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Friday, January 1, 2010

Tree Swings, Broken Glass and Writing

Last night I had a dream.

A keyboard sits in front of me and I began typing in my mind while the following scene unfolds.

I’m on a large tree swing, swinging back in forth in giant swoops.

I feel like a child and my hair is in braids.

“Higher and higher, maybe I can touch the top branch,” I think.

Weeping willow branches hang like long wind chimes and the wind sings as it rushes through the leaves.

Suddenly there’s a huge home in front of me with a gigantic picturesque living room window.

I’m not able to slow down in time and I crash into the window.

I’m not hurt, but this is what my fingers start writing on the computer screen in front of my mind.

My writing career is like this giant window . . . in shambles.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Wait a second.

That’s pretty harsh!

Is this really how I feel?

My conscience steps in and starts to negotiate with my subconscience.

But, I’m working so hard, writing every day, working on my novel and starting another one.

Yes, but look at all the rejection so far. All the agents who decline on your work, the editors who say it’s just not what they’re looking for.

I know, but if you listen to published authors, they say persistence supersedes talent. I have to keep trying.

But all the time you’re wasting when you could be doing other things.

Suddenly, I’m on the ground, picking up shards of broken glass.

They’re cutting at my fingers, but that doesn’t stop me. Each piece of glass I pick up represents something I’ve written that’s been rejected.

Various pieces of glass are ideas I’ve started on, but then talked myself out of. Others are actual rejection letters from agents.

That’s a wicked dream, isn’t it?

Yesterday I received a letter of rejection from the editor of Arizona Highways.

I submitted an article to him titled:

Thrift Stores in Arizona are Worth Exploring

and shared the premise

“I’ve shopped from Tucson to Flagstaff, Wickenburg to Prescott and I always find something I can’t live without.”

Considering they recently published an article on “The Gum Lady: Her Collection is Mint,” I thought something like “The Thrift Store Lady,” just might work.

I was wrong.

I haven’t submitted any writing for over six months. Now, I remember why I stopped.

But I’ve got to keep trying.

Writing to me is like swinging. I love it so much.

And if I get cut by glass I'll buy more band-aides . . . for my heart.

The moral of the story? Don’t read a letter of rejection before going to bed. It makes for a horrible nightmare.


  1. Don't give up!! Arizona Highways is extremely selective on the authors they use. I imagine you have to be published a lot before they'll pick you.

  2. Trust me! If I get a rejection, I just won't go to bed. I'll stay up all night. Swinging.
    barbara b

  3. I haven't had weird dreams like that, exactly, and I've been fortunate not to have any nightmares dealing with writing, at least that I can remember.

    Love the way you formatted your spot. The different fonts and sizes kept me scrolling and reading till the end. Of course, the writing had a lot to do with also. :)

  4. Laura, try a smaller market - send it to the Beehive or The Groves Report. Build a portfolio of clips with smaller markets. It helps.

  5. I'm sending the eternal optimist fairy into your dreams tonight. She is sparkly and dainty but full of power. Don't underestimate her. She will flutter new ideas and creativity into your mind. She will fill you with confidence and strength. She will lighten your soul and you will fly. I can't wait to hear about your dreams me in the morning!

  6. Yikes. In college I used to "dream" (if you can call it that) that people were trying to kill me. Each morning I would awaken to Tadd's curious voice... "So how'd it happen this time?"

    Stress, in all varieties, makes for interesting sleep. If you can call it that.

    Keep writing.