I am the whiny, let’s-just-give-up-you-know-nobody-is-even-reading-our-manuscript Lisa. I blame this pathetic attitude on a lack of exposure to sports. What can I say, I could quote large swathes of Jane Eyre by the time I was 12 and this segued into a deskbound life first as an English Lit major and then as a librarian.
Previously, I did not understand why otherwise normal people would obsess over other people playing a game. But last year I watched the Red Wings battle through the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And, in short order, I became a hockey fan. Actually, let me be more specific: I became a Red Wings fan. As a fan, I am a work in progress. I don’t understand all the rules yet, (up until last year I only thought of icing as the sort of thin frosting one might put on petit fours) but I am determined to learn. And yes, sports fans, determination is one of the keys.
I am a naturally timid (read: almost pathologically reserved) person who takes criticism deeply to heart. Perhaps spending a year of my life writing a novel then sending it out to total strangers for rejection was not a terribly good idea considering this facet of my personality. Here is where watching hockey has taught me a couple of things.
- Never quit. Not too long ago, in two separate games, the Red Wings scored goals with less than a second to go on the clock. And I’m discouraged after two rejections and one mildly scarring critique? Lesson learned.
- Everyone loses sometimes. Doesn’t matter how good you are or how much you try. Sometimes you lose. This one is trickier for me. I am still working to change my reaction to possible loss from “okay, I give up before I really even get started” to “shake it off and try harder”.
- It’s okay to want to win. Winning means beating someone else, and I am the namby-pamby sort of person who feels sorry for the guy who loses. (Unless it’s the Penguins–that just makes me giggle a little.) I don’t really have that killer edge, but I am starting to hone it.
Even without the handy life lessons, I just enjoy hockey. A Red Wings game is a meditative experience for me. While watching the game I don’t think about anything else. I am in the now. I stop cogitating on work, or query letters, or if the recent rain will cause a leak into the basement. I only lose my yoga-like calm when my favorite player (#23, Brad Stuart) gets an unfair penalty. Then I do shout a helpful word or two to the ref, but that is a lovely cathartic experience, too. It’s all good. And it’s even better when the Wings win.
TOL (the other Lisa) here: Just a reminder that our latest WIP (work in progress), HSOTI (still secret working title) has a hockey angle to it. And it’s coming along nicely. As a matter of fact, the Lisas will be weekend retreating once again to work on multiple projects with the intensity of a professional goalie during the Stanley Cup playoffs. So on that note, I will not mention that not only is nobody reading our manuscripts, we haven’t exactly cracked the million mile mark of blog stats either. Brew, hatching…big plans, and you, lucky reader, can get in on the ground floor. Such a deal, eh?