Tuesday, May 27, 2008

They Were Animals!

Last weekend I made a trip with blog friend Kathleen to the Yellow River Game Ranch. The game ranch is the home of Georgia's famous groundhog/official weather prognosticator General Lee, who is very popular. Of course, as Kathleen pointed out, you can tell the Game Ranch is in the South when you visit the other general in residence:

Poor little skunk.

The Game Ranch was a fun experience, because we didn't just get to look at the animals but also interact with them. Deer and ducks follow you around, begging for you to feed them--which is allowed, provided you stick to approved treats. Although you have to keep a safe distance from critters like bears, many of the cuddlier types just wander around the park and will eat right out of your hand.

The animals had different ways of approaching visitors and snagging their snacks. In many ways, visiting the Game Ranch reminded me of attending a writers' conference. If you've been to a conference, you know what I mean. All us poor writers fighting for attention, for scraps of hope from editors and agents. And we all have different ways of going about it.

Some of us will do anything to get that editor's attention. We'll overcome any barrier...

We don't care how silly we look, or how strange our story about the old lady abducted by aliens from the produce section of the supermarket sounds...

Others of us are above all that. We know our writing is wonderful, and frankly you're just very fortunate we came to share it with you...

Sometimes it all works out. We strike up a wonderful relationship with an editor or agent or fellow writer, and it's great on both sides.

Where do I fit in this picture? I had a nagging feeling I'm like this bear. Good things were being tossed at him, opportunities were all around him, but he was just too lazy to reach out and grasp most of them. Unless the snacks landed either right in front of him or right in his mouth--I'm not making that up. He sat with his mouth open and actually caught an apple and a couple of crackers--he just couldn't exert the effort to see it through. In fact, a cracker landed behind him, and he reached back with a paw and tried to drag it. But after a couple of tries he gave up, totally exhausted.

Okay, I think I'm learning my lesson here. I think I'll go home and do LOTS of writing tonight.