I’ve always loved Chinese lanterns. Maybe it was because we had one hanging up in my childhood home. Or the fact that I did a school presentation on their use in the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival. There’s something beautiful about a row of lanterns displayed together:
Maybe I just like their vivid colors or the lights contained inside them. Lanterns always seem so cheerful.
I once got to launch lanterns into the night sky in Taiwan. You can write messages and wishes on the sides of the lantern before letting them float away. Honestly, I can’t remember what I wrote that time. I do recall painting a happy face on one side, though.
To me, what lanterns most symbolize is hope. They remind me that there can be sudden light in pitch darkness. This has happened multiple times in my writing journey.
First, when I was starting out as a writer, unsure I could publish anything…and then managed to get my flash fiction into a magazine. Or when I grew despondent over landing an agent…but did—after I got offered a book deal. Recently, when my series got cancelled (okay, technically, it’s on hold), I wasn’t sure what to do. Thankfully, I ended up with a new book deal.
Even with this past launch of Death By Bubble Tea, when I checked my numbers through my author portal, my heart sank. Were people even buying my book? I could already imagine the downward trajectory of my writing career. (Note to self: please check the system about a week after release when the numbers are more definitive). Imagine my surprise when I got a Google alert about making the SoCal Indie Bestseller List. It was on there for two weeks in a row!
I’m so grateful for these little radiant bursts of hope. They keep me writing and pushing forward.
Where do you go to find hope?