Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just Keep Swimming

One of my favorite Disney lines is Dorie's in Finding Nemo. Her philosophy in dealing with her extremely short-term memory is "Just keep swimming." Sound words to live by.

I'm in just-keep-swimming (JKS) mode right now. End of the nine weeks, grades due, Spring Break trip to Fla in a little over 24 hours, baseball game tonight (weather permitting), and my WIP that burned so hot last weekend growing colder as it sits unattended. I will get everything done. I'm one of those people who kick it up a notch when crisis descends, but dang it's discouraging when you're in the midst of it all.

Last night I thought I would get all of my pre-Florida laundry done, along with some writing. I left my people at a transition point in the story, and I had hoped to at least work my way through to the next scene. HAHAHAHAHA...that's the sound of the universe laughing at me and my silly plans. My 14 year old darling told me on the way home from school that he had a "little report" on a scientist due today. I looked over the assignment sheet when we got home and had to remind myself that he was flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood so that I wouldn't kill him. Six grueling hours later, he had the NINE components of the project complete. If his teachers read my blog, I'm admitting right now that I did all the research while he colored in his timeline, wrote the poem, and created an epitaph. Then I stood over him, riding herd while he finished writing the journal entries, the business letter in the persona of his scientist, and the resume. I did let him have food and go to the bathroom, but otherwise it was project hell for both of us.

Upon reflection, I did learn something. Alexander Fleming (go ahead ask me anything about him) discovered penicillin in 1928. He wasn't able to turn it into a useful treatment for infection until 1940, and then only with the help of three other scientists who approached the problem a different way. That means he endured twelve years of failure before he changed the course of medicine. Maybe I won't gripe about four months of querying. Maybe I need some fresh eyes to look at my query letter and my first whole manuscript for that matter.

Fleming won the Nobel Prize in 1945 and saved countless lives. But for 12 long years he failed again and again and again. He didn't throw his hands up in despair. I won't throw mine up either.

Just Keep Swimming...maybe success is just over the next reef.


  1. As frightening as it is to look at things from that perspective, I appreciate his struggle and agree that perseverance is the only way to go. Gotta love Dory and her simple outlook on life!

    Enjoy your vacation!

  2. Thank you -- I needed to read this today!

    12 years. That's a long time. Two fruitless job interviews don't seem so bad now.

    Just keep swimming! Words to live by... just keep swimming, and June will get here eventually!

  3. Glad I could help and thanks for the shout out on Twitter.