Sunday, September 23, 2007

The week that was: Dead Car Running

Well my car died this week. Not officially. My mechanic who once called my seventeen year old Volvo 240 DL a teenager said it would cost more to repair the car to pass inspection than its Blue Book Value. Not a shocker.

A relief.

I've prayed for the day the mechanic would finally aide me in my quest to unload the car that is older than my teenaged son.

So what does this have to do with writing? Well, my shared brain will tell you that this week, I was a real drain on the brain. I'd sunk into a lower than low, why DO I bother mode and needed to be threatened with lashings with stale bagels and South American Mob action to shake me out of it. But nothing worked. I continued to swim in the despair that I was destined for failure as a writer.

It was a long ride to the mechanic. I mean, wouldn't you drive an hour for a guy so honest he'd actually tell you your car was toast and not to ever buy a Volvo again—even though all he fixes are Volvos? The long drive freed up some stuck part of my brain which started me thinking about the issues I'm having with female main character of my WIP and to forget about the fact that I was a lousy writer. So by the time I arrived, I was so engrossed in the problem with my MC, I didn't care what kind of writer I was. I had to fix the problem.

Okay. Back to the car. I was overcome with joy to learn my car was on Death Row. But how did the car feel? It still had to drive me home, get me to work for two more months. It was Dead Car Running. Still pressed into service, but with a death sentence hanging over its head. But we made it home with no problem. The car purred and nobly drove the long ride home.

So, Dead Car Running taught me something. Even if you THINK you're toast, KNOW you're on anyway.

That morning I had sent out a query, so miserable I didn't really care what the outcome was.
When I came home from the mechanic, the car had already taught me to press on, be fearless, whether I believed in myself or not.

But I feared my inbox. Feared to burst my own fragile bubble of giddy glee at my risen spirits. Feared a rejection of another partial might plunge me back into a funk. With one eye closed I checked my inbox and there it was.

One beautiful sentences: Please send me the whole manuscript eletronically.

Dead Writer Running found a new lease on life. Of course there's every chance it'll get rejected. But my car knows it's toast and it still keeps going.

And so will I.

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