Virtual Bump – by Winslow Eliot
What’s it like to bump into a famous author in the air?
My own experience was like a fairy-tale. At the time of my first encounter with John Locke, I was lost in a strange, dark forest. He was a knight in shining armor, who greeted me with a chivalrous smile and gentle greeting.
The gentle greeting was, of course, spoken in a strange language of 140 characters that I barely knew. Still, we understood each other. It was as though I patted his steed’s friendly nose, and picked up my dew-drenched skirts, and realized that now everything would be okay. Right from the start I felt we were kindred spirits in a world that was crazy, upsidedown, no-one-understands-me…
At the time, my agent was sending out A Perfect Gem to all the remaining traditional publishers, while bemoaning the fact of the hopelessness and strangeness of what was happening in the publishing world. She described editors and publicists being fired daily; she’d see them walking along the New York sidewalks, clutching their briefcases, their faces shell-shocked. Discouraging, as usual. She’d always been discouraging. She had a lot of confidence in my books though, and even after this one was rejected six times, she valiantly persisted.
By fall I’d had my twelfth rejection and I wrote my most-read-post ever: “Waiting for the Call that Never Comes…”
John read it too.
He told me my book was beautiful, which of course is enough to turn any girl’s head. He reminded me of my talent; he gave me courage.
Throughout the winter of my discontent, my brave knight gently removed my hands from the bloody brambles I was trying to climb through, and led me toward a sunny clearing: he showed me I could be independent of the messy, dark, and thorny old publishing world. He forged a path for me toward light and pleasure in creating the writing world I had been seeking all my life.
In a shimmery forest of virtual encounters, our fairy-tale-like bumps came and went, regardless of time of day, or weather, or the real distance between us. Our conversations, although spoken in Twitterese, were like two people bumping in a story and getting to know each other.
And so I followed my knight into the land of self-publishing. I’ve already published four gorgeous, exciting, romantic tales and, thanks to Good Knight John, I’ve found not just success but happiness in being in control of my writing destiny.
John stands for courage, truth, integrity, and has led so many of us – not just me – into a new land, and a new era.
It was a good bump, friend.
Winslow Eliot is the author of (among others) Pursued, Heaven Falls, A Perfect Gem, and Bright Face of Danger (originally published by St. Martin’s Press 1993). Her WriteSpa - An Oasis for Writers welcomes visitors from all over the world and offers rejuvenating practices and virtual encouragement. She also teaches high school, writes poetry, and loves belly-dancing,singing and playing guitar, Tarot, sacred places, reading, and people.
A Perfect Gem