I love watching hummingbirds. Right now there are anywhere from four to eight fluttering back and forth fighting their way to the sweet nectar inside the artificial feeder hanging on my porch. I not only love watching them but also enjoy listening to the sounds of their wings as they beat rapidly back and forth. They talk to each other too. Making a noise that only a hummingbird can. They sound sort of like a squirrel hipped up on caffeine, only a bit more frantic. Get back, that’s my sweet nectar. I’m warning you, leave now or I’m going to peck you.
As I watch the little multi-colored birdies I wonder why they are so territorial? Can’t they just get along and share? Sometimes there will be four or five sitting peaceably on the feeder together, but most of the time there is one that bully’s the rest. Guarding the plastic flowers from the others. They are constantly fighting for a turn at the feeder. They chase after each other, often times pecking at one another shooing the other one away. They just can’t seem to get along.
Humans are a lot like the hummingbird. We flutter along fighting our way through life. Constantly struggling with family matters, work schedules, and personal dilemmas. Often times we don’t even realize that we are pecking away at those around us exactly the way a hummingbird does. We put ourselves under so much stress trying to achieve things that really won’t matter in the end.
Right now I have at least a half dozen projects going that everyday demand my attention, or at least consume my thoughts. Like the hummingbird I crave the sweet nectar of completion for some of these projects. I am close to finishing my fourth novel. The first official edit is complete on my children’s picture book. I am waiting for my publisher to send me the first edit of my third novel, and I am anxious to have my publisher look at another novel I’ve written, while marketing the one I have already published.
Amongst all that I’m trying to help a new author find a publisher for his work, and mentor a young author who needs lots of moral support to finish her novella. I love helping others achieve the desires of their heart. What is success you might ask? Success for the hummingbird is a full belly. Success for me is lots of different things, like knowing my family is loved and cared for. Professional success was when I held my first published novel in my hand. No, it did not become a New York Times Bestseller, not yet anyway, but it did bring pleasure to the many who read it
Success cannot be measured in dollars, or the number of publications you see your name show up in. True success comes from achieving something you’re passionate about. I set a goal to write a novel way back in the 1990’s. It took me thirteen years to write my first book, a work that is yet to be published, but I did it. I try to tell new authors that what we are doing is something pretty special. Not everyone can paint a beautiful portrait, or sing a song in tune, and not all can write a novel. Yes, I’ll be the first to admit that not every book I’ve read is wonderful, but most have had something unique about them. Every person being different brings something new to the table, or should I say to paper.
Like a hummingbird craving that sweet honey from the heart of a petal, we as authors seek our pleasure from putting words down on paper. Like the dominant hummingbird we must be strong and diligent. We must believe in what we are doing, and ourselves. Like a hummingbird in flight, we might have to flutter from one rejection to another, but as the hummer we never give up, always hopeful that just around the corner we’ll find the perfect publisher for our work and our bellies will be full. I have been very fortunate to find a new publisher, Ambassador International. So far they have been wonderful to work with. I can’t wait to see what they’ve done with the cover of, The Color of My Heart.
So, authors take on the armor of the hummingbird. Yes, we are small and meek and one among many, but we shall stay strong and thrifty as we fight our way through queries, synopsis’ and cover letters. We may have to fight our way to the feeder/publisher, but we’ll never give up. As long as there are thoughts to put on paper this lowly author will continue to fulfill the desires of her heart, best seller or not.
As promised in last week’s blog, here’s an excerpt from, The Color of My Heart.
Jekyll Island, Georgia
My little Zessia is waking up. I’m not sure I slept at all last night. But that isn’t anything new. Most nights by the time little Zessia has been asleep for a few hours, my body feels the need to stretch and unfold from this ball I’m always curled up in. But I don’t dare leave little Zessia’s fingers and toes out in the open for the rats to have for supper. No, I’ll be fine. I can stand anything as long as Zessia is not harmed.
The uncertainty of what will happen to us now that we have landed in this new world is twirling in my head. My mind is as the monsoons that whirl in my homeland of Africa. Will I be separated from my baby? Will they find out she is a girl? And then what will they do? I know what will happen for I’ve seen the shape some of the other children have been in when the mean men throw them back down into the pit of the ship. I know all right and I will die before I will let that happen to my Zessia.