I’m at one of those places in life referred to as a “cross road.” After completing the three-hundred-fiftieth revision of my children’s book manuscript, I have a decision to make: do I continue to search for the elusive agent/publishers using the normal process (writing endless letters pleading for someone to at least read my manuscript before rejecting it) or, do I self-publish?
Both routes require hard work, patience and time. Neither guarantee success or satisfaction. This might be one of those situations where the only reasonable choice is “none of the above.” “None of the above” means making a large bowl of popcorn and settling down in front of the TV to binge watch bad movies. That’s right – a full-scale Pity Party!
When I’m tempted to do this, I remember KFAT. Back in the olden days (before 2000), KFAT was a small FM radio station that could be heard in some parts of Santa Clara County, California. Like most FM stations, it had a very short broadcast range. We could pick it up while traveling north on highway 101 for just a few minutes before driving out of range.
It had a large library of satirical country western songs. The music was great, the voices were outrageously twangy and the lyrics were positively silly. You couldn’t help but smile and sing along when you heard it. My favorite was Boney Fingers. The chorus was “Work your fingers to the bone, and what da ya get? Boney fingers!”
I think I’ll save the popcorn for later.
Most of us have had the experience of misplacing something. We usually start the search for the missing item by looking for it in all of the usual, logical places. If you always leave your keys on the shelf by the door, that’s the first place you look. But, if the item is truly lost, it won’t be in the usual place. It will be somewhere else. Somewhere unexpected, somewhere mysterious, somewhere unknown to you.
In some cases, you may not even realize the item was missing. One day you help your child clean his room. You reach into the very bottom of the toy box and feel something slightly furry. You pick up the Frisbee and discover a long-discarded peanut butter sandwich, completely covered with dark fuzz, lurking underneath.
Then there is the sad story of one half of a pair of a particularly nice socks which disappears somewhere in the laundry. Logically, you search the washer, the dryer, the clothes basket, the hallway and any laundry that recently shared space with the missing sock. After an unsuccessful search, you set the sock aside and wait for the missing sock to reveal itself. Two months later, you give up and toss the sock.
The next week, you find the missing sock deep in the pocket of a king-sized bottom sheet. Too late for a reunion, you toss the second sock.
I have misplaced other, more valuable items including the tie belt to a bathrobe found wound around the front roller of an old up-right vacuum cleaner and a credit card hidden in the zippered pocket of a rarely used wallet.
While it is sometimes a delight and sometimes a relief to recover a lost item, it is also a reminder that life is not a matter of collecting and keeping “things.”