Monday, January 18, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Nervous Breakdowns, OH MY!

So. I don't know if any of you noticed, but I had a complete and total nervous break down last week. It was pretty awful. I'm better this week, so yay. But last week was rough.

Why the nervous breakdown? Will and I went over our finances and came to the conclusion that money sucks.

Okay, okay, what else is new... with the economy being as rotten as it is, with our health care being pretty darned lame (I could probably write a 500 page book about how much I hate our health care system), mixed in with the expense that comes with buying a house and raising two kids and eating... money just really, really sucks.

So Will had the brilliant idea that I go back to work. Full time.

--enter nervous breakdown--

I'm sure I'm being a great big baby for having a nervous breakdown about going back to work, especially considering that so many moms work full time... but just the idea of leaving my kids behind in the day so that I could do some boring desk job, or possibly missing birthdays and first-day-of-kindergartens so I can answer phones for some lame company -- ooooh, the heart palpitations are starting again.

And then the realization that Elegant Snobbery would probably fall by the wayside, as I would have 40 less hours in the week to illustrate, promote and package. And my blog? And the book I'm writing? And all the kids books and plays that I've been working on over the years, but need to finish off, package up and send off to publishers? I just wouldn't have any time -- oooooh, there go those heart palpitations again.

So what was the conclusion to my nervous breakdown? Well, I'll stay home with the girls until September, when Gracie starts kindergarten, and in the meantime, I'll be getting my bum in gear and finally start sending my work out to agents/publishing companies/whoever the heck I'm supposed to send books and such to.

Time to stop being a scaredy-cat and actually get things done.
First up: The Animal Parade, which I wrote about 7 years ago and have done NOTHING with, other than paint (ugh, watercolors, why do you hate me so?) some sample illustrations, draw a complete 32 page dummy book, and enter into a contest in 2005.

I came in the top 10, which isn't so bad, but also not great. When you are submitting something to a publisher, you definitely don't want to be in the top ten. You want to be number one.
So, I'll be reworking the sample illustrations in colored pencil, reworking my dummy, tweaking lines that don't sound fantastic, and start submitting.

I'm not getting any younger here (seriously, my birthday is next month... time for another nervous breakdown) and its time I stop putting off submitting my work and actually try to get my work published.

So here goes. What is on my list of New Years resolutions?

  • Finish The Animal Parade dummy and art samples and begin submitting wherever they are supposed to be submitted (I need to get a copy of this)
  • Finish revising the children's play I wrote about 6 years ago and begin submitting wherever they are supposed to be submitted.
Can I just interrupt myself for a second here? Okay, this is going to be embarrassing to admit... but I had a teacher in my last semester of college who had contacts with Scholastic and she loved my play so much that she wanted to submit it to Scholastic for me... and I DIDN'T DO IT! Instead, I graduated, got married, had Gracie, and lost contact with that teacher.

I know, I know. So stupid. I hang my head in shame daily.

Okay, lets move on.
  • Finish the YA book I'm working on right now, join a critique group and revise the crud out of it. Then begin submitting wherever they are supposed to be submitted.
  • And also... I have about one billion unfinished books with sample illustrations, that need to be finished! So... finish them!
I won't be adding much new work to my shop this year. I do have a few things that I want to finish up (like my alphabet collection and some paper dolls, which are turning out pretty darned fantastic, if I do say so myself), but other than that, I'm going to be hard at work with my writing and dummy book finishing.

I have to end this post with a ginormous THANK YOU to my incredible husband who is willing to eat spaghetti every night until September, while I work to get myself published (And then we'll have to continue eating spaghetti every night for the rest of our lives, because authors don't really make a whole lot of money, anyway).

I am so lucky to have a supportive husband. He is pretty darned awesome.



Lorissa J. Longfellow said...

You are lucky to have a supportive husband! Wonderful.
Yes, stop being scared and submit your stuff. I've seen things get published that make me wonder. Your work is wonderful, so just do it!!
and Happy early Birthday!!

April said...

I feel your pain! I've applied for about 10 jobs in the last week and haven't gotten a single call back. Hence giving Avon a shot!

Get off your bum and get those stories/plays,etc submitted! I would buy any book from you just for the illustrations alone!

Unknown said...

Sorry it's been rough, but it'll work out in the end. Best wishes for all that's ahead!

Isa Maria said...

I know how you feel. We are at that point when money is tight and I just couldn't face going back to an office and not seeing my little one all day. It would break my heart especially as he's still so young.

