Author Sherri Mills

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Life After Almost: The next best thing to a book deal: An Encouraging Rejection

I read in the Writer's Digest something about rejection letters. It says, "A personalized rejection is a letter written directly to you. If you receive one of these, it means your manuscript is head and shoulders above the majority of submissions an agent has read. Most agents add a personal and encouraging touch to no more than 5% of the queries they read. By itself, a personalized rejection is actually a good thing: It means you will likely become a published author. You have convinced a publishing professional to pay attention to you--and that should be a tremendously energizing event."

I have received five such letters, so what am I complaining about?

Instead of being depressed about my rejection I should have been energized.


I haven't been on my blog for a while. I try to be in denial and say I am way too busy. This is not the case.

I received a rejection letter for my book. Contrary to what I would have most people believe, I was extremely disappointed.

This one was real close. Her name was Victoria Sanders. She expressed interest in my manuscript right off the bat. I got a phone call from her, three personal emails and a very personal letter stating how she loved the timely concept of my book and if I could change a few things she would take another look.

I have been tied up with her for five months and everything looked so good. That is until I got the letter that stated in part:

"This is a wonderful idea that has such huge potential. I worry, though, that it is modest and lacks the edge that would help it break out and feel as good as it could be.

Though I continue to love this idea. With respect and regret I am going to step aside so you can widen your pursuit and place this with the right agent and subsequent publisher."

The letter was much longer which should have made me feel wonderful. She took so much time on my project. However, I let disappointment take over, halting for a time, my blog and my continued pursuit. Shame on me.

I'm back again, more determined than ever.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

TIP OF THE DAY Fortitude With Little Things

What to do when you are getting your children ready for school, church or any outing, and your husband is on the premises:

Get all the clothes ready for one particular child. Socks, shoes, pants, shirt, everything he is going to wear that day.

Make sure that child is in the same room as his dad so the dad can hear.

Say, very sweetly, "Here are your cloths Johnny, go have your dad get you dressed."

If He has never done it before, he may be surprised so it is very important that you say it, then walk away and start dressing another child, or get busy doing some other chore. To make this work. you can't make this statement and then do nothing. It is very important for him to know he is doing it to make it easier on you.

Remember, don't ask him to do it. Make a very confident statement to your child and EXPECT RESULTS.

Societal Problem

The double duty-double standard of householder work, as stated by many professional people, is a very big problem in our society.

There is a specific situation that makes solving this problem of the utmost importance. The situation I am speaking of is that mothers who just can't take it any more are usually young mothers with small children.

In their frustration and pain, these mothers believe they would be better off divorced.

They don't discover the reality until after it's too late.

Broke and all alone they now have to navigate blindly through their unsuspecting circumstances.

I want everyone to know beyand a doubt that staying and fixing the inequity in a marriage, although difficult, will be much easier than being on ones own with small children.

I refused to self publish my book; I ALMOST DIVORCED MY HUSBAND, I WENT ON STRIKE INSTEAD. I also refused to answer small time publishers who called me after I was on TV.

The only way to get this message out to society is to go national and international WHERE SOCIETY LIVES.

This is the only way our children and grandchildren will benefit from the books' concept.

With national dialogue.

The sad fact is that there is not a magic wand that is going to make this problem go away today. There are a lot of things we can do to make it easier, and I will continue giving tips on my blog.

Changing peoples minds right now is going to be an uphill battle. A battle we must keep fighting.

We need to acquire a change in our thinking that includes how we women perceive ourselves and how willing we are to do whatever it takes, no matter how difficult or unorthodox.

The most important thing to remember is that blaming our husbands, is a dead end street.

Case in point:

I was interviewing a husband who seemed to know there was an unfairness beyand belief in his and his wife's responsibilities.

He said, "I can't believe everything my wife does, and what she accomplishes every day. Then he added, "She does way too much."

I asked him, "Why don't you do something about it then?"

He paused for a moment then said, "I have no idea what to do."

And they truly don't.

We have to spell it out for them.

I will be adding THE TIP OF THE DAY on my blog every now and then.

Joke Of The Day- I'LL TRADE YOU

A woman was getting her five kids ready for church and the day was chaotic as usual.

Her husband was getting nervous as usual.

She was always running late.

He said, "When are you ever going to be on time?"

His wife turned to him and said, "I'll tell you what honey. Next time I"ll trade you places."

"What do you mean?" He asked.

"Well," she said, "Next time; you get up, get breakfast, do the dishes, get my cloths ready, get all five kids bathed, comb and curl their hair, get them dressed. And I will go out in the car and honk."

