Janet Sumner Johnson
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Chinese food

When Fortunes Come True


18, 2015 |

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My family and I really like Chinese food. Our favorite part (okay, maybe tied with eating all the yummy food) is opening our fortune cookies.

I always get the best fortune.

Seriously. Like, even my kids want my fortune.

I’m just lucky that way.

Here is my latest.

*All your hard work will soon pay off*

So to understand how great this fortune is, you need to know why we were eating Chinese.

Why, you ask?  Because I’d just spent a week packing and cleaning to get our house ready to sell–solid days of doing nothing but that–and I didn’t want to dirty my newly immaculate kitchen.

As you can imagine, I was thrilled with this fortune! Because who wants to do a bunch of hard work and not have it pay off, right?

And happy for me, this fortune cookie really was all-knowing. Our house sold, and we are feeling all kinds of relieved.

The thing is, since that time, I’ve had an epiphany. This fortune came true not because of some omniscient cookie. This fortune came true because hard work ALWAYS pays off.

It just doesn’t always pay off in the way we would like.

For example:
Remember that manuscript you wrote and edited, then finally tucked away in a drawer? Remember that laundry you folded that your toddler then unfolded? Remember that bed you made that you then unmade later that SAME DAY??

Every one of those situations included pay-off. Think of the practice and skills that were gained in writing that manuscript. Think of the work ethic your toddler gained by watching your example. Think of the peace that made-up bed exuded in your room all day long (and peace exuding is totally a thing).

Hard work always pays off.

So don’t you go fearing that your efforts will be a waste. They won’t. Even if you don’t get what you want, they. are. not. wasted.

Peace out and work on my friends.

Speak up:



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Your Fortune is Changing


03, 2012 |

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Since it’s Labor Day here in the USA, I’ll be brief.

We had Chinese take-out on Saturday and my fortune was so good I wanted to share it with you all:

So what book do you go to for rest and escape?

Speak up:



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Chinese Take-out


17, 2010 |

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I have this thing about Chinese. When I love it, I LOVE it. And when I don’t, buy yourself some earplugs, because I am not afraid to express my opinion. Needless to say, I’m always a little reticent to try new places. More often than not, I’m disappointed. So instead of eating Chinese, I dream of the good stuff from where I grew up.

The thing is, my husband doesn’t have my reservations. To him, it’s all more or less the same. He’s happy with whatever, he’d just like something.

So, tonight, I gave in. Called a few friends, got a few recommendations. And gross. Blah. Blah. Blah.Yicky. Picky. Snort.

“I’m sorry I even suggested it,” my husband said.

And then the epiphany came. From my own mouth even: “Well, you never know if you don’t try.”

I know, you’re all probably thinking, ‘Well duh!’

I wonder how many things I’ve not tried because I didn’t want to be disappointed. Learning a new skill. Sending off the next query. Taking risks with my characters. Bidding on that full manuscript critique over at Do The Write Thing. Whatever.

How about you? Is fear of disappointment holding you back?

Speak up:



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