Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Business End

I am mired in the "business" of getting my book sold.  That means endless hours researching potential agents, reading how-to's on drafting the perfect query letter, and preparing a synopsis of my novel that will spark the right interest while not being too detailed - just detailed enough.

Sound like fun?  It isn't.  I'm a writer - that's my passion and the reason my brain never shuts off with story ideas, characters and possibilities for "the next" work.  But, it's a fact of life that writing the queries and synopses, and dealing with the important folk who can get my hard work read is work that must be done well.  And it takes time - lots of time - if you're doing it right.

So, while I'd much rather be fashioning the opening chapter of my next book, which is racing around in my brain day and night, I am focusing on the business end of the writing world at present.  I'll let you know when I'm ready to mail out my first queries.  Should be soon.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Normal" - What I'm Not!

I heard a "journalist" (I use the term loosely these days, especially with TV reporters, because I find very little that qualifies them to be called that) on a morning show make the statement about a certain celebrity that "he certainly isn't normal".  Granted the man he was talking about has exhibited quite unorthodox behavior, but my first thought was, "So what?"

Roget's synonyms for the word include "conventional", "traditional" and "average", and Mr. Webster defines "normal" as "conforming to a type, standard or regular pattern".  Well, then I'm definitely not "normal" - and proud of it.

I'm not saying that I don't have responsibilities, daily tasks that occupy me, but every day is different from the previous or the upcoming, and it's what keeps me involved and happy.  As an added plus, I also believe it keeps me younger than my chronological years.

Being a voracious reader of autobiographies, I'm always drawn to the "independent" personalities; the ones who push the envelope, as they say.  They defy convention, not just for the sake of doing so, but because their self-esteem is strong enough to allow them to pursue their life as they want, rather than what social standards dictate they must do.  I learn from those lives, and my work is inspired because of them.

Ever since I was a kid, I can remember incidents where I was called out for being atypical or rebellious - not in a destructive or hurtful way - but warned that my behavior defied the norm.  I said it then, and I still say, "So what?"

I like who I am.  I like my life.  I like my family (who are all unconventional, in one way or another).  I am a caring individual who sees life as a constantly renewing adventure.  I cannot envision an ordered, routine existence.  I don't judge others who choose to live that kind of life; I just wouldn't be happy doing it.

Taking unknown paths, or questioning the rules, can result in difficult consequences on occasion.  But, looking back and analyzing those times, I know I wouldn't have done anything different.  I've never broken the law, done anything purposely hurtful, or sacrificed the well-being of those I love.  And I've always pursued each new experience with a glad heart.

When my life is over (decades from now, I hope), I won't be saying "I wish I had.......".  That would be the saddest elegy I can imagine.  I would hope people remember me as an independent spirit who pursued every avenue of life with abandon.  But "normal'?  That word certainly won't be heard.