Now, honestly, the man was sitting at his desk, peacefully doing whatever it is he does at his desk. He knew about the whole Venus transit deal, but up until that moment, I hadn’t exactly gotten around to discussing the adventure I’d planned. So I suspect he was a little surprised to learn that he was driving 30 minutes to a park on the other side of the county (we live in a rather large county–the entire state of Rhode Island could fit inside Gwinnett) at suppertime, to look through a telescope to see a black dot on the sun. But he’s always had a soft spot for space stuff, so it was all systems go.
Then Youngest Junior Hall called to say he was on the way home, and what were we having for supper?
“Oh,” I said. “Ummmm…we’re sort of leaving in about 12 minutes to watch Venus transit the sun.”
“I’ll catch it next time,” he said. Well, he’s a business major, so he has a good excuse. Then I explained that though it was possible he might catch it the next time, the odds were not exactly in his favor. And he said, “Okay, I’m coming, too.”
And he did. Then we sat around, waiting for the clouds to move, and they did. So we milled about, wearing cardboard sunglasses made especially for viewing the sun, and we peered through telescopes, and we saw Venus transit the sun. And it was awesome.
Which is a long way of saying that when a great opportunity comes around, something that might help you become a better writer, grab it. Maybe it’s an author coming to town to speak, or a conference that’s only 2 hours away, or a contest where you can win a critique. Grab it!
Because you never know when an opportunity will come ’round again.