Symposium Anxiety

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The whole point of me creating this blog was to archive my thoughts, process, and ideas as a writer. As I write my novel I take moments, like snapshots, from my process and I document them. I don’t expect anyone to read it. Its mainly a reflection for me to read one day when I’m feeling like I have accomplished nothing.

Today is that day. I’m not sure if it is the way I woke up this morning or the looming fact that I only have 4 more weeks of class and then graduation will be upon me and I will begin to feel the pressure to put my masters degree to work. I feel as if I have gotten no where with what I am doing for this project. Yes, I have words on paper. Digital paper that adds up to 75 virtual pages. Long gone is the ink to paper, now it is the systematic tapping of keys on a keyboard that load Times Roman letters on to a white “page” that stares back at me from my computer screen.

I guess I am starting to sound like a depressing starving writer haha.

I figured out what my reading will be for the symposium. I’m very nervous about reading my work in front of a bunch of strangers. I hope I receive positive feedback because I chose a section of my book that is extremely personal. It was also hard to find a excerpt that was short and concise but makes the audience want me to read more. I’ll have to read it out loud and time myself to see how long it will take. I am going to take some time to write out what I want to say next week. I think all of our projects are important and deserve to be heard. So I am happy we are having the symposium but I just don’t know if my project is that important that people will want to listen.

Like I said, I’m feeling a little down today. I’m just hoping I can pick myself back up by next week and write something positive to say.

Oh, did I mention that I still can’t figure out a title for my novel? Feeling stuck isn’t fun.

**Update: This is the excerpt that I read at the Symposium.


The light turned on and Amanda’s eyes fluttered open. Through a hazy and foggy view she looked towards the door. Standing within the crack, her mom was watching her sleep. She stumbles across the room to her bed. She pulls back the comforter and slides into her Sleeping Beauty sheets.

During this Amanda says nothing. Her mom puts her arms around her and holds her body tight. That’s when she feels the dampness on her face. Cheek to cheek she can taste the salty tears as she rubs them off on to her. She whimpers and tries hard to hold back the tears but Amanda can feel her shudder underneath the warm blankets. Amanda decides to squeeze her back and that is when she lets it all go.

Hard sobs and shaking shoulders, her mom is breaking down. At this point it comes as no surprise when she opens her mouth to speak to her. She can smell the stale sour breath that she breathes onto her face as she whispers, “I am so sad.”

Amanda knows how this works. She knows that this charade will never end if she doesn’t answer her. Every night for the past few months her mom has come to her late at night looking for her daughter to make her feel better. She has come to her for reassurance. She has come to her so that she can cry.

“Why are you so sad?,” Amanda whispers back.

She tells her how she met a man. A nice man who is good to her. He takes her places and tells her she is pretty. A nice man who makes her happy. Amanda lets her mom go on and on, because she doesn’t realize that she has told this story countless times before. She asks her about her dad and if he is a nice man.

“Your father is a great man,” she explains.

“Then why doesn’t he make you happy?” she asks as her mom closes her eyes and cries harder.

“You wouldn’t understand Mandy. You are too young to know how love works,” explains her mom.

Amanda then thinks about her dad, who works two jobs just to feed his family and keep a roof over their heads. She believes that her father is a good person.

Amanda knows that her mom is blinded and can’t see that she already has a great man. As Amanda’s mom tells her that she wants to leave her dad Amanda can’t help but notice that there is no pain in her mother’s eyes. No remorse for the hurt she will cause if she walks out the door.

Now her daughter is crying and her mother has no idea that she is the one causing her daughter’s pain. She can’t see because she can only see her own pain and the situation that she is in. Amanda decides that the worst part in all of this is she doesn’t think her mom even cares about what she is doing to her family.

“Please don’t tell your father about our late night talks, ok?”

“I promise,” whispers Amanda.

She promises because she loves her more than life it self. She would never tell anyone their secrets because that’s what daughters do.

She’s laying in bed with her now, still sobbing. Amanda, scared and unsure of what to do lays still next to her mom. She realizes that her mom only cares about Amanda keeping her secret. She holds her mom’s hand and tells her that everything is going to be all right. As her mom cries Amanda can’t help but wonder why she has to always be the parent. She just graduated 5th grade, she doesn’t feel qualified for this. But how could she not take care of her mother. Her mother always took care of her when she was sick or hurt. This must be a way for her to repay the favor.

Amanda feels her mom’s breathing get heavy. The crying has stopped and she is certain that her mom has fallen asleep. Amanda wipes the tears from her mom’s face with her blanket. She pulls the covers up a little bit further so they cover both of them and Amanda joins her mom and falls back to sleep.