Sunday, November 27, 2011

Itchy Trigger Finger

Itchy Trigger Finger.  Do you ever get that?  That urge to press “SEND” that cannot be denied.

I do.  I did.   I maybe shouldn’t have.

See, I finished the revision of my manuscript, the one about which my  agent said, “Hey…this is really ambitious…” which, as we all know, is code for, “Oh, god.”

Okay, okay, I thought. I'm not going to let that break me, so after a few days of turning that over in my mind (ie, worrying it to death)  I took another look.  She was right.  It needed work.  She said it needed more depth and stuff.  Fine.  It did.  So what?

I cheerfully (fake cheerful, actually) promised to take another look, this time sans rose-colored glasses.  I told her I would revise it.  And I did.  I revised the heck out of it.

But now I’m not sure I made it any better.  Oh, sure.  I made it LOOOOONGER.  But better?  Eh…we’ll have to see.

Did that stop me from hitting SEND.  Nope.  Not me.  Why reflect when I can act, right?  RIGHT?

(pause for crying and chocolate)

So now it’s gone.  And , sure enough, two hours after hitting that dreaded SEND button, I thought, “Oh, man…I could have made Chapter 48 better!  Or even deleted it!”  (Yes, there are at LEAST 48 chapters.  Ambitious, you say?  Oh, god, I say.)

But now it’s too late.  The itchy trigger finger got the better of me.  It’s off into the ether and when she opens that Word document tomorrow morning, I hope she is floored by the mastery of the words and scope of the storytelling, and not the sheer size of the document she must plow through.

And now there’s nothing left for me to do but wait.  And I will…on pins and needles.

In the meantime, however, I’m going to go chop off a finger.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Deep Thoughts on a Stressful Day

What’s a soul worth to you?

Weird question, I know, but I was thinking about this.  What would you sell your soul for?

Sure, we all say things like, “I’d sell my soul for a piece of cheese!”  (Okay, that was me.  I’m on a low cholesterol diet.  Don’t ask.)  Or things like, “I’d sell my soul if I could just get _______ (fill in the blank).”   Published?  Recognized?  Rewarded?  Laid?  (Okay…me again.  Sorry.)

Writers say they’ll sell their souls for a book deal.  Musicians will sell their soul for a gold record.  Students will sell their soul (and those of their grandparents, dropping like flies at this point in the semester) for a passing grade.  Actually they want much more than a passing grade.  They want a GOOD grade.

Now think of all the people who have done that.  I mean it – they’ve literally sold their soul for something.  The friend who knifed you in the back…now that had to have cost a pretty penny.  The ex-significant other who cheated with your best friend?  Cha-ching!  The co-worker who gave directions to the driver of the bus that rolled over you?  

These things happen every day and they have to cost something.  Nothing in life is free.

So, with that in mind, answer the question.  What would you sell your soul for?  You can say the obvious things, of course:  

To keep your kids safe from danger.
To give a terminally ill loved one a few more years.
To win the heart of your one true love.
Ten bajillion dollars.

But what else is your soul worth to you?