Stories that Matter

Hope

What To Do With Fear and Failure and Other Nuisances

I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. Maybe you’re familiar with the mantra? It’s easy to say. Easy to repeat. And easy to convince yourself of. Because if you say something enough times, eventually you begin to believe it. Even if it’s not true. So last week I wrote about change, and how I was going…
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Being The Grown-Up In The Room

I read this excellent post on Jen Hatmaker’s Facbook page yesterday. She talked about looking for the grown-up in the room, i.e. the person not arguing, not using childish banter to go on the attack, the person others look to because they’re talking sense. Sometimes you have to be that person. Sometimes you have to…
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Will It Really Change Us?

There’s a calm over the ocean this morning. A certain stillness. An anticipatory hum seems to fill the air on this second day of a brand new year, and it asks the question, “What will you do with this gift?” We’ve closed the door on 2016. Some of us have slammed it shut and bolted…
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Get Back Up ~ Dedicated To My Friend Sandie

You should know, I am a die-hard GWTW fan. I’ve lost track now exactly how many times I’ve watched the movie. But I have read the book only once. I’m thinking I need to rectify that. The GWTW experience for me began as a lonely and homesick thirteen-year old wandering the musty maze of books…
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Things I'm Learning From The US Election

I’ve been unable to write the past few days. Unable to trust that I’d use my words wisely. And I don’t know for sure I can do that today. Don’t know for sure I’ll hit that publish button when I’m done. But I do know I need to write the words down. Because that’s what…
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The Crash

Ever been in a spot where you’re all prepared for one thing and then, before you can take your next breath, something happens to flip the entire day upside down? Sure you have. I think we’ve all been there at some point. Maybe you’re there right now. That’s okay. Grab a coffee. Put your feet…
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Conversation in A Coffee Shop

I see her there. This sad reflection of myself. Sitting. Alone. Alone only with her thoughts and the icon flashing fierce on the blank screen. Cautiously I slide into the seat opposite her. Offer coffee. And a smile of recognition. “Hello, writer.” She looks up, bleary eyed. Befuddled. “How did you know?” The question sighs…
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So We Don't Miss The Good …

My last blog post of 2015! How crazy is that! I’m hearing from a lot of people that this year has flown by, and I have to agree. Seems like just yesterday we were preparing to welcome in 2015, and here we are, saying goodbye. If you’re like me, you take a little time to…
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This New Revolution

Whoa. It’s been awhile. I’ve been off at my happy place the past few weeks. Our lakeside hideaway in Northern Ontario. And it wasn’t quite the holiday we were expecting, with family illness that added some stress to what was supposed to be a stress-free time. But such is life. You move through it. You…
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When Gandalf Knocks …

If you’re a LOTR fan, you know when Gandalf shows up, it’s a safe bet that something is going to happen. His presence sets things in motion. He is the inciting incident, and suddenly we’re on the edge of our seats, wondering what’s coming. A wizard is never early. Nor is he late. He shows…
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If You Don't Know Me By Now …

June 15, 2015 | 16 Comments

We’re almost at the mid-point of the year and I’m … re-grouping. Breathing deep and re-evaluating, sorting boxes in my head and sticking to what is true. Discarding what is not. Figuring out who this girl really is. I haven’t always known for sure. Fear of failure and self-doubt swirl like monster waves and I’ve…

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And Sometimes Dreams Come True …

May 12, 2015 | 67 Comments

Warning. This is going to be rather long. But hey, it’s my blog. And I’ve waited a long time for this. So … about 20 years ago, I decided to get serious about becoming a published author. At the time, it was quite a dream. I had so much to learn, so much to absorb,…

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When It Gets Real … Get Grateful

April 29, 2015 | 10 Comments

That dream? You know the one. The one you’ve held tight to, let go of, buried and unburied and brushed off too many times … that dream you sometimes wouldn’t share with anyone because it scared even you? That dream you maybe cried over, prayed over, cursed and called yourself names over … because somehow…

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What They Don't See …

April 12, 2015 | 5 Comments

It happened again. An underhanded comment, off the cuff but sharp and succinct and it sank deeper than it probably meant to. I should know by now. I’ve heard enough of them. I shrink under the weight and flinch ever so slightly and hide behind a smile. And I know I should shake it off and…

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What If … ?

