A while ago I was reading my Nelly story to her, and I was really trying my best to make it fun, and the reaction I get is...silence.
Now when I read it last night at Writer's Group, it was great hearing everyone's reactions. It's always helpful, because if they laugh at the right time, you know that's good, and if they laugh at the wrong time, then there's something not quite right, and if it's the right time and no one's cracked a smile, then there's a whole lot of editing to be done.
But when it comes to my mom... After the first reading, I asked her what she thought, and she wasn't exactly sure. She said I read it too fast, and went and read it again by herself. I asked her again when she was done, and she said she liked that Nelly was very positive, and that it made her want to read more. But there was like zero enthusiasm in her voice. And she suggested that I make the flying carpet a flying table or a couch.
Um, no. I like my carpet just fine, thanks.
So now I don't know what to think. She's not a big fan of my other stories, apparently because she thinks they're too dark and depressing. (It's not depressing- it's CONFLICT.) So I was really hoping she'd like this one, since Nelly has such a bright personality. And in the end, well, I guess it's good that she's not totally turned off by it.
It's not as bad as the time I read her my short story about the android, when she told me it was just plain bad and I should spend my time doing other things (like STUDY- this was during the last part of the school year, aka HELL). Of course, when I read that story at the Writer's Group, everyone loved it, and urged me to continue, confusing me even more. Eventually I decided to put it off for a while, so I could possibly pick it up again someday.
I mean, criticism from other writers I could take, but when it comes from your own family members, especially the one family member who's trying to support you more than any one else in the world, it hurts. And it's not like there's anyone else in my family who would understand. I highly doubt my dad would take interest in any of the stuff I write, Loanny is busy with Rachel, Rachel is too young, Grandma might fall asleep halfway, I'm not very close with my American cousins, my one uncle who's interested in writing is a devout Christian missionary, and I really don't feel like translating stuff for my Japanese relatives.
I remember during the whole SAT/SOL/midterms period (HELL) when my mom and I used to fight constantly about balancing 'writing time' with 'school time.' Stop writing for a whole year? Like hell. Wasn't she the one to introduce me to the Writer's Group in the first place? And also the time she took me out to dinner so we could brainstorm ideas for the Writer's of the Future contest (shortly after she said my android story SUCKED and I was reeling with shock). I know she meant well, but the only thing we accomplished that night was to make me feel even less self-confident in my ideas, after she dismissed half of them as morbid junk.
She keeps on encouraging me to write stuff other than fantasy (or anything with fantastic elements), and I know I could do it if I try, but the problem is that I'll probably die of boredom by the second chapter and never make any progress. It'll probably never be as good as other writers' work either. I mean, I have enough talent, and I enjoy doing it, so just leave me alone and let me do my own thing.
Sometimes I wonder why I keep showing them to my mom when I know I'll get the same reaction. It's not like she's my target audience, and she's not exactly an expert in these things, after all. Maybe I'm hoping that someday she will come to like one of my stories. Or maybe I should stop trying, or else I'll always end up disappointed.
*sigh* I'll probably need a couple days to recover from this.