I have always preached (to the members of my critique group, in particular) the importance of celebrating.
Nice rejection letter? Celebrate!
You sent out your manuscript? Celebrate!
An editor said ‘gedzundheit’ when you sneezed all over her lapel? Celebrate! (After offering her a tissue.)
Yesterday was the official release date for both The Schmutzy Family and Happy Birthday, Tree, my first two books. I celebrated by taking a long drive home from the beach, eating popcorn, and watching Mythbusters. A fine way to spend the evening, but not the kind of celebration I always preach.
So today, I’m celebrating virtually. There are benefits to this, of course. You don’t have to vacuum the house. And you don’t have to worry if there will be enough bowls of gummi worms and pudding to go around. It’s not the same, but my reality for the next two weeks is this:
I have 12 days to go over my middle-grade manuscript one last time before sending it back to my editor. (I will celebrate this stage by removing my summer nail polish so my rattled nerves will be less obvious.)
I have the start of school with all that entails: high-strung kids, early mornings, the first soccer practice of the season, the first forgotten cello, the first missed bus. (I will celebrate this by making the first peanut butter and honey sandwiches of the new year, which might serve as dinner as well as lunch.)
But I’m hoping when these two weeks are over, I will be able to breathe deeply and celebrate in a non-virtual way. I will celebrate the end of summer humidity. I will celebrate the changing leaves and the energy that comes from a new year. And I will celebrate these two books that are finally here, finally real.