Thursday, September 29, 2011
When I was in eighth grade I had an awesome English teacher who I adored. She was younger, outdoorsy and a great teacher. She was quite the writer and really pushed us to improve our own writing skills. At that point, I wanted to be a writer, so she was the perfect teacher for me!
Each semester she gave us the daunting task of submitting something to be published. I wrote my little eighth grade heart out and wrote and rewrote some more, in hopes something of mine would actually be published. It seemed so unlikely anyone would publish a fourteen year old girls work, yet I secretly hoped. Even after my first piece was rejected.
Second semester, I submitted a poem, titled "Stars" to the New Era. A few months later I received a check for $20 and letter saying they wanted to publish it! I was ecstatic! I was going to be a published author!
However, there was one catch. In the letter, it said that they were not positive they would use it, but would keep it on file. For years, I checked the back of the New Era, hoping to see "Stars" there. But it never was. Of course after a while, it stopped mattering if it was published or not. I was just curious if it was actually there.
Fast forward to last week. Last Thursday, I was stitching curtains together for backstage of the Babcock theatre, when my phone rang.
"Hello?" I said.
"Hi, is this Valerie?" said the voice on the other end.
"Yes it is."
"Oh good! This is so-and-so from the New Era..."
(At that point I knew what it was. And I was shocked.)
"...I have a poem you wrote some years ago."
"Oh yes! Several years ago," I replied.
(Eight years ago I later realized.)
"Yes, well we'd like to publish it in the January New Era. It's not 100% certain, but we most likely will. Are you still alright if we publish it?"
Of course I told her yes, and I told her she could change the title a bit and add a line so it'd go with the picture better. I don't really mind at all! Ha I wrote that poem when I was fourteen. I don't even remember what it really said (luckily she read it to me)!
Who'd have thought that eight years later, my poem would actually be published?
So the moral of the story, my friends, is to never give up. Just when you think something will never happen, hold on! It may be closer than you think! Then again it may take eight years to get there, but the journey and lessons learned will be well worth the wait.