Friday, December 12, 2014

Falling down and getting up again...

I posted about falling down and getting up back in 2011, but something happened last weekend that brought that thought back to mind.

Aubrey is an adorable 10-month-old girl whose parents attend my congregation.  It was my turn to man the nursery we run during services, so I was in the conference room we use for that purpose when Aubrey's dad brought her back because she was making a lot of noise during the sermon.

He put her down on the floor and I watched as she began to toddle around the room.  She has just started walking, so her movement involves a lot of falling on the floor.

I noticed that falling down never bothered her.  Sometimes she'd find a way to get right back up; sometimes she stayed on the floor for a couple of minutes.  But she didn't cry or fuss, in fact she was quite cheery the whole time.  And she took joy in her newfound ability to walk, and her delight was catching.

It made me think about this year, and how often I feel I've "fallen" when it comes to the writing.  I didn't write as much as I wanted to this year, and recent attempts at a new schedule were less than stellar.  Looking back, I'm not quite sure what went wrong except that I didn't give the writing the priority it needs or deserves.

But I want to be like Aubrey, and get back up when I fall down.  I don't want falling down to discourage me and just sit there and cry.  I want to get back on my feet and keep going.  And I want to take joy in the journey I've set for myself as an author.

So here I am, planning to get up again.  And if I fall, I will do so again.  And again.  Falling down is not failing.  Failing is not getting up afterwards.

So here's to getting up for the umpteenth time.  Let's see how long I can walk this go round.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Saw the new "Star Wars" trailer...

I am a Star Wars fan from way back when, meaning the very first film back in 1977.  I even kind of like the prequels though I grew to hate Jar-Jar Binks.  (I seem to have a lot of company in that)

So I was very interested in the trailer for the new movie, The Force Awakens.  I just viewed it again on my computer for the second time.  Haven't seen it on the big screen yet, though I bet it will look fantastic when I do.

And, so far, it looks...promising.

I'm not going to do a scene by scene blow here.  I admit I'm a geek, just not THAT big of one.  But it appears that we have some cool stuff to look forward to.  Stormtroopers?  Check.  Interesting-looking new lightsaber?  Check.  Millennium Falcon doing impressive maneuvers?  Check.  No Jar-Jar Binks?  So far, so good.

There was also no sign of Luke, Leia, or Han (though we might have gotten a glimpse of Han and Leia's daughter and who was piloting the Falcon, anyway?) but we know they're going to show up sooner or later.

The upshot is I'm looking forward to this next installment of Star Wars.  If that makes me a hopeless fangirl, all I have to say is "May the Force be with you!!"

Monday, November 24, 2014

Whoops...

Yes, I know yesterday was Sunday.  Yes, I know I should have posted something for "Free Fiction Sunday" yesterday.

Truth of the matter is that I wasn't home very much from 8:45 AM to about 7:30 PM yesterday.  Just long enough to pick up things and/or people.  And I haven't gotten the sense that readers are all that interested in my last few short stories.

For now, I plan on working on getting this blog a little more together.  Which means posting more often.  Hopefully that means more of you will read and maybe even comment on what I say.  That would be nice.

In the meantime, I'm going to post this and think about going back to bed and getting some sleep.  Just letting you know I haven't forgotten about the blog - or you.

Thanks!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

On the radio!

I will be on "The Barry Foster Show" tomorrow morning (Friday) at 9:05 AM EST to talk about my new book REDEMPTION. You can listen live to the show here: http://streamnetradio.com/barry.php And if you want to call in, the number's (863) 385-9985. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fiction River: Past Crime is out!



Fiction River: Past Crime came out today.  My short story "Choices" is included in the Kobo Special Edition.  There are a lot of great stories included in this issue, all dealing with things once illegal in this country but now no longer a crime.  You can buy it or get a free preview of the issue here:
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/fiction-river-past-crime

Sunday, November 16, 2014

No Free Fiction Sunday this week...

Sorry, all.  The day totally got away from me and I am all kinds of exhausted right now.  So this week I will not be uploading a short story for you to read.

I only have a few left to do anyway. I am curious about what you thought of this.  Did you enjoy reading the stories?  Did it encourage you to check out what I had to offer?  Would you like to see me do this again sometime in the future?  Let me know!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Why I don't quit

Before you go much further into this piece, I suggest you read my friend Brad Torgensen's excellent post titled "When Is It Okay To Quit?"  Go ahead.  I'll be here when you get back.

The post was strangely encouraging to me.  Not because I'm giving up the writing (though there are days I'm tempted to toss it all aside and become a professional video game player instead), but because it reminded me of why I CAN'T.

One thing about writing that many people don't understand - it is hard work, especially if you want to get anywhere in this business.  It takes hours of butt in chair, fingers on keyboard, whether the muse is firing on all cylinders or off somewhere on vacation.  It takes being able to hear the word "no" again and again and not taking rejection personally.  It takes practice, which is more butt in chair, fingers on keyboard.

And sometimes, a writer will look up from her laptop, bleary-eyed and frustrated, and whine, "Is it worth it?"

For me personally, yes, it is.  Here's a few reasons why:


  • I believe any talent I have in this area is a gift from God.  To not use the gift He gave me is an expression of ungratefulness on my part.  We are given our gifts to use, not to put up on a shelf somewhere and forget about.
  • I know I've gotten better.  I have been seriously writing fiction for nine years now, and the difference between Laura the writer in 2005 and Laura the writer in 2015 is staggering.  Moreover, I know I can continue to improve as long as I keep on learning and not settle for where I am.
  • There are people out there who actually like what I write.  Whether it's the weekly column in the News Sun or a short story or even one of my novels, people have told me they enjoy what I've written.  Such statements make my day.  And it tells me I'm doing something right.
  • I know that the "secret" to succeeding in this business isn't knowing the right people or even having talent.  It's persevering, sticking with it through good times and bad, getting up after getting knocked down...just not giving up.
  • And in the end, this is something I enjoy.  Yes, there are times I enjoy it less than others, when it's really hard to get the words down or I can't seem to get arrested, much less make a sale.  But even so, I love sitting down and making up stories.  Even if I never saw a penny from this I would probably still make up stories, because it's how I see the world and figure it out.
And the cool thing is I'm getting there, to that place where the writing makes a nice chunk of change.  I'm not there yet, and I don't know when I'll get there - but I'm on the right road.  And stopping just when I'm on the verge of arriving?  That would be tragic.

So I'm not quitting.  And if you feel the same way I do, you shouldn't either.  Tell me about it, and we can walk this road together.  Who knows?  The success we seek may be just around the bend.  Let's go find out.