While I put together every proposal with tremendous enthusiasm and energy sometimes they go nowhere. Sometimes the timing is wrong, sometimes people don’t know what they’re missing out on, and sometimes, to be honest, the idea was pretty ridiculous. The rejection hurts every time. And yet, I still continue to put ideas into the universe.
Inspiration: Jack inspired this adorable story about a boy who
imagined wild adventures with the penguin he slept with every night.
The illustrations were done by Dave Needham, who did City Walks
with Kids: New York City—he’s brilliant.
Rejection: Chronicle said no, they already had a fanciful penguin
story (it was pretty incoherent) and I have no idea how to sell
a children’s book.
Inspiration: after knocking myself out trying to entertain youngsters in cars, I thought
an all-in-one set that would last one car trip was a necessity. The best part of this set was having pieces made of of colorform plastic that kids could use to decorate the windows and back seat.
Rejection: Klutz put out something similar.
Inspiration: one night Jack mysteriously got an m&m stuck up his nose. While it was funny, conceptually, he was crying in pain. I was getting ready to head over to the emergency room, but Jon insisted, that eventually it would melt and come out. He shot some saline solution up the affected nostril. Minutes later, Jack blew—goopy chocolate and red pieces of candy shell came rushing out. It was a parenting moment that was both terrifying and hysterical. As I often do, I sent out an email chronicling the event and got many stories back about items shoved up nasal cavities.
Rejection: while people thought it would be a hilarious website, no one saw it as a successful book.
Inspiration: when Iz was born Jon had the adorable and brilliant idea of taking a photo of her once a week, in the same chair, so we’d have a weekly record of her first year. It was fabulous. We did the same for Jack and I thought an album, A Year of Me, with room for a little note each week, would be the perfect baby shower gift.
Rejection: no one else thought so and I just didn’t get it. This is the one project I most believed should be out there. It creates such special memories.
Inspiration: I loved this project—it was a pantheon
of goddesses that would work today. Goddesses like:
The Seven Sirens of Shopping
Deal—siren of bargains
Salvage—siren of flea markets
Zenith—siren of the perfect fit
Ideal—siren of exactly what you’re looking for
Paraphernalia—siren of excessive accessories
Strut—siren of shoes
Bid—siren of eBay
and some of their evil counterparts:
Calorie—diet crone, and her gal pal Tasti—fat free treat nymph
Crepe—the crone of aging skin
Shrew—the catty, small-minded, back-stabbing crone
Angst—sorceress of hand-wringing and worry
Bicker—harpy of bad relationships
Vice—harpy of bad habits
Rejection: No one saw the brilliance.
Inspiration: man, would this have been fun. A deck of cards, each with a cocktail recipe and a knitting project inspired by the drink. It would have been a hoot to put together. I do host cocktail knitting every once in awhile.
Rejection: People thought the combo was a bit too tenuous. I completely disagreed but that doesn’t get me anywhere.
Inspiration: this is nothing but trite advice:
knock on wood
less is more
start off on the right foot
take a deep breath
let it slide
chalk it up to experience
turn over a new leaf
shoot for the stars
put your best foot forward . . .
Rejection: People thought it was too trite.
I think, in days like these, trite helps.
Inspiration: When she was in first grade, Izzy drew the most adorable, appealing monsters. We spent afternoons at French Roast, bowls of steaming hot chocolate in front of us, “interviewing” the monsters and putting together this book. It was precious. I thought a book by a 6 year old and her mom was a super cute twist.
Rejection: We were told there wasn’t enough of
a story. I just had to laugh at that one.
Inspiration: being an exhausted mother. My outrageously scathing and sarcastic friend Kathy and I took a behind-the-scenes look at the reality of motherhood. It was pretty damn brilliant/honest/hysterical.
Rejection: Yet again, I have no idea why this isn’t out in the world. We all need another voice for the exhaustion and frustration that this job very often brings.