2. The cool kids. If your camper is going alone, you might find yourself tossing and turning at 2:00 a.m. Will he/she fit in, find the right friend or home? The same with your manuscript. You want it to succeed, to grow, or you wouldn’t be sending it out. Also, TUMS.
1. You worry, stress, obsess over details. (Does he/she need a beach towel and a bath towel, or only bath? Does this sentence need a comma? You take it out, put in back in, take it out . . . Not that I did this while packing.)
3. Generally there is a no contact policy. (You want to call the next day to check on your offspring/ manuscript, but you can’t. Or shouldn’t. So you consider patenting a invertebrate-sized surveillance camera . . .)
4. Mail call. Camp staffers and those at publishing houses have oodles upon oodles of mail to sort. Be patient. And while care packages containing homemade cookies and treats and confetti are usually acceptable at camp, not so much in publishing. A professional looking, clean manuscript is, free of loopy hearts, smiley faces, lipstick kisses.
5. Dirty Laundry. Campers come home at the end of the week toting a bagful of dirty laundry. (Unless they are like my son, who judging by the camp photos posted online each night . . . Let’s just say, fingers crossed he’s changing underwear.) Lucky are the ones whose manuscripts are returned safely with ink and suggestions and coffee stains – instead of grass ones. You have been given a roadmap, the gift of revision. Kiss your kid, go out for ice-cream, and get to work.