On Becoming a Lion Tamer

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , ,

Recently I've been thinking about the old Monty Python sketch where a mousy little accountant comes into a vocational guidance counselor and requests a job as a lion tamer.  Of course it plays out with the usual Python surreal hilarity, but after all this time it inexplicably came to my mind in another way.  Why can't he become a lion tamer?

Think about it in the sense of any sweeping change one many desire to undertake for their lives.  He's ill-equipped to meet the challenge--most people are in the beginning.  He's also typecast--and we can be this as well ("just a teenager," "just a housewife", "too old to change") and so can our motives ("it's a phase", "is this about losing your job/husband/house/etc.?").  And he really doesn't know what he's getting himself into--but anything new comes with hidden information and surprises.  If you're a parent, take a moment to think back to your perception of parenthood before your baby was born.  Or think about your current job, the town you moved to, the relationship you're in now...they all had tricks up their sleeves that you couldn't have predicted nor planned for.

But should these things keep him from becoming a lion tamer?  Should they keep you from attaining your ultimate goal?  Only if you focus on the hurdles and forget the steps between.  To share a little about myself, my ultimate goal is to be a published author.  It first began about 12 years ago, writing down ideas I had and then slowly compiling them into a binder of finished material for my first manuscript--a spellbook of uncommon magic.  My original plan was to bind it and save it for our children as they grew, a sort of family lineage.  Then I thought I might also share it with students.  And finally I thought, what the hell, I'll try to get it published so everyone can have it.  Of course, if you've seen what houses are looking for these days, it sure isn't original spells!  But that moved me to write my second manuscript which I strongly believe has print potential.  This one I finished in 2010 and have been streamlining, illustrating, and proposing ever since.  It's not easy but it's what I really want.  I'm a stay-at-home mom with no college background, living in a rural area far from the publishing world or even the major part of the magical community, but I know I have what it takes.

Any readers who know me personally have heard me talk on and on about what I've written so far, all the many ideas I have for future books, why I think they're perfect for publication, how many rejection letters I've gotten, how many edits I did, how I'm still learning how to write the perfect proposal, and crossing my fingers every time I send it out.  But I'm not giving up.  Maybe I haven't found the perfect publisher yet or maybe my style could be brushed up some more, perhaps it just wasn't the right time when I started sending them or that my early proposals were boring (this one I know is true!).  Each time I send out a proposal, I learn a little more; I try something new, I research, I read, I take one more step forward.  And I truly believe that I will land on the perfect combination of presentation and substance that will thrill a publisher and a readership.  I have to believe that, otherwise I'll give up on my dream without having given it my all.  The steps are clear before me, I just have to walk one at a time.  Just because there are many steps on the way to completion doesn't mean that I should stop.  As David Nightingale said, "Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.  The time will pass anyway."

What are your big plans?  When you see yourself living out your impossible dream, what are you doing?  Today, just for today, act like there's no such thing as impossible.  Make a list of the steps you need to take to get from where you sit right now to standing out front in the big ring, taming lions!

And a P.S. to the poor accountant:  You have essentially seven steps.  Find a volunteer or part time job with a circus, read lots of books, get to know the animals and the trainers, offer to help out once in a while, talk to the current tamer and ask questions, aim for a job as a team member with big cats but settle for smaller animals and work up, ask for a good word with other outfits that might need a tamer or try for becoming an understudy with the current one.  It may take years to finish but you can start Monday morning.

Photo (Madame Scheel) from:  http://www.scenicreflections.com/
And if you have never seen the sketch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMOmB1q8W4Y


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About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at QuillsOccultSupply.Etsy.com) full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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