Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Rosetta Stone Moment

We recently travelled to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle to take in the King Tut exhibit. Truth time. Until now, the name King Tut always brought to mind the image of Steve Martin’s goofy Egyptian dance as he sang, “He coulda won a Grammy, Buried in his jammies. King Tut.” Yes, my education in the field of Egyptology was sadly lacking.  
Needless to say, the exhibit was fabulous. Listening to an audio narration by Harrison Ford, we strolled through room after room filled with priceless, jewels, golden masks and even an alabaster toilet seat.
 But, my jaw-dropping moment had nothing to do with the riches unearthed in King Tut’s tomb. In fact, I almost missed it. One of the displays featured the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. This unimpressive-looking hunk of rock was the key to deciphering the ancient Egyptian history etched in stone. In 1822, Jean-Francoise Champollion, using his knowledge of Greek, demotic and hieroglyphics, brought to life the words written over 3000 years ago. That which had been a mystery became crystal clear.
I’m not sure why this impressed me so greatly. Maybe it’s because I had my own Rosetta Stone moment. I’d almost given up my dream of publication. I’d written a couple of books and had a file folder crammed with rejection slips. My family, though supportive, tried to soften the blow with comments like, “Did you know 99% of the books submitted to publishers are rejected?”
Yeah, I did. Then, I received one more rejection slip, but this one was different. The editor said, “I love your voice but you’re writing in the wrong genre. Write a young adult book. Now.”

 Suddenly, all that had been blurry, mysterious and out of reach became crystal clear. I took her advice and started down a new path. I wrote Moonstone, the first in the five book YA fantasy series published by Bell Bridge Books.

I believe every one of us have Rosetta Stone moments in our lives. I would love to hear about all of yours. Who knows? Maybe I’ll write a book about them some day.

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