Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One Delusional Writer to Another

Another Rejection
Yes, I hear all the time about authors who got more rejections than they could find pennies in a fountain while they were querying.  I figure that I’m creating a nice story to be able to tell years after I’m published which will inspire the next generation of writers.  Everything has a purpose and in the little world I live in, nothing is simple.  These are just the given facts.
But I’ve got to say that this last rejection was actually quite encouraging.  All the rejections I’ve received have had the same general vein and left me feeling more hopeful than anything else.  Maybe I’m just a delusional writer, we tend to be that way I hear, but I feel like this novel will have a time and a place.  It’s just that the time and place may not be here and now.
The gist of my rejections…
A great story, great premise, no mention of poor writing… but the genre is not what agents or publishers are looking for at the moment.  I think there are just too many out there, not just in current print, but scheduled for release within the next year.  My genre is bloated!  So I may have to take this book and stick it on the shelf for a while.  Wait for my genre to get on a good exercise plan and loose some of its current after holiday weight gain and water retention.  But I think its day will come.  Today’s tough sell just might be tomorrows top want.  Yes, again, maybe I’m a delusional writer.  I would tend to think so if I wasn’t hearing the same tone in each rejection.  But I am.
I feel sad, yes.  I love this book.  I love this series.  I REALLY want to write more of it.  But I’ll concentrate on the other projects on my plate for a while.  I have more completed MS’s to polish up, or drafts to finish, or projects soon to query.  I have projects waiting to be written and ones out with readers.  I’ve expanded my horizons to a degree, yet stayed fairly true to the genre I love as well. 
Time, time, time, see what becomes of me. 
I’ve learned not to guess what time has in store for me, it’s like offering up a challenge that fate must best.  I’ll leave the predictions to the clairvoyant and stick with what I know. 
I’m a writer, I’ll just write.  It’s what I do.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Moving A Mountain

I’m sure we’re all aware that faith is said to be capable of moving mountains. 
I don’t know about you, but my initial image of this was something to the effect of a giant hand reaching down, picking up a mountain, and relocating it.
Many years ago I had a bit of an epiphany in regards to this idea however.  I have a whole new view on what it takes to move a mountain now.

When driving through central California on the way from our house to my grandparent’s house we would pass by the town where my dad had grown up.  There was a hill there that was being mined and every time we would pass by my father would mention how it used to be an entire mountain when he was little and they had slowly whittled away at it until it was what is was at that moment.  What it was at that moment became less and less through all our years of traveling until the time we left California and it was little more than a rock pile.
I don’t know why it took me so long to connect that image to the phrase that I had heard countless of times growing up, but when I finally did it was one of those ‘wow’ moments for me.
Here I had thought of faith as this big, gigantic force that could take a whole mountain and hurl it into the sea.  But what if it was something a whole lot more compact, determined, and patient?  What if it was about consistency and perseverance more than might and force? 
Well, then, perhaps I was a whole lot more responsible for making it happen in the end.  Because, if it is huge and mighty, then all I can do is wait.  But if it’s not, then maybe I better think about getting out my bucket and digging in.  Because I know my dad isn’t young and if a mountain is going to be moved in my lifetime then I think I better get going.
So that’s how my view of what it takes to move a mountain changed.

Now, how does that changed view relate to my life today, right now?
Well, I started to think about my publication journey as a mountain that I needed to move.  When I had completed my first novel length manuscript and realized that I had a book on my hands, I thought of publication as a huge mountain which would need to be lifted up and hurled into the sea.  Enormous, out of my control, pick it up and give it my best shot.  But I should have known better.
This mountain, like most, would be more effectively moved with the mining method.  Little buckets at a time, moving, shifting, relocating, until you look back and see that the mountain on which you once stood is but a mound, reasonable and accessible.
It still takes a lot of faith to move a mountain this way, believe me.  In fact, most of the time it feels like it takes more.  Not only do you have to have faith in the outcome, the mountain actually being moveable, but you have to have added faith in every step you take proceeding in the move, and patience which is really just another form of faith.  So it’s no lie that faith is the thing which gets the mountain moved.  It’s just an active faith, not a passive one.
It’s the faith to write even when you have to make time late at night to do it.  The faith that someone will want to hear your story.  Faith that someone will read that query letter that you’ve rewritten for the tenth time and want to hear more.  It’s the faith that the right agent will connect with you, and the faith that the right book will be the one that gets published first.  The faith to keep writing, even when it’s clear that it won’t be your first book that gets the deal.  Faith that your writing has a reason and a purpose.  It’s the faith that it’ll all be worth the hard work in the end. 
So, as I fill my query bucket to move a little more of the mountain, I do so with faith.  And as I begin on my next manuscript, I write on with faith.  As I revise and edit and prepare for what may come, I do so with faith.
Someday all these long nights will lead to something.  I ‘m not even always sure what that something is.  But I’ll never find out what this mountain of words can be shaped into unless I keep moving it.  So I move it, one bucket at a time.  Someday, maybe I can look back and say, ‘You know, that book used to be a mountain of words, but I moved it, with a lot of faith and a lot of work.  I moved it and here is my book.”  Maybe my kids will read my book and know that they can move mountains too.  Maybe, someday.  Until then, I’ll just keep moving and believing and moving some more.

