Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Celebrating Success!

        Every now and then I must stop and ask myself, “How am I doing?”  Because, I admit, there are days when I feel completely unsuccessful both at work and at home.  I get consumed with following the schedule and curriculum at school, and maintaining peace and well-being at home.  I move rapidly from one moment to the next, very rarely stopping to reflect on any moment of success, even though they are right in front of me.  So, today, I will celebrate!
        In February, I decided to submit a picture book manuscript into the New Voices in Children's Literature: Tassy Walden Awards, sponsored by Shoreline Arts Alliance (  The boys had begun phase one of sibling rivalry leaving me in the middle of many a toy battle.  I was definitely not feeling like a successful parent as I found myself in the middle of many toy battles.  So, I wrote about it.  Two weeks ago, I received a call telling me I was chosen as a finalist for the picture book category!  There had been 200 submissions, one winner, and three finalists!  I was thrilled!  

      The Tassy Finalists
     While I sat at the reception, listening to the winners read from their manuscripts, I thought about another piece of the success pie – celebrating the success of others.   I took the opportunity to chat with a few other writers and compliment the winners.  I also made sure to snag a picture with newly published author Lynda Mullaly Hunt, author of One for the Murphys (  She is a small town author with a big city heart.

Lynda and I

        So take some time each day to celebrate your own successes - no matter how small.  You deserve it!  Also, be sure to compliment someone else on their success.  We all work very hard and become focused with those around us.  We get buried under our daily duties and work expectations.  It’s time to stop and say, “Hey, if it wasn’t for me….” 

        And, for those who asked, here’s the beginning of my picture book, Little Brother
            Hi, my name is Andrew.  This is my little brother Alex.  He used to be a baby.  Life was good then.  Now, he is what my mom calls “curious.” I call him Alex Monster!
            When Alex was a baby, he sat in a chair and watched everybody.  He was buckled into the chair and couldn’t get out.  I watched all my favorite TV shows and played with all my toys in the family room.
            Now Alex stands in a bouncer.  When he jumps up and down, it makes noise.  BANG!  CRASH!  He also screams and pushes buttons that play terrible music.  The whole thing is way too loud.  I yell for Mommy to make him be quiet. But then I get told not to yell!  Oh, and when he’s in the bouncer, he gets to watch his baby shows.  I do NOT like baby shows.    


  1. MANY congratulations on your Tassy award! I can't wait to read the rest of your book!

    1. Thanks again Ann :) You know you are welcome to read my writing anytime! you have the inside track!

  2. I want to hear about the awards night! Too distracted when I saw you at B & N...hope to see you at the next meeting. You're gonna have to change your query letter now, too!! Hooray.

    1. Thanks Nancy! We will definitely chat. This might call for another Bertucci's night!

  3. Thanks again Nancy! We will definitely chat. This might call for more Bertucci's nights!

  4. I can't wait to read your book! So proud of you, Jess. It's not easy "just" being a wife, mother, teacher... you do even more. Celebrate YOU.