Please forgive me for my lack of blogging these past few months, but I’ve fallen in love, with editing my novel. Of all my 2011 intentions, editing was the one that filled me with the most fear. I faced all the other intentions head on. I’m still making them a conscious part of my life. Polishing my stories, a very necessary tool for a writer, filled me with dread. Last year I faced the typing monster, this year, editing.
But first, let me back up and tell you how I fell in love.
The moment when it all coalesced was at Norwescon this April. I was nervous through the entire conference leading up to my feedback session with The Fairwood Writers Workshop. My appointment was on the last day of the conference. I was sure they would say, “Don’t quit your day job.” Which, of course, is too late, I write everyday, all day. Writing is my dream job.
The feedback session was held in a tower room of the Doubletree. It seemed fitting that I would meet my fear in a tower room, since I submitted a fairy tale fantasy.
Four published authors, of various genres, gathered around a conference table to discuss my writing. Each person got ten minutes of uninterrupted time to voice their feedback, ask questions, and make comments.
The first author told me to keep in mind that this wasn’t his genre. It was quite a shock to my system when he finished and I wasn’t boiling in anger or near tears from the pain. This continued around the table with the next author and then the next. I took notes. Wonderful detailed notes, questions about my world that I hadn’t considered, structure tweaks, and publisher information. Yes, publisher information, markets I should check out and submit my work. They each gave me written feedback as well that included notes in the margins and on the backs of my pages. Each one of them gave my story attention.
I left the session energized and eager to get back to work, extremely thankful that I wouldn’t need the box of tissue waiting for me in my car or the pint of ice cream in the freezer at home to console me. My feet hardly touched the ground as I went to my next 2 panel discussions. I was accepted as a writer. I was taken seriously by strangers. Yes, my novel needs polish, but the feedback was delivered in an uplifting way, and these four published strangers encouraged me to continue on this path.
I faced the editing fear. Next fear on my list, you guessed it, submitting it to agents and publishers.
Last night I was consumed with creating a children’s story for my new writing group. It was so much fun, writing about newborn dragons and cherries popping in a bowl, I lost all track of time. My tea grew cold and eventually forgotten. It was only 2 inches away from my hands as I typed the story into word and prepared to mail it off. As soon as I hit send, my stomach went queasy. Perhaps one more polish was needed. The doubts crept back.
I got in my car this morning, turned on the radio, and the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies were singing. No more doubts. How coincidental is that? But is it really coincidental?
Things like this have been happening to me more and more.
I was in a friend’s car last Thursday, driving toward the market, and I noticed she had a post-it-note with the words, Serendipity, Synchronicity, Coincidence, listed right in front of my passenger seat. I thought back to the Kushtaka, Tahoma and my last blog post and smiled.
Then this morning, on Facebook, a friend posted a link to a news article that immediately took me to a story I wrote many years ago. The images in the article were so similar to my story creation I couldn’t ignore it. So many of these events seem to be happening around me.
Today I looked each of these words up in the dictionary.
Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner. To count as synchronicity, the events should be unlikely to occur together by chance.
Serendipity is an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. Good fortune; luck: synchronicity, the events should be unlikely to occur together.
Coincidence is something that happens by chance in a surprising or remarkable way. (and all Whovians know you never ignore a coincidence, there is no such thing! Sorry, I’ve been a Doctor Who fan for years.)
As I notice these events more and more occuring in my writing life, the seridipty seems to unfold with greater frequency and in more unusual ways, like the song in the car this morning.
When I pay attention to these moments, it feels like an acknowledgement from my guardian angel or muse or simply from the universe. Thanks for listening. You are moving in the right direction.
So, I’m asking you….are you listening?