Discover more from Wild Rose Writer's World
Chasing Golden Beetles
What to Carry and What to Leave Behind
January is tough. The snow is piling up outside my door and the temperatures have been well below freezing, but that’s the least of it. This month, the calendar invites us to start again, to set new goals, to accomplish more. We have 365 days of unblemished pages with white boxes to fill in. It’s exciting, but also intimidating. For me, this year will represent my first real crack at becoming a published author. I can’t lean into the excuse that I just finished my Masters anymore.
While that feels like a hot poker, I’m moving forward. I’m not dragging my heels or questioning my direction, but setting off at a reasonable pace as I chase down my golden beetle. Let me explain. The golden beetle comes from a book that I read over the holidays (reviewed below.) It’s a metaphor for the thing you want most, what drives you forward, what you’re willing to sacrifice for.
Without giving anything away, suffice it to say the main character, Miss Benson, encounters all kinds of difficulties as she pursues her goal. She has choices about how to proceed. I do too. This year, I’m cutting loose self-doubt and confusion. When I graduated last May, I felt compelled to figure out my next steps right away, and launched into creating an online business as well. I was in a hurry to find my calling. (Do beetles have a call? I doubt it.)
Needless to say, the second half of the year was a struggle. It taught me that the answers come in their own time. The little white boxes won’t fill themselves in, but if I take care of myself, my loved ones, and my responsibilities, I’ll find my way. Now, I’m allowing my fingers to strike where they will lightly, instinctively, like the cascade of flakes drifting across my windowpane. Will I find my beetle? Maybe, but I’m not in a rush. I like the view from here.
Special Offer: The First Chapter of SFRD! (And What the Agents Said…) 📣
As promised in the last edition, I’ve prepared new content from Stories From A Roadside Diner (SFRD), for subscribers only! I had mentioned embedding an audio file this month, but I have a better idea. I’ll send you Rick’s entire story “White Noise” through email, then we can discuss it - Live! In person! Via Zoom! (Yes, I can hear you groan already, but I’m a big believer in collective wisdom.) I have some decisions to make, and could use your input…
I’ve heard back from both agents on my submission for SRFD, and the news is both good and bad. The bad part is they passed on the book as it stands. The good part is they took the time to explain why. One agent is Canadian and the other is American, representing different markets, but their feedback was consistent. They said the writing was accomplished (yay!), but the manuscript was too short, and one indicated that it’s hard to sell a collection of stories. I was invited to increase the word count by 100 pages and resubmit, and/or to contact them directly with something else.
At first, I was disappointed, but I realized that for a debut novelist, this was excellent feedback. I’m starting to make inroads. Most manuscripts die a short and painful death in the slush pile, but mine has legs. What I could use your thoughts on is whether I self-publish SFRD or rework it. I have two other books that I’m writing (more on that next month), and a children’s story that’ s almost ready to go, so I’m unsure what to do. With that being said, I’ll reach out to set a meeting time, and hope you’ll join me for a chat.
Leadership Literary Lab (L3) ✍️
My Leadership Literary Lab is coming along nicely. I’ve delayed on the landing page as I’ve reworked the format, and am happy with it now. There is more clarity and direction on the individual sections, five in total. I’ll include the outline in this newsletter next month to give you a better idea of the content and flow. For my private clients, we are picking up where left off for the holidays. The work continues, and I’m excited to celebrate some new benchmark moments this year.
Miss Benson’s Beetle, Book Review
This book was written by award-winning author Rachel Joyce. A former actress, her writing is whimsical and warm, and her characters are vivid. Miss Benson is the female version of Eliot’s “J. Alfred Prufrock”, a desperate individual, who (unlike Prufrock) risks everything to on a wild goose chase. While the plot trudges along at the beginning (trudges is a hint at the theme - a pair of boots figure prominently in the narrative), it picks up pace and has a riotous finish. It’s an entertaining ride! I recommend this for all dreamers and beetle chasers. 📖
First Nordic ski of the season. A beautiful day in Brag Creek, AB!
Warmly, Mary Lynn, The Wild Rose Writer