Friday, October 5, 2007

What's holding you back?


"Don't let the fear of striking out hold you back."--Babe Ruth


A year ago this month, I received an e-mail from an editor at Ellora's Cave/Cerridwen Press asking me to submit my full manuscript. Quite frankly as my friend Amarinda would say, I was gobsmacked. I couldn't believe it. A mere six weeks before I had sent in my submission package with the belief that it would be rejected.

Then why send it in?

Because no publisher can accept what you haven't submitted. So even though I thought it would surely be rejected because after all the odds were not in my favor... still there was that miniscule chance that I would be the one who made it.

If I had a nickel for every person who's ever said to me, "I always wanted to be a writer, but..." I would be very rich. But what? But I don't have time to write? But I'm afraid that I'm not good enough? But the editor might not like it? So what? But someone might not buy it? Well, on the other hand, someone just might buy it!

Someone might buy it and read it and then send you a letter telling you how much they enjoyed it--and please when is the next one coming out? Yep, that just might happen. And then, just imagine what you would miss out on all because you were afraid of striking out.

Each time I submit a book I go through the same thing. What if my editor doesn't like it? What if? What if? But if I never submit it, then she can never tell me either way. What's the worst that can happen? I make changes and resubmit it. That's what.

Because if I let fear keep me from swinging with all that I have, then I've lost before I began.

Life is like that. How many things have we set aside, afraid of failure? What's the worst thing that could happen? We start over again and make the necessary changes because we learn from our mistakes. Sometimes we learn more that way.

The first time I changed my first baby's diaper, let me tell you, it was not a thing of beauty. But I got better at it. I reached the point that I could change his diaper in the dark with one hand behind me.

The first time I got behind the wheel of a car, I froze. I was twenty-three. I learned. I drove. A few years later I drove by myself from Texas to New York learning stick-shift along the way. I'll never forget being stuck at a stop light, paralyzed because a gigunda tractor trailer was behind me. I heard the whoosh of the brakes. Then this long drink of water in faded jeans and cowboy boots moseyed up to the car, nudged his cowboy hat back from his face and drawled, "None of us are goin' anywhere until you do, darlin'." Funny. That was the last time I stalled that car.

Anny

Dear me, just see where Amarinda left me hanging...

Leonardo switched on a nearby radio. He knew he had pushed his luck too far. The only way to deflect PJ’s mind energy was by radio waves.“PJ worries me,” Leonardo admitted. “She is not like an ordinary woman.” He both feared and admired her. She was a vengeful, strong woman who wanted payback.

“She’s a freaking nightmare mate,” snorted Sam as he scratched his butt. “What you ever saw in her I’ll never know.”

Leonardo smiled softly. “She has her moments.”

“You know you’re going to have to kill her.”

“Oh yes, but I might have a little fun with her first.” PJ was built for fun.

But I was not defeated! No, I stepped up to the plate and hit a home run! Right?

PJ leaped lightly over the battlement and paced down the stairs to the inner tunnel leading to Leo’s quarters. As she lightly stalked from one door to the next, she thought there really should be a spy thriller sound track to her journey. Then as she approached Leo’s door, she realized that there was dramatic spy thriller music playing. Trust Leo to have his fun at her expense.

She stopped outside the sturdy wooden door and twirled her machete once more. This was it. It was time for Leo to surrender a piece of tail or die. On that thought she shoved open the door and rushed inside.

The room was empty—completely bare of furniture. In the middle of the floor a radio blared with dramatic music. Behind her the door slammed shut. She heard the heavy bolt pop in the lock.

A small window opened in the door and Leo peeped at PJ, standing there stiff with anger. “Hallo, Penelope Jessamine! Make yourself at home. I have this silly coronation to attend to and then I’ll be back to visit with you.”

There was a muttered conversation in the hallway. Then Sam peeked in at her. “Hi, PJ. How’re you doing?”

“Drink zuukerwash and die,” she snapped coldly. “What are you doing here, anyway?”

“Funny you should mention zuukerwash. I’m here hiding out from Emmeline for a while. Do you happen to know where she is?”

Just then he heard a terrible thunk followed by a groan. A firm tap on his shoulder alerted him to the awful truth.

“Hallo, Sammie. I’ve come to get my boys back,” Emmeline whispered. Then she smiled.

Don't forget to stop by Kelly's blog at http://www.kkirch.blogspot.com/ and check out what she's up to and then stroll on over to Amarinda's place at http://www.amarindajones.blogspot.com/ to get her take on life's little adventures. Then have a good day!

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminder, Anny. We all need that from time to time and you're very kind to provide it.

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  2. Oooh! I like the cowboy. Can he come out and play Miss Anny?

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  3. well, how rude is that? I put a comment on last night and it's not there. Hmmm...what words of wisdom did I put on there? Geeze can't remember. But it was something along the lines of you're right - if you never try you never succeed and I laughed at the cowboy comment. I could see that as the start of a great book

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  4. I thought that when I wrote it last night... forgot about that. I was hot (it was August in the south), sweaty, tired, and had three irritable kids in the back seat.

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  5. Was looking for an opening to my next angel book. Maybe I'll go with this. You're right. And um... I didn't have an opening for Tate. This would work very well. Thank you for mentioning it!

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