Not What I Had My Face Fixed For

 “Dear Mrs. Hubbard, blah…blah…blah…”  I read the first sentence of every letter before tossing them into the trash.  I didn’t read the rest – did it matter?  “Rejection.  Not interested.  Not a good fit.” That's all I saw.

Why didn’t someone tell me that major publishers only accepted less than 1% of all children's' book manuscripts? I’d heard people speak of “hopes being dashed” and I always wondered what that meant.  Well, now I was clear. It felt like being slammed against a rocky shore and then relentlessly pummeled by brutal waves over and over again.  It was the evilest form of rejection known to man, OK... well at least known to me.

Editors, schmeditors!  “Who needs them anyway,” I told myself.  I’ve read plenty of boring children’s books and couldn’t understand how the big publishers ever accepted them.  And don’t even get me started on the unimaginative artwork.  

In the words of my grandmother, “This is not what I had my face fixed for!”  After a few weeks spent alone donning an impressive pout, I came up with a plan B.  “If they choose not to do it, then I’ll publish it myself.”  

Well, that was easier said than done.  This was 1992, before the public had access to the internet, before Youtube and A Dummies Guide to (fill in the blank).  Long story short, after many and I mean many phone calls, I met with a printer and tried to figure out what is aTrade Zone, where Reynosa, Mexico was and did I have to go there to pick up my books myself???  Good gosh, I didn’t even have a passport!