Monday, June 8, 2009

Hope: Coping with your hearts desires

We all have dreams, right? We grow up wishing on stars and birthday candles. And as we grow up, we spend time weaving our dreams together in dynamic ways, trying to keep an eye on them even when the view is obscured. We all have hope.

We hope our families and friends remain healthy and happy. We hope we keep our jobs. We hope to buy homes or find the perfect apartment. We hope to get married or have a civil divorce. We hope our children are happy. We hope our gardens grow. We hope we won't die too young. We hope for our futures. And... I suppose... we hope our dreams come true.

The chaos of adult hood is a dream robber. I was thrown into it so young, I don't even know if I have a favorite color. I was very busy being a grown up and a parent. I didn't think my hopes and dreams were put on hold... I didn't think I had any. But in reality I did. They were just hiding. Dreams are fragile things.

I wrote my first poem when I was four. I kept a journal from age 12 on. I took notebooks and pencils with me everywhere. I won creative writing scholarships to both a private middle school as well as the first college I attended. I submitted poems to anthologies, I was going to be a writer. How did I forget that? I don't know, but I did.

Last summer, for no reason in particular, maybe because the kids are older now, or maybe because I started to lose myself in a job( the relevance of which I do not understand), or maybe it was about time... whatever it was, I started writing.

And then I started hoping. And then I started dreaming. And I know what happens when we dream things... they don't come true. And then I tried hard not to dream about it, and to just WRITE.... and it worked. Two books later, one out on submission, I am here. I have arrived. It is all about me now. There is no reason for this thing beyond myself. I cannot couch my desire in my husband or my children, these hopes and dreams are only mine. It is lonely. And I feel silly sometimes.

Today I am sending a copy of my manuscript to an agent I have admired from a far. I didn't think the query would elicit a full. This is a very fine agent with a long history of success. And my hopes? My hopes are in my throat. But that is all I have now. Hope and revision.

I will mail it, and I will wait, just as I am waiting on news from other agents about the "rightness" of my work. And there are only two things that can happen. There can be a yes, and there can be a no.

I hate to hope. It breaks my heart sometimes. I was the kid who taught myself to like black jelly beans to avoid being dissapointed when all the red ones were gone. But because I only have two options, I guess I'll hope for "yes" even if I feel like a silly little bean hoping for the best in a sea of other writers with MFA's and multiple novels and conferences and pitch slams under their belts. But it is time. I guess I need to step in line with everyone else and hope that by the time I reach the bowl, there are a few red jelly beans left.

And in a very real way it isn't the journey of chrysalis to butterfly. That journey was in the book writing. The discovery of the skill. The hope part is more like the butterfly under glass, pinned down and waiting to be viewed. I don't like it very much.

Ho Hum. It is very uncomfortable to admit that I have a dream. A hearts desire. A real and true aspiration. Uncomfortable because sharing a "yes" is one thing.... but sharing a "no" is another.

And so we wait and see.


  1. Suzanne,

    Here's to receiving good news and a whole bowl full of red jelly beans!

  2. Beautiful post, Suzanne. The difficulty of making our dreams vocal and visible is challenging for all of us. Kudos for putting yourself out there....I know that acceptance is right around the corner!

    ps - is Haunting Anne paranormal? YA? Adult?

  3. Thanks you guys!

    Tess: Haunting Anne is a dark, gothic, sad adult novel. Not such and easy sell....

  4. A ghost story.... spanning 1923-present. Family saga and mystery... crazy genre spanner.

  5. It should never be uncomfortable to admit you have a dream. It should be joyful, happy, exhilarating! Shout it from the rooftops, baby! And, as far as going for it is concerned, excuse me, but is there another way? Let me rephrase - is there another way that makes sense, that honors who you are, your talents, your soul? I'm going with "no" on that one. Best of luck to you - I'm sure someone will glimpse your authenticity, your talent, and your big, beautiful dream.;-)

  6. Thanks Debra, I am working on this whole thing. Though a loud mouth, I am also shy. Is there such a thing as introvert/extrovert ;)

    I am carrying your enthusiasm all the way to the post office!

  7. I agree with Debra. And I'd like to say, that you have talent, so hold your head high, wish for a bowl of red jellybeans, (I prefer black myself) and know that you are not alone, there are many of us out there, and by the graces of God, we tend to find each other.


  8. Oh gosh, I have just written about my dreams too!
    I wish you good luck and many colourful beans in your life :) I enjoyed my visit.

  9. Our lives run a parallel! Go check out my very first blog entry. Suzanne, I have all of my fingers, toes, hairs, crossed for this sub!!! I am right there with you through all of it! Hope is a scary thing, isn't it?

  10. Good luck with the submission! If you've dreamed a being a writer for this long, it's not something that can go away easily even with a "no". Keep your dreams close and eventually you'll find yourself stepping into them!

  11. What a fantastic post! I can so relate to so much of it. It is so hard to admit you're a writer, even when you're sending out submissions telling the world, or your favorite agent. But I wish you the best of luck. I think the first submission has to be the hardest one ever.

  12. I love the way you've written about hope in this post. The butterfly under glass. Wow! That is so true. But even if you do get a "no" there are a thousand more chances to keep hoping for that "yes." I hope to be in your shoes someday :)

  13. Your favorite colors are red and black, because that is what Billy always wore in the Rebel Yell days. Duh. ;)