I have written about mingling desire with expectation. Not a good combination. Expectations loom large, they block out the sun.

Still, expectations leach into my desires everyday, sometimes via very ordinary interactions. Even people’s simple hopes turn into expectations.

Just this week, as I was picking up dry cleaning, the topic of my novel arose. My dry cleaner knows I had a stroke less than a year ago.  She knows I was writing a novel. She does not know how long it takes to write a novel. She is also excited that I’m writing a novel. So she asked, “How is your novel? Is it published yet?”

“No,” I said, immediately regretting my casual mention of writing a novel last year.

“How come?” She asked it simply.  Yes, I said silently to myself–how come it isn’t written yet?

“It takes a long time to write one, and sometimes even longer to get it published.” I gulped.

She hung the sweaters, wrapped in plastic on the pick-up pole. “Well let me know. My husband and I, we will buy it!”




Filed under Life, The Novel, Writing

3 responses to “Expectations

  1. hyunjini

    this exchange of words is like the forever dreaded, yet so common, reality for writers. knowing this, i try not to tell people i am writing fiction, but at the same time, by stating it out loud it helps me believe in the idea that, yes, i write fiction, damn it!

  2. I love when people say, “Tell me when your book’s out. I will buy it!” It’s a good thing, to know that at least your friends, family and dry cleaner will read your book, non?

  3. hyunjini: it’s a double edged sword! 🙂

    bustopher: dude! are you commenting here while in labor!?!?! and it’s a good point–it’s inspiring to hear such encouragement.

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