First things first: I had a slight touch of what is typically referred to as “The Weeabo” throughout middle and high school. I had friends that could write in kanji, I watched anime (on VHS, if you can imagine! those box sets took up entire shelves) and was willing to spend $3 on Pocky at the local comic book store because I didn’t realize that the owner was price gouging. Since then I’ve toned it down quite a bit, but I still really enjoy all the strange bits and bats of Japanese culture that pop into my general knowledge.
Like Daruma dolls.
When you first get a Daruma doll its eyes are white with no pupils. You think of a wish or a goal you want to achieve and color in the right eye of the doll. When you accomplish your goal, the Daruma gets his second eye and becomes whole.
I, being the far-flung traveler that I am, have one of these bad boys. It’s authentic! I may have bought it at EPCOT, but the sticker said “Made in Japan” and that’s got to count for something, right? I made a wish to become published and filled in one of the eyes with a permanent marker, and set it on the desk. Every time I looked at the poor little guy, sure enough, I was reminded of the wish I made. Sometimes it spurred me to close down the Internet and get back to work, and sometimes it made me feel guilty that I was withholding depth perception from this little dude all because I couldn’t get a sentence right.
Then I sold a story. I get an contributor’s copy, my Daruma gets his second eye, and we’re all good. Except now, when I look at my completed Daruma doll, I don’t see him. I see all the other, blind Daruma dolls that are waiting for a chance to earn their sight.
-I wish to be nominated for an award.
-My goal is to sell a story to a pro-rate market.
-I want to finish a novel.
-I will get an agent one day.
-It would be great to join SFWA.
–To receive fan-made productions based on my works.
-I wish someone would record a reading of one of my stories for their publication.
-To have someone dress up as one of my characters.
–I want to support myself fully as a writer.
–To have someone ask me to sign a book at an inappropriate moment.
–I wish that one day I’ll sell movie rights to a book I’ve written.
–To win grand prize at the Writers of the Future contest.
I’m going to need a lot more of these little guys.