After working on my second-to-last chapter this morning I felt ready to open that catering service. Oooohhhh! My book was such a wreck! I moped around all afternoon and then decided I needed a reading break.
Yesterday at the library I meant to find one book that had been edited by the editor who requested Earthcrosser. I came home with a stack of books - two edited by the editor, two others by one of the authors she'd edited, and two more by the publishing imprint she edits for. Over half of them were first books! I love new first books. Someday I want to pick up a new first book at the library with my name on the jacket.
So this afternoon I sat down with Me and the Pumpkin Queen by Marlane Kennedy, feeling a little worried that I was making a mistake. If this book blew mine out of the water I might sink into discouragement, never to resurface. I read the first paragraph and relaxed with a contented sigh. It was charming, simple, delightful! I loved the characters, loved the voice - just enough description, good plot movement throughout the story, charming bits that made me laugh, lots of personality, and EXCELLENT RESEARCH ON PUMPKIN GROWING! Only upon reading the acknowledgments did I learn that Marlane Kennedy has never grown a pumpkin. She sure fooled me.
As I read I began to feel that this was a story about me, and that growing a prize-winning giant pumpkin was just like getting a first book published. Can she do it? Will hers be the one? Can I do it? Oh the suspense!
The best part is, I realized that the things I was fretting about in my own manuscript don't matter so much. Pumpkin Queen had plenty of sentences in passive voice. There were monologues by the point- of-view character. It went on and on with details about pumpkin growing. I loved it all. It was interesting! I cared about the characters and so I was along for the ride. That's what counts.
Happily off to work again tomorrow.