“Every little thing gonna be alright” – Camron Wright

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By Camron Wright

A few years ago, while I was still in my late teens (okay, so it was many, many years ago), a friend shared a personal experience that I’ve never forgotten. With a smile slung across his face and a gleam sparkling in his eye, he told me that he’d once imagined that the finest day of his life — the pinnacle of his very existence — would be the day he’d ride his Harley across the Golden Gate Bridge. He painted a compelling vision: it would be the 4th of July, with a warm breeze blowing through his long hair, the sun patting him encouragingly on the back, and strangers staring longingly, their gazes brimming with awe and envy. ♥

Here’s the thing: my friend wasn’t just a dreamer. He had actually followed through on his vision, purchased a bike, loaded it with hope, and ridden off toward the Golden Gate. “My little journey just didn’t quite play out as I had expected,” he added. As he related his experience, I was spellbound — and his words stuck with me like tape on a toddler. So much so that years later, in early 2002, while I was trying to tackle the craft of writing, I worked his quest to ride across the bridge into the plot of a fictional story that I titled, The Other Side of the Bridge.

It took time to craft a work equal to the vision that was etched in my head, but with the task finally complete, I packaged up the still warm pages and mailed them off to a contact I had at a book publisher. I was hopeful — until the publisher’s response arrived. “Regrettably, …” it read (such a stabbing word) “…the whole Harley-Davidson angle is … problematic, particularly where a majority of fiction readers are women.”

Rejection letters are a bane to budding writers, but rejection is a concept well understood by anyone who’s ever been turned down for a date, passed up for promotion, cut from a team, or otherwise dismissed for being not quite good enough. In my case, according to the publisher, the story I’d labored over, poured my heart and soul into, spent months crafting, was not the type of story their readers wanted.

Of course, I sent the work off to another publisher or two, but when no better reply came, I set it aside and moved on to other projects.

Time passed, and while my Harley story gathered dust, success eventually arrived with other books. There was The Rent Collector, a tale set in a Cambodian garbage dump. Next, The Orphan Keeper, a story of miracles that tracks the journey of a child in India who is kidnapped, but later seeks out his family.

Then, one day, I received an unexpected phone call. It was the publisher of my previous books asking if I had anything else ready — and they needed it right away. Apparently, a book they’d planned on publishing for their upcoming catalog had been delayed and they were scrambling to fill an empty slot.

“I do have something,” I mumbled. “It’s called The Other Side of the Bridge, but I’m not certain you’ll like it.” I conveniently left out the part that they were the very same publisher who had already turned down the book years earlier.

No matter. I sent it off again and for the second time, their response was swift. This time, however, they were giddy. “We love this! I mean truly love this — especially the part with the Harley.” I smiled at their next words: “Camron, this is exactly the type of story we’re looking for. It’s perfect for our readers.”

The lesson I learned was also smiling. At times when we fail, when we don’t seem to measure up, it may not be us. It may simply be our timing. In such cases, our best response might be to take a breath, relax, and be patient — and then, when the time feels right, try again.

While I could quote from Ecclesiastes, The Byrds were savvy enough to add a catchy melody to the moral. “To everything (turn, turn, turn), There is a season (turn, turn, turn), And a time to every purpose under heaven.”

I don’t know why timing in our lives sometimes feels so messed up and out of whack. I just know that the longer I live, the more I’ve come to believe in the truths expressed in song lyrics. Paul sums up the same message when he’s preaching to the Romans, telling them that all things will work together for their good. I simply prefer the melodic rhyme of the infamous Bob Marley who, like The Byrds, was smart enough to also play the guitar. “Don’t worry about a thing,” he patiently sings, “’Cause every little thing gonna be alright”.


Camron Wright is the author of Letters for Emily, The Rent Collector, and The Orphan Keeper. His latest book, The Other Side of the Bridge, will release in early March of 2018.

authorcamronwright.com

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