A New Year’s gift! I received an e-mail from my mentor, a well-known children’s writer. He took me seriously when I joined the Long Island Children’s Writers and Illustrators years ago with determination and muster but also much to learn. He listened to my early stories, and critiqued me honestly.
Today he wrote:
“I finished your new book some days ago, but waited to write until now. I can say, for sure, that the fanfare your book has received in reviews is deserving. The book’s impact sat upon me for days, (hence my delay in writing). When your construction of plot, creation of 3-dimensional characters and their interplay, and use of language leave such lasting impressions on the reader, (even if a bit painful), you’ve approached literature as an art form…as all true art must emotionally affect its viewer or reader. You have done this. You have created a niche for yourself and are clearly a new voice and a new force in YA literature. I still remember first meeting you…WOW!…Look at what has happened! I also saw that you will be presenting at the SCBWI Metro monthly workshops. Congrats again. I am pleased to have as a friend and colleague someone who shares my passion for the craft.”
After reading this, I took several moments to breathe and take it in. I think we sometimes brush over important moments in our lives, in our rush to the next thing, or to do the dishes or please someone else. Or because we are somehow embarrassed by compliments.
I’m celebrating this moment, and cherishing it. His words mean so much, because this is a man who does not compliment falsely. I have earned his respect.
I’m so proud, and I share with you not only because I’m proud, but also because this is proof that if you work hard (to put it mildly), you will succeed. I can’t tell you when or how, but I can tell you that you will.
Bye for now.