Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about ideas and creativity. Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome as it turns an article into a discussion. They must, however, be in English to avoid spam getting in here.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017


It's funny how things come into our minds from seemingly out of nowhere. This week for me it was the subject of expectations. Years ago, I was told an acronym which stuck with me-- False Expectations Appearing Real illustrating how a lot of our fears are not based on reality. To some degree, that is true of all expectations-- based on hope, past experience, and what we've read maybe.

Expectations can be exciting as waiting for an important holiday such as
Christmas. But equally they can lead to disappointments when that event didn't work out as we had expected 

For those who do creative work, where so much of how it will be seen by others is subjective,  expectations can work for or against us. It will never sell. No gallery will accept it. No reader will buy it. I should show it to no one as nobody will like it. I am wasting my time

Expectations that a friend will disappoint us, a love life won't work out, can lead to doing something proactive to make the relationship better or end it before we think they will. In relationships, expectations can lead to arguments based on assuming what the other will do.

Politicians use expectations to get elected then have to deal with the resultant disappointment when what they promised doesn't happen. Living with the belief that the sky is falling may not make it fall but can make us live as though it

Basically, as I see it, expectations can be negative or positive for how they impact our lives. Do they prevent us from taking a risk? Do we take one and are brokenhearted when it didn't work out as well as we had expected?

I don't think it's possible to avoid expectations as that would be an expectation in itself. We can moderate them by adding in some disclaimers based on experience. 

In my own life, likely based on experience, I try to keep my expectations in line with reality. This comes to play with my writing, where I do take the risk of putting them out for purchase or reviews. Lack of sales or a bad review (got one of those this week) can be painful but not taking a risk means-- no pain, no gain. 

When I see that one of my books got a review, I go to read it with trepidation as I never know what I'll see. I try to take either praise or condemnation in stride-- well, what's my choice? Once it's out there, I try to let the results go. Results are out of my control. My expectation is some will love what I do and some will hate it. Thinking about a few authors who had phenomenal success, and then chose to not put out more books, like J.D. Salinger, was that based on expectations that he could not match what he had earlier done. We will never know for sure.

These are my new covers for the paranormals where I decided to go with a
painterly look rather than photographic. Readers are used to expecting the latter. How will they respond to something different? My expectation is some will not be turned off by them. I'm doing it anyway because to me, they are creative, different, and beautiful. They work as paintings before the titles. With the titles, they work as covers. 

(The last of these images is for a book not yet out. It's a complicated premise and has been slow going to get it true to my vision for it-- not to mention fighting with a miserable cold or allergy season. Even when I finish the rough draft there will be editing and beta readers. I had thought it'd be out first of April. Now maybe the first of May.)

The app I used for them can be a challenge as it sometimes distorts faces (the most important thing on my covers). I wanted the characters to look as though they posed for a painting. I am not sure how the models will feel about this as they are creative and have strong ideas about how they want their work to be seen. I looked though and the licenses do give me the right to try something unique with the images I purchased. I made sure they still look like the models.

Come Wednesday, one of those models will have a few words here, along with some of the images he has created. I feel a lot of connection to these models. They are creative and putting themselves out there, in a way most of us would never do.

Last image with that app is me from a couple of years back in our garden, when we still had a deck. 



No comments: