Late for the Sky (Risk, Reward, & Patience)

Alright, the last week or so this blog has been going a little too far in one direction.  Although I find writing prompts helpful, my writing has recently gotten a little bleaker than intended.  Things that are dark and glittery are appealing… until you realize that the shiny part is usually just optical illusion.  So, for the sake of keeping things varied, I’m going to pick and choose which writing challenges I participate in, and try to write some lighter things as well.

Nonetheless, I was really honored to be a finalist in last week’s thingie.  Since I haven’t entered my writing in any sort of competition since high school *loud cough* a few years ago, it was a pleasant surprise, a little scary, but I’m glad I took the risk.

Those who know me already know this… but I happen to love gambling and especially card games.  I’m not a fan of stupid risk-taking.  However, I do enjoy some calculated risks, and gambling is one of them.  I love to learn a game, pick it apart, and find a system.  Card games are like eating and breathing in my family and my parents taught us Euchre and Poker very young.  Plus, if I blame my family, that means they’ll have to bail me out of debtors’ prison someday, right?  Kidding.  I gamble with small amounts (and I’m pretty sure debtors’ prison no longer exists…)

I suppose it follows that I enjoy other forms of risk-taking, travelling, trying new foods, and a bucket list full of things I can’t wait to do.  (Skydiving is one of them, but it has to be in the U.S. and the parachute must be regulated by OSHA…)  I haven’t figured out if it’s the novelty, the endorphin rush, or simply the belief that life is short.  And sometimes it’s too short not to do the things that seem scary.

That said, I think sharing and/or submitting writing is definitely one of the harder things.  Whether it’s actually risky or not, it feels risky because the possibility of rejection is ever-present…  All of that said, a friend of mine (who though awesome must remain nameless by necessity) has been sending out manuscripts for ten years…  And just heard back from a publishing house…  And is now under contract for two full-length novels!!

So, here’s to taking risks, and to patiently waiting for them to pay off!!

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14 Responses to Late for the Sky (Risk, Reward, & Patience)

  1. El Guapo says:

    Yes! Always take the risks and believe in yourself!
    And definitely find a drop zone you can have faith in. I like The Ranch in upstate NY.

    And I found a bungee jump place too! Woohoo!

    On another note, for what it’s worth, I think your writing is pretty good, and appreciate the risks you take in putting it out there for us to read.
    Rock on, L&L.

    • I’ve actually heard of that place, but I’m supposed to go with a friend. So, I suspect my first time will be in California with her, unless she backs out…

      And thanks! I’m enjoying it, but I marvel at people who manage to write well each and every time. I like about one tenth of what I write, maybe less, which probably means I have a long haul ahead of me…

  2. ChrisP says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more about gambling. I’d sooner take my wallet and set it on fire in the parking lot than throw a dollar in a slot machine or watch a ball roll around a wheel and hope for the best.I do however enjoy card games as you do. A girlfriend a few years back introduced me to friends who played TexasHold ’em once a month. It was an excuse to get together eat and drink and catch up and gamble abit. Ten people $20 buy in not a bad investment could pay off decent for a fun night out.
    I like games like that because it makes me focus and it involves more than just cards and odds you have to read people to…I like that :-D. People react in so many ways counter to their general personality when you add competition and a little bit of cash.

    I wouldn’t think you writing to be much of a gamble though if it’s something you enjoy there’s nothing to lose and much more to gain.

    • Oh, I still like Roulette. (If you play it right, you can get your odds to 50/50 pretty easily. It’s not a lost cause.) Cards with friends are more fun than anything though, and after playing with people for awhile you learn all their tells. It’s also way less expensive than Vegas or AC… Of course that won’t stop me from going every chance I get! 🙂

      With writing, it’s the vulnerability aspect of writing about certain things… and there can be disappointment if you’re trying to win a competition or get published. My friend tried for so long, and half the time knowing that the manuscript was just sitting on a desk gathering dust… If a genre isn’t considered “hot” a lot of editors won’t even read it.

  3. paralaxvu says:

    Yeah, sending out manuscripts–even query letters!–is like jumping into a shark-infested pool [an example of why I keep getting rejected:-)]

    • It is. And I think much of the time people don’t even bother reading them… After all that work. Ten years is a long time, but luckily my friend started young, and should still have many years and books ahead.

  4. I’m a bit of a gambler too, Lovely. Las Vegas is one of my favorite places–I can feel all the dopamine receptors light up when I beat the dealer at blackjack.

    But skydiving is wayyyyyy more risk taking than I’m willing to do. Mainly because I’m afraid of heights.

    • Gambling is so much fun, but Vegas is so dangerous between the shows, the food, the drinking, AND the gambling. We inevitably come home broke and needing to be pushed around in a wheelbarrow!

      I’ve been parasailing, and it was so much fun it convinced me I needed to go skydiving. Scuba diving terrifies me though.

      • El Guapo says:

        If you can get past the breathing mouthpiece and the mask, scuba diving is both exhilarating and relaxing.
        One of the most incredible things I’ve gotten to do.

        • You know, when I was a kid I was TERRIFIED of water. That’s lessened, but I still have a healthy respect for water. And scuba diving still freaks me out, especially with what happens to your body chemically with the change in pressure. Maybe someday, but that’s probably last on the list… I can’t imagine it EVER being relaxing.

          • ChrisP says:

            Actually that change in chemistry doesn’t happen until you do deep dives. There’s subtle changes but the majority of dives are done on reefs in shallow water and it’s an amazing relaxing experience once you’ve tried it a few times. It’s addictive and I’ve always felt better after breathing oxygen for an hr lol
            It’s part workout part sightseeing and a heck of alot of fun.

            • I think I would like the sightseeing part, but I know precious little about coral reefs… And I have the paperwork to back that statement up. I suspect it was an embarrassingly easy class, but I wouldn’t really know. (I wasn’t a very dedicated student the first time around.)

              Well, maybe I’ll add it to the bucket list, but I still think it’ll be towards the bottom. There’s plenty of other trouble for me to get into. 🙂

  5. Chris says:

    You’ve probably heard the term that excuses are like assholes; everyone’s got ’em. Well, risk-taking is usually the number one deterrent of getting stuff done because we make it an excuse. I’m glad to see that you are taking risks; you will most definitely fail a bunch of times, but will learn from it, which is success in my opinion. 🙂

    • You have a really good point. I haven’t asked my friend, but I’ll bet she learned a ton of useful things about how to get published over the last ten years! And most of it probably better prepared her for where she currently is.

      Your comments reminded me of that of that other quote. Fail. Fail again. Fail better.

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