When Brian Belefant was seven, his best friend Steve got him one of those cardboard rocket kits for his birthday. Brian followed the directions meticulously and when the rocket was completely assembled, he invited all of his friends and family to the baseball field at the elementary school to witness its maiden voyage.
He set up the launch pad at second base, where it would be far enough away from trees to insure the spectators had an unobstructed view. He started the count down at 50 and when he got down to ten he lit the fuse. The timing was almost perfect. He only had to speed up a little between three and two and two and one to get it so that lit part of the fuse made contact with the rocket engine at zero.
The fuse wasn’t burning anymore. You could tell because the hissing of the flame had stopped. The rocket just sat there on the launch pad.
Brian couldn’t wait any longer. He went over to the rocket to see what the problem was.
Just as he got within 10 feet, the rocket exploded, showering the infield with cardboard shrapnel and making Brian lose about half of the hearing in his left ear. When the smoke cleared, Brian surveyed the damage. The rocket was gone. The biggest piece left was a charred piece of cardboard tubing about the size of Brian’s seven-year-old thumb.
At that moment, one thing became unequivocally clear. Brian was never, ever going to be a rocket scientist.
So he became a writer.
Since that day, Brian has written thousands of ads and commercials, half a dozen screenplays (which won prizes in screenwriting competitions), one non-fiction book about dating and real estate, bunches of short stories, and a novel.
He hasn’t launched a single rocket.
Please visit www.belefant.com to see a comprehensive collection of the stuff he’s written and the awards he’s won.