So I mailed off the Hajj novel this afternoon and I did so without rereading it for the umpteenth time.

Not sure if that was a mistake or a stroke of genius. Only time will tell.

Now comes the hard part…waiting.

And the only thing that helps with the waiting is working.

It’s really pathetic to sit there by the telephone and wait for a response.

Even sending the manuscript by rush delivery is a very stupid thing to do.

Do you really think they’re going to gasp when it comes in, leave off their correspondence, put the phones off the hooks  and read your story?

So what difference would it make to send it regular mail? A lot to your wallet!

I’ve always believed that you have to be frugal when you’re pursuing the arts.

Don’t quit your day job, pursue all opportunities, have many sources of income and most of all develop a name for yourself.

I always feel so porous after I’ve sent a project out to be considered for publication.

Like I’m some sort of sponge and I’m just soaking up all kinds of ideas.

Was watching Dr. Phil this afternoon and he had a very interesting mother in law on there. She wasn’t the normal sensationalistic screaming type. She was sitting in the chair with a ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ expression, and remarkably subdued during the entire interview.

And as she sat there, at one point she listed all the things she’d bought for her son and her daughter in law, and it was like I could read her mind.

She felt betrayed because she’d done so much for her son, and he’d accepted it, and now he’d chosen his wife over his mother.

Dr. Phil never brought that up.

Instead he tried to explain to her how she was alienating her son.

I wonder if the message got through.

When people are in such a defensive mode, they’re not thinking of how to fix things. They’re only thinking of how not to make a fool of themselves so they get further attacked.

And even with the layout of the seating arrangement, she even mentioned how there was no one sitting beside her.

Very sad.

Then later I watched the show Smash.

It’s basically a soap opera set in the theatre world, complete with back-stabbing assistants and hissy-fit-throwing-divas.

But there was one moment I liked.

It really resonated with me.

The Ivy Lin character (who’s playing Marilyn Monroe in the musical they’re developing) is ready to leave a party where the director (who she’s been sleeping with) was flirting with another woman. Ivy is miffed, but it’s completely clear that the director has control over her.

He explains that his flirting was about raising funds.

Then she simpers and says something about how she wants to feel ‘safe’. Basically she’s searching for some reassurance that she means something to him.

He answers, “If you want to feel safe, then go back to the chorus. A star is never safe.”

Or something like that.

Basically the idea was that when you’re at the top, you always have to beware of slipping down.

The fact that Ivy worked so hard to get up there, to be the star of the show, and she had to sleep with the director to do so, shows how desperate she really is.

It was very interesting.

And I kept thinking about the character I’d just written about. This fourteen year old girl with a last dying wish to go for Hajj.

And I thought who the heck will ever want to read about her?

People are dazzled, just like Ivy and the brunette character, Karen, are dazzled. They think being the star of some broadway show is a huge mark in their lives.

How many stars of broadway shows have come and gone???

Can you name any of them?

I can’t.

They all want to shine in the spotlight, but don’t they realize they’re saying other people’s words?

These are not their thoughts they’re spouting! The words have been put in their mouths.

On Saturday night we watched a movie, and somehow I got to thinking that people get fooled. They think that the actors who deliver their lines really do believe in the things they’re saying. Or at least they understand them.

But they’re actors! They’re just words they’re trying to say in a convincing way, that’s all.

Maybe that’s why there has been absolutely no convincing portrayal of Jane Eyre for the longest while.

I saw the most recent incarnation and thought, ‘Drivel!’

Why can’t they portray such a simple story?

I think it’s because the moral certitude that Jane possessed, that very quality that endeared her to me, is something so many people have abandoned these days.

Saw a piece of Bill Maher’s interview with Piers Morgan tonight–like I said, I’ve been feeling porous and been soaking up a lot of ideas.

And I swear that Maher is just getting more and more belligerent, arrogant and obnoxious by the day!

He talked about faith being a matter of opinion. That’s fine. I had no problem with that.

But then he said that his opinion of anyone with faith was that they were stark raving mad. (I’m paraphrasing.)

And I thought to myself, “Wait a minute!” If a religious person were to express their opinion of an atheist like that, the’d be accused of being a self-righteous nutjob.

Why does Maher get a free pass to be a self-righteous atheist? And is there such a thing? Or is self-righteousness limited to the realm of those who profess belief in a supreme Creator?

Well I’ve been thinking all this stuff. I’m sure all these ideas will fall into the stew that is bubbling about in my brain, that gets remade into stuff that hopefully people will want to read.

Also heard that Santorum was complaining about people going into colleges as believers and emerging years later as atheists.

He said that they were indoctrinated, and even though I think Santorum is a fool, I do understand what he’s saying.

I studied the sciences, especially Biology, and it would have been easy to lose my faith in the process with the way they espouse evolution.

Ever since the conflict between Gallileo and the church, Western society has been pulled in two directions either science or religion. Many in the west feel the two are mutually exclusive.

They really don’t have to be. Depends on the religion.

I read a lot. And one book in particular helped me navigate these pitfalls and that was The Origin of Man by Maurice Bucaille. A French scientist who researched the Quran and ended up converting as a result of his findings.

The Origin of Man  is his lesser known work. His bestseller is The Bible, the Quran and Science.

Yup, all these things are floating around in my head. Tomorrow morning I’m going back to the Afghan novel thingie with the ideas I gleaned from my sister in law.

And I’m also, for the first time, working on an anti- bullying project. I’m developing a new school presentation and it’s called Getting the Bully Off Your Back.

So LOTS to do, and that’s a blessing!

Time spent waiting always goes a lot faster when you’re busy!