Faith can move mountains, sometimes it’s just one stone at a time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Patsy Moment

It was one of those warm spring nights in Sun Valley when the sun sets late and the stars fill up the blue sky which is framed by the dark grey outlines of mountains on every side.  We were tired from a day of hiking in the back hills, meandering through country streams and sitting amongst wildflowers.  It was one of those perfectly wonderful exhausting days that can only happen on vacation.
The condo was quiet, just the two of us this time, and most of the nearby owners didn’t make it into Sun Valley at this time of year.  We kinda had all of Warm Springs to ourselves.  That’s a really relaxing feeling, especially when the runs are all a soft green and the sun keeps the whole valley a perfect 78 degrees all day long.  Ah, my paradise.
That’s why I never expected it!  I never even considered that on this peaceful night in my favorite place on earth, something would happen which would leave me altered forever.  Something unthinkable.
We had just gone to bed when one of the neighbors in an adjoining condo came into town.  They’d been renovating that particular unit and from the sounds it appeared that the owner came with the goal of doing some organizing.  Still, not a problem right, these places were built well, a little noise wasn’t a big deal.
My husband slept peacefully as I lay, remembering our day and trying to drift off to sleep.  That’s when it all began.
Patsy Cline!!
First she was singing Walkin’ After Midnight, and I hummed along, very familiar with the tune.  In fact, after a few more songs played I could tell that this was my favorite Patsy Cline CD, which played loudly through the condo wall.  I enjoyed listening to the CD as the neighbor worked and thumped next door.  I was having a hard time falling asleep, so it was almost fun to hear all the songs that I knew by heart and be able to sing along in my head.
Little did I know at that moment, but from that night on, Patsy Cline would cause me to go into convulsions and fits of horror upon the slightest hearing.
The CD didn’t just play through once.  It played through another time, and another, and another.  In fact, it played through so many times that night that I lost count.  Especially when the neighbor himself got a bit tired of hearing some of the songs and started skipping them after a few lines had been sung.  This continued until they were down to a play list of about four songs.  But it didn’t stop there!  No, of course not… it wouldn’t have been my life if it had stopped there!
By this time we were well into the wee hours of the morn.  I stared at the ceiling and wondered how my husband could have possibly slept through this all night long.  I mean seriously, if I had turned the TV on he would have awakened, but this?  Nothing?  Not even stirring. 
Now, there’s a part of you whom, in situations like this, wants to wake up the person sleeping peacefully and ask them how they can sleep through it.  You want to complain, you want to be justified and evidence of your pain to be documented.  But I refrained.  We were newly married, what can I say, I thought it was the nice thing to do.
But I’ve lived to regret that decision.
Not only do I have Patsy syndrome that leaves me suffering from convulsions whenever I hear any of the 12 songs on that CD, but NO ONE BELIEVES me!  No, it couldn’t have been that loud, or he would have heard it.  It couldn’t have gone on that long.  It couldn’t have been stuck on repeat and then the skipping and skipping and repeating…  EEEEEKKKKK
Excuse me while I take a moment and stick my head under the faucet.
Ok, better.
So, once we were down to four songs, with only a few chords of those in between playing before they were skipped, apparently the remaining four started to get old as well.  But this time they would let them get about half way through and then skip, let another play, skip another half, skip the next half, let the first one play through…  rotating and alternating all these fragments of four songs.  It went on so long that I’m sure no sober or sane person could have handled it.  I’m assuming they were not one of those things.  I, unfortunately was both.  Well, when I started I was both and by the end I was still sober, as for the sanity, it’s disputable.  I mean, is it normal to start shaking at the sound of Patsy’s voice?  Is it normal to have a violent fear of Walkin’ After Midnight?  Is it normal to scream at the sight of a CD?
Our stay at the condo was almost over the night of the Patsy incident, and the remaining nights were quiet and uneventful.  But to this day I am left with the scars of Patsy.
Every time I lay down in that king bed, where I should feel relaxed and taken away from it all, I have this slight panic attack instead.  I can’t even go to Sun Valley without the memory springing back to life, in full living audio.  I’m laughed at and ridiculed for a night that no one seems to remember, but me.  A night where I was stuck in some time warped sound tunnel of Patsy Cline doom.
One night.  One CD.  One artist.  One town.
No, it’s not a tour…
Isn’t it amazing how one experience can alter you forever?
That’s my Patsy Moment.

