Final Exam

I have been writing about my exploits in taking an on-line course for learning how to work within the confines of a child’s picture book, while telling an engaging story. That course is now complete and ended with me mailing my story to a publisher. This was the final, though not required, assignment. The courage to put one’s manuscript in the mail is considered a private matter and left entirely to one’s own discretion and strength of conviction.

I considered it the final exam but perhaps my sense of personal courage came from the encouragement found in the instructor’s comments about my completed manuscript. Of particular note was the magic word she included, affirming my work as marketable.

The joy of writing during the four-week course was always mitigated by the doubt of whether or not I was actually creating something that people would willingly buy. Her use of the M-word was all I needed to motivate me to undertake the half mile walk to the post office to buy the right amount of postage to send my brainchild to its intended destination. I would suspect that for any writer this is the equivalent of the empty nest syndrome.

There is, however, one remaining word I need to hear that is even of greater import than marketable and that is the word accepted. Even a synonym of equal merit would be acceptable to me. But this is something, which can only be voiced, written or e-mailed by the publisher and due to the limitations of their workload may require four or more months before it can be delivered.

I will be here when it arrives. I will even leave a light on in the window for it at night as a sign of my unfailing interest in the prospective, positive outcome of my work. For I have already started on my next bestseller so that I will have a completed manuscript on hand to offer as a follow-up piece, deliverable upon request.

Spring is here, when an old man’s fancy turns to seed catalogues, pruning, yardwork and the budding of a new, childlike career.

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