At our Treasure Coast Writer’s Group a few weeks ago, Brenda Welliver wrote a delightful piece on how she and her friend deal with mishaps, fumbles, and minor misfortunes. One will call the other to say, “Well, Murphy’s been here again!” and proceed to detail and laugh about surviving those annoying events.
Brenda, dear, I completely understood it then, and again, because Mr. Murphy’s been following me around for days. The first brush with the imp came when I grabbed a quick BLT before a recent speaking event. The thick, applewood-smoked bacon sandwich was a work of art, but it was NOT love at first bite. I knew the crunch was more than bacon. More accurately, my tongue felt it was more than bacon.
The dentist later confirmed that I had cracked a piece of bridgework and that an extraction and new bridge would be in my future, and though it was hanging on precariously, a fix could wait until I returned from the Thirteenth Annual Florida Writers Association’s Conference in Lake Mary. So, cutting every morsel into one-half inch pieces, I managed to eat without incident. “Leave well enough alone,” my Grandma always said. Unfortunately, my tongue forgot this bit of folk wisdom, incessantly probed the area until—out popped the broken bridge. So, yes, I spent the entire conference looking like a loser in a redneck barroom brawl, but everyone was most sympathetic and understanding.
Happily, attending the conference was worth keeping my mouth shut—a near impossibility—and giving what appeared to be disinterested, lukewarm smiles without showing teeth I didn’t have. I’m honored to report that of the two poems I entered in the Royal Palm Literary Awards competition, one was a finalist, and the other received an award.
The moral of the story? Whenever a critique group, an editor, a beta reader, an agent, or your best friend pulls a Murphy on you, roll with the punches, pick up your teeth and your pen, and keep on writing! You’ll have learned something about yourself—and your writing. And the rewards will prove worth it.