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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Life and times of an unpublished dreamer

I check my inbox a million times a day. The outcome is always the same; it’s always as empty as Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. My internet provider has changed its number to an unlisted number. I guess they got tired of me calling insisting something was amiss with my email account.

I know it’s now fashionable for an agent to only reply to queries they are willing to pursue, however I would feel so better knowing that I suck and not assuming that my manuscript is bad. A simple form rejection letter eases my wounded heart much more than a blanket agent ignore.

I get somewhat disheartened when I find out that my dream agent has responded to another query in mere nanoseconds, knowing the same agent has had your query since the dark ages.

I’ve forced myself to believe that any light at the end of a tunnel is a positive thing, even though I get ran-over by train after train after train.

I still search for that elusive rainbow, and I still get soaked to the bone by the torrential rains.

It’s getting harder but I also still wish upon the same star, and dreaming the same dream. The difference is I know now that millions of talented writers wish on that same star and dream the same dream. I’m very surprised that I have not given up.

The hardest part of the journey is depending on a stranger to believe in my dream as much as I believe in it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

I'm reposting a blog from last year. This one always gives me energy to keep writing and persevere to the end. I will admit at times I run on empty and wonder if I need my head examined.

I have always been a dreamer. I cannot remember a time when I was anything other than a dreamer. I see things as I wish them to be. Not always the way reality has presented them to me. I chase one rainbow after another. I have been known to challenge windmills to a fight to the death.

My wife, the pragmatist, tells me time after time, not all dreams come true. She reminds me that chasing rainbows will only get me wet. And picking fights with windmills should be left for the young, not the young at heart.

I keep dreaming my dreams, chasing rainbows, and righting all wrongs. All the while ending tattered and torn. I bump into walls, soaked to the bone. My wife is right, fighting windmills has only ever left me broken-hearted.

I dream because I know no other way. I chase rainbow because I want to see the bluebirds. I take on windmills because I need my head examined.

As I have always said, I grew up invisible. Dreaming is all I had.

My latest dream is to be a published writer. That should be an easy accomplishment, right? Being a dreamer I thought all that you would need is a great story. I have a great story.

Dreamers, like myself are so naive. I surmised I had a great story, ergo, publisher's, and
literary agent's would fight over me. I was going to be the next literary darling.

How wrong could one dreamer be? My wonderful story has had so many rewrites I can scarcely recognize it. However, it is still a great story. I have lost track of how many times my query letter has been altered. I have been told my current, last, second to last, middle query letter varied from great to perfect. I think my query letter is a good one.

The rejection letters trickle in bit by bit. The windmill wins with each new rejection. And I resolve to find the end of just one rainbow with each form letter.

Why don't I quit? I quit every day. There is not a day goes by where I don't throw it all away. I decide it isn't worth the pain. Quitting is the only sane option.

My wife the pragmatist tells me it's OK to dream, but not to expect too much from the dreams, because not all dreams come true. I'll admit there are times I tend to agree with her. A chain reaction of thoughts rumble through my mind. If dreams don't come true, then why do I waste my time dreaming. Lack of dreams mean I can quit wasting my time writing fantasies no one will read. Without dreams I can quit, no more writing, no more queries, no more rejections.

At night, when all is silent, and I am tucked safely in my bed, that's when they all come out to play. Sara, her mother and father. The evil toad, Appleton. The creamed corn farmer Jessup, and Clearance his pet/harvesting equipment. Janet and Maggie, the diabolical twin sisters. The fantasy realms I have created or have yet to create. Oh, and Horace Chance, my latest 115 year old character is there. Each and every one of them telling me quitting is not an option.

Sara, my protagonist, tells me daily that I have a God given gift, use it or lose it.

I have always been a dreamer. I know nothing else. I see things as I wish them to be, and not the way they really are. My latest dream is to be a published writer.