Being Mulan

Jiujik: acting too proud in one’s speech or behavior

In ancient times, Fa Muhk Laahn (the Cantonese pronunciation of the Disney princess Mulan) worried about her father’s draft into military service.  In the Song of Muhk Laahn, the verse goes:

“We can’t hear the sound of the shuttle of the loom
when Muhk Laahn is weaving,
But Jikjik again and again
We can hear her sighing.”

Jikjik is Cantonese onomatopoeia for sighing.  When a person behaves too proudly, he will jiu (arouse) the jik (discontented sighing) of others.

Where it concerns my writing, I act the opposite of jiujik.  I did this during school, too.  I would study really hard but then lower my expectations when it came to receiving the test scores.  If I got low marks, I would feel prepared for them.  If I received high grades, I would rejoice in their unexpectedness.

Currently searching for a literary agent, I’m in the querying fray.  It’s been helpful for me to use this backward psychology to deal with rejection.  Expecting the worst makes receiving any praise that much sweeter.  The constant barrage of unenthusiastic replies numbs me to negativity as well.  And dark chocolate helps a lot, too.

I still hope for the words that Mulan’s father tells her in the movie, though:

“My, what beautiful blossoms we have this year. But look, this one’s late. But I’ll bet that when it blooms, it will be the most beautiful of all.” 


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  1. A great post for all of use going through the query process.

  2. Dark chocolate helps everything! Congratulations on being this far along! Can’t wait to read it in print.

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