Do you have a Patsy moment, when your view on something changed forever, and not for better?  I’d love to hear about it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why Don’t You Just Grow Up?

I saw a post today over at The Student Writer’s Mind that got me to thinking.  I commented on that blog post as well, (A Mental Snack) but added the thoughts here since it was a fun and interesting topic to consider.  Went off on a tangent a little, but hopefully no one minds… tangents happen.

Why Don’t You Just Grow Up?

When you’re young you think of growing up as this destination you travel to.  One day, all of the sudden, there you’ll be, grown up.
It’s not like that at all.  You spend your whole life ‘growing up’.  Sometimes that means taking steps forward and sometimes it means taking steps back.  It almost always means taking on new responsibilities, at least if you’re doing it right, and it always involves change.
Ten years ago my 40+ uncle looked at me and said, “You know, sometimes when I look in the mirror I wonder what the heck happened, because I still feel like the exact same me I did at 17.”  I don’t doubt he would say the same thing today.  Given the extra ten years to reflect on his statement, I can vouch for its truth.  I feel like the same me I was at 15.  In some ways I even wonder why I don’t have it as ‘together’ in certain areas now as I did then.  Then there are other ways in which I know that I’ve grown and matured and changed through those years.  I’ve gotten serious and I’ve loosened up.  I fluctuate.
The point is, no matter how we look or are perceived, we, inside remain the same person we always were.  We start out growing.  We change and grow throughout our lives.  When it’s time to leave we’ll have learned a lot, we won’t know everything and we’ll still be growing and changing.
When am I a kid again?
Every time that little voice in my head tells me that I’ll never know unless I try. 
And then I listen to it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

