My friend and I had an amazing thing happen. Both of our picture book manuscripts sat side by side on the same editor's desk. They were both up for editorial review at the same house, on the same day. What are the chances of that happening twice? We were so excited!

Since we both had received e-mails from the senior editor saying how much she loved our books, we figured it was 'in the bag'. We even went so far as to write up a joint announcement for our writer's list-serve. When the BIG acceptance came, we would be ready.

The night before the review board, my friend had a dream. In her dream, the editor got the chicken pox and couldn't present our books. We had a good laugh over that one. Especially when my friend said, "We shouldn't count our chicken pox before they hatch."

She didn't realize how right she was.

The editor didn't get chicken pox. She did present our books that day. But the review board only accepted one of the books -- not mine.

Was I disappointed? Yes. Was I happy for my friend? Also, yes. Is it that possible? Of course!

If that editorial board had accepted both stories, I would have been doubly happy. But if both of us had been rejected, there would be no reason to rejoice. No reason to kick up our heels. I went to bed happy in the knowledge that at least one of us had an acceptance. One of us beat the odds! In this iffy business, that's a good thing.

Besides, I learned a very valuable lesson. Never, ever count your chicken pox before they hatch!

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