Before the sun was up this morning, I went for a walk with my dogs in an effort to avoid having to walk in the heat and humidity that would be our world by nine. For the first five minutes, we were alone. It is my favorite part of our walk. The serenity of the park, with its large trees providing shade and a canopy overhead, the brook that runs beside the sidewalk, and the green grass, makes me feel optimistic. Walking allows me to let my mind wander where it will. Some of my best inspirations have come while I’ve been strolling. This morning was no different. I’d received an overnight email from another agent rejecting my book, albeit a very nice form rejection unlike some of the others that were terse and barely civil. I’ve received enough rejections to not take it personally but not so many as to not wonder why.
As I walked in the coolness of the morning, I wondered whether it was the query letter that was responsible for the rejections or the first chapter. I really wanted it to be the letter. How could I improve the query? I knew I needed to take yet another look at my first chapter to see if I could improve on it as well.
As I rounded a bend in the sidewalk, we came face to face with a very large dog (think Great Dane large) and a puppy we’d not met before. As we often do, the two humans stopped to have a chat and talk about our dogs. The puppy was unusual - he had one blue eye and one green eye - and like many puppies wanted to eat everything in sight, in this case many many sticks and twigs. After spending ten minutes talking, we went our separate ways.
Instead of going back to thoughts of this morning’s rejection email, I wanted to pay closer attention to my surroundings. I love the part in our walk where we pass by a bank of sweet-smelling Honeysuckle. We woke a Mallard and his mate, who were sleeping near a tiny pond and not happy with our intrusion and let us know it. This looked to be the same pair who were in the park last spring and summer and never ceased to be insulted by our presence.
By the time we made our way around the park, the temperature was rising and the humidity becoming oppressive. It was time to go home. In the course of a half hour, I had seen a pair of ducks, several bunnies, a gaggle of geese flying in a V overhead, lots of squirrels, and several of the people I see every morning. It was a great walk.
It’s not yet 8:00 am and my dogs are flaked out as if their work for the day is done while my day has only just begun.
I also knew I how to beef up my query letter with a better hook and the idea for this blog. All in all a very successful walk.