As often as I offer advice on this blog, I’m taking a moment, for a change of pace, and I’m asking my followers for advice. So if you please, put on your thinking hats, rest your chin the palm of your hand, and lend me your ears. . . or eyes. . . you get the picture.
Many of us are familiar with the circular metaphors in romantic comedies – boy meets girl, girl says she’d love to travel the world, then in the next breath she says ‘when I can order potato chips with ketchup in a pub, I’ll travel the world,’ and by the end of the movie she is off on a sight-seeing-spree gallivanting across the European countryside. You know what I mean? Some sort of visual, metaphorical representation of the phrase, “when pigs fly.” Well, I sort of find myself in that situation right now.
I’m sure you’ve all heard that I published my first book recently. It took me eight years to get it from notebook to E-Book, and now I’ve started a new chapter in my life, (no pun intended). Some of you are writers and know that along the way to becoming a writer, you meet people that make you think. Now you’ll meet both those that make you think critically about how and why you write, and you’ll meet more people that make you think, “why on earth did I think you were special?” Both of these sorts of people will have a profound impact on your life, and your writing, which leads me to my call for action.
There are two people who waltzed in and out of my life, (one of them more than once), that caused some real soul-searching, and I’m debating as to whether or not to send them a copy of my book. Now before you get all “girlfriend please!” on me, let me tell you their stories. I mean who doesn’t love story time?
Once upon a time, I had a friend named Heath who was an awesome writer. He was more outgoing, and really didn’t care what people thought about him. I would even venture to say that feedback didn’t even make him remotely nervous. As far as writing goes, I learned a lot from him. One of the things that has stuck with me is the idea that if you don’t put your heart and soul into your writing, it will be nothing more than prose. Even when it is the scariest thing in the world to draw a picture of your heart and your pain with words and lexicon, do it anyway. When people read it, they will laugh, they will cry, they will know what you went through, and they’ll discover in their own hearts that they are not alone when they too laid on their twin bed, clutching their Little Mermaid quilt, letting the tears seep into Ariel’s treasure chest, imagining all the blood in their insides pouring out from the hole in their hearts, casting a red hue over King Triton’s kingdom. Powerful thought isn’t it? Sad to say, Heath and I don’t talk anymore. Things between us ended quite badly, but I know that if he saw my book in a store, he would pick it up, read the back, flip through the pages, and smile that quirky sideways smile, sending a thought to me.
The other story, not quite as hopeful, is about the other type of person I mentioned. I once had a friend named Dan who was an awesome musician. I have no doubt in my mind that the Lord sent him to me for a reason. When I met him, I was a stranger in my own mind due to circumstances in my life that I couldn’t handle or begin to come to terms with at the time. He was witty, he was relentless, and he seemed to know everything. I came to value his opinion, (don’t ask me why, I still don’t know why I came to that conclusion), and eventually gave him a film script of mine to read. Expecting him to use his artsy skills to tell me where I was onto something and where I needed to flesh things out, I was horrified when he told me that he had read the first page, got bored, and gave up. Like Heath, things ended very badly between us, and I didn’t hear from him for a long time. We started talking again a few years later, during which time I told him about my book, and he said that would definitely like a copy – but he would never read it. Perfect example of the shoe-drop compliment – something really nice paired with a throwing-knife insult that cuts you to the core. I’m sure if he found my book somewhere, he would pick it up for the sole purpose of making sure that it is my book, and to see if his name is in the author’s note.
My question to all of you – should I send them each one? I’d send it to Heath more out of kindness verses sending one to Dan out of spite, but should I? I’m leaving it up to you guys. I would love to hear what you think.
As always, thank you for your excellent guidance,
A. R. Conti Fulwell ><>