Friday, October 15, 2010

Would you like to read my story?
Remember when Dorothy went to see the Great Wizard of Oz, and discovered he was only a man behind a curtain? Somehow he managed to find 'a brain', 'a heart' and 'courage' for her dear friends, but Dorothy was not so hopeful for herself.

She shook her head at the Wizard and cried, "Oh, I don't think there's anything in that black bag for me." And there wasn't.

That's how I imagined my editor and agent appointments might go at the ACFW conference. In my mind I figured there couldn't possibly be anything in their bag for an Aussie writer.

The good news is, I was wrong. There was a sweet reward for my writing efforts and like the lion, the tin man and scarecrow, this Dorothy received exactly what I needed for the onward writing journey.

From her bag of tricks, the editor produced two phrases regarding my writing, powerful enough to equip me with the courage and heart to continue on. Even though I didn't pitch my story to her, she took a quick look at it and pronounced it to be 'strong writing' with 'great cadence'. You may as well have pinned a badge of courage and brand new ticker on me that morning. I felt prouder than the lion with his fresh perm and scarlet ribbon. And just as brave.

My next appointment was with a literary agent who also read my first few pages. I'm not sure when I went from handing over my story, to hearing her say, "I want you to send me the first 3 chapters and a synopsis," but in that moment I became lost in those delicious words I'd travelled miles to hear. Someone wanted to see more of what I write, and possibly represent me as an agent. My feet did a little jig under the table, as I prayed an inner squeal of thanks.

There were more words, equally amazing and just as precious as gifts from the Wizard's black bag, and all worth the journey beyond the rainbow.

Just like Dorothy from Kansas, I was reminded the secret to making my dreams come true rests in my own ability to focus and work hard. There is no magic gift which will take me from unpublished to published writer, but there might be a few Glindas along the way to cheer when I click those ruby slippers, and point me toward 'home'.