You know the saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure"? Well, I'm a firm believer in that. I'm not rich so I often visit second hand stores and thrift stores. I look for books like it's going out of style! I will literally spend hours sorting, sneezing (I'm deathly allergic to dust so this is TRUE dedication on my part), and sifting through other people's cast offs to find my treasures to take home.
But how do I determine what comes home with me? It depends on what inspiration I'm looking for at the time. When I was decorating my newly remodeled study, I was looking for accessories to decorate the room and I came across some very lovely pieces that add to the decor while inspiring me to continue writing. With books I will hold it to see how it feels to me, I will quickly skim the pages to see if the general idea hooks me into wanting to find out more, and then I look at the general condition of the book.
Writing is a bit like treasure hunting. You start out with just an idea, a nugget of information, and you pour your heart and soul into it until at last you have your manuscript. Then comes the hard part. Is it trash or treasure?
A few months ago, I submitted a flash fiction piece to one of my online groups as a part of a contest. My entry didn't win. A dear friend of mine read it and told me he didn't really like it. He couldn't really see any future for it. For him, it was trash and best discarded. While I respect his opinion, to me it was a treasure...MY treasure...and I kept it close to me...adding to it until it became the beginning of my YA novel I am working on.
Maybe our writing can be both. It would be ridiculous and irrational of me to presume that everyone in the world will love my stories. So why do we presume that agents or publishers need to unconditionally love them as well? It's our duty as writers to search out those people in the publishing industry that see our work for what it is in the "pre-publication" form...a bit of "trash" that with a little cleaning up and polishing, will become the highest form of treasure!
As for my flash fiction piece? You be the judge...trash or treasure?
By: Donna Martin
Tears streaming down her face, Lacey raced to the bridge. She was numb to the feeling of branches scratching her arms and the wind tangling her hair. Her attention was focused on the destination. She had to get to the bridge in time.
Lacey broke through the trees just as the sun slid from behind dark clouds. Ahead of her were moss-covered posts and snow stung her eyes as she stumbled toward the bridge’s edge. Exhausted, she paused a moment to rest her head against the gnarled wood as memories of Tommy washed over her.
“You promised!” He said.
Lacey looked at him with tear filled eyes. “I know, but now I’m not so sure.”
He pulled her to him and kissed her softly, almost apologetically, before saying, “You know she will never stop. This is the only way. If two people believe in something strongly enough then even the impossible becomes possible.”
She hung her head, “Yes, I know.”
Lacey’s thoughts returned to the wood beneath her hands as his voice echoed into the night, “I’ll love you to forever and beyond.”
Slowly she made her way to the middle of the bridge. Stopping long enough to register the sound of hounds barking in the distance, she reached into her pocket. Trembling fingers closed around cold steel as Lacey drew the gun to her lips for one final kiss before letting it slip into the dark waters below.
It was done.