As a child, my father told me that I'd hear stories about a fat man in a red suit, but not to believe them because the man didn't exist. He threw away Aladdin because he didn't want my brother and I to believe in a genie.
When I was in 11th grade, my Chem II teacher told me exactly why the sky was blue.
In twelfth grade, my physics teacher explained the exact preparations that have to happen in order to form a rainbow.
They explained away the magic...the possibility.
Last night, I watched the movie Julie and Julia for the first time. Have you seen it? If you haven't, the simple premise is that the movie is two stories: 1) Julia Child's journey to graduate from Paris' Cordon Bleu and publish a cookbook for American housewives and 2) a modern woman named Julie who needs meaning in her life. She decides to cook her way through Julia Child's cookbook in one year and blogs about it. Along the way she discovers a unique connection to the woman she emulates.
Watching this movie as a writer, I heard a lot about the publishing business. Some of it was the publishing industry of decades ago, some of it more recent. For instance, Julia Child sends a manuscript directly to a publisher- who actually reads it- without an agent and the entire process we go through nowadays.
Julie, the modern character, gets so much interest in her blog that editors and agents follow her. Before she even writes a book, her answering machine has 65+ messages in one day, many of them by editors and agents offering their services.
Having been in the blog world for a while and seriously researched the publishing business, I saw so many things that made me think, "But that's not possible! That's not how it works according to my research." My mind kept going, "Well, this was a different time. And it's for a cookbook, not a novel like what I write. So maybe that can explain the difference."
The more I read about the difficulty of getting published, the more movies like Julie and Julia feel like fairy tales. Yet that's a true story, so I know it happened. And I know people now who have followed the rules, worked the process, and have signed with agents and released books.
Book publication isn't a fairy tale, even if it isn't my current reality. That gives me hope.
And makes me forget that I know exactly what scientific dimensions make a rainbow.
52 minutes ago