Moving into Unknown Territory

I recently had an agent agree to read my book proposal on the story of how I came to play singing bowls. (I want Catherine Zeta Jones to be me in the movie version.)

This creates an odd threshold. If the agent thinks the idea and sample writing have merit, the agent goes looking for a publisher and I write like mad and organize all the pieces I’ve developed so far. Everything rolls that way then. Or if the agent declines the proposal, I continue my search for the right agent who can help me get published, and I still keep writing.

In developing the book proposal, I had to give an engaging synopsis of each chapter to provide a “feel” for the book, determine how many pages it will be, and offer a full publicity campaign as well as a complete sample chapter. I hadn’t yet written the book and yet I had to give it form. I was moving into unknown territory, as I am now. I’ve never had a book published of my own writing. What do I know?

Well, I know how to put one foot in front of the other. I’ve been a free-lance writer for 18 years, and now I’ve been playing the singing bowls for over a year. There is some magic, and there is no magic. I make lots of phone calls to people I’ve never met. I try to convey my vision. When they offer me a gig, they launch me into the unknown, the unpredictable, the un-anticipate-able. But there are maps and directions, time, date and place to center me. Then I enter the room, bowls in tow. Once again, what I know is what I see, but what is about to happen is unknown to me. People enter for the program, some I may know, others are strangers to me. I know what I’m supposed to do, and I begin telling a story. The information is always given a bit differently, but I know the points I want to make and a few surefire crowd-pleasers to include. Then I play, and again I move into unknown territory.

Generally, the bowls and the sounds beckon me into their realm. While I may not know what will happen next, the bowls and patterns with them also make the playing process somewhat familiar and exhilirating in its exploration. And of coure that process is welcomed for what it brings both to me and those for whom I play. 

I have little anxiety when I am in this state of the unknown. Nothing matters but playing. And so I play. As I continue on this process of publishing my journey with the bowls, I want to continue in that state of play, riding a wave into an unknown territory that I want to explore and enjoy.

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