Ada: Episode 4

“I think I’m in love!” Ada said excitedly when Jenny sat down at the table between them. She’d been waiting patiently for Jenny to arrive for their lunch together, and the news had sat on the edge of her tongue the whole time. She couldn’t wait any longer.

Jenny smiled weakly, but said nothing until she sat down and settled herself in the stiff chair. She scooted the metal chair closer to the table. Pedestrians walked by the sidewalk café in a constant stream near them, but Jenny kept her eyes on Ada who smiled broadly and eagerly anticipated a response from her best friend.

“With Shane?” Jenny asked. She failed to hide her bewilderment.

Ada softened like a balloon that had a slow leak. “Yes, Shane. Who else would I be talking about?”

“It’s just that you’ve only been back together for a month. Don’t you think it’s a little soon to call it love?”

“No, I don’t, Jenny. Love doesn’t follow a schedule. It just happens, and it has happened to me. I thought you’d be happy.”

“I am happy, Ada, but I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

Ada had stiffened in the bright light of Jenny’s skepticism, but she leaned back when she understood her friend’s concern. “It’s different this time. I know it in my heart.” She tapped the left side of her chest with her fingertips for emphasis.

The waiter weaved in and out of their conversation delivering their drinks and plopping a basket of bread between them, but they mostly ignored him until he announced himself and asked them for their orders. They obliged, barely taking their eyes off each other as if they didn’t want to break the connection between them. Finally, the waiter trotted off to the kitchen to make their order.

Ada remained silent as she busied herself with a piece of bread and a dabble of sumptuous butter that she spread sparingly on the warm slice. Jenny watched her as she sipped her water.

Jenny broke the temporary silence. “How is Shane?”

Ada smiled. “He’s wonderful. He’s the most caring man I’ve ever met. We spend so much time together that I’m seriously considering moving in with him.”

Jenny sat back in her chair, stunned. She couldn’t believe the turn of events. Barely a month ago, Ada had sat in her apartment crying hysterically because Shane had grabbed and threatened her, and now she was singing his praises and considering moving in with him. She wanted to raise her objections. Even with her flighty relationship history, she knew that you didn’t move in with someone after only two months. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“Are you sure you want to do that now?” Jenny asked. She couldn’t help herself.

Ada stopped mid-sentence and looked at her friend. Jenny couldn’t tell if she was surprised, hurt, or angry.

“I’m not entirely sure, but it feels right,” she said finally. Jenny was relieved that her response was more rational than emotional. Her friend usually wasn’t very pragmatic when it came to relationships. That had been the case the entire time she’d known Ada since they first met in college.

“If I were you, I’d wait.” Jenny didn’t mean to be so blunt. It just came out. She grimaced a little as she said it.

Ada paused and looked at her friend before taking another bite of bread. She seemed to be thinking as she chewed her food. Jenny took a nervous drink of her water.

“You’re probably right,” Ada said. Jenny sighed internally.

“If it’s the right thing to do, you can always do it later. He’ll understand if he loves you.”

Ada smiled. “He does love me. He tells me every day. Yesterday, he sent me flowers for no reason at all.”

Jenny couldn’t help but smile at Ada’s goofy grin. She’d seen her friend this head over heels in love before, but she didn’t mention this fact to her. She just hoped that this relationship turned out well for Ada. So many of her other relationships had come and gone like the seasons, and every time, she found herself comforting Ada in the depths of despair until she was well enough to begin anew. She loved her friend, but she wondered how such a whip-smart woman could end up in so many desperate relationships.

What concerned her most was the whole moving in part. Ada had never taken that step before, and certainly, she hadn’t moved so fast in her other affairs. They had simply burst onto the scene, burned brightly for a brief while, and fizzled into a night of crying and binge eating in Ada’s townhouse.

Ada noticed Jenny had said nothing for a bit as she had rambled on about Shane and how great he was. She had explained that their fight was just a misunderstanding and that he had reacted that way because he had realized he loved her so much.

“You okay?” Ada asked pausing for Jenny’s response.

“Oh, I’m fine. I’m very happy for you. You certainly deserve this after all you’ve been through.”

Ada looked at Jenny for a moment trying to ascertain how she really felt, but Jenny betrayed nothing. Ada smiled.

“I do deserve this. For once in my life, I’ve met a man who will stop at nothing to show me how much he loves me.”

