Stories that Matter

Life

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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Maybe It’s Time

“You gain strength,courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  — Eleanor Roosevelt. So we…
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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing Moms I know and love. Those with us and those who have gone before us. This day is hard for some of us, I know. I miss my Mom too. But I’m grateful for the memories. Grateful for the legacy she left us. And grateful that I got…
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Write, Straight Up

Not on the rocks. Not with a splash. Maybe a twist, that’d be fun. But don’t water it down. Write what you want to say, write from you heart, and write, for the love of everything, like you mean it. If you don’t mean it, don’t waste your reader’s time, or yours. After 20 something…
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This Thing About Community, And Why We Need It

Can I be honest? Groups scare me a little. Anything larger than my husband and I, and two other couples is just a bit out of my comfort zone. Even when our group of eight, all close and fun friends, gets together, the house is just a bit too loud. And that’s kind of funny…
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What Am I Afraid Of?

Words fail me. Lately. When I try to sum up what this thing is that I do and why I do it and why I can’t not do it and why some days the words won’t come . . .  words fail me. And the question rattles hard in my head. Is it . .…
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The Magic Formula

Sharing some thoughts on writing, and life. So I’m asked this a lot. Mostly in author interviews, occasionally in an email from an aspiring author who just wants a break, wants her words to be seen, heard. “What’s the magic formula?” I’d tell you if I knew. Honest. So this is the part I could…
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Why Not Me?

The stories make me sad. So terribly sad. And angry. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen them too. All over social media. The hashtag #MeToo Sometimes no story at all. Sometimes more than we may want to know. But they’re all connected. Women. Women who have in some way, been violated. Been…
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And So We Choose This Thing

Thirty one years. Today. I stood before him in a long white gown that cost more than my father wanted to spend, but he bought it for me anyway, because it was the one and he was ‘the one’ and my Dad would have bought me the moon if I said I wanted it. I stood…
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Is It Supposed To Hurt This Much?

That was a text I got from my daughter a few hours into labour. “Is it supposed to hurt this much?” I wanted to laugh, but I didn’t. Because, yes. It is. And it does. And it will continue to. With every challenge that comes with being a parent. Being a mother or father or…
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Why You Keep Trying And When It's Time To Quit.

May 19, 2017 | 2 Comments

How did it get to be Friday already?! Well, here we are, and I hope you’ve had a good week. I have some thoughts rattling around lately, that I figure I might try to express, because we’ve been talking about this stuff, my friends and I, and maybe you have too. Fractured Relationships.    Yowch.…

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She's Here!

May 7, 2017 | 4 Comments

I know. I left you all hanging. Well. The three people that read this blog on occasion. Ha. I can’t blame you, sporadic blogger that I am. Anyway. One week yesterday, our little Annabel Rose made her dramatic entrance, and I have to say, though I may be slightly biased, she is perfect. And I…

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Being The Grown-Up In The Room

February 13, 2017 | 8 Comments

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?

January 2, 2017 | 4 Comments

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

December 2, 2016 | 34 Comments

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

November 12, 2016 | 10 Comments

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

October 31, 2016 | 4 Comments

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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Family Matters

October 28, 2016 | 9 Comments

I grew up an only child. As much as I was loved and probably (okay, definitely) spoiled by my parents, I think part of me missed not having a sibling. There were times when it was lonely. Times when I had to use my imagination to create the extra people I thought I needed in…

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No, You're Actually Not That Great

October 17, 2016 | 19 Comments

I don’t know how you’re feeling as we approach November, but I’m tired. Tired of the frustration, the anger, the vitriol, tired of everything that this nasty election has exploded into. More frustrating for me is that it’s not even my election. But it’s everywhere. You can’t turn on the television or the radio or…

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Is Summer Over Yet?

September 20, 2016 | 3 Comments

We are still blazing hot here in Bermuda. It’s an odd thing, because when I say blazing, people assume temps up in the 100’s, which is never the case here. Our hottest will be around 95. But then, factor in humidity, and you’ve got smothering air that soaks you within minutes. Let’s just say I…

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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.