A father of five kids told this joke when he was a master of ceremonies at a reception for newlyweds.

I knew this man very well and he was a man who never lifted his finger at home.

Isn't it funny that he could tell this joke and still not get it?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Anticipated Answer

I received an email from the Editorial Director of Victoria Sanders Literary Agency.

The Email came on Tuesday August 11. They agreed to take another look at my manuscript.

I have been checking their agency out on line and they seem to be the perfect fit for my work. I will be waiting with bated breath. They have a three week exclusive, so time will tell.

I called Dr. Liz Hale and told her. She had wanted an update on anything that was happening. If anyone deserves to be updated, she does. Dr. Hale has been one of my main cheerleaders. Of course I called my Editor, Bianca Dumas too. She has been amazing through it all and has forced me to learn how to use avenues that I never dreamed I could. These learning curves are now part of my life. I will never be able to thank her enough.

I am going on as if this Agency has already signed on the dotted line. This is all part of the process.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Let Him Do it Better Than You

While I am on the subject of men taking on responsibilities, let me relate another situation.

My husband had noticed the sink in the kitchen was getting dingy. He got the cleanser out, a tooth brush, a few specific rags and cleaners and went to town. He put so much windex on the faucets, that the shine sparkled clear into the next room.

After about an hour and a half (no lie), he proudly stated, "Now that's the way it should always look."

The old me would have gone ballistic.

I would have said,"If I spent an hour and a half on just one thing, how much time do you think I would have left over for the other hundreds of things on my schedule?"

We don't have hundreds of things on our schedule, but that's what we would have said.

The new me, with plenty of self esteem, said, "Honey that looks great." Then I added what he was already thinking, "You do it a lot better than I do."

Sometimes co-operation comes with a price. A small price to pay for continued co-operation.

His Very Own to Do As He Chooses

About a year ago, My husband bought some good wood floor wax. He wanted me to use it on our floor.

I informed him that I was allergic to the cleaner. He then proceeded to move all of the furniture, sweep and mop the floor, then apply this shiny wax.

It's been over a year now and the wood floor is now his to be proud of. He keeps it up on his own.

The minute it starts showing spots he will proudly say, "It looks like it is time for me to do my floor."

This would have never happened before. In the early years, I did it all wrong. I would beg him to help me with my work.

For him to be proud of what he has done and not be resentful, the responsibilities have to be his very own.

I don't remember the last time there were disagreements over householder responsibilities. The most important transition is the lack of resentment.

Oh how healthy that feels.

Responsibilities For a Lifetime

An earlier blog was an interview with a man about household responsibilities. The responsibilities he picks being his for a lifetime. (After all; all of the responsibilities women have are lifetime responsibilities.)

Case in point:

One responsibility my husband took as his very own after I went on strike, was the Yard. The transition was slow in the beginning. I had taken pride in my beautiful lawn, and my beautiful mound with synchronized bouquets of flowers.

I watched my flowers wilt for a while but then something wonderful happened. He began taking pride in his yard, and his manicured lawn and garden put mine to shame.

He would beam when neighbors would ask him what he put on his lawn to keep it so green. They would also inquire as to what kind of an edger he used to make his lawn look so manicured.

He would never even think of having me mow his lawn now. I might just mess up his lawn mower lines.

Funny how much easier it is to do a job when you know instinctively what to do instead of having someone nag you all the time.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Push From My Daughter

For years my clients had been urging me to write a book. I had been writing articles, poems, limerick's and speeches my whole life. Then in 2002, I began my journey in earnest.

In 2002, I received a book from my daughter as a birthday present. The book was THE EVERYTHING GET PUBLISHED BOOK.

Inside the book my daughter Nicole wrote:

"To my dearest Mother,

Some might think this to be a strange gift. To me, it was my way of telling you that I believe in you. I believe in your talent. I believe in your dream and your vision. Tell the world Mom.

Hopefully, one day the entire female population will owe you their future.

I Love You,


How could I not get off my duff and write the book after that?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

If She's Stupid Enough

I woke up this morning remembering a situation that happened right after I went on strike.

I was at a church function and one of the high ranking members of the church came up to me.

He must have read the article in the paper because he said, "Wow I really have a lot of respect for what you did."

I didn't know him that well so it really made me feel good. What he said next however, made me lose respect for him. It also made me very angry.

He jokingly said, "If my wife is stupid enough to do it all, Why should I help her?"

I think that statement was the beginning of what became my Passion. I vowed then and there, I would do whatever it took to change things.

I remember after the strike; my husband had a whole new respect for me. A respect that didn't even remotely resemble how it was when I was doing it all.