Perhaps I should have said -- writers' minds are wired weird.
(Say that 3 times fast.)
Yes, they are. I firmly believe there is a neurological glitch in our brains.
Take a year ago today when that man went beserk in the emergency room that I was passing through to deliver rare blood.
Knife in his hand, profanity in his mouth, he turned to me as I walked in. And what did I do?
Most of me freaked, yes.
But a small voice in the back of my mind said :
Don't waste this. Notice his eyes. Are the pupils constricted or wide? Is his face blank or twisted in rage?
How is his gait? How is he holding his knife? Grabbed to stab or turned about to slash?
Look at the faces of everyone else. Memorize their expressions. Memorize how they're holding their bodies. Hunched in on themselves, holding one another, or frozen in mid-step (me.)
Oh, and the door is a half-foot behind you. Run like hell!"
And I did.
He started after me, of course. Until I heard a heavy thunk. That tiny little women didn't look like she could swing that heavy fire extinquisher.
Never underestimate tiny little women -- especially if they are mothers defending their ill child.
Then, there is that strange phenomenon where what is in front of us writers is not what we see.
We get a form rejection, and this is on our computer screen :
Dear Author :
I have read your submission, and I am afraid I must say that I and my staff are just not enthusiastic enough about the material to be the best agent to reperesent your novel. I wish you luck in finding the agent that is right for you and your work.
But is that what we read on our computer screen?
Of course not. That nasty old neurological glitch switches tracks on us. And this is what we read :
Yo, Lousy Writer :
I will tell you what no one else obviously has had the heart to do. You have no talent and less chance of ever being published. Do yourself and the other agents out there a favor and stop punishing yourself and them with further queries. By the way, you have already queried me once already.
P.S. You're ugly, too. No, I take that back. You're pretty in two ways : pretty ugly and pretty apt to stay that way.
The agent who will keyboard-slap you if ever submit to me again.
So why do we persist?
I can only say why I persist despite me re-writing my rejections through the filter of my doubts and fears.
Belief in myself and in my dream? More like it.
Also my fiancee and my mother both taught me by example that a hero is only a person who gets up one more time than they are knocked down.
And so, I have stumbled to my feet one more time, dusted off my bruised dream, and am gamely looking for a new agent to whom to submit.
So I call out to all of you who are hurting, doubting, and losing hope :
"The fight is not over until you quit. You feel alone. You are not.
You can win this. Query better. Write with heart.
Write another novel. But never give up. Never."
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