Thursday, July 26, 2012

Expectations and the Art of Reality

What happens when you work hard to create a masterpiece? You spend all your precious time, energy and genius on something. And then (insert rumble of thunder here) it's rejected. You have two paths to choose. You can either sit down in the mud and give up, or you can ... well, lets let Frank Sinatra tell us what we can do.
I had the experience this past weekend of pitching my book, Martha's Place, to a high quality literary agent. I produced my One Sheet and pitch with blood, sweat and tears. Okay, yes I'm exageratin' a bit. But there were a few missed hours of sleep. I was sure I had all the bases covered.
With a prayer and gulp of breath I marched into the room and for at least two minutes (I had 10 to get the job done) gave what I thought was my best hook and description of my characters. But he's been in the business for a looooong time more than I've been a writer. After he stopped me with a question or two, he spent the next eight minutes showing me how I should write my book and how my hook was not a hook at all. (For those of you who are scratching your heads and asking what the heck a hook is - it's that one or two sentences that make even an illiterate doof want to read your book.)
He did tell me he was intrigued with the story and liked it, BUT...
I walked out of the room thankful. Thankful that I survived and thankful that I still have my "rejected baby". "There, there. That bad man doesn't know what a beautiful, wonderful baby you really are!" Yeah a bit melodramatic ain't I.
All sarcastic dribble aside, I did come out of the experience for the better. I realized, I'm not ready for Prime Time - yet. Like a peach - if it's picked before it's ripe, the fruit is down right nasty to eat. I now have more time to polish and perfect. More time to create that masterpiece. I got eight minutes of coaching from one of the best in the business. How many unpublished writers can say that?
No - once again my heavenly Father knows what He's doing. He planned this whole excursion for me to see how expectation and reality can be friends.
Our paths are never smooth and free from rocks to trip on and holes to fall into. But when we go down - the trick is to get back up, brush ourselves off, and start all over again.
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