It’s a slow start to the new year in terms of progress and I think that I have to look at success differently in what amounts to an extended pandemic lockdown. Some days, just helping my youngest try to keep up with her online lessons is a success.

In kidlit publishing, so far I have two partials from agents on my middle grade historical fiction. That’s a partial success. Querying is an exhaustive process. I’m working in very small batches of 2-3 at a time and have a complex chart of rankings (1-5 with 1 being the best) in terms of how good a fit I think the agent is for me and my current project. I do use half points too.

There are many strategies detailed online as to who to query and how many to send out each time. I probably go against conventional wisdom in that my queries are very targeted and I don’t send many. I suppose that I will have to think about starting to expand my list and look more broadly. I’m still not sure how people have to time to send out hundreds of queries.

With my small flurry of journal submissions (adult publications) from the end of last year (5), I have at received a semi-encouraging rejection from a journal that I much admire: “While we’re unable to accept Not All Hungry Ghosts Need Altars, we read this piece carefully and found so much to admire in your writing and in this story.  We hope you find it reassuring that your work made our shortlist.” Slightly.

As a full-time special needs coordinator, teacher, barber, editor, peer, technology manager, counselor, therapist, chef, jail warden, and peer for the kids, I may need to reevaluate my definition of success for the time being. Being everything to everybody is hard work. It seems that most days my best efforts fall short.

It’s back to online Grade 1 for  us now. It’s math class right now. Measuring.