Life’s Little Train Wrecks

February 17, 2012

Elley’s post yesterday made me do a double take. I had an almost identical experience with a children’s book. At the time, I was freelance writing for magazines and wrote a regular column for our local newspaper. I had no intention of writing a children’s story, until…the train accident that had me laid up for weeks. Okay, the truth is that I stepped on a Thomas the Tank Engine toy that one of my boys had left in the hallway. When I stepped on it, somehow it rolled in a 360-degree circle…and so did my ankle. Third degree sprain, cast and weeks in bed, but doesn’t it sound better when I just say “the train accident”?

So I’m stuck in bed, the older boys were in school, and I had to entertain my youngest who was about 3 years old, a very active three. We watched movies, colored in coloring books, played with cars, (no trains, they were banned) and we wrote a story, a mystery that included all three of the boys. It was just for fun, but after I was back on my feet, I shared it with our playgroup, and my friends insisted that I submit it.

I sent the story to a small publisher that had published one of my boys’ favorite children’s books, and within weeks I got “the call.” Well, actually they didn’t call; they sent me a letter with a contract. Before I could return the contract, it was retracted, and I found out that the company was going out of business. Talk about heartbreaking… Clearly, I don’t have to tell Elley; she already knows.

Although I’ve never seen myself as a children’s writer, I too have wondered what would have happened if that children’s book had been published years ago. For now, I’m going to continue working on romance, but someday, I’m sure I will resubmit that book, just because I want to.



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