You have motivated me to get myself organised. We can't let opportunities keep passing us by. You can do it. Your work is amazing and you deserve great success!

Unknown said...

We're in the exact same position as you, my friend. My youngest starts kindergarten in September, and that's when I'll probably start looking at part-time jobs. I'd be willing to work at the book store, though. ;-)

That's another thing that keeps me motivated and writing, writing, writing. I firmly believe that, one of these days, it'll pay off. (hopefully soon!)

This Little Bird said...

Oh wow... this was me last week too... and into a bit of this week. Story is a little different, but nevertheless it was a mini breakdown.

Good for you for having such a supportive husband AND for being able to get anything done while taking care of children. It seems I can't get anything done these days and well.. its just depressing the crap out of me.

Your illustrations are beautiful, and I'd love to read your book to my children... so hurry up and get it published. I know you can do it!! Think positively and it will happen. My granny used to always say to me...

"Thought is Energy,
And Energy takes Form"

So keep thinking... "I think I can, I think I can"... and it will happen. Good luck on your adventure... and hey, spaghetti is great for dinner... even every night :)

SewSweetStitches said...

Oh we are in the same boat honey. I heart you!

pinkglitterfae said...

I know you can do this!! Your work is fantastic, time to take a leap of faith, and go for it...I think you could make Elegant bloggery into your full time job come September. Lots of us are rooting for you, you go girl!

Oh Mandie said...

I'm sending you lots and lots of hugs and winning lottery numbers Marisa!

And seriously, your work is fantastic!! Submit it and be the next brilliant author/illustrator!

Fru-la-la! said...

You have my support 100%!! you have such a gift and I know you will be awesome at what ever you do!!

Anne said...

Sounds like the universe is giving you a little kick in the butt to send you in the direction that you need to go. You're a smart girl to listen to what it's saying and to start taking the first steps down your path to fabulousness. It'll all work out the way it's supposed to. Can't wait to see all that you do!

Marie said...

Goodness's been a while since I stopped by your blog with being sick and all and I had no idea there was so much going on! I so agree with you about going back to work full time...miss all the "firsts" to answer phones for some lame company does not sound like my idea of a great life either! However, it sounds like you have a lot of things you need to get finished and judging from those few pages I saw of books you've done or are in the process of completing, I have NO idea why you are so fearful of submitting them! They are so fantastic! Ok, so I understand the fear part, but let me tell you that I have no doubt you will do well....the colors you use and your illustrations are so appealing and fun that even I love them. Maddie loves your coloring pages...her favorite is Olivia. Anyways, enough rambling! I love your work and love to support you when I can, so just pray and and know that God has given you amazing talents to be used!

ko said...

So Sorry for all of the DRAMA!!!!! I know it is hard!! :) I would love to see one of your books in the store...WOW!!! I would so buy it!! DO A SOCK /mONKEY BOOK>>>

Kearsie said...

Wowsers! I got kind of fangirly for a minute whilst reading this and wanted to fawn all over your book and illustrations and the fact that you're like, 2 inches away from being an actual for real published authory person! I, myself, am more like 97 inches away from being an actual for real published authory person. Probably because I use words like "authory". Alas.

Your book looks fantastic IMHO.
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog(s)!

Anonymous said...

Oh sweetie! I have so much faith in what you do! The hardest part is taking that first step, but once you've submitted a few things and gotten comfortable with that way of working, it will get easier, and you'll be that much closer to the bigger goal. Don't give up on yourself miss! You can do it!!

P.S. We had spaghetti last night too... it's a regular around here. ♥

Alyssa S. said...

You know I have my fingers crossed for you whatever you end up doing! I certainly hope you get published, making all of the angst for not. And if not...I think you'll find the world of the working mom isn't so bad...hey...think of it...lunch breaks!!!

lightkeeping said...

Despite the part about writers do not earn much, I think you should really try hard to finish those books, submit them to publishers and make writing/illustrating your full time job and I really hope this will work out for you, because your illustrations are gorgeous and you are very talented.

Anonymous said...

Your work is AMAZING! I taught preschool for 6 years, so I've seen it all. Really, truly wishing you the best :)

Leah said...

Money really does suck! I had my own nervous breakdown...last week? Brought on by realizing we're going to own money on our taxes (again) and that I have to *do* our taxes (have a breakdown about that one every year) and, oh yeah, having a baby right in the middle of tax season, woohoo! Good luck getting published, can't wait to hear about your book deal :)

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