The Airport Effect

The other day, the kids and I said good-bye to my husband who was catching a late flight back to Newfoundland.  Although he is home often, there were still kisses and hugs and even some tears.  As we drove away, my daughter pointed out a young fellow with his body stuck half-way through the front window of his sweetheart’s car.  He was hugging and kissing her, probably good-bye, maybe for a week, maybe for months.   I told the kids that airports are emotional places,  jam-packed full of feelings.  That got me thinking…

Airports have an effect on people.  Even if you’re  just standing there, minding your own business, an airport, like a ravenous vampire, can suck the emotions right out of  you.

If you’re anything like me (a total sap who can’t leave a card store without frantically digging through my purse to find my  sunglasses-the perfect disguise for puffy eyes and running mascara) airports can be a real challenge.  It’s a normal thing for me to see someone crying and suddenly feel a desperate need to duck into a bathroom or hide behind a plant.  You see, my body’s auto-response  is to join in.  Resistance is futile; I have been assimilated.  I am now taking part in that person’s joy or pain. Where are my sunglasses?   But even at the risk of exposing this horrible weakness of mine, I find it almost impossible to avert my eyes from these touching airport scenes.  How could I possibly resist watching a  little one at arrivals  running with delight  into her grandparents’ anxious arms?  Impossible!   I guess I’m kind of an emotional stalker.  Ew, that doesn’t sound good; does it?  But I can’t help it! I get sucked into watching.  That final hug at departures, that tearful last squeeze followed by forced smiles and half-hearted waves good-bye…

But where does this leave me?  I’ll tell you where-dabbing annoying mascara-tears with scratchy toilet paper in the nearest bathroom stall.

Yes, airports are emotional places.

If you were on an “emotional scavenger hunt” what better place could there be to fill your card but the airport! Next time you are there, take a look around and listen-  You might hear joyful squeals at the arrival gate or teary boohooing at departures. You might witness an almost hyper-excitement from a vacationer on their way to see their very first palm tree, or hands-in-the-air frustration from a passenger who’s suddenly realized they’ve missed their flight, or worse,  total time-to-call-security-anger  from a guy who’s been bumped just because the airline had the audacity to overbook.  You’ll probably see exhaustion, boredom, and maybe even fear.  Chances are it wouldn’t take long to see it all.

As the kids and I continued on our drive home, my daughter remembered a quote she recently read on twitter-

“Airports see more sincere kisses than wedding halls.  The walls of hospitals have heard more prayers than the walls of churches.”  author unknown.

Actually, I think there might be some real truth to that quote.   After all, airports are one of the few places where good old fashioned PDA’s are socially acceptable, and if you’re going to fall victim to the “Air Port Effect” then I can’t think of a better way than with a nice big smooch!  Yup, sounds pretty good to me.

 

On the road to getting published

Image

If you’ve ever tried to get published, you likely know this road well!  It’s  filled with twists and turns, restrictions and rules.  Yes rules, and there are lots of them, but today I only want to touch on Rule Number One….When it’s something you really believe in, DON’T give up.
So first off, I should come clean and tell you that I gave up…  After an uncountabillion hours of work, followed by rejection letter after rejection letter after rejection letter, I told myself I was shelving it for a while, putting it on hold, but in my heart,  I gave up.  I’m talking about my dream of becoming a published author, one that gets paid,  makes appearances, signs autographs and does all the other fabulous things successful writers get to do.

 I have to admit that technically, I have been published once before.  My very first officially published work wasn’t a witty short story, a dazzling novel or even an angst-filled ballad; it was… a recipe.   I won a recipe contest for Triscuit Crackers. (there’s a pretty funny/slightly embarrassing story around this recipe, but I’ll save it for another day)   Anyway, aside from the honor of having my recipe published on their site, it would be featured on their upcoming Triscuit “Girl’s night” T.V. commercial.   If you feel like checking it out…

commercial: http://kft-triscuitcommercial.hendersonbaskohn.com/video

So, even with an amazingly wonderful, award-winning, published cracker-topping recipe under my belt, my dream of becoming an author of  YA novels still alluded me.  That is, until a little over a week ago when I suddenly found myself thrust back into the frustration and anguish, excitement and utter joy of writing again.

I received a call from the senior editor of a major Canadian publishing company telling me that she was very interested in publishing my YA novel, the novel which I originally submitted to them three years before, almost to the day!  Suddenly my brain was flooded; first came shock, followed by joy, disbelief, fear and then utter bliss.  Could my dream finally be coming true?

I hung up the phone and sat silent, trying to let the reality of this thing that just happened sink in.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or scream or cry… all three sounded like good ideas.  But nothing happened; the reality wasn’t sinking in; this was all just too good to be true.   Or was it?  I started thinking about all the letters I received from editors back when I first submitted my novel -many were personal letters, not the standard “nice manuscript, now please get lost” letters, and if they were form letters, some had hand written notes expressing their fondness for my character or my story line.  Then I started thinking-why shouldn’t it be published?  My main character is awesome, it has a beginning, a middle and an end that flow nicely, it’s filled with cheeky banter, and it made my 12 year old, reluctant-reader son, laugh and cry and beg for the next one.

So, with a new found confidence, I decided to get to work and make a list because suddenly my agenda was full!

Get Myself Published To-Do List Number One

  1. Re-read my book that I haven’t picked up in over 2 years-
  2. Come up with a rough synopsis for my next two books (at publisher’s request- crazy huh!!! Yipee)
  3. Write a 50 word bio (at publisher’s request) that’s witty and wonderful… Are you kidding me? How can this be done?
  4. Join a writers group
  5. Start a blog

So now, nearly two weeks later, I have finally accomplished everything on day one’s to-do list and I am pooped!  I’m also hopeful, doubtful, excited and afraid, along with a myriad of other emotions that I could list, but that would take us in an entirely different direction.  So, I’ll spare you the drama of my real life for now and save it for another day.

In conclusion, many talented authors have met with rejection over and over again for various reasons.  It seems to me, that finding the right editor is like finding a soul mate.  You have to click, or rather your work and your editor do.  Even when this happens, sometimes there are variables that completely block your pathway to success.  That said, cast a wide net!  Send your manuscript where ever you can, even outside the country if you have to, although you may require an agent.   Had I done this myself, maybe I would be published by now or… maybe my book, my baby, was just waiting to find it’s soul mate-right here in Canada.

Stay tuned for updates as they happen… hopefully sooner than later.  Wish me luck!