Nothing But Net

My brothers would be in hysterics to think of their klutzy big sister using a sports analogy, but driving home through the rain and dark the other night, I heard an NPR piece about a college basketball player who won the game for his team with a miracle, last-second 75-foot shot. The announcers were beside themselves with such excitement that I had to check out the YouTube video to see it for myself:

The fans — and that player — will never forget that basket. It was one of those purely unexpected and magical moments in life.

Have you had those kinds of moments in your writing? I have. Of course, I will never forget “my” Newbery call. I still find it hard to believe it happened to me. But I’ve had other moments, far less dramatic and public, that have affirmed me as a writer and kept me writing. Some of those include:

  • My father-in-law giving me an IBM Selectric typewriter when his firm upgraded to computers. That vote of confidence came when I was feeling most fragile in my writing.
  • My first rejection letter with a personalized note — “Try us again,” — handwritten at the bottom. You can bet that I did try again! And again and again.
  • Holding my first book in my hands. The smell of fresh ink, the sharp edges of unread pages– all heady stuff!
  • Receiving my first fan letter (it was a letter then, not email), which came from a little girl in Michigan. Can you imagine? Someone clear across the country had read my book and liked it enough to send me a letter.

Come to think of it, my treasure chest of magic moments is overflowing.

How about yours?

No Responses to “Nothing But Net”

  1. Bandit's Pack

    I just had my son watch that; he leaves for his own BB game in 10 minutes. He thought it was pretty awesome.
    I wrote a poem in the 3rd grade (that I still know by heart). My teacher loved it so much she “mimeographed” it and passed it out to the entire class and shared it with other teachers. It was a great feeling and one I still remember vividly 40+ years later. I have others but that comes to mind first.

  2. Meg Lippert

    If I had a kid playing basketball I’d show it to her, too. Awesome. I’ve had many special writing moments too but one that stands out is the day I brought a manuscript to my critique group and a member of the group said, “That’s a great story–I’d like to illustrate it.” I couldn’t believe it–but the manuscript became Head, Body, Legs, illustrated by Julie Paschkis, an ALA Notable Book. Meg Lippert

  3. Kirby Larson

    Wow, you two — these are amazing stories!!! In spite of all the dire publishing news, I know there are many, many more stories like these out there. It puts a huge smile on my face.