The waiter poked his way into their conversation with their food. He put the plates down in front of them and asked if they needed anything else. Neither of the women requested anything. The smell of pasta basted in marinara sauce and lemon-drenched salmon wafted between them. They ate in silence reflecting on their conversation. Jenny tried to digest what she had just learned, while Ada lost herself in the excitement of her relationship with Shane. She couldn’t wait to see him later that evening. She couldn’t wait to tell him that she would move in with him.

Turning Points

My current novel is progressing slowly, but I feel like the story is really coming together. I enjoy writing it because I love the determination of the main character who is forced to deal with incredible obstacles yet remains positive and undeterred. The scene below is one of the turning points later in the novel. I decided to share it here because I think it captures the essence of the main character and demonstrates how seemingly insignificant moments can actually be those seminal ones that set the direction we take in our lives. It also reminds me of the quote from Epictetus, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” In this case, Bobby, the main character decides to pursue a dream that he had otherwise given up despite the obvious challenges he faces.

The cool hands of the morning brushed across his face and startled him awake. Bobby opened his eyes and surveyed his room without moving his body as if he were frozen in place. Despite being covered by the comforter, he felt a chill in his body that started at his toes and ran up his legs. He sat up and rubbed his hands across his face and through his hair. It had been over a year since he had lost his legs and he still had these feelings that presumed his legs were still there. He looked down at the cold plastic prosthetics propped against his bed on the floor. He didn’t need to look under the covers to prove he couldn’t feel anything. He knew.

A muted light angled through the blinds in his bedroom. The clock by his bed said 7:30, but he felt no rush since he didn’t have his eight o’clock class on this day. He could take his time. He lay back down on the bed and pulled the comforter tighter around his chest. The instantaneous warmth relaxed him, but a nagging thought fluttered in his head.

He recalled the video of Oscar Pistorius running the 200-meter race in the Paralympics, and suddenly, he had an intense desire to run. He wanted to get some of those blade-like legs and see how fast he could run. He wanted to reclaim that feeling of running around the track where the crowd dissolved into nothingness and the sound disappeared like it was sucked into some black hole. He need to transcend this earth and forget about his newfound limitations. He wanted to prove to himself that he still had it in him to run.

These feelings confused him. He had no idea where to begin, how to get the legs, or how to prepare to run as a Paralympic athlete. He really didn’t understand why he felt this way, but he did know that he was as sure of himself as he had been when he decided to attend Harvard or when he enlisted in the Army. He had never been more sure in his life. He had to run and he had to get into the Paralympics. He may not be able to represent his country in the Olympic Games like he had once dreamed, but he could certainly represent it as a disabled athlete who had sacrificed for his country. He wasn’t going to let his story end any other way.

Adrenaline pumped in his veins. His mind raced around the possibilities. Suddenly, his goal became very clear. He imagined himself on that track in Athens poised over the start block next to Oscar. He could hear the start gun fire and feel his muscles tense as he propelled himself forward on the blades that stood in for his feet. He didn’t know what it would sound like to run on these blades, so he imagined the sound as if it were the same as when he had his real legs. The blades pounded the track in lockstep motion with his arms. His breathing burned and ached in his lungs. He thrust himself forward through the finish line and cut the air above his head with victorious fists. The visualization excited him, made his heart pound. He hadn’t felt this excited about running since he ran on the college track team.

The vision overwhelmed him and he squeezed his eyes shut and pressed his head into his pillow. He had to think about what to do to get to the point where he could run again. He opened his eyes and stared at his fake legs. It felt hopeless. He had barely mastered walking in the prosthetics. How could he possibly think he could run in them or anything like them. Doubt ridiculed him. He turned over in his bed and faced the window. He could see up through the slight cracks in the blinds and saw the crystal blue sky outside. A beautiful day beckoned him, and that’s when he understood the possibilities and doubt melted away. He would run again. He had to. There was no other option.

A fierce determination steeled him as he sat up in his bed and attached the prosthetics to his stunted thighs. He pushed himself up with a renewed sense of confidence and walked to the window next to his bed. He opened the blinds to morning outside and stared into the deep blue sky. A new day had dawned and once again Bobby was taking a new direction.

Ada: Episode 3

Shane hovered over her momentarily breathing heavily and covered in a sheen of sweat. His predictably big, bright smile beamed as he struggled to catch his breath. Without a word he flung himself down on the bed beside Ada and let out a groan as if he had been injured. Ada stared at the ceiling with a half smile equally spent and exhausted. She ached in the most pleasant way.

