Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Athena in Wonderland

It happened Monday night, quite unexpectedly, while reading one of the numerous blogs I now follow. I clicked on a link and was transported to a page that would be my equivalent to Alice's Wonderland. Ok, so I lean a bit to the dramatic, but it did lead to an important milestone: I found an editor.

For me, this was profound. I began writing children's stories a mere few months ago. I rushed into it blindly but passionately. No experience, no direction, no sense of the realities of book publishing for children. My only companion on this journey has been the desire to write stories that elicit sparks of fascination, curiosity, and joy in the eyes of children.

Like Alice, I have stumbled upon an alternate reality, lured and guided by a gentle spirit. For Alice, it was a somewhat nervous rabbit. For me, it's every child who's ever said, "read me a story."

My wonderland is very much like Alice's world. It's enticing, a bit exotic, somewhat scary, and appropriately challenging. Each character that I meet on this epic journey helps me make it to my next destination. Three months ago, I would have never imagined that I would have written two children's stories, became addicted to Twitter, be "followed" by authors like Kim Wayans and aspiring authors like Karen Strong, built a website, corresponded with veteran authors, and launched a blog. This world that I've joined rises up to meet me and pushes me toward the prize.

It's an imaginative world full of authors, publishers, editors, critics, bloggers, forums, websites, advisers, teachers, and other aspiring authors. In it breathes a sacred craft of perfect opposites: critiqued and celebrated, beloved and beguiling.

Since being lured into this alternate reality, my words no longer stumble from my fingertips. They elegantly and confidently glide across the keyboard, each keystroke a triumph. Yet, they are not all perfect. Some of them, alas, are flawed and will ultimately be driven from the page leaving only a crimson scar in remembrance. And I will mourn their loss each time. I welcome this ritual with a sense of trepidation and resigned acceptance. The weight of my words and the worth of my stories will be at the mercy of my editor, and I welcome her into my wonderland. Will she be the Mad Hatter or the Queen of Hearts? My money is on the Mad Hatter.

Whether it's down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass, or a wrinkle in time, all aspiring authors feel a sense of euphoria at their milestones. Thanks for joining me on my small indulgence.

Always, Athena

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