clouds and bright sunshine
Thursday: the smell of crayons; the creativity of elementary school kids; an afternoon walk with your puppies; an oasis in the woods; a virtual trip to Prague, courtesy of a friend's photographs and Facebook posts
Friday: Great White Pyrenees and shaggy black labs you meet in the vet's office; a catch-up talk with a friend; shopping with your daughter; paychecks in the mailbox; a son who bothers to remove a piece of dust from a tiny spider's leg
Saturday: your son waking early to wish you good luck in pitching your book at your writing conference; writing conferences; new blossoms on a redbud tree
I hope the coming week is full of validation and sweet! moments for you!