Three weeks. That’s all it had taken for them to have sex. Despite her youth Ada had always been adept at swatting away the advances of aggressive men. Her beauty had often made her an object of desire of many men who mindlessly pursued her with the most indiscrete intentions. She’d grown keen to this tendency early on and often toyed with it like a cat toys with a mouse. Of course, it helped that her mother had provided her with a textbook case of what not do with her endless foray of failed, abusive relationships. She swore she would not be like her mother. She couldn’t be. She was too smart for that.

Shane’s breathing receded and slowed, but he said nothing. Ada glanced at him and watched his eyes flutter shut and open lazily as he stared at the ceiling. She found it odd when he was quiet since he was rarely so. He seemed to always be talking about something whether it was the latest deal at his work, his travels, or the winless ways of his favorite team, the New York Jets. She realized she enjoyed the silence with him more than the constant conversation. She had found the one thing that shut him up, and it humored her. She giggled.

“What?” he asked groggily.

“Nothing,” she replied embarrassed that she had giggled out loud.

“Come on, you can tell me. Was it not good for you?”

“It was great. I just thought of something funny.”

“Are you going to tell me?”

“It’s something silly.”

Shane rolled over on his side to face her, but Ada remained fixated on the ceiling above her, ears burning from embarrassment. He wrapped his hand around her cheekbone and pulled her face toward him. “If we’re going to be in a relationship, you have to tell me everything,” he said. His voice was suddenly serious and demanding but still quelled in the afterglow of sex.

“What? Are you serious?” Ada asked. She looked for a crack of a smile to indicate he was joking, but nothing betrayed his words. He simply scrunched his lips together in a judgmental frown.

“Yes, I’m serious. If I’m going to trust you, then I need to know everything.”

“Trust me? We’ve been going out for three weeks. We just had sex for the first time. That’s a little much, don’t you think?”

“No. I don’t. What were you laughing about?”

An intense anger suddenly flooded her body. The pleasure evaporated and left her cold. She quickly shifted away from him toward the edge of the bed and scanned the floor for her clothes. She peered down the hall where her pants and shirt rippled along the carpet like items tossed from a speeding car. She felt exposed as she stood up in all her nakedness and retrieved her clothing.

“Ada…Ada…,” Shane started as she walked away.

She grabbed the last of her clothes in the hallway and ducked into the spare bathroom to get dressed. She could hear Shane talking, but she ignored his words. His voice rose with each successive word, but nothing made it through to her. She was angry.

Finally, Shane knocked at the door. “Ada.” The knock startled her.

A grim look consumed her face as she patted her hair into place in the mirror above the sink. She ignored Shane until she was satisfied that she no longer looked like she had just had sex. She washed her hands and dried them slowly before she opened the door.

Shane stood there naked and limp. She looked him up and down but remained determined to stand her ground despite the distraction of his taught and chiseled body. “I need to get home.”

“What?…Why?”

“I’m meeting Jenny this afternoon.”

“You didn’t mention that this morning when we met for breakfast.”

“You didn’t ask.”

“So this is how it works? You tell me what you want to tell me and leave me in the dark about everything else?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about? We’ve been going out for three weeks and you give me a lecture on trust…” Ada started. Shane gave her an angry look like he was about to explode. She’d seen that look before on many of the men her mother had brought into their lives. It angered her as much as it frightened her, so she stomped down the hall to get away from him.

Shane pursued her and grabbed her arm just before she reached the front door. His big hand wrapped tightly around her bicep. A crushing pain shot up her arm. “Oww! You’re hurting me!”

“Don’t fucking walk away from me!”

Ada tried to break free but couldn’t. She grimaced in pain. “Let go of me! If you so much as leave a bruise on me, I will go to police!”

Shane seethed, but a cold rational awareness overcame him and he slowly let go. Ada jerked free, opened the door in front of her, and stepped outside. She gave the door an emphatic slam before she hurriedly walked away. She didn’t cry until she sat in the back of the taxi she hailed, and even then, her tears were silent and brooding. She couldn’t believe how her morning had taken a turn for the worse after its promising beginning.

She pulled out her phone and clicked on Jenny’s name. Her thumb hovered above Jenny’s phone number, but she paused. She was in no condition to talk, and she didn’t want to call Jenny all hysterical. She clicked off the phone and stuck it back in her pocket. She’d call Jenny later to see if they could meet up. She needed some time to recuperate and make sense of all that had happened.