March 30, 2015 | 1 Comment

What if? That’s how you start a story. Did you know? What if? It’s such a simple theory, yet so often hard to grasp. Because there are a million what-ifs, and how do you know which one fits? How do you know which one is just right, for you? Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes the story…

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So Sometimes We Get Stuck …

February 2, 2015 | 5 Comments

Ever been stuck? Like really stuck. Like, there is no way I’m getting out of this alive, stuck? Stuck, like tires spinning. No way out. Stuck, middle of the night in a silent house, staring into darkness, mind spinning. No way out. If you’re not there now, you will be. Or you have been. We…

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And Why, Exactly, Do We Break So Easily?

January 22, 2015 | 11 Comments

2015. I was so ready for it. Anticipating writing a very different blog post right about now. One in which I would share some good news I’d been given quite some time ago. But I can’t do that. And I’m not sure if or when I will be able to. Things changed and before I…

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Still…Life

December 29, 2014 | 2 Comments

In the aftermath of the celebrations, all is quiet. Still. Things are tidied, relatively speaking, and I’m heading into the new year filled with anticipation. Yet, there is a restlessness within, something I can’t quite comprehend. Something perhaps I need to do, to say, to put aside. But my thoughts still scream loud. Still. I’m…

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Hidden In The Heart, A Love Story

December 10, 2014 | 3 Comments

I’m just back from Nicaragua, which I’ll tell you all about at a later date. But while I was away, my second novel re-released, so I thought I’d share that excitement with you today! Hidden in the Heart is loosely based on my own search and reunion journey, and it means a lot to me, so I’m…

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What Do We Do Then, With The Broken?

November 26, 2014 | 10 Comments

We’re officially in holiday season. Tomorrow, my friends and family in the US will celebrate Thanksgiving. And then the Christmas decorations come out, the tree goes up and before we know it we’re singing Jingle Bells. Silent Night. O Come All Ye Faithful. But there are those around us who do not want to sing…

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What To Do With Fear and Failure and Other Nuisances

I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.

Maybe you’re familiar with the mantra? It’s easy to say. Easy to repeat. And easy to convince yourself of. Because if you say something enough times, eventually you begin to believe it.

Even if it’s not true.

So last week I wrote about change, and how I was going through a big change in my publishing journey. And yes, part of me is excited about stepping out, exploring new horizons. But, now that the dust has settled, a few old friends have come to call.

Fear. Failure. Insecurity. Anxiety.

Maybe you’re familiar with them too? Gah. I hope not, but . . . yeah, I bet you are. And when these guys throw a party, it’s usually not much fun. I keep reminding myself I’ve been here before. Not knowing what comes next or even how to take the next step. Feeling like a failure and hating it. Wondering if this writing thing is all a colossal waste of time and maybe I should just go back to crocheting. (Yes, I did crochet back in the day. I was never very good at it).

Courage.

That’s how you deal with fear and failure and their gang. You know they’re the type your Mama warned you about. They’ll drag you down, kick you while they’re at it and lay all the blame at your feet. Who needs friends like that?

But it’s hard. Especially when you can make a list as long as your arm, laying out all the reasons you’re in this place now. Everything you should have done and didn’t. Everything you did do that wasn’t good enough. Blah, blah, blah.

Courage.

I can’t change what has happened. But I can control where we go from here. And I can change my attitude.

No, it’s not easy. But it’s necessary. Because moping around feeling sorry for myself won’t get a thing done. I know that. I’ve been in this place before. Well, not this exact place, but pretty close. And I know that the only logical thing to do is to get up, open the door, and kick those demons out.

And yes, I know how hard it is. Some days it seems impossible. Some days you just want to be sad. I know. And I think that’s okay too. Some days it’s definitely okay to sit on the couch and eat cookies and watch The Good Place. I’ve been trying to stay off social media because I’m not really in the mood to read about new book deals and new releases. Sorry. I’m just not.

But. I also know I can’t stay on the couch. I have to get up at some point and do the next thing. Even if it’s only writing a blog post that maybe a few people will read. It’s something.

It’s also good to connect, to share, and try to encourage each other, right? I’m so grateful for the friends that have reached out. It helps to know you’re not really alone. Fellow writers really get it. That kind of community is vital. So you know. I know I won’t feel this way forever. I’m not a quitter. Sometimes I don’t know if that’s a good trait or a character flaw. But it’s got me this far, so I guess it’s a good thing.

Anybody with me today? Anybody want to get up, brush off the cookie crumbs and go do this thing?

I’ll walk with you.