This poem is fiction. Well, it’s based on some true stuff, but just so you know: I did manage to submit both manuscripts.
Holiday Submission Blues
I went to a conference around mid-October where agents and editors said
“You have three months to send us your writing—we promise that it will be read”
To surpass the slush pile? A guaranteed reading? The rules are so simple, it’s scary
Simply mention the conference where you heard them speak and submit it by mid-January
Then Halloween came with its pumpkins to carve and of course children’s costumes to sew
But no need to worry—I’ve still got ten weeks and two manuscripts ready to go
They are rather different so I should choose well which story I send out to where
One is a humorous early-grade reader; the other is middle-grade fare
But family is coming. I’m hosting Thanksgiving—so much food to buy and prepare
Clean up the guest room and get out the linens and somehow find one extra chair
As soon as I clear all the cups and the plates and the leftovers get put away
I hit the malls early to find the best bargains on retailers’ big shopping day
Our family’s got two holidays to celebrate this year
Hanukkah songs and dreidel games will blend with Yuletide cheer
The menorah is in the window and the wreath is on the door
Neighbors will surely wonder at the mix of our décor
Unprepared, we find ourselves the host to one more guest
Who has time to write, revise, submit? I want to rest!
Wrapping presents, frying latkes, going to parties and plays
Every minute is taken up for twenty-seven days.
And even when the tree’s been placed, forgotten, on the curb
The kids are still at home and don’t know how to not disturb
I had three months but now I’m down to one week and a day
I can’t allow this opportunity to slip away
If I can concentrate, I know that I can get it done
Maybe if, instead of two, I focus on just one.
But which to pick? This has become a sort of Sophie’s choice
Submit the one for younger kids or send the stronger voice?
One has made the rounds already. I’ll work on the other.
But a twinge of guilt makes me feel that I’m an awful mother
Now to find the guidelines buried somewhere in my notes
In one of several binders inside one of many totes.
Which bag did I carry to the conference on that day?
Now I’ve missed the deadline, and all that I can say
Is I can write on the hottest of days and revise when it is freezin’
But I can’t seem to get anything done during the holiday season