The good thing is, I'm becoming much more comfortable at job interviews. Yesterday however, I was asked the dreaded "so what would you say your weaknesses are?" in an interview and what followed was a very awkward 30 seconds where I just couldn't come up with anything to say. You'd think by this time, and after having done so many interviews, this answer should be down pat, right? I couldn't think of anything and I could not for the life of me remember what I had answered when asked this question in the past.
On the one hand, I couldn't think of any weakness that was appropriate to the question (eg my latent fear of the dark, which might be problematic in some jobs, but isn't really what I think they were looking for). And heaven forbid if I actually could think of a legitimate weakness, I doubt I'd want to share it with a potential employer. On the other hand, I didn't want to rub it in the interviewer's face with a "Haha! Foolish mortal! I don't have any weaknesses!!"
The other day, it occurred to me that I administer to a certain type of vanity. Ever since that awkward middle school age, I've never liked being in photographs. I used to avoid them like the plague and my friends have dozens of photographs of my ponytail because I became so adept at ducking before a camera lens. Maybe people who constantly take those MySpace shots of themselves/hold up a camera to a mirror shots are vain...but perhaps avoiding the camera so much is a form of vanity too, because it can show that I care too much about how I look. To be free from vanity is to probably be in a state where it doesn't matter...Kind of like how being truly humble isn't putting yourself down, but it's simply not thinking of yourself at all. In a similar vein, that's why I don't think I'm a very nice person...because often when I do nice things, there is a small voice inside my head that says "That was a nice thing to do!"...And it's almost like I'm boosting my own self-image by doing it.
I originally started this post to talk about the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum...but as is wont to do, I got distracted. To finish up (you can always tell when I'm writing a dry blog post due to the platitudes I use to make transitions -- "on the one hand" "the other day" "on that note")...I am still working on my writing! Taking it slowly though. I was really extremely fortunate to start a correspondence with author Marie Lu, who is fantastic. She first came to my attention through an interview about her book Legend, where she talked about some of the frustrations she had beginning as an author. She actually had her manuscript accepted by an agent, but after a long time of trying to shop it around with publishing houses, they decided to shelve it...and she put her efforts into another story, which was published last year. It's a fast-paced, dual narrative dystopian that I read all the way through in one sitting because I couldn't sleep once I started.
Because I've been getting nothing but rejections from all of the queries I've sent out, I asked Marie for her opinion on whether I should shelve my story as well. There are some aspects of it that I feel may not be entirely marketable, which could be why it isn't being picked up. She took a look at my query and said my story sounded good...so perhaps the issue lies with my writing.
It's a bit unfortunate to hear that haha. As much as I enjoy writing, I have received numerous comments in the past about how my writing tends toward the heavy side. I've edited and read and workshop-ed a ton to convey my words in a clearer and simpler fashion. In the end though, I like how I write. I'm actually grateful that my story hasn't been picked up by an agent yet, because I feel it's given me the opportunity to work at every nuance in my story. I've written, re-written, and edited my book so much...but it's so organic, I almost feel that the edits can always keep going.
The reality of the situation is that my book may never be picked up by an agent. I want to put every effort I have into it, but there is a certain point where I may realize that this story is not the one meant to be published. I'd like to keep writing...but first I'd like to finish this trilogy (I've already written two books of the trilogy. I started the third book, but left off to focus on editing the first book)...and maybe I'll put it up to be read on this blog. In spite of it all, I'm proud of what I've accomplished with the story. Even if it's not meant to be published, I feel good enough about it that I crave to share it...and I feel good enough about it in a way that I love the characters and all their little faults and shades, and the words in it are some I'm especially proud of. This isn't vanity...because clearly this love isn't shared by the agents I've shopped it to haha...so maybe it's delusion. But since I'm not even sure who reads this blog, and I put up some writing samples here anyway, it wouldn't hurt to share more of my work here.
Please excuse the more introspective nature of today's post. Good night and good luck!