Monday, October 01, 2007

Go With Your Gut

Last week was enough to make me wonder if I should even get a flu shot this year. I think I've already had it. Whatever this stuff is going around, it's wicked - a combo of severe cold symptoms and stomach flu.
However, I think I'm finally to the point of saying, "I'll live."
As bad as I felt on Friday, there was a query nagging the back of my brain that I just knew I had to get out.
Early last week, I saw a story about a wild animal in one of the local papers I read online. The more I thought about it, the more I knew it would make a good brief for an editor I had worked with in the past.
The FOB section (Front of Book) section of this particular magazine has quirky, weird news type little features, and this one fit the bill (pun intended).
However, by the time I even felt I could get to it on Friday, the national news had picked up the story and I figured someone else had already pitched it to "my" editor. I almost crossed the idea off of my list.
I went with my gut anyway (another pun intended since I was at the stomach phase of my illness by now), made an initial call for a quick interview with the human principle in the story, and wrote the quirky brief as a query to the editor and hit send.
Within 2 hours, he replied with "This is just too whacky to pass up," and outlined the terms of my contract.
It was the highlight of my week. I love writing for this magazine, and its just not the great pay. I really enjoy working with this editor.
"You can do that?" my husband asked when I told him about my assignment, referring to taking the idea, completing my own research and interviews and pitching the story myself to another publication.
"Sure," I told him. "There's no copyrights on ideas. That's where writers do get most of our ideas - from news stories and other people."
Of course, we count on each other for the honor system when we're participating in writers groups or on professional forums - as well as editors we query - not to steal our ideas for themselves.
As for life here in the Ozark Mountains. It is good. Going with our gut to move has proved to be beneficial for us too. My husband made our self-imposed deadline of September 30 for being here full time (he arrived at 5 a.m. yesterday) and instead of packing him up for another week long commute to KC last night, I was able to unpack him for good.
We laid in bed last night and listened as the thunder rolled across the mountains until it was right on us. The rain and rumbles made us sleep even better, I think.
A fitting first night knowing we are finally "home" after weathering the storm.


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