On October 26, 2011, I sent my completed manuscript package -- illustrations and all -- to 3 publishing houses for consideration. It was a day that I wasn't sure I'd see; my procrastination had reached epic proportions at one point. The watercolor paintings that I so feared I would screw up came out so wonderfully once I actually sat down and put brush to paper. They didn't come easily, and not without mistakes, but the act of doing it was joyful work. The morning after I finished my last (and largest) painting, I woke up with a smile on my face. In that moment, I felt so accomplished. I still had to prepare the packets, which included copies of the manuscript and illustrations, the dummy (book mock-up), a SASE, and cover letters addressed to the correct contact (not the easiest of tasks considering the rapid overturn in the publishing industry), which took another day or two, but the hardest part was done.
Once I finally started painting, my confidence grew, but that didn't stop me from making a back-up (the left one) just in case... :)
My final illustration sample
The act of going to the post office and mailing the packages was pretty mundane. I remember feeling the need to give them a proper send-off, so I gave a wave like the nerd I am as they were carted away. It was only when I was paying the postage and hitting the "Clear" button over and over on the keypad instead of my bank PIN that I realized how excited and a little freaked out I was. It's surreal, really; I'm one step closer to becoming a published author/illustrator. I know it isn't that simple, and I can expect some, if not a lot of rejection, but for now I'm so happy in the wake of what I've accomplished. :D