Saturday, March 26, 2011

Here I go...


I have an opportunity to sit in on a workshop by Michael Garrett.  Who is Michael Garrett?  Hopefully a editorial genius that recognizes raw untrained talent when he sees it  =).   Mr. Garrett was the first editor for one Mr. Stephen King.  You may have heard of one or the other gentlemen...

Our local writers guild and library is hosting Mr. Garrett on April 2nd.  He is conducting a one day two session workshop.  The topics are How to Become a Published Author and Short Story and Novel review.  I have signed up for both.  The first session is supposed to show us how to cut through all the "publisher slush pile".  Well that should be a no brainer...just gain celebrity status.  Who would have read a book by Sarah Palin five years ago?  Who will read Charlie Sheen's behind the scenes of "Two and Half Men: I am the half man" next year?
Hopefully he has more advice than celebrity status to pass along. 

During the second session Mr. Garrett is going to take manuscripts from several of the participants and give it a thrashing real review.  This stunt should be worth the price of admission.  Why?  He plans to read them out loud to the attendees.  That's not so bad you say.  Then he will critique them on the spot.  

Here is how I see session two going down...

Mr. Garrett shuffles through a few manuscripts.  He picks up one and begins mumbling to himself.  He mumbles incoherently as if his tongue is processing the words before arriving at his brain.  He seems to be using this technique to understand the flow of the manuscript before reading it aloud.  He dons his designer reading glasses, takes in a deep breath and with a low Marlon Brando voice starts reading the first page.  

Hey I recognize that story!  He continues reading out loud when Self says, "Hey Kipp, that is your story!"  My heart rate jumps from 90 bpm to 185 bpm.  Mr. Garrett turns to the second page and continues to read the second page but before he reaches page three he stops.  He takes in a deep breath, pulls his designer reading glasses off his face.   The attendees are staring at him waiting for his wisdom to spew forth about the masterpiece his has just read. 

"This is really interesting. Who wrote this?"  
There is a gasp of air taken from everyone in the room.

Me: In a high pitched school girl voice, "I did...-clear throat-...I did sir." 
Mr. Garrett: "Well...I must say.  (dramatic pause)  Do you mind stepping out of the room?" 
Me: Sure. No problem.

I get in the hall when sweat starts beading up on my forehead.  I start pacing the hallway from one side to the other.  The three steps go by so fast.  My mind is racing.  He is about send everyone else home.  He has found his next Stephen King.  I am going to have an agent.  He is going to be able to retire.

~~ 2 hours later ~~

The door opens and everybody is leaving the workshop.  I am still standing in the hall.  Mr. Garrett exits laughing with a small entourage making plans to go to the local coffee shop to discuss more about this exhilarating vampire novel idea from Ms. Maggie Marple.  She had showed me her manuscript during the first session break which had me laughing.   "Ms Marple, seriously, how many times can you beat a dead horse?  Vampires - really, reeaally?" 

Then as Mr. Garrett passes me he says "Good day."

...


I figure if I prepare this way and it happens, I will have prepared mentally and already experienced being rejected by a well known editor once before.  If it goes a slight bit better my thoughts can then be, "Man - it could have been a lot worse".


Dreams lead to desires, desires lead to goals, goals lead to tasks, tasks lead to accomplishments, accomplishments lead to a journey.  There are learning experiences along the way called failures.  Failures need only be viewed as stepping stones on the path to the pinnacle of our journey.  Or more simply put..."Never, never, never give up." - Winston Churchill

Here I go...

6 comments:

EmptyNester said...

And I thought I was the only one who always tries to expect the worst so that I won't be disappointed! LOL

I admire you for putting yourself out there. Takes courage. I don't have it.

Kipp said...

EmptyNester - it is important to be prepared.
Thank you.
Sure you have courage, how many children have you raised? ;)

Donna Perugini said...

You sound excited, Kipp! Get your pitch ready in case you happen to meet up with him on an elevator.

Kipp said...

I am excited. It will be interesting to get immediate feedback. Watching his body language will tell me how truthful he is being... =)
The pitch is ready ;)

RottenAnn said...

Hopefully you will have double checked your grammar and spelling and didn't make anyone "Purr like a kitten"...

Kipp said...

RottenAnn - as long I do not get hit by a bus I should be fine.