Temper Tantrums (The August Theme by Naomi Kinsman)

I was a really nice little girl. My parents could park me for hours in a library while they worked, and I would happily lose myself in the world of stories. I didn't scream that I had to have that bag of Reeses Pieces while we waited in the grocery line. (Even though I secretly thought I couldn't live without it). I even shared my treasured toys with friends without too much fuss. But, without fail, one thing made steam blast out my ears.

Here's how the scenario might go. At night before bed, my parents talked me through the next day. First, we would have breakfast. Then, we'd do a few chores. Afterwards, we'd ride bikes to the lake and feed the ducks. I'd fall asleep dreaming of the wind blowing through my hair. And usually, the day would go as planned.

Except for when it didn't.

That's when I'd lose it. Somehow, as long as I was prepared for a day filled with weeding the garden, or waiting at the doctor's office, I was fine. But surprise me with a trip to the doctor? What followed was a very bad day for everyone.

You'd think that as a grown-up I would have matured out of this behavior. But honestly, if I have set expectations and things don't go as planned, the temper tantrum ensues. You might not see it on the outside, but if you were inside my head, you'd be dodging flying shoes or books or dishes.

So, obviously, writing is the perfect career for me, right? Wrong! Talk about surprises. There's the good surprises--when an editor asks to see your full manuscript. The bad surprises--when you get a new, terrifying deadline. The throw-you-for-a-loop surprises when you run into one of your childhood heroes at a writing conference. The bang-your-head-on-your-keyboard surprises, when you realize the plot line you planned will never work. And on and on.

Here's the thing I'm (finally) learning. Took me long enough. Really, you might think you know what to expect out of tomorrow, but life just isn't like that. And if it were, it wouldn't actually be all that fun. I'm learning that maybe instead of imploding, perhaps I should be a little more playful. Perhaps I should laugh at myself a little more. So, today, as I go back to drafting my manuscript for the third book in my From Sadie's Sketchbook series (Waves of Light) I will try to laugh a little more and go a little easier on myself. I'll try to be open to the surprises.

I think that's the only way to deal.


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