This week I had the pleasure of signing my second picture book contract! I am so grateful to be given this opportunity again. You see, I remember when being a published writer was just a DREAM that seemed so far out of my reach. I can’t even tell you how many rejections I’ve received over the years (and still get), BUT I can tell you they only made me more determined. Rejections with positive feedback and suggestions made me a better writer and gave me hope that one day I’d reach my goals!
Essay contest winner – limousine ride, dinner, and play
This picture is special to me because it captures my 1st writing “win.” When I was in high school, my mom urged me to enter a local essay contest. I reluctantly did so at the last minute. (I did not like people to read my writings back then). But my mom knew writing was my passion from when I was twelve years old. That was when my Pawpaw purchased me a typewriter. No, I could NOT type, but I could peck, and because he adored me, I always got whatever I wanted. I pecked for years until the 10th grade when I quickly signed up for typing class. I soon became a fast typist, which has aided me greatly in my writing career.
Pawpaw (purchased my 1st typewriter) and Grandma Dot
Well, imagine my surprise when I was one of the contest winners!!! Actually, I did not know I’d won until I arrived at school and my friends crowded around me saying they’d announced my name on the radio that morning. I have to admit to being embarrassed. The silliest things embarrass us in high school. Besides, I had no idea they would PUBLICLY broadcast the winners for the entire NEW ORLEANS metropolis. Anyway, the prize was really cool. A limo picked up me and mom and took us to a fancy French Quarter restaurant. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant, but I’m sure we started with gumbo. We always start with gumbo in Nola. After dinner, they drove us to the Saenger Theatre to see “Mama I Want to Sing.” It was a really special night and a rare opportunity for my mom and me to do something so fancy, just the two of us.
Little did I know I wouldn’t get another writing “WIN” for a very, long time! I credit my husband and kids for ALWAYS supporting my dream and believing in me. They inspired me to keep going despite the rejections.
The moral of this story is NEVER give up on yourself or your dreams! Keep pushing and may 2022 grant you your heart’s desire.
P.S. Stay tuned for more information on my new picture book that’ll hit shelves…I’m not sure when but I’ll keep you posted. 😉