I've said before that gratitude is a major theme for me this year. That continues to be true. Another theme? Stupefied amazement.
Back in April, before I had any clue of how much else would change in the near future, I submitted a middle grade realistic novel to Carrie Howland at Donadio & Olson, at the encouragement of my friend Susan, who was an intern there. And then I started work on another manuscript, and then I started working at The Horn Book, and the submission, to some degree, moved to the back of my mind. (Mostly.)
Fast-forward to last month, while I was settling into my new job, learning lots, and occasionally worrying that "the dummy" people kept talking about was me. (See? I make magazine production jokes now!) A very sweet email arrived from Carrie, who asked if I was still looking for representation. Many emails later, I find myself in possession of her very thorough and insightful editorial letter. I'm really impressed with her ideas for revisions; as I often hear authors say in situations like this, we've clicked.
For the uninitiated, what this means is that I'll work on revisions with Carrie's guidance, and when we both agree that the manuscript is ready, she'll send it out to publishers. It does not mean I'll have a book deal tomorrow. It does mean that the manuscript will get closer to being publishable, and will then be seen by people who might have a real interest in publishing it. It means that these characters I've grown to love may really meet the imagined readers I've also grown to love.
That'll do, 2014. That'll do.