Yesterday never got above 49 degrees Fahrenheit, the rain fell from 12:30 p.m. on, and at times was practically horizontal. Yes, I'm talking about Race Day. That most wonderful of events. Better than, well, most things. Short track in Richmond. Track dancing with lights. Packed stands.
That, of course, describes a normal Richmond Nascar race. Yesterday, everything fell apart, and we bailed. Hate to admit it, but by 5:30 p.m., with rain dripping steadily through the seams of our pop-up tent, soaked and cold, and incidentally, miserable since we don't imbibe to the point of who-cares?, we loaded up the truck and headed for the barn, expecting the race to be run Sunday afternoon.
Wrong. The rain stopped, the engines fired, and we slept through most of the race on the TV at home, all of us wrapped in quilts, lounging by the gas logs, warm for the first time that day. Not the getting warm part, that was heavenly. But for the first in years, we weren't in the stands in Richmond. Major bummer.
So what happens when a much-anticipated (insert your choice here) bombs? When the book you thought was stellar dies on the mid-lists? When your editor/agent doesn't like the first draft much, if at all? When you're eagerly anticipating diving into writing the next book, and the line is cancelled? Yikes. Even the thought sends prickles of horror up the spines of most writers.
Or what if, as happened to Kiana Davenport, Penguin wants its advance back, the $20,000 they paid for a novel, because you have published short stories on Amazon, the arch enemy of Legacy publishers? (Read her blog, www.kianadavenportdialogues.blogspot.com for more.)
You suck it up, get rid of the distractions, and get back to what matters, the writing. And if you're a racer, you load up the truck and head for the next track, the next race, and pray for better weather.