Ada: Episode 2

This is the second installment of my web series, Ada. Stay tuned here for the continuation of this story over the next several weeks. As always, your feedback is appreciated.

His hands were the first thing she noticed, not his nice thick hair or the bright smile that outshone anything that dared to steal the spotlight. He was ruggedly handsome and broad and walked with a self-assured swagger that seemed old school in the theater of impotent men. When he introduced himself and extended his hand, she didn’t expect it to swallow hers so completely. Something reassuring rested in his deep palms, and Ada was immediately interested in spite of her usual skepticism about men in bars.

“Are you here by yourself?” the man asked looking at the empty space beside her. Only the bartender lingered nearby.

Ada paused and wished for a moment that she was, but she answered truthfully. “My girlfriend is in the bathroom.”

She thought she noticed a trickle of disappointment flicker across his face, but his smile persisted and he edged closer to the bar next to her.

“Can I buy you a drink?” he asked. It was part question, part demand.

Again Ada paused. Normally, she refused such clichéd come-ons, but something about the man melted her resistance. “Sure.”

“What are you having?”

“Amaretto sour.”

“Really?”

“Really.” She smiled coyly and he nodded a short laugh.

The man directed the bartender to refresh her drink and ordered a whisky on the rocks for himself. Ada watched carefully as his big hand waved in the air at the bartender. His confidence quickened her pulse, but his hands were the object of her attention.

“I’m Shane by the way,” he said after the bartender walked away to prepare their drinks.

“I’m Ada,” she said sheepishly. She peered over his shoulder looking for Jenny to return from the restroom.

“Is your friend coming back?” he asked.

As if on cue, Jenny appeared from the other end of the bar to Shane’s back and walked slowly toward Ada. She smiled and arched her eyebrows in that funny way she always did when she and Ada met guys on their nights out. Ada tried to keep a straight face, but Shane could clearly see that she was looking over his shoulder before Jenny arrived. He turned to follow her line of sight.

“Is that your friend?” he asked as he saw Jenny walking toward them.

“Yes. That’s Jenny,” Ada said. Her eyes wandered to the back of his head. His thick hair glistened in the dull light of the bar. She wanted to reach out and run her fingers through it, but she resisted.

“Hi, I’m Jenny,” Jenny said as she approached them. She extended her hand and Shane took it in his. Ada knew Jenny noticed it too. She subconsciously patted his hand with her free hand before he released her and turned back to Ada.

“Can I get you a drink?” Shane offered Jenny.

Jenny smiled and absently twirled her hair in the spotlight of his attention. For a moment Ada felt an intense pang of jealousy. He’d noticed her first, not Jenny, and she didn’t like her flirting with him. She worried that his attention had been diverted just when her interest in him was growing.

“I’ll have a Corona,” she squeaked.

Shane turned toward the bartender who had just arrived with their drinks and ordered the beer. The bartender scurried off and grabbed a bottle from behind the bar. He popped the top and sat it on the bar as Shane slid Ada’s drink down the bar to her. He grabbed the beer and handed it to Jenny.

“To a wonderful evening, ladies,” Shane said raising his glass to toast. The glasses clinked with each other and the beer bottle. Each of them took their first sip or two.

“Do you come here often?” Shane asked. Ada almost groaned at the predictable conversation. She wondered if she were in a really bad beer commercial where the handsome man attempted ham-handed come-ons in a bar. Were he not so good looking, she would have walked away already. His conversation skills needed work. A lot of work.

“Is that your way of asking if we’re drunks?” Ada quipped. She had a tendency to be provocative even with people she had just met.

Shane chuckled and squinted at Ada adoringly. “I’m not going to judge.”

“Maybe just a little,” Jenny smiled as if she were sharing a secret. She took a tiny sip of her beer but kept her eyes on Ada and Shane both of whom seemed engaged in some sort of dance. She had noticed it right away, and that feeling of being the third party in a two-person play seeped into her mind despite all of the drinks she’d had already.

She watched Ada interact with the interloper. The conversation was playful and spirited, a cat-and-mouse game with only one ending likely. Shane’s attention only sporadically returned to her. He kept his spotlight smile mostly aimed at Ada. Jenny was happy for her friend but jealous too. She decided to beg out for the night.

“I need to get going. It’s late,” Jenny yawned.

“It’s 11 o’clock. On a Friday night.” Ada retorted. She seemed shocked by her friend’s announcement. Shane seemed relieved, but he shook his head as if he disapproved.

