This wasn’t today’s originally scheduled post, but after the weekend’s events I think it’s appropriate. Saturday I was out running errands and drove past my apartment complex on the way from Point A to Point B. I noticed a fire truck parked at the gate and thought, “Oh, man. I hope that building’s not on fire.” As I got closer, I saw a second fire truck, and then a third and smoke coming out of MY building.
Errands be damned. I zipped into the parking lot in front of the office and ran over to where two more trucks were parked inside the complex in front of my building. My unit is on the bottom floor and I walked up just as firefighters were opening the patio doors in the unit above mine. Clouds of brown smoke billowed out and I thought for sure that was the one on fire.
My first thought was that everything in my apartment is replaceable. I have renter’s insurance. My second thought was HOLY CRAP MY BOOK IS IN THERE! Now, I have it backed up and Dianna has it, too, so I could get it back if the worst happened, but the flash drive with the extra chapter and the physical copy with my edits would have been lost.
Thankfully, the fire was not in the apartment above mine, but in the one behind that. (So, one floor up and over, diagonally behind me.) Of the six units on that side of the building, mine is the only one that didn’t have big damage. It smells awful, but what’s a bunch of laundry and lots of Febreze in the grand scheme of things?
The woman behind me has scorch marks on her kitchen ceiling and walls. The apartment above her, where the fire actually was, is ripped up. So is the one above that, because firefighters had to hack into the walls to keep it from spreading. The guy above me has a ton of smoke damage, as does the couple above him. None of us has power for a little while because the water needs to drain out of the walls before it can be switched back on. But still, a mere inconvenience for me.
The structure itself is fine because there’s a fire station right down the street and they got to it in plenty of time to keep it from spreading any further. Luck, luck and more luck. I should buy a lottery ticket.
The whole experience made me think about being in the right place at the right time. Accidents happen and there’s really no way to prepare for them. Things that I can prepare for, like making this book the best I can, writing a killer query letter and researching the right lit agents to pitch – that’s all well and good, but there’s still an element of luck that will take place. The right agent at the right time, the right story at the right time, etc.
“Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent.” Langston Coleman
There are so many talented people out there that haven’t been lucky enough to be discovered or acknowledged or whatever you want to call it. If I never get published, it’s not because I don’t have the chops. I know I do. I just need a little luck to help me out, and right now I feel pretty darn lucky.
(Side note: I love me some firemen, but I’d rather appreciate them at a distance from now on, thank you very much.) 😉