YA Writers : Give Them Wings

Something’s been bothering me lately.
Ok, what’s new, you say.  I do tend to blog about things that bother me a tad more than things which don’t.  I guess I just find that in our angst we unite.  I am a generation X’er after all.  I was raised on angst.  I’m a happy person at heart, but in my angst I’m most comfortable.  Now that that’s out of the way, I can grumble some.
I discovered relatively quickly that the first books I wrote were in that grey area somewhere between YA and Adult.  The more I refined them, the more they began to fall into the YA category.  Since that’s where my writing leads me, I figured I should get to know the ‘rules and regulations’ for writing to the impressionable youth of our society.  This is where the angst begins.
There are a lot of things that you can and can not, should and should not do when writing toward the YA crowd.  But there are a few things that really bother me about these ‘rules’. 
-      The YA voice.  Why?  Why do I have to try and speak their speak and walk their walk?  Do they even want me doing that?  Because I sure as heck wouldn’t have liked that as a young person.  In fact I would have thought it was sad and rude and insulting.  I would have told them to talk to me, intellectually, like an adult, because believe it or not, I know your speak just as well as mine.  I’ll speak to my friends in our own way, but don’t make your characters mimic me, because that’s just plain stupid.  It’s like talking down to me.  Like I’m an alien who will only trust you if you pretend to know my language.  No.  I’ll trust you if you let me hear your language.  I’ll listen to you if you speak to me in words that are beautiful and expressive and seduce my senses.  But hey, that was just me as a YA.  Maybe that’s not everyone.
After all, I was reading Anne Rice, Tennyson, Byron, Morely, Service, Stoker, Bronte, Emerson, Thoreau, Longfellow, Shelly, Shakespeare, …  I wasn’t reading anything forced upon my age group and set apart from the rest of society.  I didn’t want to know what I had to say, I wanted to know what people, old and young, living and dead, had to say.  If I wanted to know what I had to say, then I’d write.  And I did.
-      YA main characters should be YA age.  Ok, most of my books have a main character that is in the range of say 16-23.  Most of my secondary characters tend to be a little older, probably 25-40 (well, technically 140, but you know how the whole immortal age thing messes the count up.)  I’ve talked about the age difference thing before, so I won’t go into it here.  But, the point is, do all 10 year olds want to read about 12 year olds?  Do all 16 year olds want to read about 18 year olds?  Because, ok don’t be shocked here, I didn’t.  I wanted stories about characters and places that were different, varied, and sucked me into their lives.  They didn’t have to look like me or have lived as long as I did, in fact if they didn’t that was even better.  Why do we think that all YA’s have to look like their characters?  Do we think they are so much different than ourselves?  How do you plan on teaching them about the world or taking them on an adventure if you never make it out of their own back yard and away from their mirrors?
Isn’t reading about going somewhere new?  Challenging your thoughts and perceptions?  Forcing you out of a mold and not into one?  Why feed them bread when we could let them eat cake?  I wanted rich and colorful, exotic and enticing cake!  I wanted everything I wasn’t.  Only in reaching that spot where we our entirely away from our comfort zone can we see everything around us in a whole new light.  Only there can we truly learn what we’re made of, what we stand for and what we believe.  Give them writing that takes them away, so that they’ll learn more about who they are.
-      YA censoring.  Ok, this is a different one for me.  Because even though I read a lot of Anne Rice while I was young, my own writing tends on the ‘clean’ side.  Not because I’m afraid of influencing anyone, because, well, Rice never caused me to go out and do any of the things in her book.  It was a book for goodness sake and I wasn’t a spineless moron.  I had values that no song or book or movie was going to change.  Different world, out of comfort zone, blah blah blah…  Maybe YA’s aren’t quite as impressionable as we’re all thinking.  In fact, maybe letting them out of their designated rows in the bookstore is the perfect kind of education sometimes.  Maybe hearing Rice’s descriptive scenes that made me blush, actually helped me cement my own values while exposing me to a completely different set of ideas. 
I don’t write ‘clean’ because I’m trying to make the list.  I make the list because I tend to write ‘clean’ and adult genres are not really into that.  I fall into the YA category by default.  I didn’t set out to write it.  The way I write just happens to be more accepted there.  But my style of writing isn’t as accepted there.  I use big words.  I don’t try to over explain things.  I don’t pretend that a 140 year old character who looks 30 can’t be with an 18 year old character.  Their immortal for goodness sake, who cares!  The whole point is that time doesn’t matter in that way, it only matters in how you use it, what you do with what you’ve been given, or cursed with as the case may be.
Rules, rules, rules.
The point is, why are we forcing YA books into little molds and then expecting them to be original?  We want all the characters to be 16 year old high school students (but we’re tired of high school scenes), without any dead parents (done to death so to speak), and beautiful immortals (oh, but no vampires, overkill you might say), and do all the cool things (but unexplained wealth is passé), oh and really cool worlds (but getting bored with other dimensions or realms)… WHAT?
What ever happened to writing a really great story, with really deep characters, and words… lots of beautiful and descriptive and thinking words?  Or is that just ‘not done’ anymore?
We have to fit into a box, but also break the mold.
Is that really what YA’s reading YA want?  Because I’m not so sold on it.  It’s not what I wanted.  It’s not what I want now.
Ok, I know that for purposes of agenting, publishing, printing, marketing, categorizing, YA exists and I seem to fall into it.  I’m ok with that.  I hope YA’s are ok with that.  I hope they don’t mind having their own shelves in the bookstore.  I hope they find me if I’m on it one day.  (I’ll try not to get banned from B&N for sitting on their shelves… maybe I should lose weight first.)  But why all the rules?  Why all the expectations about how they should look and talk and act?  A great character is a great character.  A great character will appeal to the masses and touch the heart of the individual.  A great character in a great story will stretch the mind.  A great story will make you question yourself and only leave you stronger. 
Why are we so afraid to give YA’s great characters and great stories?  Why are we so quick to put YA’s in a box and label them?
Give them wings.  Let them fly.  Because if you don’t, well, then they’ll just go shopping in the adult isles instead (that’s what I did!)

