Monday, October 25, 2010

Bothersome Toad

Good afternoon, everyone.  I made a decision last night to actually start blogging on my blog.  That is, after all, the point of having a blog, right?  I've been using my blog as a poster board for my poems/short stories, but I've decided to also share my thoughts, for what they're worth, with the rest of the world (or at least the poor souls who follow me).  I guess I will start off with a little introduction about myself (as if anyone cares), and then move on to all these amazing thoughts that are floating around in my head.

My name is Kristen, and I'm 20 years old.  I live in Iowa for now, but will be moving in a couple of years(joy!).  I like long walks on the beach, candle light dinners...just kidding.  OK, seriously now.  I love to spend my time creating things, whether they're arts and crafts or writings, paintings, drawings, whatever.  I'm a very creative person, or I at least like to think I am.  My sense of humor is very odd and most people do not understand my jokes (mostly because they make more sense in my head than they do coming out of my mouth).  I talk to myself a lot, but don't worry, I'm not a mental case...I just have to talk things through sometimes.  I am a Christian and try to follow my faith as best I can, but I'm not a Bible beater and don't pretend to be smart about biblical things.  I love my family very much and spend a lot of time with them.  Family and friends are important to me, probably the most important things to me.  I don't have a lot of friends, but that's because I'd rather have one or two good friends, than fifteen or twenty acquaintances.  I am an aspiring writer and would love to get my works published someday (who doesn't, right?), which leads me into the subject of my first blog entry (hooray! enough about me).

So as I had mentioned earlier, I am working to get my writings published.  A couple of months ago, I entered some of my poems in an online contest, not expecting to hear a thing back from anyone.  Well, it turned out that my poem was selected to move on to the semi-final judging round, which made me feel so happy and proud (of course....I may have even uttered a boo-ya).  After reading the "fine print" I discovered that close to seventy-five percent of the entries usually made it to the semi-finals anyways.  Okay, so I wasn't so special after all, but hey, I still had an actual letter from a publishing company and who's to say I wouldn't win?  In addition, the letter said that my poem had been selected to be published in an anthology.  For those of you who don't know what an anthology is (because I sure as heck didn't know), it's "a collection of poems, stories, songs, etc." (compliments of Mr. Webster).  I didn't expect life could get any better than that (except for maybe a Tilt-O-Whirl ride in my backyard).  According to the letter, my poem was going to be published no matter what...even if I didn't win and even if I didn't buy a copy of the anthology.  I am on cloud nine by now, happy as can be.  The letter also said that I would be receiving another letter shortly, with an author's proof and comments from a real life editor.  I could then make corrections and send in my final copy for publication.  EEK!!!!

The second letter came today.  I was so excited.  I quickly skimmed over the cover sheet and couldn't wait to get to the meat and potatoes...the editor's comments!  I'll first type out the comments and then tell you my reaction.

" From the pain and sorrow of Love's dissolution, you have drawn inspiration for a moving verse that universalizes the experience of heartbreak.  In your poem, you have expressed this subject with poise and grace, even though you are reflecting on a very poignant time in your life.  Perfect consistency in tone-nice job!"

Now, except for the very last sentence, I admit that I found the whole comment rather cheesy and somewhat automated (as in, it was chosen from a drop-down list instead of actually typed out).  The editor didn't have any critiques or suggestions, which some may say is a good thing, but I find it a little disconcerting.  Then my dad, so very gracefully, asks, "Did your mom talk to you about that yet?".  I looked at him, a bit confused.  "No," I answered, "why, was there something she wanted to talk about?".  My dad replies, "She didn't have the heart to tell you, but she told me that they send things like that out all the time and nothing usually happens unless you buy something from them".  Really?  Really, did he have to say that to me?  At this point, you may consider my bubble burst and hopes just about dashed, but I'm still holding on.  I have to admit that my parents have a point.  I mean, when something usually sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  My reply to my dad was that even if it was a scam, all I lost was a few stamps, but it didn't hurt to try.  And for all we know, it may not be a scam (even though it does sound kind of scam-ish).

The point that I wanted to make out of this whole thing is this: sometimes we have to go through life a little doe-eyed and hoodwinked, otherwise we may never take risks or try new things.  I'm not saying that ignorance is bliss, and I'm not saying that we should all be stupid, but sometimes it's better to have a childlike faith or view of the world.  When we don't worry about the bad things or the losses or the heartbreaks, we plunge into something with one hundred percent of our effort, love, and time.  Sometimes we bite the dust, and sometimes we end up winning big, but there is always something to be learned no matter what the result.