#summersparks DAY 14: Hope In Your Heart by Carol Gordon Ekster

Summer Sparks

Hope in your heart
by Carol Gordon Ekster



Hang in there and have hope in your heart. If you are a writer who has submitted work this could be the day. Okay, maybe not today. It’s a holiday. But maybe tomorrow. There could be a letter in the mail asking you for a rewrite. There could be an e-mail telling you they want to acquire your manuscript. It only takes one such communication to change everything and bring the hope of having your work published. That keeps me going, along with the love of the craft. That must be there. Focus on writing your best story, fine-tuning your words to sing. If you don’t worry about publication, you’ll put your energies where they belong – on the writing.

It’s happened to me a few times– the e-mails and even the letter. “We’re interested. How about rewriting it like this….I’ll take another look if you wish to revise. We want to acquire this manuscript, etc.” And the excitement spills out as happy tears. But it’s the hope of what that will look like…children holding my book in their hands and being touched by my words… that keeps my coming back for more. We must hang in there because this writing process is arduous, at times torturous. And there are so many ups and downs…from the time you hear that good news, until you get the contract, until you see those first sketches and even after your work gets published. Then you’ll deal with issues about marketing, sales, and reviews.

So hope will keep you going for those months, if not years, from this first communication until that manuscript is a bound book. Hope and trust in the process is my mantra and I’m sticking to it, as I wait to see the art work for my third picture book coming out January 1, 2015, as I wait to hear from editors about the many manuscripts I have out in snail mail and e-mail, and as I wait while another book has begun the acquisition process. And with this post complete, I’m off with hope in my heart and trust in the process to work on a revision.


Carol Gordon Ekster

Carol's professional photo for books


Carol Gordon Ekster was a passionate elementary school teacher for 35 years. Her first published book was, Where Am I Sleeping Tonight?-A Story of Divorce, Boulden Publishing, 2008. It was an About.com Readers’ Choice 2012 finalist for Best Children’s Book for Single Parents. “The Library Is The Perfect Place”, was in Library Sparks magazine, 2010.  A picture book, Ruth The Sleuth and The Messy Room, was on Character Publishing’s debut list, 2011 and was awarded the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval.  Her newest picture book, Before I Sleep: I Say Thank You, will be out January 1, 2015 with Pauline Books & Media. Retired from teaching, Carol now spends time in critique groups, doing exercise and yoga, and working on her books. She’s grateful that her writing allows her to continue communicating with children.

Carol is the author of:

cover-Ruth The SleuthRuth the Sleuth
wais bk coverWhere Am I Sleeping Tonight





Oh, but first I must give you a “spark” to ignite your creative juices. And because it is July 4th, Independence Day, it is the perfect time to think of child’s journey to independence. Maybe think back to your own childhood. Or imagine another child showing off their independence or attempting something they feel they are ready for…probably too early if you want to add that tension in your picture book. Everyone always wants to do things to feel older than they are…unless they’re an adult! So if you’re not too busy barbecuing, get writing…with hope in your heart. Tomorrow may be your day.


Missed a SUMMER SPARK? Don’t worry, you can find them here:

Day 1: In Celebration of Summer Magic  by Kelly Milner Halls
Day 2:  The Power of Doodling  by Alison K. Hertz
Day 3: Cause & Effect  by Alayne Kay Christian
Day 4: How to be a Marketing Ninja  by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Day 5: A Visual Writing Prompt: Begin at the End  by Julie Gribble
Day 6: The Final Word  by Jodi Moore
Day 7: Inspiration Station  by Susanna Hill
Day 8: Voice and Word Choice in Picture Books by Tara Lazar
Day 9: Platform Building Can You Build It? Yes, You Can!  by Tracey M. Cox
Day 10: 5 Ways to Hook Your Reader with Your Very First Line  by Kirsti Call
Day 11: Burning Down the House aka Revision by Donna Earnhardt
Day 12: Persistence  by Donna M. McDine
Day 13: Writing Your Way to a Spark  by Kris Dinnison
Day 14: Hope In Your Heart  by Carol Gordon Ekster
BONUS: What Songs Rock Your World?  by Claire Rudolf Murphy
Follow-up #1: TIPS
Follow-up #2: 9 Ways to Tighten Your Story
Prize Announcement: Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

