First Day Jitters is the title of a book I chose for McGraw-Hill’s 3rd grade reading program back when I still had a day job. It’s a great book with a surprise ending and it’s also the way I felt this morning as I dropped both the kids off at school in their new school uniforms. I was definitely more nervous than the two of them combined. My daughter seemed fine until I dropped her off, then she sat there like a deer in headlights. I made a quick exit because a) her 2nd grade teacher seemed confused about the parents milling about (in second grade! Imagine!), and b) I didn’t want to make her any more tense than she already looked. My son decided on the way to his classroom that he was “going to be shy” and hung on to the back of my dress for dear life. It’s preschool, so he’s still in the same room with the same teachers and the same kids that he’d played with the whole summer during camp. His sudden fear was more for show.
I came home hoping to go straight to work, but the novel that I’ve finally finished refused to print. I don’t know if it’s the file or the printer, but I finished working on it on August 28th and so far, I’ve only been able to get 82 pages out. I don’t want to be negative about this manuscript. It has suffered out in the world so far with no kind words said about it except by me and my agent and my best friend (who is required by the bonds of friendship to say it’s brilliant, although she assured me she was truly engrossed). But at the moment, this manuscript is being a giant pain in the ass with its refusal to be printed and re-read for typos so it can make the rounds of scary publishing houses again.
And I need for this one to go out because I can’t start rewriting the next one until this one is off my desk. I can only wrap my mind around a limited number of projects at a time and I am fortunate to have a few small paying ones right now. So juggling two novels on top of those will likely “driving me a nuts” as my son likes to say, or “make me a headache,” his other fave.
Either way, having this hanging over my head still is stressing me out. Nothing goes smoothly on a first day, does it?