Friday, September 24, 2010

The Wonderful Life of Author X (A Mini-Series)

A very dear writer friend of mine has just completed her first manuscript. She's polished it up and has recently entered Query Hell, otherwise known as - the search for a literary agent. Bless her oblivious soul. She's given me permission to document the events of the past few months. It is with the utmost empathy that I report on her progress. For the sake of all that's decent - I'll refer to her as Author X.

Author X - (one day post querying approx. 10 agents): I'm feeling really positive. This is the beginning of great things for me. I've consulted 2 different psychics. Do the words,"Oprah" and "six-figure deal" mean anything to you? Eek. I have to check my e-mails. Again.

Me: Uh-huh.

Author X (one week post queries): I got my first five rejections. Funny. They all said the same exact thing. I need some chocolate and Tylenol. This hurts.

Me: Uh-huh.

Author X (second week post queries): There must be something wrong with my inbox. I'm not getting any new messages. Do you have the phone number to hotmail?

Me: No.

Author X (during week 3): Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I got a request for 50 pages!!! Life is good after all. I'm on my way!

Me: Uh-huh.

Author X (at week 6): Please help me. I can't stop refreshing my e-mails. Please. Help.

Me:(suggests trip to movies without internet access and a bottle of Patron.)

Author X (week 8): The agent sent a form R on my partial. How does anyone EVER get published? This is impossible. I'll never write another word again as long as I live.
I suck. Really bad. I need more chocolate. More Tylenol.

Me: Uh-huh. (presents Hershey's, aspirin and extra large Patron.)

What are friends for?

To be continued...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hold Fast

As a native New Yorker, it seems only fitting on this day, when a nation remembers a tragic event it would sooner forget - I dedicate this space to those who lost their lives senselessly, heroically, and without fair warning.
If you were anywhere else in the country on that September morning, you watched from your TV sets. Another gory program. Was it real? Or was it Hollywood glorifying violence yet again? But from here, where I live, less than 50 miles away from Ground Zero, it was the worst kind of reality. I can still recall stepping out my front door, hours, even days later and breathing in the odd scent in the air. Burning. Smoldering.
I ponder on this day, the topic of dreams once again. Only this time on a larger scale. Not just my own. The dreams of peace and what our world would be without prejudice, anger and hate. I think about the beautiful words of Langston Hughes who wrote:
"Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly, Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams go, Life is a barren field, Frozen with snow."
The same can be said for hope. Hope for tolerance and sensitivity. Hope for our own future, for our children, for our dreams.

Disclaimer: Personal Opinion to Follow:
And just like so many others who have weighed in on the latest controversy...I have an opinion. Of course. I respect all those whose beliefs I don't quite understand. I wish them no harm or foul. However, I am a human being first, chock full of raw emotion and a sense of decency. A human first, a citizen of the Constitution second. It is with the utmost reverence that I add my two cents worth:
Dude - take the party someplace else.