My daughter, handy with a camera, has received several photo credits at the newspaper where I work. When I'm busy at a public event, I turn her loose with the camera. She has a good eye and also creates interesting and fresh angles due to being a couple of feet shorter than most of her subjects.
She recently wrote a poem that her teacher praised and said "ought to be in the paper." Anyone who thinks nepotism is dead never heard of Hank Williams Jr. or Joe Hill. So I submitted it to the editor, suggesting it "might" make a good cutline for the next snow photograph, since we've only used about 200 of those this winter.
The poem (posted below) ran in the "Letters to the Editor" section. She was pleased to get published but said no one had noticed it or mentioned it to her. In other words, what's the point of doing something cool and special if nobody notices and you don't get applause and celebrity status and money? (Incidentally, this is the girl who wants to change from her mom's last name to mine so "people will know who I am.")
I put on my Good Dad hat and patiently explained how you can't really expect acclaim or recognition, and I told her about all my rejections as a writer, and how in the end it came down to the feeling of satisfaction--that the accomplish is the accomplishment, not the reward. She was a little dubious, as was I, but it sounded good. I always mumble that when I do something spectacular that should have the world throwing roses at my feet and clamping laurels on my brow. Sometimes I even believe it, though secretly I'm thinking a truckload of cash would be just as welcome.
The Feeling. Sometimes it's all you get, and sometimes it's all that lasts. Books go out of print. Money gets spent. People go on to other amusements, celebrities, and car crashes. But you DID IT!
By Miranda Owen
Snow is bad.
It makes me mad.
When there's no school,
It's not so cool.
Sitting at my mom's work place,
I'd really rather be in space.
Snow is cold.
The joke gets old.
It falls in your hair.
Snow makes ice.
Ice brings mice.
In my house.
Traps for the mouse!
Positive I try to be.
But that job's really not for me!
Snow please give us a break.
There's not much more that I can take!