How fortuitous to be watching the Ladies Short Program figure skating last night before and after I opened a polite rejection email from a literary agent! (“Ladies” short program — really? What do they think it is — 1962?)
But there the athletes are — in their bejeweled leotards, the opening bars of music swelling, years (and years!) of practice and competition behind them as they take a breath and GO!
The routine starts well enough. They seem to have the requisite speed for the triple axel, but then something happens — a failure of nerve, insufficient rotation — and boom! – down they go! It’s shocking and disappointing every time.
But what’s really remarkable — and it impresses me EVERY TIME — is how these professionals get right back up. They get right back up and finish their routine — a program with more jumps, no less.
So I got dinged. Not only that, but it was boiler plate without a whiff of feedback. I knew engagement was a long shot, but I’ll admit to expecting a little more substance in the response.
Not a fair expectation, mind. She’s entitled to the convenience of being blandly polite. Literary agents have to write a lot of these emails, after all.
Disappointment reigned for the evening. Slowed my snacking for a bit. But I tell you — watching those skaters get up and finish their routines after a catastrophic tumble filled me with new appreciation.
And guess what? Nothing’s really changed. I’m still researching points of interest — (Charlotte Bull’s date of birth and when she married John Drayton; the plot lines of the play mounted at the Queen Street theatre in 1737), still writing new passages and revising old ones. In other words — making slow but discernible progress.
So! Onward and upward! It’s back to winter here. Hail earlier. Snow predicted for later.