The God of Golf
So taking a break from my writing for one day, I was invited to attend a work party. Being a good little employee and genuinely enjoying the people I work with, I decided to go.
I was dismayed though, when to my horror I heard we were to go golfing. (I'm about as skilled at golfing as a blind man is at navigating through the Amazon).
Well, we get there and at first I assumed we were going to be in a large green field, all wearing little hats that looked like deflated bread loaves and doing tiny golf claps while a British man provided enlightening commentary, instead we came to a building both tall and skinny with multiple levels. (For those of you who know, the place was Top Golf). People would go right up to the edge of the building (depending on what story you were on) and putt off the side, watching as their balls launched out across an enclosed grass field where large netted holes in the ground were made targets. Each ball was retrofitted with a GPS signal to tell you exactly where your ball landed. I admit, I was very impressed with the tech, but still shaking my head, knowing the ungodly disaster to come when I finally was to pick up a club.
So we get up on the third floor and reach the balcony overlook where we can hit off from. The view is spectacular and exciting and I watch others (even old women and younger teens) hit incredible shots out toward those large distant holes.
My turn comes and I pick a club. I have no idea what the numbers on the club mean or how to even hold one properly. So I attempt to mimic what other people are doing. I feel confident that I've duplicated the technique correctly- put ball on little tee thing, check for wind by licking finger and sticking it up, angle legs and spread them out slightly, and take a few practice swings. (Later on I was told I looked like a man with elbows permanently fused in one position, chicken-walking to the edge of the balcony, Apparently the way I adjusted my body for the swing looked like an epileptic man with a horribly malformed spine trying to twerk-which is all made worse as my boss' boss was standing directly behind me. I guess I'll never see a promotion.
Knowing I was holding everyone up, I take a deep breath, steady myself, and swish! Whack! I smack the club into the ground, two feet short of where the ball is. I'm a lumberjack trying to crush a bug, a rock-and-roll star tripping over himself as he's slamming his guitar on the stage after a concert. "That was a practice swing." I yell over my shoulder with a fake swaggering confidence. The only reply I get is my boss laughing.
Alright, no big deal. I'm a beginner. Steady, jiggle my butt like I saw the old lady do in the booth next to me (holy crap, she just hit the ball 240 yards! The twerk-technique must work!) Okay, this one is going to go far. I'm a big guy, I got some muscle on me. I've played sports all my life. I've been in a college volleyball team, I understand pressure. This is nothing. Swing! Where's the ball? I look up, holding my hand over my eyes to cover the sun. I gaze across the field. Could I have knocked it over the netted walls? But the walls are 300 meters tall... Did i swing so hard I evaporated the ball? I feel a gentle bounce off my toe. I look down and staring back up at me is my elusive enemy, the immortal god who cannot be stopped by my pathetic attempts at hitting it, the stupid golf ball. I'd swung too high and the wind from the club brushed the ball off the tee.
Now I've got women from the company giggling and nudging each other, pointing to me. Some are more than twice my age and two feet shorter than me. They've knocked their balls out into the grass, some even into holes. I feel a heat come over my face and I squint down at the ball with such fury, Satan himself quaked in Hell, hiding under his bed. I put the ball back on the tee, half pleading with it, half swearing at it. K, here we go. Let's do this!
I'm familiar with the process now: swing butt and point it at my boss' boss, arch my back so far my chest sticks out like the bow of a ship, bend knees and point them in every direction but straight, swing!
Gravity gets confused. Physics break. Ten-thousand light-years away, a supernova farts. I'm aiming out toward the grass, yet as I strike the ball (Finally! Praise Tiger Woods and Happy Gilmore!), the ball goes backwards and up, curving in an arch that would make mathematicians purple-faced with excitement to calculate. It strikes the ceiling above my head with a resounding crack so loud that everyone jumps. The ball drops next to my foot, then gently rolls off the side of the balcony. My boss nearly falls off his seat laughing. My coworkers burst out like a chorus of hyenas, the old lady in the other booth chuckles out as she continues to shake her butt (I'm becoming more and more concerned that the twerk technique doesn't work) and I give an exasperated sigh.
Thank goodness I have my writing I can return to. I'm at least decent with that... or perhaps I'm failing miserably. I don't know, I've been shaking my butt desperately the entire time I've been in front of the computer. The technique has to work for something!
I went to a Brandon Sanderson signing! How cool is that? The guy wrote the now-finished Steelheart trilogy, Mistborn series, and The Way of Kings! I felt bad for him as he read an excerpt from his book—the guy was somewhat sick.—but he still did an incredible job. He signed some books for me and talked to me about a future in writing. It's been so cool to meet with so many successful authors and gain inspiration to work harder for my dream.
Yes, that is famous author Kevin J. Anderson! It was such an honor to meet him at the final day of the writing conference in Provo. He gave a really impressive lecture on some foundational rules of writing and even took the time to personally talk to me and snap a picture! I'm planning to see him again next February in the Superstars Event in Colorado. I grew up reading Kevin's books and he was a big inspiration for me to write, so overall the experience was very surreal. Definitely something I'll remember for a long time.
While on my three-day writing conference binge, I met M. Todd Gallowglas, a self-published author and his cover illustrator. The two were a lot of fun and talked to me for quite some time. It's quite nice being able to interact with other authors. Although I plan on publishing through traditional methods (a publishing company) instead of self-publishing, I can definitely still respect all the hard work and dedication it took Mr. Gallowglas to get where he was from scratch. Awesome Guy!
Heard about a three day writing conference held out in Provo called LTUE. I decided to go -try and network a little. Got a chance to meet with Michelle Corsillo (left) from Wordfire Press and Julie Frost (middle), a great author. They gave me a lot of sage advice and even let me practice my elevator pitch on them!
It pumped me up about continuing my networking as much as possible.
There's a first time for everything- that even includes blogging about my progress as an author. I'll put everything here as if it were a journal. From dealing with a tough decision on how to progress next on social media sites to how I felt about a certain rejection letter. Heck, I shouldn't even call this a blog -should call it 'dear diary' instead. Yuck. I've never been good at keeping a diary. But, like I said -there's a first time for everything.
All I hope is that someone, somewhere reads this. If you do- send help. I've been kidnapped by alien/goat hybrids.