38 thoughts on “#summersparks DAY 14: Hope In Your Heart by Carol Gordon Ekster

  1. That prompt gives me a particularly juicy idea to work on today. Thanks for an inspirational post and spark!

  2. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 1: In Celebration of Summer Magic by: Kelly Halls | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  3. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 2: The Power of Doodling by Alison Hertz | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  4. Pingback: #summersparks Day 3: Cause and Effect by Alayne Kay Christian | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  5. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 4: How to be a Marketing Ninja by Corey Rosen Schwartz | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  6. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 5: A Visual Writing Prompt: Begin at the End by Julie Gribble | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  7. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 6: The Final Word by Jodi Moore | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  8. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 7: Inspiration Station by Susanna Hill | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  9. Pingback: #summersparks. DAY 8: Voice and Word Choice in Picture Books by Tara Lazar | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  10. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 9: Building a Platform by: Tracey M. Cox | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  11. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 10: 5 Ways to Hook Your Reader with Your Very First Line by Kirsti Call | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  12. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 11: Burning Down the House by Donna Earnhardt | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  13. Pingback: #summersparks 12: Persistence by Donna McDine | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  14. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 13: Writing Your Way To A Spark by: Kris Dinnison | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  15. Enjoyed reading your post about hanging in there and not giving up. I think I’ve actually got some good sparks or ideas too.

  16. Today is an awesome day. It is the 4th of July. That means my family in the U.S. are all home and I can call (usually the time zone difference makes it difficult). Good thing #2: I got an email saying one of my works (a haibun) that was accepted for a literary journal is, as of today, now online. AND our German soccer team just made it to the next round of the World Cup. All this makes me happy and happiness is my spark. I’m going to go grab a pen and paper. 🙂

  17. Thanks to all the above for your comments. And may it be a joyfilled and creative Independence Day for each one of you! And thanks to Tracey for organizing this Summer Sparks to help us all.

  18. Pingback: #summersparks DAY 15 BONUS POST: What Songs Rock Your World? by Claire Rudolf Murphy | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  19. I always have hope but it can be hard, damn hard at times. In November 2013 I sent a query to one of the agents at the top of my list and by February 2014 was set to call it a “No” but decided to send a follow up email just in case it had gotten lost somewhere in cyberspace and a few hours later got am email from him thanking me for following up, which he said was always a good idea and asking to see the full which I sent a few days later…. and nothing since then….I’m keeping a flicked of hope alive because he said that he loved the 3 chapters that he had read in my query letter. Seeing it got lost once before I just may take the bull by the horns and send him another follow up

  20. I can see your frustration. I think, after 5 months, it wouldn’t be out of line to follow up again. Crossing fingers for you!
    BUT this is a great example how slow our industry is. Patience, following up, persistence, and never giving up hope is part of being a writer.

  21. While I write because I “have to” get my story out of my head and into some concrete form, I submit because I have that “hope in my heart” feeling. Otherwise, I’d be trying to publish my work myself. How best to get my books into the hands of lots of kids than to be traditionally published? So, I “hope” someone likes it enough to take it on and spread my stories far and wide.

  22. Pingback: HOPE IN YOUR HEART | New York Media Works

  23. Hi Carol, Thanks for the spark. I spent my day yesterday ( the 4th) in Washington D.C. It was an amazing day of pride and celebrations of independence. Children every where were spreading their wings, pushing the limits of their family blanket and moving into a world of people of varied ages and cultures, religions, genders and ethnicity. It was truly a celebration of our country, for what we stand for, and not worrying for a day whether there was an email waiting or not re my most recent submission(s). Ahh, the independence.thanks Carol and Tracey.

  24. Carol, Thanks for the fantastic post! Hope is essential for writers because we get an awful lot of rejection as writers. Thanks for the inspiring reminder!

  25. Pingback: #summersparks and that’s a wrap! | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  26. Pingback: #summersparks Follow-Up: TIPS | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

  27. Pingback: #summersparks: Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

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