Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Remembering What You Want

Tree on a Hill

For most of my twenties, thirties and forties I would have to stop and do some quick math whenever anyone asked me how old I was.  Age was just an abstract number that held little importance for me.

Then, two years ago, I hit the last year of my forties.  There was something about being that close to fifty that forced me to pay attention.  All of my grandparents lived well into their seventies and eighties but none of them lived to be one hundred.  And since I was approaching one-half of one hundred, that meant mathematically, my life was already more than half over. 

There was nothing like a little bit of in-my-face mortality to remind me how little I've done with my life. 

One of the things I had wanted to do since I was a kid was to write a book and be a published author.  With the ticking of time running out in my head, I decided to get serious and start writing.  So I wrote.

I never doubted I could write The Book.  In fact, in that first year I wrote a total of four stories featuring an orphaned chimney sweep who becomes an assistant to an eccentric Professor.  When I had finished shaping what had become the first of the stories, I started querying on it.  To my surprise, it got some immediate response from several agents.  In my imagination I thought I might even sign with an agent before that half-century birthday hit.

Well, that didn't happen.  And it didn't happen this year, either.  (Agent #4 and I spoke on Monday about my latest revision.  We appear to have different visions of where my story should go that are likely irreconcilable.)  Alas.


Many years ago Bonn bought The Boy a framed watercolor image that read, "Discipline is Remembering What You Want."  I'm not sure if I'm going to shelve my chimney sweep and eccentric Professor for a while and work on something else or if I'm going to reel in the revisions and try to take them where I want them and their story to be.   I do know that I'm still going to be writing and revising because it remains one of the things I want.