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To Have Them or Not To Have Them…Expectations

expectationsWe get them when we’re young. They are sort of like standards. And depending how you’re raised, they become a bar in our minds of how things are supposed to be. They begin quite simply…. When you come downstairs at dinner time, will your parent have food for you, or will you forage for food alone? It’s good to not always have food waiting, that way you know what it feels like to have to find it for yourself. On a side note, I’m not proving this fact well for my children. And it could be why I’m apprehensive for my son to go to college on Monday. I’ve missed very little meals for him. Will he be able to forage alone?

Back to expectations…They get more complicated the older you get, from food to the treatment of others. Like when you visit the real world. You know, the one your mom isn’t standing at every crossroad, trying to fix it in your favor. If you’re fortunate enough to have a mom like this. Or a dad. Lest we forget them. So, you go out with a big ol’smile, expecting a lot. Maybe a job. But no. Sorry, you have no experience. You can’t get a job without experience. But how does one get experience without getting a first job? Glad no one had an expectation that would work out. Or this…you expect your spouse or friend will act a certain way about something and they end up acting the complete opposite–or in my head as I like to call it, the wrong way. Burst goes the balloon of expectations. And after a few dozen times of getting this expectation blow back, you stop expecting. Now you feel good. No more expecting something that proves never to be. The world of how you feel it should be is now lifted from your back. But now you feel let down. Not only aren’t you victim to the let-down scene anymore, but you give up hope that people will ever act the way they should…with compassion and empathy. But the haunting questions remains: If we have no faith something will work out, then why should it? On the flip side: if we leave our hearts on our sleeves, expecting the best…they will keep bleeding out when the boom of the crash comes down.

The reason for my rant is quite simply this: I tell myself I’m not going to have an expectation about something; let the chips fall where they may. I’m not expecting anything. Nothing. Then I find a speck of hope for humankind in the back pocket of my jeans. There with the lint and other threads long forgotten are, hidden from light. And it trips me up. “What the heck are you doing here, little expectation? Don’t you know you are a foe to peace and harmony? Don’t you know you are the very thing that gets me riled up and spouting off when the thing I have hope for doesn’t go through as planned in my head? Shew…go away.”

But doesn’t having expectations and living up to a standard go hand in hand? Should we give up on possessing expectations or plan better on who we reserve the expectation for? Deep thoughts….

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The Writing Blues

Literary-agent-LLToday I will send in my sequel of WAKING AMY to my publisher for review. Well, 50 pages of it. Which is pretty much all I’ve got done. I will have to admit that since I’ve began writing seriously (fall of 2012), it’s been a lonely process. It consists of me, a computer, and a connection to the internet. I feel as though I live in some sort of vacuum, or maybe a box.

In the beginning I was happy just to write down all the stories that were swirling around in my head like a tornado. Capturing all the dialogue of my characters I heard in my sleep. Then, I queried a few of them. I got a mixture of rejections and a handful of requests. My world was lighting up like a fourth of July firework show. Actual agents were reading my work and asking for more! Then came the one-worded “pass”, or the advice to become more sensory activated. Which I did, by the way, but no one wanted to give me another shot at it. Oh, I see, so you pinpoint the problem, I fix it, but now the moment’s passed, never to be retrieved. What a bummer.

I suppose all the lights have dimmed for me since I’ve never found an agent to help me champion my work. It’s just me and a send button. Maybe all writers (pre-publication) goes through the writing blues. I’m not sure since it’s my first rodeo. And, never having an agent, I’m not sure how much they participate in the writing phase. All I know is that since the party of receiving my contract for WAKING AMY, it’s been quiet on the enthusiasm front. Well, except for the occasional interrogation of friends asking when my book is coming out. And, then of course, I do have my friend who is currently reading it. I get really jazzed to hear her comments and excitement over the story direction.

So, maybe I’m disillusioned about a literary agent. Maybe, they just find you the contract and slip away into the night. Still, I search weekly for one to partner up with me in the representation of my works. Maybe it’s just not in the cards, though. I’ve exhausted all of my query opportunities and now, perhaps when they see my name on the email, they just chuck it.

Onward to the sequel of WAKING AMY. I never wrote it with the intention to carry on, but somehow my publisher sees a few more in Amy’s future. At first I sat there, staring at the wall wondering what more possibly Amy could add, but now it’s become quite a fun challenge. It’s sort of like a soap opera, with more characters and more plot twists. I think I’m loving it. Even from my box of one:)