Still Waiting

This morning I received a phone call from a man who works for a self-publication company. He called to ask what the progress was regarding my luck with the literary agents I had met at the NYC Writers Digest Conference a few weeks ago. Since I have always wanted to be traditionally published, as opposed to self-published, I told him that things were going great. He then proceeded to tell me the statistics about traditional published and explained that the odds of me being published through a publication company with a literary agent are slim to none. What a great way to start the day off, right?

As the conversation progressed, he asked how my platform was going since the conference. Hmm, I thought to myself. I quickly exclaimed, “Well, I now have a blog and a Twitter account, so my social media platform is starting to take off. “How many followers do you have and how many views do you receive each day?” Oh geez. Did I really have to answer this question. I try my best to promote my blog and Twitter account, but let’s face it. Some days are better than others. One day I had over 150 views! Other days I only receive about 5 views, and I’m convinced that all the views are just from me refreshing the page to see if I have any new comments. The only other thing I can think of is passing out flyers on the street, and if that doesn’t work, I guess it’s time to whip out the sign that says, “Will work for blog followers, views, and Twitter followers.”

Forgetting about my platform for a minute (which most, if not all literary agents would smack me across the face with their newest represented book if they ever heard me say something like that), it has been nearly three weeks now since I sent out my manuscript and proposal to the various agents I met at the New York City Writers Digest Conference last month. And here I am; still waiting. I check my email more often than one could imagine, hoping that something exciting (such as an agent to represent me) will pop up in my inbox. Until then however, I guess it’s time for me to do one of two things. I’ll either have to start increasing my blog views, gain more followers, and do a better job marketing myself, or I’ll have to look for a cardboard sign, and get to work on that.

In the meantime, who knows what will happen with the progress of my book? All I can say is, I’ll hope for the best, and in a month, I’ll be receiving another phone call from the self-publishing company, so I’d better get to work on this platform thing!

Throwing In The Ingredients

Let’s get real for a minute. How many of us know what we’re doing here? No, I don’t mean know what our plans are for today, tomorrow, or next week. I’m taking about the big picture. How many of us know where we’re going in life? What are our goals, achievements, and dreams? How will we get there?

A countless amount of us tend to live life according to plan. For example, we wake up, eat breakfast, go to work or school, come home, have a snack or relax, do school or occupational work, maybe work out, eat dinner, watch T.V. and then go to sleep. As boring and unappealing as this set schedule, I know for a fact many of you can relate. It’s difficult to add a whole lot of fun and excitement into our daily itinerary, but life is too short not to enjoy ourselves.

If you have ever baked any kind of dessert, you know there are two ways of doing so. You can stand there and measure each ingredient perfectly so that everything falls into place, just as you had expected, or you can estimate measurements as you throw ingredients in the mixing bowl, hoping it all turns out for the best. I’ve baked a few desserts before, and when I first began, I would drive myself crazy measuring exact amounts of ingredients. I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I got to a point where I began estimating and throwing in the ingredients. The desserts from the second method of baking came out just as good as the other, and I found this to way to be a lot more fun than the first.

We have one life to live, and one life only. To spend it living according to plan, every single second of the day is a waste of the precious gift we have been given, called time. Go out and enjoy yourselves. Spend time with the ones you love. Accomplish everything you had ever wanted to achieve. Follow your dreams and make them come true. Do the things in life that you enjoy doing, and pursue these activities much more often than before. Stop wasting so much time measuring exact amounts of ingredients. Start throwing the ingredients in, and begin living your life!

My Eyes Have Seen It All

There is so much “bad,” for lack of a better word, that occurs in today’s society, yet often times we don’t realize it, or we just choose to ignore it. It’s time for us to open our eyes and really see what’s going on around us, and help make a change for the better. Keep in mind, sometimes it may only even take a small, but drastic piece of writing to try to make a difference, and that can all start with you.

I am a witness; my eyes have seen it all,
I mind my own business as I sit by this wall.
No family or friends, not even a shelter,
The atrocities I’ve seen leave me to welter.

Muggings and rapes, murders as well,
I feel like we live in some kind of hell.
Abuse and violence, abandonment too,
Just a poor old fellow; what am I to do?

