Monday, May 22, 2023

The Rejection Garden Tree/Story 17 "Q"

The Rejection Garden is less about rejection, 
and more about creativity, persistence, and joy. 
Over the next month, I am going to share one Tree or Manuscript with you, not in its entirety, instead, I’ll post a synopsis, how many times it has been rejected, and then, 
I’ll finish with my favorite line and include a picture of the tree and name tag.

"I discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on (their) own judgment and say in (their) heart of hearts, 'To hell with you.'"
 -Saul Bellow

3 submissions, 2 rejections, and 1 contract (I walked away from).

Sorry for my shoe in the picture. 

      Long before "I am Groot." I wrote a story about a child with a speech delay, called Q.  In it, she speaks by simply repeating the letter "Q" to everything until she meets a new friend at school. It was my second manuscript to land a contract. But, as things like to do in the publishing business, the plan went sideways, first the illustrator had to drop the project. Then the replacement illustrator had to be fired (very long and painful story), and that's when I decided that "Q" wasn't ready for the world. Maybe someday I will revisit and resubmit it, but for now, she rests, like her tree, slowly growing and simply being in the world.

    Raising a child with a speech delay has given me so many new viewpoints and insights so it was with great love I created this character, Suzi "Q". One of my favorite spreads in the book is:

"Q was the first letter Suzi understood. She loved everything about it and insisted on using it for everything.

[Mom]     "S-u-z-i, come help me make cookies!"
[Suzi]       "Q!"
[Dad]       "Hey Suzi, let's go play in the park!"
[Suzi]       "Q!"
[George the dog] "AwwwwoooWooWoo!"
[Suzi]       "Aaaaa Q! Q! Q!"

    Am I sad this book never got published? Yes, and No. There were too many times things fell apart in making this book a reality. Something about it, timing, readiness, the world, was not right. I still adore this character (possibly because she is based on my own child, whom I adore), so maybe someday I will get her back out into the world, but No. I am not upset anymore about her not being in print under that first contract.  In a way, I rejected this manuscript myself, knowing somewhere down deep, it wasn't ready.  So, Saul Bellow, I did trust my own judgment, in the end.


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