Shortly after writing this post I discovered the following post over at In Which A Girl Reads.  Click here to view. I like this post, it’s a teen perspective on some related topics and has great comments posted too.  Take a look, because maybe it is time to reconsider what YA’s are really looking for in YA.
Thank you!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Writer Infertility

I’m currently experiencing one of those writer-ly lows.  No, it’s not about a rejection or waiting or writer’s block.  I did something that can sometimes be dangerous to writers (even though we’re told to do it all the time.)
I read a book.
There I said it!
No, I haven’t mentioned this book and will not review this book, so don’t bother trying to figure out which one has launched me into a low.
I decided to get a few more YA titles read, since it’s the genre I’m tending toward in my writing more and more.  To be honest I did like the story.  It was cute and fun and I read through till the end.  But it was very clear right from the start that this was one of ‘those’ books.  You know the ones.  Cute story, but the writing…?
I want to be happy for all writers who get published.  I want to feel joy for them because I know exactly how much it means.  I want to support them, because no matter what genre they write, or what style they write, they worked hard to do what they’ve done. 
I don’t want to look like the bitter writer who has to put down others because of what I have yet to accomplish.  In fact you’re told time and time again that announcing these feelings is the one of the worst things a writer can do.  So we all hide it.  We pretend we’re not human and never ache just a little for what has yet to be.  But we do.
Like I say, this was a good story.  But there were areas of the writing that no matter how I tried to ignore it, my own writer/editing eyes could not overlook.  Shifts in perspective from one sentence to next.  Lack of depth.  Abrupt ending.  Inconsistencies in character capabilities.  Now, I know writing styles can and should be different.  Different structure appeals to different readers.  Different depth appeals to different readers.  I don’t doubt that this book deserves to be in print and that out there amongst all the rave reviews there are a lot of avid fans.  I’m not questioning that at all and I’m not claiming superiority in my own style and type of writing.
I’m just saying… there are times when this writing life can really bite.
I liken it to the difficulties some couples have in starting a family.
I want to be the couple who can’t get pregnant, but is honestly happy for all the friends and their endless announcements that they’re expecting, and then expecting again two years later.  But let’s be honest, after the smiles fade, you cry.  Because you want to be the next one with an announcement.  You don’t wish them less for it.  But you wonder why it’s not you.  You blame yourself, you blame circumstances and lifestyles, you change everything and then change it back again.  Then you say a lot of, why?
Well, in writing there’s probably more that you can control than in conception, but still.  There are days when the infertility of a writer can be almost as painful as regular infertility can.  But I’m not supposed to say so.  I’m stealing someone else’s joy and looking bitter if I say so.  So I hide it away and wait for it to pass.  Because it will pass.  In fact, by tomorrow I’ll kick myself for posting this.  Because we’re not supposed to let this side show.
Besides, to be honest, I do have a choice.  I could read and read and read.  Then I could try to change my own writing style.  I could try to morph into something I am not.  I could try to change the flow of my prose and the pace of my dialogue.  I could try to become more like the writing that doesn’t appeal to me.  Because maybe that will sell.  Maybe that will somehow be more noticeable and make everything happen for me faster.
The problem is, that would also be a lie.  The problem is, I would no longer love my own stories.
What would the point be then?  How would I face even a single fan and have anything in common with them?  How would I be inspired to write a single line?
Heck, I’m all for editing.  My ears are ready and willing to be open to an agent or editor as to what changes would help make my writing better.  But to change my whole style… that I can’t do.
So, I’ll wait for this feeling to pass.  It will.  I’ll keep writing my way, my voice, my style, my subjects.  I’ll keep on, keepin’ on, until that one manuscript catches the right eye, we click, a deal happens and I have my chance to be the book that makes some other writer say, “What the…?  Why?”  And I’ll understand.  I’ll wish them all the luck and encouragement in the world.  And it will be sincere.
But today…
Today I sigh just a little bit more.  Yet even through my sighs I can’t stop thinking about the new story that crept into my mind last night and has been playing behind my bad mood all day.  It’s nagging me.  It’s saying ‘finish that story you’re working on, so you can write me next, because you know you want to.”  And it’s right.  I want to begin so badly that it’s going to pester me until I finish my current one.  You see, I’m falling in love with it already.  So this mood will pass.  It will grow tiny and then ‘poof’ be gone, with the weight of the love for that next story pressing hard on it.
Because I’m a writer.  Because happy mood or sad mood, tired or ecstatic, the writing mood is always the strongest one of all.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Blog, blog, blog…

