by Brian Mullen
Not a real baby, mind you, but my manuscript. I've written a novella and have sent it off for a contest. Every year the Miami University Press hosts a novella contest where first prize is publication. Entries this year must be postmarked by November 1 and the winner will be announced in May, 2008.
And I must wait. In silence.
My mother would probably call this poetic justice for when she sent me off to college for the similarities are uncanny:
My baby will not call or write me to tell me how it's doing. I was notoriously bad at keeping in contact while I was gone as well.
I will only know my baby has arrived safely. I sent it "delivery confirmation" and can track it's progress on-line. My mom knew I had arrived at college safely by dropping me off there.
My baby will be off being judged by others - getting graded, passing or failing, being talked about (maybe), based completely on its own merits. There is nothing I can do but hope I've molded it into the best it can be and offer the occasional prayer and good wishes.
But I do have an option available to me that makes a difference. I guess my mother had the same option but chose not to. However, as a writer, I must take this option for my own survival. While my baby is out in the real world, unable to contact me, and I unable to contact it, I will be focusing on something new.
I'm going to make another baby.