Mar 17, 2011

Query: The Narrow Way-1st Revision

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Agent,

"I take refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in the Dharma. I take refuge in the Sangha," I say, repeating the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as they wash over me from the crackling loudspeakers.

And with that, I am a Buddhist. Nothing has changed. Everything has changed.

Only three years before, I was crouched on the floor, picking through a dirty carpet for bits of crack cocaine that might have sizzled of the end of my pipe. That was the climax of my life twenty years in the making, hiding in the closet, pretending to be straight, seeking to drown myself in a violent ocean of drinking, drugs and attempted suicides.

But now, out, sober and free, I am in India following the footsteps of the Buddha and for the first time in my life, I am certain that I have come the right way.

The completed manuscript of The Narrow Way: A Memoir of Coming Out, Getting Clean and Finding Buddha is approximately 62,000 words. A comprehensive book proposal, including a detailed market analysis and promotion strategy, is also available upon request.


Chris Lemig


Anonymous Author said...

Mm, no... this is not working, I don't think. It comes across as proselytizing, where the other version didn't.

Anonymous said...

Start the query with the action: You're crouching on the floor, picking through the carpet for bits of crack cocaine...

Lead us from that into light, so to speak.

Make it dynamic.

Find a way to connect the coming out with the sobering up with the Buddhism stories. This connection may seem obvious to you, I'm just scratching my head over why I should care that you became a Buddhist (or a crackhead, for that matter).

It seems to me that the central story here is the coming out/self-accceptance story -- the rest of it, the crack addiction and the getting-religion bit (another addiction?) seem like steps along the way.

And Anon Author is right, it seems like the memoir ends up as proselytizing Buddhism -- does it?

FWIW, the first version didn't work for me either.