For those of you who don’t know, my birthday was last week. If you don’t know, don’t feel bad. The older I get the less significance I place on the day. Don’t get me wrong, the presents are wonderful and always appreciated. And given my fondness for cake with butter cream icing (don’t even get me started on whipped cream), I’m always happy when I see birthday cake coming.
This year, when my family asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I had a difficult time coming up with anything. I have most everything I need, and there was nothing that came to mind when I thought about what I wanted, at least not anything they could give me. When I finally came up with an idea for a box of paper, they thought I was kidding. I wasn’t. Anyone who’s a writer knows how much paper you go through in the editing process. Needless to say, I rolled out of bed on my birthday morning to find a brand new box that contained ten reams of paper. I am now the proud owner of five thousand sheets of printer paper, minus the two hundred seventy-one I used this weekend.
Of course, paper wasn’t the only thing I got. I received balloons and cards and candles from friends and family, and I get the pleasure of indulging in not one but two birthday lunches this year. One was yesterday with a family member, and this week the coworkers and I are going out to Yoshino’s where I plan to put away some Japanese food. Yummy!
Still, there is one thing I would’ve liked to have gotten; one thing no one I know has the power to give me. As soon as I told my husband I didn’t get the one thing I really wanted, he knew what it was. Having listened to me asking for this every birthday and Christmas for the past few years, he’s well versed on the subject. Even if you don’t know me personally but have been following this blog, you no doubt are aware of what I’m about to say.
For the record, the only thing I wanted and didn’t get for my birthday is an agent’s offer of representation from one of the two agents who currently has my latest young adult novel under review. It’s been only a few weeks since I submitted to one and almost two months that I submitted to the other. On this side of the fence, that feels like a long time, but in this industry it’s not unusual for busy agents to take several months to review a manuscript. I’ll tell you one thing though. The more days that pass, the harder it is not to get hopeful this is it. When you get rejected right away, you know where you stand. When it takes a while to hear back, you have some hope which can be both comforting and dangerous and a discussion best saved for another time.
As the title of this blog seems to suggest, there’s always next year to have my birthday wish fulfilled. Truthfully, I’d rather not have to wait that long. That’s another year, but again that’s not unheard of in this business, especially not when you consider how long I’ve already been at this.
So, I’ll go ahead and say it. I didn’t get the birthday present I really wanted, but maybe by this time next year it’ll be a moot point. Maybe I’ll have it by then and this will be a distant memory. If not, you can expect us to be having this exact same conversation this time next year!