Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hello, February!

Cape Cod Weather Today: Cold. Grey. 28 degrees, but damp. Wish we had yesterday's sparkling sunshine back... why don't I appreciate these things more when they are here...

When was the last time you made yourself comfortable at the bookstore? Just plopped down on the floor and looked through titles, thumbing through books and reading first pages? Or random inside pages? Or more than just back covers and book flaps?

I was in the bookstores a lot before Christmas, but always with a purpose. After dropping my son at his guitar lessons I did my errands and still had time to spare. So I went to the local Borders. And plopped myself down amidst the stacks, going through what's on the shelves right now.

There were books I read as a child. Books I know. (I read a lot as a kid, and still do.)

There were also lots of books I've heard of, but haven't read yet. And even more books that I hadn't heard of, that seem to be riding the waves of the Harry Potter, Twilight, Wicked, or Brisingr phenomenons. So... Wizards, Magic, Vampires (too many), Faeries, and Dragons. (The Gossip Girl genre is older than what I'm looking at, so I won't even include them.)

I started to get an uneasy feeling in my stomach about my own Middle Grade novel. Wondering if it's commercial enough. Wondering if it's sale-able. Wondering where it would fit on these shelves.

Later, while I was making dinner, my middle child asked what was wrong. I told him about my experience, summing up by saying "There was nothing like my book in the store."

He told me with serious conviction, "That's because yours isn't published yet."

Those simple words filled me with such joy, I couldn't help but smile, the flicker of hope rekindling within me. He's read my story the whole way along. He likes the story, and the writing. He's a well-read connoisseur of middle grade fiction and above, so I can trust him if it's an honest opinion, and not just because I'm his mommy. So I had to ask, "Really?"

"Really, Mom," he told me. "I'd buy it at the book fair even."

Big praise. I guess I'll keep going with my agent search after all.

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