“Are we boring you?” he asked. He waved one of his big hands in the air between them and amped up his beaming smile.

“I have take my mom to the airport tomorrow morning. She’s going to visit her sister in Phoenix,” Jenny explained. This was technically a lie. Her mom had refused her offer and planned to take a taxi, but Jenny wanted to see her before she left on her trip, and assuming that she could get up on time, that was her real plan.

Ada started to say something like she knew that Jenny was lying, but instead, she stepped toward her best friend and hugged her. She whispered “Thank you” into her friend’s ear as they embraced.

Shane and Ada watched Jenny walk away before they turned back to each other to resume their conversation. The night rushed along. Ada nursed a single drink during the time that Shane downed three whiskies. The more he drank the louder he became and the more animated his stories were. Ada noticed the effect of the liquor, but his charming personality and his general warmth enthralled her, pulled her in like the gravity of a heavenly body distorting the orbit of a comet. Ada shook and rattled as each touch of his large hand electrified her. She wanted to step closer to him and feel him next to her, but that was for another time.

Despite her resistance, sleep pulled at her. By one o’clock she visibly listed on the bar stool next to Shane. His words suddenly had gaps in them filled with the blanking of her mind as sleep overtook her.

“I…I should get home,” Ada said finally.

Shane stood up. “Let me take you. My car’s just down the street.”

The temptation was great, but even in her foggy state of exhaustion, her cautionary nature prevailed. “No, that’s fine. Thank you. I’ll get a cab.”

“Are you sure? I don’t mind.”

“Yes. You’re so sweet,” She demurred.

“Can I at least get your number?” Shane asked.

She smiled again. “You’re going to call me?”

“That’s the plan.” He remained confident despite the thickening of his words at the late hour. Ada barely noticed the effect of the whiskies and whatever else he had drunk before they met.

She gave him her number and he poked it into the tiny keyboard on his phone before he stood up and gave her a platonic hug. She felt engulfed by him, overwhelmed, but he was as gentle as a child.

“Good night, Ada.”

“Good night, Shane.”

Ada walked away and didn’t look back. She desperately wanted to know if he was watching her leave (she hoped he was), but sleep beckoned and the long cab ride home was the only thing standing between her and what was surely to be a deep and remarkable sleep. She couldn’t help but feel like her life had been knocked onto a different course. Something was different about Shane. He wasn’t like the other men she had met, and she hoped that was a good thing. Only time would tell.

Ada Speaks

Sometimes I will write a scene to set up a potential story to see if it has any merit as a short story or novel. I have lots of these. Many don’t make it beyond a few paragraphs, but some turn into a full blown work. A Fire Within (my current project) started as a scene like this. If I ultimately determine that I like the potential of a scene, I’ll outline the rest of the story and start to work on it. I enjoy writing these snippets because they give me more than just a few notes on the idea. They set the mood and give life to the voice I hope to project in the story. Take a gander below.

Blood gurgled from the large gash on the side of her neck as Ada lay on the kitchen floor. The crisp white tiles, interspersed with black ones, quickly gave way to the pool of blood that formed around her. Her hands, perched just below the wound as if they could staunch the flow, slowly receded and fell to her side sending a splash of blood drops onto the white cabinets that seemed to close in upon her. Her serrated breathing lapsed and hitched until her chest froze mid-breath. Her eyes stared widely at the ceiling above her, surprise and fear dilated her lifeless pupils.

A lone, recessed bulb above the sink was the only light on in the kitchen, but it shined directly on the spot where Ada lay. Her pale skin and light hair seemed whitewashed by the harsh light, a sharp contrast to the bright red pool that slowly enveloped her. A TV flickered silently in the dark living room next to the kitchen revealing the shadow of a figure that stood in the fringes of the bright light. The hooded figure stood stiffly erect facing Ada as if frozen by the violence of what had happened.

The blood flowed away from Ada slowly, the pool’s edge moving almost imperceptibly toward the demarcation line between the kitchen tile and the carpeted living room of her townhouse. A pair of tennis shoes, soiled from her muddy backyard, took a step back to avoid leaving a footprint in her blood. The figure stepped further into the darkness toward the back door and pulled the hoodie tighter to obscure any chance of being revealed. The face turned once more to Ada to confirm her demise before a gloved hand opened the door and disappeared into the rainy blackness of the night.

