“Be there. Go there now and never leave. Imagine that your dreams have already come true. Live your life from that mindset; predicate your behavior on that reality, not the illusions that now surround you. Filter every thought, question, and answer from there. Let your focus shift, and be born again.
Because dwelling from, not upon, the space you want to inherit, is the fastest way to change absolutely everything.
See the difference?”
(I’m presently searching down the author of the above quote. It’s very lovely.)
First, let me just say what a beautiful day it is here.
the heat is waving, the sun enlightening,
the photo-perfect storm has a date with dusk,
the poisonous toads puddle the porch by evening,
soaking in the run-off from the misters,
attracted to the moths that buck the system
with an immunity to bug lights.
I am grateful, today, for everything. For the new mattress we bought last night, delivered early this morning, upon which I just had to take a nap, (I never take naps — I’m usually a blur, by day, and impossible to make sit still; when I’m writing, it may appear that I’m sitting still, but my mind isn’t –), and which was like sleeping on a cloud.
I’m grateful that my legs, organs and body work. I’m grateful for running water, both hot and cold, and a prolific ice cube maker popping out generous bowls of ice cubes for the rescue dogs’ water buckets. I’m grateful for the new load of bermuda hay, life-green and fluffy and promising lots of sneezes. I’m appreciative that, even if I don’t always get what I want, I do get what I need. Just to be born a woman in America makes me lucky. The list could go on and on.
On Friday afternoon, I finished query letter version ten and began querying Friday night. It’s been a month and a half since I’ve had any queries out in the world, and I was surprised to realize how much I missed the process. It has its inherent thrills, no doubt — and it’s easy to forget this, as you make that uncomfortable stretch.
Putting yourself out there is quite the rollercoaster ride. Partly thrilling, partly frightening, it’s that very mix that makes the process so exhilarating, magnetic, and invigorating, if you have the guts — if you have the wonderful, necessary guts!
I’ve received one response already, and I’m appreciative of the speediness. It’s a rejection letter, but a personalized rejection letter. Rubbing off some of its magic dust, it has me loving that rollercoaster ride.
During the query process, as many writers know, the mental storms can move in so quickly and unexpectedly. However, I don’t feel disappointment over this new rejection. I feel quite the opposite, actually. It’s time to dance with the terriers in the hallway, again, laughing all the way. It’s time to summon up my inner wise elder, (scrunching your eyes tight and clicking the heels of your cowboy boots together three times helps), and lean into that pat on the back.
I tell myself what I would sincerely tell any other writer in the same position: be proud. Acknowledge the progress, no matter how small. Publication is a journey, not a destination — so, don’t give up, or allow yourself to surrender to self-doubt; there’s so much to learn from the process, and especially about yourself.
Be forewarned: the happy or sorry state of your courage will make itself known, and you may not like what you see. That’s okay. In addition, your missing parts will be made obvious, as will your soft parts, your scared parts, your wish parts and your stamina, or lack thereof. This is a good thing. This is where your work lies. Writing is oftentimes hard work in ways that have nothing to do with words.
Published or not, rejected or not, the steps you take to follow your dreams will enhance your life in the present and brighten your experience on this crazy, beautiful planet. I know this is true, but all too human, at times, I don’t always feel it. Today I do, so, carpe diem, and I will.
guaranteed no tomorrow,
with no real control,
life is for the living;
the hardest part is letting go.
And that’s my novel query update, and it’s an update with wings. I see the bigger picture, and I’m at peace with it. (It always brings on the poems.) I’m content to let go and let the chips fall where they may.
The year ‘s at the spring,
And day ‘s at the morn;
Morning ‘s at seven;
The hill-side ‘s dew-pearl’d;
The lark ‘s on the wing;
The snail ‘s on the thorn;
God ‘s in His heaven—
All ‘s right with the world!
Robert Browning (1812-1889)