A friend stopped by my desk today to share some chocolate coins with me. I took this as the perfect opportunity to tell her about the childhood injustice I suffered at the hands of a leprechaun.
One morning, my elementary school classmates and I found our classroom in chaos. Desks tipped over. Books splayed open on the floor. Pencils and crayons snapped in half. Suspiciously small footprints on the chalkboard.
With a gasp, our teacher told us that a leprechaun must have gotten into the classroom the night before and he was to blame for the all the chaos.
After making us clean up the mess, she had us each write the leprechaun a letter. In my letter I asked him to tell me how to find his pot of gold.
A few days later, we all received letters back from the leprechaun, but some of us, the popular, friendly, talkative ones, each had a chocolate coin taped to their letter. Somehow, maybe from some older kids, maybe from the leprechaun himself, they'd found out the leprechaun's trick. They'd each asked for a single gold coin. They got chocolate, not gold, but still...
"What did you get?" my friend asked me.
"Nothing," I said with a scowl.
"Nothing? No candy?"
"No, nothing but a crummy letter that didn't tell me where the pot of gold was."
"What a mean leprechaun!"
"Yep! I'm still bitter about it."
"I can tell!" she said. "You seem bitter."
In The Author Pep Talk by Bryan Cohen I mentioned in my last blog post he describes his suggestions for greater success in the new year as ABC's. A stands for "attitude." B stands for "block out time." C stands for "collaborate"--in writing, in marketing, whatever. He gave us a challenge, which he said shouldn't be very hard, to interact with one new author every week this year. I'm in three local writing groups and two massive Facebook groups for writers. It really shouldn't be that hard, but the only local writing group I consistently go to is the one whose members are few, well known to me, and while they're firm about not being werewolves; they're wishy-washy about being writers. ;-) The two Facebook groups are so full of great new ideas that I find them overwhelming and I avoid looking at them.
NOTE TO SELF: TALK TO PEOPLE! When I interact with people who share my passion and my craft, whether online or by actually leaving my house, it's true that sometimes I come away thinking, "Man, that was a waste of time and energy!" But often, I think, "Wow, if I hadn't gone to this thing I never would have heard that great story, or tip, or heard about that great service." Or I think, "If I hadn't been there, I couldn't have answered that person's question, or helped them with that thing they needed help with." Listening to podcasts is sort of an interaction. You get good info, but it's one sided and you give nothing back, and that's more of a downside than I often realize.
I'm doing it now! Stupid Author Facebook Group, here I come! out on another chance for a chocolate coin!