This bundle took me by surprise. I had to do a double take. The sunlight wasn’t hitting a certain way to make the petals glitter. It was visible no matter the angle.
I even felt the petals to make sure the blossoms were real, and they were.
I walked away stumped, having never seen glittery petals and having no idea what kind of flowers they were.
The kiddos had a very different reaction. They weren’t surprised at all.
In fact, they said they’ve seen such flowers before.
And, they had a seemingly simple explanation for it.
The glitter embedded in the petals came from watering the flowers with glitter in the water.
That sounds a bit strange and suspicious but possible.
That got me to thinking about where I am in the writing and publishing process.
Given that I’m going the traditional publishing route and publishing companies are very different from what or where they used to be, I’m aware of the expectation that I must convince the agents that my writing is not only worth reading but that it is different and desirable to a lot of people. LOTS of people.
For quite awhile, that sounded like some form of self-aggrandizement, and I wasn’t and am not interested in doing that.
That isn’t to say I’m lukewarm about what I’m doing.
I’m passionate and convinced about gathering people into community and bringing people hope and love, by telling stories, in a world full of suffering, depression, struggles, and battles.
The glitter made me realize that the responsibility is mine, to show that my work deserves the attention or glitter. This stuff I’m doing at the moment, now — putting together a ‘sell’ sheet, writing various synopses of different lengths, and including a good ‘hook’ — is just adding glitter or drawing attention to the important and encouraging stuff that is already present in my writing, in my story telling.
It’s all making more sense, now.
1 thought on “Glitter”
As I look back, I see a pattern. There were people in my life, all along the way who were interested in my development as a person. But their tactics, if I might adopt that rather combat-oriented bit of terminology, were of of several types. And they often had very different results.
One type, the most common type, was rule-oriented instruction. At its worst, it was “Just do this.” At its best, it came with a why-we-do-it-that-way, which was not “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” This type of development had its place (I suppose) but I don’t recall any of it as particularly inspiring and much of it, frankly, was confining, smothering and antithetical to creativity. Enough said about that.
Second type: Preaching. Appeals to authority. Again, a necessary, although, I think, overly practiced mode of development. Most people, especially children, are not well acquainted with the authorities to which we appeal when we preach at others, so we can scarcely expect (really) for their words to carry much weight with those to whom we speak. Preaching works with those who are already in the fold, as it were.
“Just do this” and “Thou Shalt,” spoken with enough repetition and insistently enough, can certainly change outward behavior. We see that all the time. Everybody knows those Good Kids we grew up with who suddenly ended up in therapy (or much worse) by the time they were 30.
But there’s another way to encourage another’s development. Share stories. And I mean by that simply telling the truth about life from your perspective rather than speaking about it in the abstract or theoretical context.
We can share stories of two types. The first is simply my true story, as it impinges on another’s truth in a given moment. I share my own failures and what I learned from them and how I developed based on what I learned. In sharing my own failure, I come alongside the other, no longer the Authority or the Preacher. I identify with the other’s problem, then share what I learned. I can share a suggestion for a better way, as a Friend.
The other type of stories we share are those that are written and fictional, but in no less an important way, tell the Truth. As I look back at all those who were interested in my development, yes, there were those who helped me see what I must Just Do and and acquainted me with the Thou Shalts. And I have no doubt that, in their own ways, they loved me and cared for me. And they were good people. But in my heart of hearts, where I truly live, those I have remembered and cherished through the long haul are those who honestly shared their own stories with me. The good, bad and (especially) the ugly. They were significantly outnumbered by the others. But they were the Open Books. They wrote the Books that Opened Truth. Their impact was powerful and indelible. Unforgettable. Lifechanging.