Saturday, December 29, 2012

...Up Front and Center..

Ok, here's the deal.

Today I spent six hours looking for the right agents to whom I will send my latest version of a 'query' letter concerning the latest manifestation of my manuscript which is now titled Watarrka Sunrise: A Journey Across the Planet to Find Myself.

Smile, please, cause that's a bit of a joke.  The current working title is simply Watarrka Sunrise. I added the last phrase 'cause I figured it might be a good idea to let you know what I have spent the last five years writing about.

And just in case you wonder what a Watarrka is, let me explain.  It is the traditional owners' name for King's Canyon, a wonderment of nature located very close to the red centre of Australia, about six hours drive from Uluru, the traditional owners name for Ayers Rock. 

This stark and steep canyon is about as unexpected in its beauty as it is in its flora and fauna.  In the midst of some of the driest desert in Australia grow some of the continent's most luscious rain forest.  The whole area gives new meaning to the concept of oasis.

The canyon is a character unto itself in the last chapter of the manuscript. It is where the final tribute to international travel occurs.  It is here that the protagonist, like Mary Kingsley in Travels in West Africa and Lady Mary Montague in her letters from the early 1700s discover what in life is truly significant. 

Women travlers have a tendency to do this, you know.  They find themselves outside the confines of their kitchens and nurseries.  It is when they leave home, rather like children, fellows like Huck Finn, for instance, that they discover just how intelligent, curious, contemplative, and heroic they can be.

Now that's not to say that those who stay home don't also do some discovering.  It's simply to state clearly that for some of us, it takes a journey outside familiar territory to discover what really matters.

And if you are interested in the journey of Demi Tryon, the protagonist of Watarrka Sunrise, begin searching for the title on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or maybe on Abe.  If the title begins to cause the folks who run these web sites to notice, I'll be better able to convince a publisher that publication is a lucrative choice.

I'm going to begin sharing some of her adventures in the next few posts here.  These will be the ones that didn't make it into the book like her trip to Oaxaca or her teaching experiences in Arizona or maybe her backpack with students at Pt. Reyes National Seashore.

I want you to meet this intrepid woman who travels with a backpack of anxiety as big as any mountaineer headed for Everest.  If you find her travels entertaining, you may wish to continue to get to know her as the sun rises over central Oz.

In the meantime, hope your winter or summer evening is rife with laughter and unexpected surprises.