Friday, April 6, 2007

from December 2005 - "Love Stamps"

One of my favorite parts of the day is when I sneak out of the house for forty-five seconds, run down the slope of my drive, cross our bridge over Jack's Creek, and get the mail. (If I run, I get a teeny-tiny bit of exercise and the children are unlikely to come to much harm in so short a time.)

Every so often, among the bills and junk, I get one of my SASEs back from some literary journal. I can recognize them instantly because they were once tri-folded, have a return address label in the center, and bear a LOVE stamp in the upper right-hand corner.

Each submission I send out now has a SASE with a LOVE stamp. These LOVE stamps are reserved for the mail I'll be getting. Any stamp will do for the actual submission, though I prefer the pretty & unusual ones.

As I jog back up to the house, tearing the envelope open, the stamp reminds me - regardless of the news I receive, I loved myself and my work when I sent it out. Each time I send out another submission and affix that LOVE stamp, I remind myself again.

It takes time. Every good and published writer has a stack of rejections and persevered with self-love, rarely self-loathing.

I have begun my stack.

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