Archive for March, 2009

Postcards From Query Road.
March 18, 2009

I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.” 

Albert Einstein

As a struggling (but still-hopeful) writer on Query Road, there’s nothing to stop you from taking your car at one hundred miles an hour and plowing it into the next tree, as you gather rejection letter after rejection letter. Symbolically and deep down, where those crises of confidence and self-esteemless moments lurk, it stings to have The Gatekeepers of Hopes and Dreams not even slam the door in your face, but refuse to open it in the first place. 

While we as writers try hard not to take it personally, it can take an uber-steady will to separate rejection from our hopes and dreams. As we hope agents will make at least a little fuss over our polished offerings, and dream of one day holding our book in our hands all fresh and pink and full of promise, there remains a fine, sketchy line between heart and publication.

So, put it on cruise-control, worthy writers, and take in the scenery. It’s really true what they say about it not being the destination but the journey. As you bravely collect rejection letters yet remain steadfast in your quest, you are learning, growing, marinating, maturing and earning your “masters degree” in self-confidence, hard work, persistence and patience — all things that will not only make you a better writer, but a better person who writes. 

And a better driver as you cruise down Query Road, bopping to the tunes and spying the perfect turn-off for a picnic — a writer has to eat, after all — where, on the grassy slope, the light bulb goes off, as you’ve just thought of an idea for your next novel.

What a lucky writer you are, indeed.

 “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

Albert Einstein

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A Spring In The Desert’s Step.
March 11, 2009

I think of my photographs as paintings, really. Place your pointer over the photographs to read their names (although, some are just captions). 

Like the fuzzy seeds of the dandelion parachuting off into the world, here’s sending you wishes of an early Spring.

 

Who's that writer?

 

 

Candy Flowers Beneath An Ocean Sky.

 

Wedding Bougainvillea clipping.

 

Vivaldi's Garden.

 

The Writer's Blind Spot.

 

Taking Flight.

 

Photos by Emily Murdoch.

The Scream Heard ‘Round The World.
March 11, 2009

Yummy Partial Pancakes.

Partial Pancakes.

Not to jinx anything, but I recently received agent requests for my YA novel, The Girl Next Door. And, the responding agents are agents from my list of “Dream Agents”.

Did you hear that scream, and wonder what it was? That was me.

O-M-G.

Presently, the first three chapters of my novel are in an agent’s hands on exclusive.

I am so excited.

I woke up late on Saturday morning and groggily kissed my husband goodbye (he had to work this weekend, too) with my face still hurting from smiling so much the day before.

He said, “There’s a surprise for you in the kitchen, almost-published writer.”

The truth was, I’d woken up in the first place because the scent of whatever the heck he was cooking had wafted into the bedroom, first waking up the terriers who then began the usual routine of licking my face and grabbing my nose to wake me up, too — all in the hopes of getting some of whatever smelled so good. 

It was Partial Pancakes!

I had one big ol’ pancake in my hand and was just about to bite down when I thought, camera! just in the nick of time.

My husband promised to give me the recipe to post here, but they’re roughly pancake/waffle batter with added vanilla, chocolate chips, sweetened flake coconut, (toasted first), cooked in the waffle thingamajig. 

I have to say, the terriers were quite disappointed when they couldn’t have a piece, due to the chocolate chips.  

Sometimes snuggling back under the covers is the next best thing.

Estrella, our morning glory.

(Estrella, who is an endless source of love and amusement.)

I know how weary a writer can get on Query Road, receiving form rejection after form rejection. Just the day before, with another Dear Author rejection in my hand, I was wondering what the heck I was thinking.

And then, the floodgate opened — out of nowhere.

There’s a life lesson in all of this, of course, because if we’re not growing, we’re not living. And the lesson is, let other people say no to your dreams, but whatever you do, don’t you be the one saying no.

You never know what fabulous things are just around the bend, my huckleberry friends, and you’ll never know, unless you tell yourself YES.  

I’m going to end this post with a little bit of “corn”, because as my good friend Carly Marchelier likes to say, a little bit of corn never hurt anyone.  

Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ your way.

Two drifters, off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see.
We’re after the same rainbow’s end, waitin’ ’round the bend
My huckleberry friend, moon river and me.

Moon River

(Photos by Emily Murdoch)

Bless The Querying Writer.
March 9, 2009

1000 words.

 

the deed is done

the gauntlet thrown

the friend of yes

the foe of no

and while their fate

in limbo goes,

bless the querying writers

in between

a rock and a hard dream,

wearing their stories

on their sleeves

and just returned

from imaginary lands

still warm to the touch

of their trusty pens.

 

On the middle saguaro -- see the woodpecker making a hole for its nest?

 

Poem and photos by Emily Murdoch.