My book got rejected. No reasons given. No advice for improvement. It hurts.. They’re other agents. Time to move on.
I have found that similes are very important. Especially They are like, allegories on the SATs where you compare something to something else. Good similes are especially important when you’re building a fantasy world. A properly executed simile can bridge the gap between the “real world,” and the world of of fantasy. A properly executed simile can liken a fantastic thing to a real world thing. For example, “The mermaid’s fin was as a blue as an summer sky,” can help the reader believe in mermaids because it likens something they don’t know, a mermaid’s fin, to something they do know, the color of the sky in summer. It makes the mermaid more believable. I have also found that if I use too many similes, it can make the reader slog through the pages of a story like a muddy swamp. Wow! that was a good one! Anyway, similes should be used sparingly and with care.
Words are very empowering. Especially for those with disabilities. For example When people help me move, they usually use the word “Transfer” Here’s the thing. objects transfer, but people move. Its important to treat people as people. One of the ways we show respect for people is in the words we use. For me, to use the word, ‘transfer’ is to imply that I am passive in the act of movement. I am not passive. I help I wish people would use the phrase “Help me move” It honors my efforts to be helpful in the act of moving.
Art is never finished only abandoned
Leonardo da Venci
I think it would be the epitome of arrogance and the height of hubris for me to thin of myself as the same caliber of artist as Leonardo da Venci. But I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot lately. I’ve been working on my manuscript for a long time. It is now in its seventh draft. If art is never finished as Leonardo advocates, How will I know when to submit my work? Art is subjective, so when do you say enough? I think I will submit after this current editing pass. Any thoughts?
Well, I’ve written my first query letter. I hope I have succeeded in highlighting what is unique about my characters and my story. For that is the purpose of the query letter. It sifts through all that is superfluous and distills all of your work into its unique essence. I’ve been unique all my life. But usually, I’m trying to emphasize what makes me the same as everyone else. Now I’m trying to write my first query letter and to find the beauty and passion in my own uniqueness. Its harder than I thought especially since I’ve spent my life trying to be like everyone else. Oh well,if life has taught me one thing its, where there’s a will, there’s a way. It must be done, and so, It shall be done.
Emotional awareness is the key to drama. People are motivated to do things because of how they feel. People are motivated to do read book, because of drama. If you want to cause drama, find what makes your character happy, then take it from them. Find what terrifies them, and force them to confront it. Find what angers them and force them to admit it. Fond what they want most in the world and dangle it in front of them like a carrot on a string. Stories are like mirrors. The best stories, reveal something about the writer. When the writing odyssey ends, the writer may have learned something about themselves that they weren’t aware of before.
From time to time, every writer, from Homer to plain old me, hears the voice of Calliope. She’s the Greek muse of drama and epic poetry. Its interesting how we, as human beings, try to quiet her in our real lives but extort her to speak as loudly as she likes on our fantasies and our entertainment venues. The purpose of drama is twofold; It can excite and entertain us but it can also present us with challenges and crucibles from which we can grow and learn. Look at Odysseus, the challenges that Calliope sets in front of him ultimately help him to become a better person, and through him, every one of the myriad of people who hear Homer’s tale.
I am writing a story that also has lesson contained therein. I am trying to write a book where the main character most learn to over come his self doubt in order to save his land from an evil Goddess. I hope that will be apparent to my readers. From my mouth, to The Muse’s ear.
I know this is going to be a controversial topic. Maybe that is way I took so long to write it. I am going to write it anyway because I think its important. I want to talk about miracles. Specifically faith healing. “Why?,” you ask? Because I’ve experienced people I don’t know trying to come up to me while I was minding my own business and trying to heal me. Then, look surprised when it didn’t work, the first was when my family was ordering food at a restaurant. It happened a second time while waiting for the bus at college. This is harmful to me as a a person. I am a person with a disability, that means that I need to cultivate and attitude of independence and non linear thinking. I need to be able to be able to think outside “The Box” in order to live the way circumstance says I must. It is exceedingly hard for me to do that if the society in which I must forge a life thinks that I need to be fixed in order to be happy.
I am a Christian. That means I believe that the creator of the universe became incarnate through the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in order to reconcile his creation to himself. I believe he was capable of doing all the things The Bible says he did. I have even asked him to heal me at times, when life seems hard and the simplest of tasks seems impossible. He has not, for reasons of his own, seen fit to do so.
It is precisely because of his decision that I believe I understand something. Jesus did not live so that he could wave his hand and wipe our problem away. We are after all called to love others as we love ourselves, Perhaps The lord allows problems in the world to give us opportunities to do that. Jesus’ purpose was to change people’s thinking about their God and themselves, and finally to give everything of himself so that people could live peacefully with themselves and their creator. The Lord does not see as man sees,” we are told in 1 Samuel 16:7 “Man looks only on the outward appearance, The Lord looks on the heart.” Jesus ministered a lot to the disabled his many acts of healing were meant to inspire those around him to think of them as God did, and still does, as people with a purpose.
I don’t understand why I must live this way. I certainly don’t like it, that’s true and sometimes, I wish things could be different. It would be easier for me to live this way if some people didn’t look at me and see someone who could be healed by simply laying on hands. I don’t want to preach to people, or tell them what to believe, but they’re when I wish I could tell those faith healers, if they were truly to see me with the eyes of God, they would have seen someone with purpose. I don’t know what my purpose is, but I do know that I’m not a magic trick.
Inclusion of people with disabilities is a concept that is simple to understand but very difficult to implement correctly. If inclusion is implemented correctly, everyone involved learns to work together in order to cultivate strength and overcome weakness. Seeds of empowerment will forever be planted in the heart. If inclusion is implemented incorrectly, weakness can smother strength and self esteem can wither in the burning heat of anger and self pity.
I’ve struggled with inclusion all of my life. Never more so then when I started college. I needed a lot of help to live in the dorm I couldn’t get in and out of bed on my own. So I often had to go to bed early which left little time for socializing in between classes, because I had to be put in bed when my aid could do it. Due to certain other physical differences, it took me longer to complete classwork. so I was working a lot. I felt that my disability erected a wall between me and my dorm mates that I had trouble breaking and I was sensitive about it.
My senior year, I was required to do a community service project. I was invited to go to a local church to fix burritos for the homeless. No one told us that this church wasn’t wheelchair accessible. I could get in the door but I couldn’t go downstairs to help make food. I remember the priest saying “Handicapped access is a problem for us, but if you stay here and tell people to go downstairs if they try to use the front door, it would be helpful.” I nodded as he locked the door.
This was not inclusion, this was a patronizing attempt to avoid embarrassment. If it wasn’t for the nice young woman who kept me company all night. I would have felt awful.
Since the church didn’t work, I went to a soup kitchen where I was able to work. I helped to peal potatoes and put things in salad. I did it slower than anybody there, but I felt like a part of things. I was there to help and I did.
All people, regardless of circumstance or ability, want to feel seen and heard. Its important for all people to feel included in the right way, for the right reasons.
Many characters can grow in the garden of literature, but, they can’t grow in a vacuum. Characters need a context in which to act, just like a flower need soil in which to grow. The world needs to make sense and be consistent. You need to describe the government, the people and the rules of their society and most important, the world needs to be understandable and unique. The world will throw villains and allies at the hero and they must grow organically from the context the world provides. The reader must become invested in this world. These are the most important things to know when building a setting for a story.