My Blog’in Future

There exists on the internet almost as much advice about blogging as there does about querying an agent.  And yes, it’s all just about equal in its contradictory mind-boggling way.
So, I’m sure there are lots of ‘rules’ I’m breaking and formats I’m ignoring on a daily basis as I attempt to maintain this blog.  Here are some of the ‘rules’ and suggestions and various blog related advice that I’ve heard recently…
-      Don’t have white writing on a black background.
Maybe it’s just me, and it probably is, but I have an easier time reading white on black than I do black on white.  Other’s disagree.  I suppose if I heard an outcry from followers to change the color scheme because it was causing them premature blindness, then I would consider doing that.  I don’t want anyone to be in pain when attempting to read my blog.  However, I wonder how many people feel like I do and this color scheme is not an issue to them in any way.  I suppose I’ll hear if it’s truly a terrible rule that I’m breaking.
-      Blog on a regular scheduled basis.
I’ve heard conflicting things about this one.  Some want it so scheduled that day and time are exact.  Some want you to not go months in between posts and then drop a load of them.  Well, I post as frequently as I’m able to and as often as I have something on my mind that’s not too related to taking a child to and from school and putting the other one in bed and taking them out.  Heck, anything else is pretty exciting to me!  But I try my best not to let it go much more than a week between posts.  I don’t want y’all to forget me out there in blog-land.
-      Have a definite subject matter for your blog.
When I first started reading this one I thought “Oh shoot, I’ve really blown it now!”  But as it turns out there are a fairly limited number of subjects that I post about here. 1. My writing life, how I write, experiences in writing, things I’ve learned while writing…  2. Stories from my crazy life (well, not wild and exciting type of crazy, more coo-coo’s nest kind of crazy, but anyway...)  3. Miscellaneous posts.  Ok, that’s probably cheating, because anything can fall under that.  Mainly I mean posts about other things I like or think and decide to share.
So, maybe I don’t have a ‘platform’ so-to-speak, but consider my blog more of an exercise in writing for the masses (though the masses may be small, and better characterized as a handful.)  What appeals, what doesn’t, what do we have in common, what things make us uniquely writers?  Most posts are centered around or relate back to writing in some way.  The ones that don’t, well, they were written, so I think it counts.

Blog, blog, blog…
What do you think?  Must a writer’s blog have a topic or is a place for shared experiences enough?

As far as having a blog topic goes, maybe at my one year anniversary of blogging I’ll select a topic that my blog is actually ‘about’ and try to stick with that.  Until then I’ll continue to do my best to post my thoughts, mainly about writing, as they occur to me, on a somewhat regular basis.
I hope that’s ok with the ‘masses’.  Yes, that’s you, my handful of loyal and devoted followers whom I am eternally grateful for, as well as the occasional dropper-by. 
Thank You for viewing my blog!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Writing Perspective

The other day I sat, finishing up on a little stolen writing time as my 5yo sat next to me.  He studied the first lines of my current WIP and I realized that his new reading skills were in use.  I helped him read through the opening line of my WIP and then explained the scene to him.  He seemed somewhat unimpressed and asked me how long my story was.  When I told him there were 65 pages completed, but it would be over three times that many when it was done, he seemed a little more impressed.
I explained to him that this was a book for big people, so it had a lot more words/pages than his ‘chapter’ books did.  We then talked about ideas regarding a MG book that he had recently sparked into my imagination as we played.  He was excited about the whole idea of me writing a book for a kid like him.  We made a document with notes and ideas.  I told him I would work on it next, after I finished my current story.
Several days passed and we were sitting and watching TV together.  He looked outside and said something I will never forget.  “Hey that reminds me of your story.”  He had seen something happening that was very similar to my opening line which we had discussed.  He then repeated a good portion of it to me. 

There is admiration, respect, accolade, acceptance.  The world can heap these things on you, or withhold them all.  We struggle to achieve even one of them.  Then a 5yo remembers and relates to a single line I wrote.  Nothing in all the world can beat that.
I could write for seventy years and have a hundred titles to my name, or I could write for ten years and have only an old worn out laptop.  That moment was the reason why I write.  One simple sentence, one point of view that it changed, one writer touched to the point of tears.
Why do you write?