What do you do when your hopes for a writing career have been seriously rocked by unwanted news? Tons of effort, hours of work, thousands of words written to make a dream come true. And then Whammo!!
The bottom drops out and you find yourself in kind of literary free-falling vertigo.
Eh, what the hell.
It's not like I haven't been in this position before. Forty plus years of writing and hoping, submitting and rejecting . . . and then writing and hoping, and submitting and rejecting . . . well, you get the picture. Forty plus years of that and this situation becomes all too familiar to you.
Since, obviously, I'm not a 'Sensational New Writing Talent Freshly Discovered!' I guess I'll just pick myself up, dust off the dirt on my jeans and shirt, slap my dentures back in in the appropriate positions . . . .and write something!
Like I said; What the Hell!? I'm a writer. What the hell else am I supposed to do? I got a day-job (as menial as it is). I got a roof over my head. I got a wife, kids, and grand-kids who love me . . . . and put up with me and my dreams of being a successful in this gig. I got some friends out there in the writing world I can actually call genuine 'friends.' What else is needed to keep on dreaming and pushing and hoping and writing?
The imagination is still there. The urge to write is still there. And god knows all the characters I've created are still in my head screaming to get out. So . . . what the hell?
Take for example the thought that hit me in the midst of this last brouhaha. Why not, in a way, kinda 're-invent' a character of mine who seems to have developed a small (and I laugh at this . . . 'small' doesn't BEGIN to describe those who like this character ) fan base and rewrite the story that started the Smitty series?
The Smitty series started with a story about how an average Joe suddenly becomes a cold blooded killer. A professional hit-man who, strangely enough, still maintained a sense of justice in his cold heart. The original story was called 'Call Me Smitty.' But then this odd little 'crunch' explodes in my head (no, I didn't have a stroke, dammit!) Why not re-tool 'Call Me Smitty.' Title it, 'There is No Johnny--Just Call Me Smitty.'
Why not revamp the particulars which caused Johnny to turn into Smitty. Describe in detail a little more about the two people he loved the most turned on him. Keep some of the details and settings of the first story in place---but at the same time, change them enough to paint a more dramatic, darker . . . and definitely meaner . . . Smitty.
So okay. I'm writing that story as we speak . But Lo and Behold . . . !
Out of the blue skies come two unexpected queries. A writer friend of mine wants me to meet with his literary agent. Another writer-friend of mine (maybe one of the two Smitty fans) wants me to bundle some Smitty stories up and send'em to him . . . . and don't ask any questions just yet!
Hmmm . . . .
Is my luck changing? Is it going from, "You gotta be kidding me!!" to "Well, I'll be damn . . . !" Huh, you got me, brother. I'm just standing here scratching my very flat head and wondering the same thing.
But one thing seems obviously clear irregardless as to what ultimately comes down the pike. Networking with others of you ilk works. People who know people in your craft have a tendency to help you out. Not everyone, but a few; and no promises, mind you. But for every one door of opportunity that closes . . . its crystal clear other doors open. If you keep can recognize it when they come.
I gotta say, that's kinda nice. Friends helping friends. 'Hope someday that opportunity to help someone else is given to me. I owe a debt; I intend to repay.