My legs cannot move, and my hands do not raise,
Where is this God we are all told to praise?
My voice has been silenced, my ears have tuned out,
Any chance for the future is something I doubt.

Children wander; looking for heat,
I forgot to mention, we have nothing to eat.
Others live in comfort and still make a fuss,
How is it, they have forgotten about us?

My eyes are now weary, and can take it no longer
As the minutes pass by, I get weaker, not stronger.
Leave me to die for my eyes have seen it all,
I’ve been a witness for too long, sitting by this wall.

Peace

Peace is such an easy concept, yet for some reason, it seems beyond difficult to attain.

Doves fly past the blue sky that meets the sea,
With white clouds and a rainbow, peace is near.
We put out our hands to shake; you and me.
We hold peace in our hearts, for it is dear.

The olive wreath hangs high, yet seems so far.
While sounds of the calumet begin to fade,
As daisies wilt away in a glass jar.
The crane tore to shreds; the one we had made.

Yellow ribbons worn, yet found on the ground.
The Mandala of peace, burned by a flame.
Soldiers dying, but we don’t hear a sound.
Security and ease, all but a game.

With the globe in our hands, peace is a must.
We need to begin with calmness and trust.

Rejection

Although nobody likes to admit it, the majority of us have faced rejection at some point or another in our lives. In my case, I had just moved to a new school for fifth grade, and already, the end of the school year was nearing. There was about a month or so left when the kids in my grade were told that an end-of-the-year party was going to be held in honor of our upcoming graduation. Many of the boys wanted to avoid going to the party alone, so they started asking some of the girls if they would go to the dance with them. I knew who I wanted to ask, but I was too nervous to even mention the party to her. However, in realizing that this would be perfect practice for a future prom, about two weeks before the party came around I was finally able to work up enough courage to ask Madison to the dance. A few friends and I were talking in the hallways in between classes, and even though my hands were shaking and I was more nervous than I could ever remember, I pulled Madison aside as everyone else started walking to class and I asked her to the dance. After what seemed like a dramatic pause, she said yes, and it was at that moment that fireworks started shooting off into the sky and a marching band began marching along the street. Well, at least that’s how I like to remember the story. We then split up to go to class, and that was that.

A few days later, I bumped into Madison, and she told me that she could no longer go to the dance with me. Although I shrugged it off as if it was no big deal, I was pretty upset and isolated myself from everyone and everything for the rest of the day. So much for my vision of a candlelight boat dinner before the big night! I didn’t know it at the time, but this was not the end of my life. About a week or so later, our principal made an announcement saying we weren’t allowed to ask anyone to the party because it wasn’t meant to be “that kind of dance.”

I recently blogged about overcoming the word “No,” and was asked by a follower how far I extend in my philosophy of using the word “No” as motivation to continue on seeking what it is we desire or wish to accomplish. I was looking for someone to challenge and question my statement, and I’m glad someone has.

Rejection is definitely an interesting subject to discuss since there are two sides of it. You can use it as motivation or you can sulk in it. We have all been in some sort of situation where we have gotten rejected from people, jobs, etc. and in my case, plenty of females. As difficult as it is to constantly believe this thought, I’m a strong advocate that everything happens for a reason. With that being said, maybe the people we are attracted to aren’t the right fit for us. Maybe we saved ourselves from a heartbreak down the road with someone who wasn’t going to be loyal or completely interested in being with us. There are so many “what ifs” to be thought of, but I honestly do think that these things happen for a reason. I’m not going to lie, the first time I was rejected by a girl in the fifth grade, I was devastated. When I came home from school that day, I jumped into bed and just laid there thinking that my life was over. A little bit drastic for a fifth grader, I know, but I quickly had to learn that rejection is something we’re all going to face at least one time or another in our lives, so better to get it out of the way at an early age. I hope this helps anyone in doubt or facing rejection, but if there’s anything to take out of this post it’s this: Life was never meant to be easy. Everyone faces trials and tribulations, and if you look close enough at that saying, you might even be able to see the word rejection written in between the lines. We’re bound to face rejection sometime or another in our lives, because let’s face it. Without it, life would just be too simple.