Get Out of Your Own Way

I’m in Disneyworld this week. It’s a vacation that was a long time coming. I know I talked about my wife being the Mousejunkie and the Day Job Dragon being kind enough to shower me with a bonus but the truth is, I’ve been trying to see Disneyworld since Epcot. Since Captain EO. Since before the Challenger explosion.

It’s been a long time coming.

I was ready to go on Sunday. Suitcase was all packed. Just had my little list of shit to do before I was free and I was cranking through items like a machine. Send that email. Check. Switch that laundry over. Checkeroo! Finish that project and…damn…I gotta pee.

Up out my seat. Dashing into the next room, in the dark, mind you. Face stuck in the very iPad I’m typing on right now. And WHAM! Kicked something hard and big. iPad goes flying and I’m tumbling in the dark and the thing I kicked is big and black and vinyl? Soft and squishy like…clothes?

A suitcase.

Who the hell left this here?

Oh. Me.

It’s my suitcase. I tripped over my own shit.

You know, getting where you’re trying to go is no easy task. Any journey worth taking is often riddled with pitfalls and challenges, boon dongles and dead ends. It’s a Fellowship of the Ring-style quest to achieve any modicum of success and we usually don’t have Dora’s map to sing us the way to our destination. It’s tough enough without getting in your own way, tripping over your own feet.

I recently read a blog by Caroline Ryan Howard (Catherine, Caffeinated) that talked about the trials she faced in getting her first book, Mousetrapped, published. She self-published it and it was not a pretty process. Her weekend publishing plan turned into a 3 month odyssey into the depths of self-publishing: editing, rewriting, cover art, editing, distribution, did I mention editing? It was intense enough she’s made an entire blog series out of the experience.

I got a review of my own book recently and, while the review was spectacular, the reviewer said, for all the world to see on Amazon, “On a personal note to Mr. Starr – the author – I noticed all of the little grammatical errors that so often plague maiden literary voyages and guess what? DIDN’T CARE! In the context of an awesome, engaging story, such things are moot points.” They’re not moot points to me. All those items he’s referring to, I thought I’d captured. Until I saw one myself on Sunday.


I’m tripping over my own feet.

The one thing my wife said after I pulled myself from the spread-eagle position on the suitcase, was “Why didn’t you turn on the light?” Good question. That’s what I feel like Catherine did–turn on the light. Now I can see. And I can see all the things I did wrong. So I have to fix them. I ned to get out of my own way. And I will, I’ll follow Catherine’s plan, secure a new pair of eyes, and revise my book to remove all those unsightly blemishes. After vacation. After I recharge and refuel and get my bearings. After I wash off the burn marks from the Day Job Dragon’s fire. I’ll do it. But right now, Stitch is trying to eat my daughter. Literally.

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