Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Cold Hard Facts & A Writer's Conference

by Julie Coulter Bellon

I am cold. Deathly white, frozen to the bone, cold.

You see, today my son had a track meet. And for some extremely odd reason, track people are like the postal service---come rain, snow, sleet or hail, they will be running and jumping in it. And the track people fully expect their family members to be there to watch.

So there I was on METAL stands, with the wind blowing so hard the flagpole looked like it was bending over, squinting through the rain to watch my son run around the track. I was trying to think warm thoughts to stop the shivering so I didn’t look like I was having a medical emergency, but it wasn’t working. I stood and jumped up and down a little, pretending I was a very enthusiastic parent cheering on her son, but it didn’t help. My legs felt frozen and my old frostbite injury was starting to hurt. I sat back down, but the metal that was warmer than an ice cube a minute ago was now colder than an icicle again and my bottom protested strongly at being pressed against it. Pulling my hood closer around my face, I pulled my hands into my sleeves and glanced longingly at my warm car a few hundred feet away in the parking lot. But then my son ran by, waving and smiling, and my heart melted as I knew it was worth it. Every cold and miserable second was worth it if my son knew that his mom supported him, believed in him, and would be there for him.

Even when it started to hail.

I think writing is sort of like that, in two ways. When you’ve finished a manuscript, you’re sort of like a runner who’s been training and is ready for the race. You start the preliminaries of finding an agent or a publishing house. That is when the wind of insecurity and the rain of rejection will most likely begin. You stand and jump up and down in the face of whatever is thrown at you, sometimes longing for the warm, sweet days of being swept up in your story and not in the race for publication. Then, one day, that agent or publishing house will smile and pick up your manuscript and your heart will melt because in that moment, it was all worth it. Every cold rejection, every harsh critique, every loss will all be made up when your baby wins the race.

Of course, the second way is the most obvious one. Your mom will read your manuscript and tell you how brilliant it is. When you are rejected, she will listen to you cry, and tell you they’re just jealous of your work and obviously not intelligent enough to see your brilliance. She will always be there for you, supporting you, and believing in you, no matter what—through rain, wind, and hail.

I’m still trying to warm myself up from my track experience today. I need a fire or something. Or warm soup. Or to just snuggle into a heated blanket or something. But I’ll be at the computer for a while yet because I’m putting the finishing touches on my presentation that I’ll be giving at the Write Here in Ephraim writing conference this Saturday. We have some amazing classes like Elements of Suspense by Gregg Luke and Book Promotions and Blog Tours by Rachelle Christensen, Becoming an Idea Factory, Children’s Literature, and lots more, all starting at 8:30 a.m. and going until 5:00 p.m. at 105 E. 200 S. in Ephraim, UT. There will also be panels with published authors on the publishing process, and twenty authors to mix and mingle with (listed below), so if you will be in the Ephraim area this Saturday, you have to drop by. I hope to see you there!


At 4/08/2011 12:18 AM, Blogger Debra Erfert said...

You're a good mother, Julie!!

Down here in the desert, we have the opposite weather problem, depending on the time of year. It may be in the 80's right now, but during football and soccer season 110 plus degree heat can bring on dehydration and heat stroke without much notice. When my sons were on the field, I wanted to be there for them. I knew those times were fleeting. I considered my children's every step precious and wanted to be there. We shape our children's lives, and if they become better men by something as simple as seeing us sitting in those blasted painful, unshaded, and unforgiving bleachers, then sacrificing our comfort should be of little consequence.

I'll trust you on the correlation to publishing. I haven't reached that milestone--yet.

A good way to warm up? A hot bubble bath. Don't forget to bring in a book to read. Not your Kindle. I don't know what the steam would do to it.

At 4/09/2011 11:36 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

You are so dedicated to go to a track meet when it's that cold! Brrrrrr! Nothing like a metal bench in the cold.

Have a great time at the conference!

At 4/10/2011 1:58 PM, Blogger Pat said...

I am SO bummed that I saw this too late. My daughter is attending Snow, so I'm down there all the time anyway...

I would have loved to have been there!

At 4/15/2011 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that a picture of Donny Osmond I see????


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