Writing Drill Sergeant’s Post-Rejection Motivators

Inside my head and heart reside Writing Drill Sergeant and Writing Saboteur.
They don’t get along. Especially after a manuscript rejection.

Writing Saboteur: “Another rejection . . . This is hard.”

Sniffle.

Writing Drill Sergeant: “Waa. Waa. Waa. How many rejections have you collected? 200? 300?”

“No.”

“100?”

“No.”

“More than 50?”

“Well . . . no.”

“You’re pathetic.”

“Still . . . rejection sucks. Can’t I just greet people at Wal-Mart?”

“Get your wimpy, people-pleasing self back in the ring.”

“Don’t make me write today. I’d rather bury my face in a Dairy Queen supersized Capuccino Heath Butterfinger Blizzard and cry.”

“Get. In. The CHAIR!”

“Wait–I need to pee first.”

“Hurry up.”

“And eat just a little chocolate.”

“Don’t test me.”

“Can’t you say something encouraging?”

“Drill sergeants don’t encourage. They motivate. Here’s a list of quotes.”

“You made a list–for me?”

“Anything to get you to stop whining.”

WRITING DRILL SERGEANT’S POST-REJECTION MOTIVATORS

1. ROCKY

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone): “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that.”

2. ROCKY II

Trainer Micky Goldmill (Burgess Meredith): “For a 45-minute fight, you got to train hard for 45,000 minutes.”

3. A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks): “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard … is what makes it great.”

Or: Jimmy Dugan: “Are you crying? Are you crying? There’s no crying. There’s no crying in writing (baseball)!”

“I know you watch a lot of movies, but do you have any literary motivators–ones who use their inside voice?”

4. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (Harper Lee)

Atticus Finch: “but sometimes we have to make the best of things, and the way we conduct ourselves when the chips are down…”

5. CHARLOTTE’S WEB (E.B. White)

While Wilbur waits for the spiders: “Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.”

6. WINNIE THE POOH (A. A. Milne)

Piglet: “Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?”
“Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.

7. THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD (Watty Piper)

Little Engine: “I think I can. I think I can.”

“How about something more recent?”

8. THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING (Ashley Spires)

The bad feelings are about to start all over again. Then she (a regular girl) notices something surprising. There are some parts of the WRONG things that are really quite RIGHT. . . . By the time she reaches the end of the trail, she finally knows how to make the thing MAGNIFICENT. She gets to work.

“Writing Drill Sergeant, you’re really kind of a softie.”

“Shut up and type.”

GASTON

May is our month to recognize mothers.
What children’s book mothers go above and beyond?

Welcome to KidLit Gems!

Join us in a coffee-style chat about favorite children’s books and the elements that make them shine.

This month’s theme: KidLit Gems for Mom

NameplateAnnasGemIGASTON
Text © 2014, Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrations © 2014, Christian Robinson

GASTONCover450Picture
Book

Fiction

Age Range:
4-8 years

Grade Level:
Preschool-Third

Antheneum Books
for
Young Readers

An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

Awards

Kirkus, Starred Review
Horn Book Magazine, Starred Review
Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
Publisher’s Weekly, Best Summer Books 2014

Mrs. Poodle admired her new puppies, Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. ~ Gaston

Gaston is a story about a delivery room mix-up that goes right. What’s not to love? It has humor. Fi-Fi? Foo-Foo? Ooh-La-La? I bet Kelly DiPucchio’s critique group spit cappuccino out of their noses when they first read these names out loud.

It has smarts. Alliterations please the ears: “There was much to see. Daffodils. Ducklings. Dogs.” Attention-getting cues engage: “Would you like to see them again?”

It has heart. Despite parenting alone and discovering a post-delivery mix-up, the canine supermoms, Mrs. Poodle and Mrs. Bulldog, raise well-adjusted,  thriving offspring. This is the perfect book for those who question their place in the world. While researching Gaston, I was surprised by nature vs. nurture debates.  My take: While every family situation is different, one element remains the same. Belonging isn’t about similarities. It’s about love.

Christian Robinson’s retro illustrations, including the Poodle and Bulldog family pictures; make me miss my sentimental supermom; and my fairly normal, but unique gold, orange, and green childhood.

~ Anna
___________________________________________________________________

From that day forward the families met in the park every afternoon to play. Rocky, Ricky, Bruno, and Antoinette taught the poodle puppies a thing or two about being tough.

Likewise, Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston taught the bulldog puppies a thing or two about being tender. ~ Gaston

Gaston reminds me of Romeo & Juliet, two families from opposite sides of the tracks, circling their territory. This age appropriate picture book’s delightful alliteration, rhymes and Matisse-esque illustrations contribute to the age-old adage, “opposites attract”.  Children will delight as the “brutish or brawny” and the “proper or precious” unite. Three cheers for the mothers in this story that wisely, stand-by as Gaston and Antoinette explore their true identities. And unlike Romeo & Juliet, where the families are meddling, there is a happy ending to this love story.

~ Kristi


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GEM Ruby

Watch for Kristi’s pick next!

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