Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I have been working on my book for about six years, now. I originally wrote the thing when my, now, ex-wife went into alcoholic in-patient treatment several years ago. At that time, I had sent the one written chapter off to 150 potential literary agents. Sam Fleishman of Literary Artists Representatives in NYC was the one who rose to the top of the heap.
Today, after six-plus years and many set backs in completion, I am ready to forward the finished manuscript and illustrations to Sam. He insists we will have a multiple-book deal, and a sizeable contract within a few short weeks. He encouraged me by reminding me it took J.K. Rowling six years to complete and publish her first harry Potter novel - and then, it only garnered a contract that gave her $4000. A year later, Art Levine of Scholastica saw the small book on a shelf in a local shop in England, took it home to New York, bought the rights, and the rest is history.
"I could only hope," I told Sam. My fingers and toes are crossed.
Last week, my good friend, Carr, sat with me over a few drinks and "let me have it." He started by telling me what an incredible talent I was, then proceeded to tear me apart in the way that only a good, caring friend would. The net result was that he challenged and motivated me to action in several areas of my life. Spurring a friend to do better is what a friend is supposed to do. Placating, coddling, sychophancy is the stuff of enabling acquaintances; prodding and exhorting to good deeds and betterment is the stuff of true friendship.
"As iron sharpens iron, so is a man to his friend," said Solomon in the Proverbs. And he goes on to say, "Faithful and true are the wounds inflicted by a friend."
One is rarely ever moved to excellence without the harsh criticism of a true friend. Thanks, Carr. Your words mean a lot to me.