Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's the little things...

I've been going through a massive coming-of-age phase lately. My Return of Saturn, if you will. And I have a lot of days when I wonder if I'm doing the right thing, if I'm on the right track.

The other day I was in a bookstore--a famous bookstore with new and used books. I was prowling around and happened to find a book by an author I love. Said author's initials are H.R. He hasn't written much, but what he has written has been fantastic, and he has a style of writing that I really liked immediately.

So there I was, and there was this book--his first book, the only one of his books that I haven't read. It was a used hardback book. $6 instead of its original price of $23. Of course I snapped it up.

I got home, puttered around, and finally settled down for bed. I brought the book with me; I couldn't wait to start reading it. I opened the book and noticed something strange--what's that on the title page?

It was an autograph and a personal message. The author's autograph, and a message he wrote to someone named Steve, thanking Steve for his help and support. I turned to the acknowledgments page, and sure enough, there was a Steve listed there. I chuckled. Clearly Steve didn't feel like keeping the book around for sentimental reasons, and somehow the book found its way into my hands. Into the hands of a budding author who has been increasingly John Locke-like (the Lost character, not the philosopher) lately in her search for signs that indicate she's on the right path.

This was a good sign. And a good lesson, too--whenever I get published and sign my books for friends and colleagues, I'm going to make their personal messages distinct enough so that if I ever come across one of those signed copies on a dusty shelf in a used bookstore, I'll know exactly which one of them didn't have enough faith in me as a writer to keep that book around until I became a big enough name to have my autographed book sold for lots of money on eBay. ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A few random thoughts.

I'm thinking of changing the location of my story. I want to set it in somewhere that...I'm more familiar with. I think it'll have more authenticity and life that way.

For two weeks, I've been writing this letter to a muse who pissed me off. I think that, when I finally send it, it'll be a sign of overcoming a significant mental block. And then maybe I can get on with what I need to write.

I have a strong feeling that once I start writing this again, I'm gonna go full speed and not stop until I've got a whole first draft. (I hope I'm right.)

A co-worker gave me something today that made me smile. He came back from a trip to India with a tiny carved statue of Ganesh. He told me that this is the deity who oversees obstacles. I thought that was fitting until he told me that he's also the deity of writers. (How have I not heard of Ganesh before?) I think this is one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever been given. Not just because it's a cool gift, but because it shows that somebody else believes in me, believes I can do this, and wants to see me do this.

Sometimes, just knowing that somebody else has faith in you is enough to kick-start a finicky motivation. I feel grateful.