Thursday, January 27, 2011

On Making It Happen

In today's episode of Queer as Folk, the big event has finally arrived - the wedding of Lindsay and Melanie! We've been following their relationship ever since the series began, the first episode having culminated in the birth of their beautiful baby boy Gus (whose biological father is infamous sex god Brian Kinney). And now comes the big day, so of course the path of true love and episodic television can never run smoothly, now can it?

Things start falling apart at the last minute, after a Tarot reading at a stagette party warns the two that this is not a good weekend to be married because Mercury is in retrograde: between a caterer and catering hall closed down for salmonella, engraved wedding rings lost by the jeweler, and a wedding dress inadvertently destroyed by the dry cleaner, nothing is going right! Lindsay is having panic attacks, the two brides are on their last nerve, and typically selfish Brian is vacating Pittsburgh for a free vacation in Miami rather than attending the wedding!

But we all know that it's always darkest before the dawn, right? Can anyone doubt that with a little willpower - or maybe a whole lot of willpower - and the desire to make it happen, that our two lovely brides will indeed have their big day? See for yourself!

I confess - I cried. But isn't that what weddings are for? Tears of joy and happiness?

That's what you call making it happen. Knowing what you want to occur, and making it work, no matter what the odds, or what you perceive to be the odds.

There's an old Burt Reynolds movie from 1981 called Paternity, about a man who wants a child but not a wife, so he hires a surrogate mother. Great movie, I've seen it many times; it's one of my favorite having a baby movies. In the film, there is a scene were Burt's character, Buddy, is explaining about wanting a child, and talking about a little boy he used to watch riding his bicycle up on a high area, where common sense would dictate that he would fall, but he never did, defying gravity. Until the day he actually learned about gravity. Buddy said he wanted to be there when his child learned about gravity. That always stuck with me. It says to me if you don't know that you aren't supposed to be able to do something, you can do it. Like the bumblebee. He's an aeronatically designed mess that should not be able to fly. And yet he does, because nobody ever told him he can't.

My theory is that if you want something badly enough, it doesn't matter who else thinks you can or can't do it - your belief can make it so. That's very true in writing. How many people say they couldn't possibly write a book? They're daunted by it all before they even get started, so they never start. But if you don't think of it as writing a book, but as telling a story, you can sit down and do it. One step at a time. Just make it happen.

Once upon a time, I wrote fanfiction. I was inspired to do so by my daughters. They were writing it, and having a great time, and I was jealous. I wanted to have that fun too. So I decided to do it, and not only that, I said I'd use the three of us as characters in my fanfiction. I was excited and enthusiastic, and sat down to write. Two pages later, I got stuck. That was depressing. Two pages in and I hit a brick wall? What kind of writer was I?

Not a very good one, I decided, cause I had no idea where to go or what to do. I felt like a failure. So I stopped for a few days. Through my head, I kept hearing music from a movie I was watching a lot of at the time - Moulin Rouge. Finally, the message got through to me, the one my subconscious was trying to convey. And suddenly I saw my story, so I began to write. And write. And write. When I reached to about a hundred pages, I suddenly realized that this wasn't a short story any more. And still I wrote. By the time I finished, I think it ran 232 pages, and I think that was single spaced, and it encompassed several fandoms. No, I can never publish it, of course. But voila! It was a book. I made it happen.

When I decided to write Dark Love, all those many years ago, my first non-fanfiction book, I had no idea where to start. I was daunted at the idea of writing a book, but determined to try. So I wrote a scene here, another scene there, and I began to let my ideas flow, and my characters grow, and because I wanted it to happen, I made it happen. I wanted to be published, which is a little trickier, because now you're talking about outside forces, ones you can't control. But I was determined, and at first I did not succeed, so I gave up for a number of years. But I decided to climb back in that saddle and ride again - and I made it happen, with the help of Silver Publishing. Dark Love was released this month, about 18 years after its birth.

You have to believe in yourself, and you have to be willing to work to make something happen. Some things are outside of your total control, but even so, you can influence them. If you don't try to make them happen, they never will. There is a great deal to be said for the power of positive thinking?

Am I sure? I'm positive!

Lindsay and Melanie may be fictional characters, but they are examples of making something happen. They didn't do it alone, they had the support of their family of friends. If you believe, you can do it. I can hear some of you now - but I wanted this, and I couldn't make it happen. Think about the things in your life that didn't happen. What happened instead? Sometimes we need to take a different path than the one we think we should be on, in order to follow the path that we want to take. Sometimes it's hard to see that, when you're being diverted to a new course. But keep on believing.

If you want it, you can make it happen. I truly believe that. Things do happen for a reason, whether we realize what that reason is. I believe in you - you can make it happen!

Let's take one last look at the happy couple:

Let me know what you think! Do you believe that anyone can make it happen? I'd love to hear from you!

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