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What does Hope look like?

A Conversation with Axel

*Reposted from 2017

Everyone needs a little hope

Along the journey of my next novel (the follow up to Airwoman), I’ve been having a conversation with Axel (one of my characters–go with me here, I’m an author!) about his life. Axel told me something about an important person in his life–his mother–which resonated with me:

Everyone needs a little hope. The problem was that, for my mother, hope was too fleeting and always seemed to come in man-shaped packages.”

What exactly was Axel talking about? To me, it sounded like he was excusing repeated behaviour. This person had a weakness for men which got her into trouble. Possibly she was hoping for love and personal fulfilment but looking for it in the wrong places. Possibly she was falling in love with the wrong men. Perhaps her relationships with men always fell apart. His point here is twofold–firstly, that men was the root of many of the problems in her life, and secondly, that she never stopped hoping for something (or someone) better.

What does hope look like for you?

This “conversation” with Axel made me think about this question. Perhaps because its the beginning of a new year and I’m still in a bubble of optimism about what this year will hold and what I will achieve.

However, it did make me wonder: what does hope look like to me? What is it that makes me feel hopeful about the future? In response to that question, I came up with several answers, and I think each which resonates with a different part of my personality. Each of them have essence of opportunity and optimism for the future, which seem to me to be the very essence of hope.

As a writer, hope looks like…my laptop, the blank page of my writing journal, a notebook full of story ideas, a detailed story plan, and my first draft.

As a mother, hope looks like… the smiling faces of my children.

As a traveller, hope looks like… plane tickets, arriving at an airport, taking off in an airplane, or stepping out of an airport and getting that first smell of fresh (or not so fresh) local air.

As a reader, hope looks like… a brand new book as I’m about to turn the first page.

As a home owner, hope looks like… an old house full of character but rough around the edges and in need of renovation.

What does hope look like to you? I’d love to hear your take on it in the comments.

*Photo by Iker Urteaga from

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