Sukgwat: selfish and cunning (lit. shrinkable bones) 

A small man with short bones may lose in combat but use tricks to win a battle.  During the Spring and Autumn Annals, a prime minister called Ngaanji lived in the state of Chaih.  Although less than five feet tall, he strategized well.  Three warriors in Chaih known for their courage were also thought likely to rebel.  Ngaanji gave the fighters two peaches, asking them to share the fruit according to their bravery.  Looking at the third warrior, the first two men said, "We are not as brave as you, but we are still brave enough to kill ourselves."  When the other two committed suicide, the third fighter, filled with regret, also killed himself.  Thus, Ngaanji eliminated all three using two pieces of fruit.

The first two warriors killed themselves based on their own self-evaluation.  They doubted their bravery.  As a writer, you can destroy yourself based on your own perceived self-worth.  Nina Benneton, author of Compulsively Mr. Darcy, knows an editor who requests more submissions than she has the time to read at writing conferences because only a small percentage of writers will follow through.  (Benneton's other great observations can be found in this Writer's Digest article.)

Fruit, the start of disaster in two Chinese stories.
There's another Chinese tale that involves peaches.  This story, found in Moss Roberts' Chinese Fairy Tales & Fantasies, describes the relationship between the lord of Wei and the beautiful Mi Tzu-hsia.  One day in the fruit garden, Mi Tzu-hsia bit into such a sweet peach that she handed it over for the lord to taste.  "How she loves me," he said, "forgetting the pleasure of her own taste to share with me!"  When Mi Tzu-hsia's beauty began to fade, though, the lord said, "Didn't she once give me a peach that she had already chewed on?"

Perceptions shift, like in the common half-empty or half-full glass analogy.  As a fledgling writer, I can dwell on my newness--or my growth.  In the past month:

- I revived my previously dormant Blogger account.
- I Googled myself and showed up on the first page (in previous attempts, I couldn't even locate myself).
- Kyle Robinson conducted my first writer interview on his blog, In the Demon's Head.

Mi Tzu-hsia's story reminds me of limerence (sometimes spelled "limerance"), the infatuation found at a relationship's beginning.  Our passions need to be tied to a long-term trajectory not a short time frame.  Are you in limerence or in deep love with your self-proclaimed passion?

Comments (6)

On May 25, 2012 at 8:14 AM , Muddy said...

I love the stories you tell! I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Read more about it here: http://www.muddyingthewaters.com/

Have a great day!

 
On May 25, 2012 at 9:22 AM , Jennifer Chow said...

Thanks, Muddy! I'll take a look at it.

 
On May 25, 2012 at 12:01 PM , Lauri Meyers said...

Yay Jennifer! I may still be in limerence with writing, but who can resist a love who treats them so bad!?

 
On May 25, 2012 at 12:13 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

That's great, Lauri :) Hoping your love starts treating you well soon!

 
On May 31, 2012 at 2:20 PM , AMelodyGalloway said...

This so ties in with a G+ shared by Monique on LinkedIn: eWriters Platform Building | LinkedIn http://linkd.in/L6tlTR

 
On May 31, 2012 at 2:20 PM , AMelodyGalloway said...

Ooops...not a G+, way too much SM today.