I have sassy squirrels in my neighborhood. The past few days I’ve had to bring my border collie, Davey, inside the house in the morning because he can’t stop barking at the tiny creatures.
The homes in my block were built in the late 1940s, back in the days when trash trucks picked up your cans from a network of back alleys. These narrow roads provide the route for our electric, phone, and cable since they were put in before the days of buried lines.
Squirrels love to use electric lines as their personal bridges between the trees in our backyards. Davey notices everything, including the furry animals passing over his head. They cause him to bark like a vicious wolf since he believes the alley and its airspace are part of our property.
This makes the squirrels bolder, as they sit directly above Davey’s head, staring at him and twitching their tails. How they manage to balance on the wire is beyond my understanding. It’s fun to watch Davey and the squirrels interact, except for the part where he’s waking up the whole neighborhood.
Davey always barks and jumps at the squirrels, even though he never can reach them. He never gets discouraged. He never gives up. Even if he never gets his teeth on one fluffy tail, he will always try.
Seeking to get my first book traditionally published is like that. Those book deals sit up on the electric wire, taunting me with their advances, book tours, and international rights. There I am, on the ground, barking to get an agent or editor’s attention. Every day I get up, check my email for requests for pages. After sending pages, I stare at my phone, waiting for the Call.
Every day is the same. The squirrels tease Davey. He barks like a wild dog. My email inbox fills with rejections. The Call never comes.
It would be easy to get discouraged. No one would blame me for giving up. But I’m inspired by my border collie’s dedication to his job. He knows what he’s born to do.
Even if I never get my teeth on a book deal, I will always try.