Monday, August 15, 2011

Into The Great Wide Open

     Tom Petty has been on my mind the last couple of weeks.

     Near the end of July, I celebrated my birthday. Yeah, so everybody gets them, but here in Utah, July 24th is also a state holiday. Imagine a second Independence Day and you'll get the picture. Since I'm a Leo, my birthday feels doubly like it's all about me (even though the older I get, I'm less inclined to worry about them). I can sing Tom Petty's, "It's Good To Be King," all day.

          It's good to be king, if just for a while
          To be there in velvet, yeah, to give 'em a smile
          It's good to get high, and never come down
          It's good to be king of your own little town

          Yeah, the world would swing if I were king
          Can I help it if I still dream time to time

          It's good to be king and have your own way
          Get a feeling of peace at the end of the day
          And when your bulldog barks and your canary sings
          You're out there with winners, yeah, it's good to be king

     So with the parades, fireworks, and spending the weekend with our family, I had a great time. Of course at some point I had to come down, but on my birthday the world was a better place.

World Science Fiction Convention
     Except this year.

     This year I had my very first World Science Fiction Convention looming in August. My writing groups and I have been planning this week for at least the last five months. With less than a month to go, I began to panic.

     I didn't have the recommended business cards, web presence, and worst of all, I didn't have my rough draft any where near completion. As of the end of July I hadn't even started researching the agents and editors that were coming to the convention. With three weeks to go to a major networking opportunity, my chance to be, "out there with winners," was rapidly turning into that dream where you're naked in front of a crowd.

     So I knuckled down and started doing all the things I needed to get done, even though, like Sheriff Woody said, "This is the perfect time to panic!" My writing time suffered a little, but strangely enough, some of my current chapters are the best I've written.

     Now I'm two days away from hitting the road and talking to people I've never met. Part of me is screaming excited, while the other part is screaming terrified. I know I'll relax when I get there and that the most frightening step is the step out my front door. Right now I'm feeling the chorus from, "Into The Great Wide Open."

          Into the great wide open,
          Under them skies of blue
          Out in the great wide open,
          A rebel without a clue

     But to jazz myself up, I changed the next verse.

          The papers said Tony always wrote from the heart
          He got an agent and a roll top desk
          He made a novel and it went in the charts
          The sky was the limit

     Am I nervous now? I'd be lying if I said, 'no.' But even if I fall on my face and only make contacts with some nice people, I'll know better what to expect for the next convention. The World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City. My book will definitely be ready to pitch by then. 

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