When was there a time when I had an expectation that didn’t get met? Maybe I set a goal for myself and totally blew it. Maybe I promised something to a friend and had to let them down. Maybe life just didn’t turn out the way I expected. I have the story to tell, and the failure to confess, and help folks learn with me. How can we, even in the midst of disappointment and despair, still find hope? How can we continue when all seems loss?
Actually, there were several times in my life I had an expectation which didn’t get met. Years and years ago I had finished my junior year of college. I worked on a stage play throughout the winter semester of my junior year of college of which I was proud of which made me decide to make it into a screenplay. So, upon completion of my junior year of college, I spent the spring transforming the stage play into a screenplay. I worked on it day and night. I knew nothing much about computers although we had a home computer in our home. It was my mother’s. She knew more about my computers at the time than I did, because she had just finished a years worth of courses studying computers and other courses at a business college here in Kalamazoo.
I had already typed up the stage play onto my typewriter; however, I asked my mother to type the story up onto the computer, of which she did. With the help of my textbooks, I guided her step by step as to the structure and format for the screenplay. From there she taught me basic computer skills where I would be able to type the story on there myself when I had ideas pop into my head. My mother was there to guide me along the way. However, she did most of the typing onto the computer. I mostly wrote the story out by hand and she structured and formatted it for me. We eventually took turns typing out the screenplay onto the computer.
My father was in Chicago working in the Construction Trade. My brother was out with friends. It was just my mother and me at home. I remember putting so much care into the screenplay. I incorporated what I knew about the subject matter through taking real life incidents or events and incorporating them into the story.
I included the notion of losing a loved one to death resulting in an automobile accident. The main character in the story blamed himself for the death of his father. In actuality, one of my two brothers was killed in an automobile accident approximately two years prior to my writing the story. My surviving brother blamed himself. They inspired my stage play of which I transformed into a screenplay.
Anyway, I wrote and wrote and wrote at time intervals until I could write no more. When I was blocked, I took a break and went down into our basement where I listened to music while doing exercise. Doing so helped me not only to unwind, but it stimulated my mind of which I obtained a wealth full of ideas and scenes for my story. It helped me to figure out where to go next with the story.
When the final scene of the screenplay was completed my mother did a thorough edit and proofreading for me and made sure the pages were numbered accordingly. From there she printed it out for me. We set my manuscript aside. The day she took me to the store to buy a couple binders for the manuscript and a hole puncher. At home, she helped me assemble both copies of the manuscript and prepare them to be submitted to the Chesterfield Film Company Competition. I also filled out my entry form with care. I wrote out a twenty dollar check for the entry fee. My mother help me package the two copies of the manuscript into the large bubble envelope of which I addressed with care. From there, she took me to the post office where we mailed it.
Several months went by. I anticipated on getting accepted by the Chesterfield Film Company for one of the ten fellowship positions being offered as the grand prize for the competition. Upon receiving the reply back, the letter stated I placed in the final round from which the ten winners were picked. However, I was not among them. I was devastated. I told everyone about the competition I was participating in with the expectation of landing a fellowship position with the company. I felt ashamed, because not only did I let myself down, but I let down everyone who offered me encouragement and moral support.
I tried again for the fellowship the following year, sending the same screenplay in as I did the year before. However, I was even more disappointed at the time when getting the results back because it was the second time I didn’t win. Not only did I not land a fellowship position with the company, but I didn’t even play in the final round from which the ten winners were picked. I felt like giving up on my writing.
However, it was then I realized it wasn’t time for me to have a fellowship. At the time, I pivoted in another direction. I started entering poetry competitions. The very first poetry competition I entered landed me in the top 3% of all the contestants who entered the contest. I didn’t win any prize money, but I did receive a certificate of award for placing in the top 3% in the contest. So, I still had something to be proud of.
Through the years passing I continued to compete in poetry competitions, winning honorable mention awards for a number of years, before becoming a finalist in one of the Poet of the Year competitions which was sponsored by a literary organization I belonged to. About five or six years later, I won a cash prize in an online poetry competition.
The accomplishments I achieved throughout the years with my writing gave me some form of validation and gratification. Through perseverance and determination, one can achieve anything they strive for with a little patience, care, and practice.
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2016