Friday, April 12, 2013


When my niece and nephews were younger and there would be family parties, my DH and I always brought a piñata. We lived in Southern California and there were places all over the area where we could buy them. Or sometimes we made them.

For those who don’t know what a piñata is, imagine a circle of kids surrounding one kid holding a piñata bat (looks like a regular wooden bat, carved and painted to be pretty). Blindfold this kid and then spin them until they didn’t know where they are, good and dizzy. Then point them at a suspended papier-mâché form, crammed full of candy, and let them whack away.

You know, describing it makes it sound really dangerous. It’s the most fun if you keep hauling the piñata out of their reach. (Sadistic, yeah. Hee, hee.) They take turns until someone finally destroys it and candy scatters and the kids dive in.

Used to love that game.

What does that have to do with writing? Well, I’m not sure, but it does seem to sum up the new world of publishing. I feel like a blindfolded kid. Or the piñata. Maybe one of the other kids, waiting for the candy to drop.

All I know is there is there is a bat out there being handled by someone with a blindfold on. I want to think it’s me.

My dearest Terri, sent me two emails on Wednesday. Two different self-published authors with words of advice. Sorta reminded me of that poem, two roads converged in a woods and I took the one less traveled … In an echo chamber, sung in a round. In a house of mirrors.

Everyone wants a short cut. I do. But I also know there simply isn’t one out there. It’s a crapshoot, it’s about the luck of finding that golden ticket. I’m a lucky person. Not always the most patient in the world, but I’m learning.

I loved those emails. I saved them and printed them up and put them in my white binder of manuscript prep. Someday I’ll write one. Right now, I don’t know what works. I’m not even sure what doesn’t work.

I do love an adventure! I may whine and cry sometimes about being disappointed, but then I get an awesome review and I just shake my head. Time will tell and all I can control is today. And when you’re blindfolded, holding a bat, all you can do is listen and swing with care…

Can you think of anything else that is so full of contrary techniques?  What has made you dizzy with what the heck you’re supposed to do, with anything? What do think? You feel like the bat? The piñata? The candy? Surrounding kids? Or do you hold the bat?


quantum said...

It is a time of change. You can see it everywhere!

Publishing is turning inside out. The world economy is in chaos. Political lunacy is growing rapidly (Syria, Korea ....). Cosmological theories are being overturned (Dark matter, Big Bang ...). Paranormal phenomena and the role of conciousness is beginning to be taken seriously (by science!). Computers and the internet is changing lifestyles. The climate is changing rapidly ..... the list goes on and on!

Seems to me that we are on the cusp of something big.
Perhaps the Mayans were right with their famous prediction that we are starting a new time period.

I just wish my crystal ball wasn't so cloudy. LOL

Terri Osburn said...

Q is so right. Can't help but think people will look back at these days and say, "That's when the shit hit the fan." And the people in charge of handling the mess are incompetent, insane, or in someone else's pocket.

It ain't encouraging.

I definitely feel like the kid swinging the bat. I know that pinata is out there, full of goodies and wonders and lots of book sales, but I've no idea where the heck it is. Which way do I swing? Am I getting farther away? Am I about to break it?

What I really want is to rip off this dang blindfold. I'd even take a peak around it!

MsHellion said...

I can think of a lot of things with contrary directions.

Children: You have the group that says the occasional spanking or "disappointment" is good for them; and the group that constantly enhances their self-esteem. In the end, it depends on the child, doesn't it? Like children, every book is different and requires a different way to handle it. Some you had such high hopes for don't make it very far--or drop out of school for no reason; others you thought were window-licking simple, and they totally soar through the sky and are adored by everyone. There's no predicting this shit. You just love it and accept it--and release it when it's time.

Sex: How to orgasm? You relax AND concentrate--I don't know about you, but those are two opposite things going on at the same time. And while you're relaxing and concentrating, it all comes back to "you don't have control over everything; some things just happen"--and boom, happy sex. Not promoting that you not care about your career--you should make an effort, think well of yourself, but it's not what defines you either. You will always be a writer. You now will always be a published author. Not many can say that; the rest is just luck and timing.

Maureen said...

Yeah, Q - it's a real topsy turvy world right now. For the most part, I'm an optimist who believes it's all for the best in the long run...we just don't know it yet.

Though not sure that can be said about North Korea...

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

I feel like the pinata - life constatnly taking swings at me, but I'm full of awesome goodness just waiting to explore and shower those around me with happiness.

Yep. Cheesetastic but hopefully true. :)

Maureen said...

Yeah, that blindfold is a bitch, ain't it, Ter! I think some of the kids would peak around it.

I know I would have.

Looking back, I don't know how they didn't end up braining each other. We had a serious bat!

I think the key is to just enjoy the swinging, enjoy the near misses, enjoy the partial hit... The kids had fun, they laughed with each other and didn't take it dead serious.

Kids are really smart!

Maureen said...

Great examples, Hel!

Reading those two emails was a lot like the sex advice. In the end, I just laughed. Enjoy the journey and just keep your sense of humor intact.

P. Kirby said...

Animal training: Everybody has the best way to way to train, the technique that will turn every dog/horse into a model four-legged citizen. And...they're all full of shit to some degree. Because animals, like people are individuals and what works fabulously with one, will turn into a train wreck with another.

With this point, I just want to finish a project. Then I'll worry about what comes next.

Marnee Bailey said...

Parenting. Parenting is full of contrary techniques. No matter what, someone is going to think you're doing it wrong. Spank, don't spank. Don't discipline, discipline much more. Let them make their own mistakes, why didn't you get more involved.

I firmly think that, like parenting, this artistic walk of ours is one we have to find our own way through. There isn't any WRONG way. Just different ways. Different ways to blaze our trails. Different people in different circumstances with different resources and different goals.

I always says with parenting that if I'd been given a manual, a step-by-step guide, when I left the hospital, I'd have done exactly what they'd have told me. Since I didn't get that, I'm just making this shit up as I go. And doing the best with what I get.

Thinking of you....

Maureen said...

I love that both Pat and Marn are hitting at the same thing...the kids/horses dictate what works and what doesn't. Along with the parent/guardian (or whatever a horse owner is termed).

I'm really okay about all this. It just confirms for me that I'm not doing anything wrong, just haven't hit on the perfect thing. But all these not quite there things are teaching me patience!

Terri Osburn said...

I think there are dos verses don'ts in everything, including parenting. In that case, how you go about the dos is what is dictated by the kids.

I love Sabrina's comment. I can totally see that. I think I feel like the one in the blindfold because right now I'm in the dark about so much. Can't hear my characters. Have no idea how to create buzz for the book. I need a light.

Maureen said...

Uh...Sabrina's comment?

Maureen said...

Oh! There it is! I missed it!

Yeah, I can see being a pinata...waiting for the world to get the right swing I can deliver the goods and they can all squeeeee!