Ada, her life expended, lay in the glare of the spotlight comported to tell her story to anyone who could understand the subtle clues that led to this moment. Her worst fears were realized. She had died alone. She had screamed to no one when the knife punctured her neck and she grasped at the wound to plug it in vain. She had seen the whites of her killer’s eyes and pleaded with them in a watery voice. The last ragged moments of her life were filled with shock, not just from the mortal wound, but from the realization that her killer was someone she had loved, someone so close to her that only her skin could tell them apart.

In the distance a car engine revved to life and hurried away on the slippery street outside Ada’s home. The TV flickered one final moment and shut off after such a long time with no activity. Rain drops pelted the windows along the back of her house. The droplets swelled and dripped down the windows leaving a dreary smear that distorted the street light just a stone’s throw from her backyard. The organic smell of cut grass and mud permeated the dark space outside her patio door. The trauma had amplified the ordinary, but Ada didn’t know this. She was dead.

Things I’ve Learned

It’s been two and a half years since I really got serious about writing. I started this journey on July 1, 2012 with the goal of “becoming a writer,” and I’ve been at it ever since. To date, I’ve written four novels, but none of them have been published yet. To be honest, I’ve focused more on writing and revising than I have on pitching my books to agents. I’ve talked to agents and sent numerous queries out, but nothing has come of it yet. I have received some good feedback from agents, editors, and a book coach, and I believe that has me on the right track.

Despite not having a published book yet, I have learned a few things along the way in this journey, and I’m happy that I took the steps necessary to make this happen. For many years I sat on the sidelines dreaming about becoming a writer. Now, at least, I’m putting myself out there to make it a reality. No matter what happens, I’m proud of the work I’ve done, and I believe it’s only a matter of time before I see my words in print. In the meantime, here’s what I’ve learned.

Be Consistent

Being a writer requires consistency in approach. I write for at least an hour every weekday sometimes more, but my routine is essentially the same. I get up very early and I park my bum in my favorite chair and type away either on a novel, short story, or a blog post. Just like an athlete, writers need to practice consistently to get better. I’ve been doing this for two and a half years, and I can tell the difference in my writing thanks to this consistent approach.

Read

Musicians listen to the masters to improve. Athletes watch the greats in their sport to learn. Writers have to read broadly to get better. I’m a voracious reader. I love a great book, and I have many favorite authors. I love an author who is a virtuoso with words, and when I find one, I study him or her to absorb the beauty of the art so that I can improve. I don’t copy other authors, but each thing I learn from them is internalized and expressed in my own way. No author worth his salt will ever say they don’t read. I consider reading to be part of my training as a writer.

Get Feedback

For many years, I was a closet writer. I’d spend hours writing something and then it would sit on a hard drive somewhere hidden from the world. No one other than myself would read it. That approach got me nowhere. A writer’s work is like his or her baby, and I didn’t want to hear my baby was ugly, but the truth is that feedback is critical if you’re going to develop as a writer, and like it or not, feedback is not always, nor should it be, laudatory. Even the greatest writers produce sub-par work sometimes, but the difference between them and the rest of us is that they have strong feedback mechanisms in place to help them improve upon their initial work. Not every idea is a best seller from the moment it is in first draft form. That’s why they call it a first draft.

I have been published in trade magazines for work that I do in my regular job, and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some very good editors. I’ve really clicked with one editor in particular, and it was my first experience working with her that I realized how valuable a great editor is. She improved everything I wrote, and her feedback was priceless. I’m still looking for a similar editor for my fiction work. When I find him or her, I’m going to hold on for dear life because feedback is that important.

Keep Going

Writing query letters and sending them into the ether to be evaluated and judged along with excerpts of my work is not a lot of fun. I’ve done quite a few over the past two years, but not as many as I should have. I typically do them in batches of five or six and then wait. And wait. I don’t get responses from all of them, and all of the responses I’ve gotten have been typically standard rejection forms or letters. It’s disheartening, but with each one, I take it as a learning experience and improve in the next round. Nevertheless, I don’t let this discourage me. There are plenty of stories of great authors who faced hundreds of rejections before they found the right agent and publisher for their work. It requires a certain level of obstinacy to be a writer, and I plan to keep going regardless. Eventually, I will break through, but until then, I’ll keep sending out query letters, talking to agents, and writing. It’s an adventure that never ends.

Those are just a few things I’ve learned in the past couple of years. What’s your writing experience been? Any good tips you’ve learned that you’d like to share. Share them in the comments section for this post.