Courage for High Bush Cranberry and Authors

One of my favorite North American shrubs, which grows no more than twelve feet high, is a viburnum trilobum, common name “High Bush Cranberry”. The attractive red berries make great jams and jellies, presumably used similar to our cranberry sauce. Left on the shrubs, the birds feed on them all winter.

I voted the viburnum as number one in usefulness: lovely white flowers in the spring, sparkling red berries late summer and glorious red foliage in the fall. I happily encouraged every seedling that volunteered on my property.

That was before I heard about the dreaded viburnum leaf beetle and its larva. One summer it seemed every shrub was infested by this dreadful beetle. In two years every single bush was destroyed. Other members of the viburnum family also bit the dust, but I mourned only the high bush. This story has a happy ending. Last year I discovered two bushes with red berries. This year they are thriving. Why they were missed I have no idea but I admire the courage for their come back from severe adversity.

In my last post, I mentioned how sensitive, creative writers must grow a skin as tough as an alligator’s. When they get a submission rejection by a publisher or agent, they find the courage to pick their wounded egos up and start again. One of the best ways to do this is to remember everyone is not going to like, approve or accept your offerings. The task is to find those who do. Reading submission requirements is probably the best way to find a fit for your work. Key word here is “fit”. A rejection is not necessarily a commentary on your work. It may be just a poor fit for that month, year and day. Or it may be that your work stinks. 🙂  In either case, it’s back to the computer to rework your story, just in case. It takes courage, stamina, and a propped up ego, but success will be well worth it in the end.