Months ago, I submitted Capturing Christmas to a magazine that features, among many things, book reviews.
Recently, a review for the book was published. For the most part, the review was quite flattering, but…
(Here’s where you roll your eyes and ask yourself why I’m reading more reviews and palavering about them – but bear with me a moment.)
I got marked down for a scene the reviewer didn’t find realistic. Her exact words were:
“One incident when she couldn’t be wakened pushed the limits of plausibility. Other than that, the writing was sharp, and the dialogue crisp and engaging.”
The scene in question is when Celia’s truck breaks down and she’s sick. Kash finds her and takes her to his home, but by the time they arrive, she’s incoherent. He and his father put her to bed and it is hours later when she finally wakes up.
I realize to some that might seem far-fetched, but the truth is that I know it’s entirely realistic because it happened to me.
The day before Captain Cavedweller and I were going to start the drive home from our honeymoon, I got sick. Really sick. CC had to pack up everything and help me to the car the next morning. A few hours into the drive, we came to a fork in the road. One way would cut several hours off our trip, the other would add about four. (This was back before GPS and cell phones with maps – and being young and stupid, we didn’t think to bring along a printed road map. And the smart thing to do would have been to stay where we were at until I was better, but did I mention we were young and stupid?)
Since I’d been on that stretch of road before, CC somehow managed to wake me from my passed out state long enough to point to out the right direction. To this day, I have no recollection of arriving at a hotel late that afternoon, or CC carrying me to our room, or him running out to get me juice and soup, or the very nice manager bringing a bottle of sparkling cider to our room when he discovered we were newlyweds. I was pretty much out of it until the following day when I finally regained my senses about an hour from home.
I truly was just that sick.
So for someone to say a scene based on something I actually experienced isn’t plausible made me a little miffed. (Okay, a lot.)
I indulged in several minutes of fuming before a thought struck me – one that brought my internal rant to an immediate halt.
What if the reviewer had lived such a bland-flavored life, her realm of what is plausible is extremely limited?
I will readily admit I may have had more than my share of adventures, mishaps and strange occurrences in my lifetime. Because of that, I tend to believe if you imagine a crazy scene or entertain a wild idea, it’s probably actually happened to someone. I can think of a dozen oddball, weird, highly improbably things that have happened to me right off the top of my head that some people might find completely unbelievable.
So my irritation and frustration with the review quickly turned into a feeling of pity for someone who has such a limited, narrow view of life. Someone who has clearly not reached out into exciting possibilities or experienced grand adventures.
May your days be filled with grand adventures, wonder, and most of all – grace.