I am like one of the Chinese mothers in The Joy Luck Club The one who fixes dinners and then says a disparaging remark about how the food looks or tastes, only she's really soliciting praise. I gave away one of my prologues to a piece of writing as a white elephant of all things, and as soon as she opened it and looked at what it was, I saw that look. The look was a brief eye roll, and I immediately wished I had never put it in the bag. I think I wanted someone to read it and tell me if it was good, but the person who left with it is very analytical and exact, and I'm not sure she would enjoy it for what it is.

Just like the Chinese mother, I said, "It's not very good."

And just like the soon-to-be son-in-law in The Joy Luck Club, my friend said, "We'll have to see." The son-in-law gave suggestions as to how to make the food better; my friend would do the same with the story. I already know how to make the story better--I just want someone to say it was good so that I can move on. Why I need that encouragement, I've no idea.

I am 37 years old and I should have had a novel written at this point. Twenty years ago (almost exactly) in Mrs. Tush's Creative Writing class, I made the decision that I would be published by 30. What do 17-year olds know about time, anyway? The idealistic 17-year old me didn't care about publishers or their quirks or their demands. She just thought of writing something so good that she'd be able to meet Stephen King or V.C. Andrews.

Ah, well. Dreams of a teenager go unrequited. I'll await for any kind of feedback from my friend, good or bad. The piece of writing is only a first draft with all of the mistakes and initial musings that make writing fun.

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