As the songs goes, "in all the wrong places."
Yesterday was Valentine's Day, a day I set aside for expressing my love and for recieving love from everyone special in my life. And, did the love ever flow. From homemade cards to sweet treats to flowers, the love was oozing from every corner of my life ... except one. A few months back, I submitted a short story into a writing contest in which the winners would be announced - you guessed it - on Valentine's Day. No love appeared in my e-mail inbox yesterday, no announcement of a winning short story. Hmm, major bummer on this day of love. If you scroll below, you'll see the novel that I have written and have been attempting to sell. There's been a few rejection letters associated with this work as well and no news of anyone interested in representing it in my inbox either. I guess I'm gonna give up.
Nah! When I finally took my eyes off my cold computer screen, I saw success all around me -- literally three pairs of little feet running all around me on a major sugar-high. Now there's a success I can't deny. And when my husband came home with take-out from our favorite Chinese restaurant, chocolates and a heart shaped balloon, I hugged him.
"The balloon and chocolate are only from the dollar store because I had to wait," he told me.
I didn't care. I thought about how much I appreciated having my family all home together and happy. I thought about my children's grandparents, all four alive and generous with their part in making this Valentine's Day special. In endeavoring to become a published author, I often forget why I started writing in the first place. I defer to the quote at the top of this blog by Henry David Thoreau about living "the life you have imagined". The beautiful life I have imagined is right here in front of me. Being a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend (I have an awesome group of friends!), an aunt, at times a teacher and always a writer. I write for the sheer enjoyment of imagining a story or for the fun of playing with rhymes, not to win contests or to see my name plastered across the New York Times Best Seller List (although, that would be incredible).
So, this past Valentine's Day and everyday, I'll look for love where it matters most. And who knows, with a little perserverance and a lot of imagination, the writing/publishing world someday might show me a little love too!