Another one in the can, sort of. Around last week, I completed Bee, a short YA book about Bogart Richardson, a dyslexic boy who defies his peers, and his own expectations, to compete in a spelling bee. Sound impossible? Bo has discovered that he has a special power – he can’t do anything right. Instead, he does things backward. If they say he can’t, it must mean he can. When teachers tell him to have “realistic expectations”, instead he has “unrealistic expectations.”
I started having unrealistic expectations when I first wrote Rapture Express. Every human instinct tells you that getting a novel published is possible, just not probable. If you do write, you should write what’s in vogue. Last year it was swoony supernatural girls. Now it’s strong heroines fighting a dystopian future. You write what the market wants. Do as you’re told. Do nothing.
I entered Rapture Express into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, my unrealistic expectations big enough to fill the vacuum of space. It moved to the next round – twice. The free excerpt has received great reviews and it seems some have taken a shine to Jack McGregor.
Inspirational piffle makes me puke inside my mouth, but there are some quotes that should be recalled because of their undeniable truth. My personal favorite is by Jacob Riis, American journalist and social documentarian.
When nothing seems to help, I look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps 100 times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet, at the 101st blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
If you want a life that is better than average, life will hammer you first. Critics and the do-nothings will pelt you with their criticisms coated with bitter shell of “practical advice.” Some people will say that you suck. Either they will do it to your face or behind your back. If you never let them break you, your chances of success improve.
So here’s to the upcoming ABNA 100 and their unrealistic expectations. I pray I may stand among you.