Thursday, June 2, 2011

Seeing Manuscripts

It was eighth grade and the teacher needed to move me to the back of the room for some reason.  If memory serves she needed to split up some disorderly students.  Who would have thought such a mundane act as that would have such a huge impact on my life.

I sat there for many days watching curiously as the teacher would scribble on the blackboard not quite understanding why she expected me to be able to see what she was writing.  The fat and crumbly yellow chalk she used seemed to run together. I found myself having trouble keeping up with the class as I did my best to hear rather than see what was being taught.  Turns out I was blind as a bat, not as bad a some folks I've met in my lifetime, but bad never the less.  Let us just say you would not want a feller like that behind the steering wheel or operating some sort of heavy machinery.

The question of course comes up, how could no one have ever noticed?  Why did it take till eighth grade to discover this out.  Only thing I can come up with is that the topic never came up.  I had probably just grown up that way and learned to adapt, not knowing that seeing better was an option.

Thankfully my mom caught on to my difficulties and whisked me off to an eye doctor.  A couple hours later I was seeing the world literally through a new set of eyes.  My whole life experience exploded before me as those thick rimmed glasses were slid on.  Everything was crisp and sharp edged; who knew that trees had leaves and were not just green blobs in the distance.  In modern times folks would equate the revelation as going from analog/RCA cabled TV to High Definition LED Blue Ray/ HDMI cabled TV.  It was that dramatic of a change, trust me on that.

So why on earth do I ramble on about all this and how does it tie into this blog.  For me there is a time in every writers career, heck for some lucky individuals it probably happens more than once, that an epiphany moment occurs.  It is when the plot lines explode off the pages and the drab text becomes more than just a bunch of words.  It is when the characters grow beyond the words and touch a writer's heart.  The manuscript is forever changed leaving behind dull one sided meanings and exchanges them for deep cranial experiences the writer can not wait to share with their readers in the hopes that they "get" the hidden meanings and references.  So I wish to all my fellow writers that your manuscripts find their crisp, sharp edges and that their readers can easily say 'that book had substance, I felt it.'  Or as I discovered and was happy to admit when I was young wore those glasses for the first time, "That tree has leaves and it isn't just a green blob."      


  1. Well said. I've lost count of how many rewrites I've attempted in search of that perfect manuscript. Hmm, I wonder what you were doing that was disorderly.

  2. Ahhh! Some secrets Laila, are only obtained through rigorous amounts of torture while others can simply be prodded out of me with smooth jazz and a glass of Riesling. I generally prefer the latter method for anyone taking note and needing such knowledge for future inquiries.

    Oh and I never finished the happy ending to my eye story. about ten or so years ago I made the best investment I could for my eyes. I went to Atlanta and had them laser'd (Lasik I believe it was called.) I can now see quite well, no glasses necessary, thank goodness. woot!