In the Trenches: A weird and beautiful type of magic

Well, I’ve got a title. That’s a start.

Querying is, at this moment, going very slowly. I am attempting to shift my brain over to editing mode. I seem to be grinding the gears.

Added to that seems to be another round of medical stuff. But, the upside of that little hitch is that suddenly I have all this reading time. In all truth, it’s the lack of energy to do anything else, but hey let’s slap a dress on this pig and take it out on the town.

I am still sending queries out to agents. And I’m still hearing back. Mostly ‘no’.
But there have been two interesting developments in the last couple of weeks. And, after a quick troll through the last couple of posts I see I haven’t documented those ‘interesting’ responses.

Hey, look, a topic.

So I’ll mention the first one. 

An interesting response arrived back at my door relatively ‘quickly’ after submitting it to said agent. And although it was a ‘no’, it was one of those ‘no’s that gives you a bit of a lift. I’m working from memory here so I might get the words a bit wrong, but the sentiment that’ll be accurate.

Among the phrases were ‘you’re on the right track’. Let me tell ya’. If I could bronze that and put it up on the wall for passersby, and myself, to gaze at every day, I would. It’s a small pat on the head, but here’s why it’s important, the whole ‘starving artist’ thing isn’t just talking about money and being able to afford the rent.

You can also starve for feedback, good or bad. You can starve for validation, or assurance that you aren’t ‘wasting’ time or pouring good electrons after bad. I can’t speak for every artist, but getting a pat on the head every now and then, it’s nice.

In that same response was also encouragement to ‘keep going’.

Keep Going

You ever watch the Tour de France? My favorite stages are always the mountain days. Why? Well, I do love that polka-dot jersey for the ‘king of the mountain’, but I also love the moments when you are watching a bike rider work their way up the Col de Ser, one excruciating rotation after the other. (I haven’t done the Col de Ser, but I have biked among mountains, and hey, I’m a writer, we know excruciating work with seemingly very little progress.) Anyway. 

What I love about those stages, and how it pertains to the letter above, are the lone spectators. The farmers who have walked across fields just to hold up a sign that says ‘keep going’. The hikers, who stop in their own ascent to cheer a solitary rider on. 

To me, that’s a weird and beautiful type of magic: when a stranger sees another person’s effort and says ‘Keep Going.’ Just a tiny little slice of the human spirit reaching out to another  with the gift of encouragement. Forgive me for getting all sentimental, but that’s a rare and beautiful thing. 

One response to “In the Trenches: A weird and beautiful type of magic”

  1. Keep going indeed!

    Love the Tour; it’s one of the few sporting events we watch live (that and baseball, when we can navigate the MLB maze). We’ve marked our calendar for the new Netflix documentary, “Tour de France: Unchained” – coming June 8th!

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