Saturday, January 19, 2008

Love makes the manuscript go round

I am one of those people who will never give up on something that I believe in. I am one of those people who if I had lost something I loved I would try like the dickens to get it back.

I am also one of those people who can walk away when others say you must keep submitting this. I mean I can say, "No, I don't really love this enough to blanket the town with it."

Which brings me to a story I wrote years ago about a little gargoyle. Except at the time he wasn't little. He was big and ugly. He got lots of requests but no one wanted to keep him. They didn't love him enough.

Well, I figured out why. One being that he was too big and ugly. He was also too long, too versical (is that a word?) and didn't have enough conflict/resolution in his life to make him appealing and interesting.

Then I rewrote it completely and kept some of the language I loved, but mostly I made it much shorter and bashed the rhyme into rhythmic prose.

Then my computer crashed and I lost it. And then I lost it. I went into a temporary manic depression as I had no back up or hard copy to speak of. I stopped writing. I stopped making art. I stopped. For a pretty long while. (Sulking sucks...don't do it.)

Then my husband said (and was probably thinking I can't live with this woman unless she writes again), "Rewrite it. Just do it."

I looked at him, cried and said, "I can't do this."

He said, "Yes, you can."

"Okay, you are always right...usually," I said.

So I rewrote it slowly trying to remember the basic elements of the story. The lines that I laughed at came back in trickles. This was tough.

And now after a long while, my gargoyle is as cute and funny as a little gargoyle can be. He's got a problem or two that I hope kids will find endearing and he solves them too. And he does something magical for everyone to ooh and aah at. And he's got hope and vulnerability to boot. And he gets what he wants. (There are four 'Ands' beginning sentences in this paragraph but I don't care.)

But he still must be properly dummied. SMILE.

So the moral is, if you really believe in something and love it with all your heart...and if at first you don't succeed...try, try again.

But only if you LOVE it.

And if you don't have back up or hard copy, you are going to get screwed.

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