Monday, January 29, 2007

The Continuing Saga

No, it's not another episode of "Pigs in Space." I'm well into the agent search now. I think I put as much sweat into the proposals as I did the actual book. It's a good feeling of accomplishment, though. It's only one more step in a long journey, but it beats watching from the sidelines.

Which brings up a subject that's been nagging at me since Saturday morning. My daughter likes to tape and watch American Idol. For the most part, it's a clean show, though I keep a close watch when it's on. At this stage of the contest, they're going through the initial try outs. I have to tell you, there's a lot of people out there who are living a fantasy, one involving talent they don't have. That's all fine. More power to 'em. My problem is the grieving that goes on for those who don't make it past this stage. Yes, I understand they feel their dream has been shattered (Though, I have to believe some of these people are network plants for entertainment purposes. I mean the bad ones). And it's okay to shed a few tears over disappointment. But the problem I have is that few of these people will actually continue their quest. Which is a shame, because some are actually good, they just need work. And that's the problem, very few want to go through the usual route to stardom. They're looking for an easy way.

Really, do you think Paula Abdul has any sympathy for the 19 year old who claims her life is over because she didn't get picked to go to Hollywood. I don't know a thing about Paula, but I'm willing to bet she paid her dues. The judges, even the rude one, will tell these people to keep trying, try out for Broadway, but the contestants don't want to hear that. I'm generalizing, yes, but as a writer I've watched a lot of other would-be novelists drop out of the race. I'm sure it's the same with singers, actors, and other artists.

The good news is that this presented a great life lesson for my daughter, which I seized. I told her that she can dream as big as she wants, and that's great, but prepare yourself to struggle for it and work hard. There's no easy ticket. And, if you'll notice, the people who do make it on American Idol have been at this for many years, paying their dues.

So now to practice what I lecture. Murder on the Side has begun its long journey toward publication. I've started the next book in the River Bend Mysteries series, which has a working title of Harvest of the Fall. Okay, not original, it's a working title. The plot, however, will rock your socks. I'm getting bold in my old age. Hey, if we don't get a little cocky, we'll end up crying on the sidelines.


Mark said...

I think American Idol, which I don't like and don't watch, but have seen bits and pieces of, can be sort of education, particularly if you look at the current story about Jennifer Hudson, who got booted off Idol about 6 stages from the end, but is now nominated for an Academy Award and just last night won the Screen Actors Guild Award for best supporting actress.

As I've commented to my wife from time to time when this subject comes up, I've seen enough of the FINALs of AI to realize that everybody who makes it that far is talented. But there's really only one winner. They're looking for the complete package on that show--great voice, great way of putting over a song, terrific stage presence AND, which I think sometimes gets lost, THE ABILITY TO GIVE TOP PERFORMANCES AGAIN AND AGAIN.

On AI, Pretty Good doesn't cut it. Even Good or Very Good may not cut it.

As for some of these twits at the beginning auditions, I think some of them just hope to be so bad they'll end up on TV.

Candice Speare said...

This is an excellent analogy to writing, isn't it? Wow. I have a good friend who often says how arrogant a writer can be to think that their first book is good enough to be published. (Like you said, they try to take the easy way.)

Most successful business people have paid the price of getting an education and working their way up the ladder. Aside from the few authors who hit it big the first time out, most of us have to keep working and working while we continue to learn our craft.

I've always heard that it's not necessarily the most talented writers who get published, but those who continue to persevere.

Dineen A. Miller said...

I wonder if we would have chosed this path had we known what lie ahead. LOL! When I have that thought, God reminds me HE is the one who put me here.

I'm still waiting for MOS. You gonna send it soon, before I get bogged down by the most amazing book contract ever? (Yeah, right...)