Saving Scarlett

Book one in the Scarlett Trilogy is now available.
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turning-40It seems as if most of everyone I know already knows this, so I might as well share it with the rest of the world. Today I turned *cough, cough* forty.

I really didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal. I mean, I didn’t feel forty, and in my warped sense of self, I didn’t think I looked forty. Maybe thirty-seven or even thirty-eight, but forty? Come on.

Nonetheless and according to my driver’s license and birth certificate, I have reached that magical age where I am now officially “over the hill”. And although I really don’t understand what that saying means other than from now on everything is downhill, it still (in a small way) bothered me. I started to really think about it this last week and knew I didn’t want to be over the hill, no matter what it meant. I didn’t want to be old. I wanted to be young again. Maybe twenty…not forty.

But when I think about my twenty-year-old self, I realized that we are two extremely different people. That the twenty-year-old version of me was not who I am now, even though she had a part getting me to where I am. From there to here, I have learned so many life lessons and been through the wonderful and awful things that have given me the life I have, that I cannot wish to be that person again. So for my birthday, and since I have been thinking about all the things I’ve learned up until this point, I thought I would share them with you.

  • Trust in God. It has been an amazing ride from twenty to forty with many ups and downs, but throughout it all, God was there in the driver’s seat. It was hard to trust that He knew what He was doing and sometimes, I found myself trying to reach over and take the wheel from Him, but that only made things worse. Now, I just trust that He can handle it (because He can), buckle my seat belt and hang on.
  • Love yourself. You may not look like (insert the name of any movie star), but you are the only you. God put you here for a purpose and wonderfully made you. No one has your sense of humor. No one laughs like you do. No one know to your certain talents exactly like you do. Love those things about yourself.
  • Forgive others. This is a hard one for me. Especially when people make me mad or angry. I may not be able to forgive them in the midst of the argument or wrong-doing, but I do try to forgive them at some point.
  • Forgive yourself. I think this one is sometimes harder than forgiving others.
  • Try new things. This one is my favorite! Whenever a situation arises for me try something new (and it’s not dangerous or life threatening like sky diving or anything), I love to say yes. I try to remind myself that this is the only time I will be on this earth and that this particular event or activity may never present itself to me again, so I might as well go for it.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. I fail at things ALL THE TIME. One of my favorite new quotes is from a commencement speech from Jim Carrey who spoke to a graduating class about not settling and doing something you don’t want to do with you life. He said, “You can fail at something you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on something you love.” How true.
  • Dream BIG. Enough said here.
  • And then take action. You can’t just dream about things. You have to take steps toward that dream. Another favorite quote of mine is “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you’re still ahead of everyone not trying.” – Tony Robbins
  • Make goals. This sounds cliche’ but it’s true. It’s not reaching the goal but the journey that is the amazing part. And don’t be afraid if you don’t attain your goals (see: don’t be afraid to fail). You’ve moved in the right direction and have grown from the experience.
  • Have a variety of friends. I know this one sounds kind of like, “well, duh” but until a few years ago, I didn’t have many friends in different circles. There was a cluster of people I hung out with (and I still love them dearly), but I have now met some amazing women that I wouldn’t have otherwise by taking a chance and expanding my scope of friends.
  • I’m going to make mistakes. Once I realized that, I quit being so hard on myself when it happened.
  • Do what you love. Whether it’s photography, writing, poetry, moon-walking from your bedroom to the kitchen, whatever. Find what makes you happy and do it.
  • Work hard. Enough said here.
  • Enjoy what you have. Enough said here as well.

I know there are a bazillion other life-lessons I’ve learned, but this is all I can think of right now. And I still am not giving up on the whole I’m-forty-now battle. I’m just going to think of myself as a double twenty-year-old. That way I am still learning lessons and pushing up the hill rather than being over it. I’ve gotta go, I have a cupcake waiting for me.

 

 

nNov • el [nov-uh l]

noun

1. a fictitious prose narrative of considerable length and complexity, portraying characters and usually presenting a sequential organization of action and scenes.

2. physical proof of the months, and sometimes years, writers have spent in imaginary places.

3. a transportation device capable of taking the reader into the world inside the writer’s head.

Writer’s Quotes

“Writing a novel is like traveling the universe on foot.” ~ Dennis R. Miller

“I often find that a novel, even a well-written and compelling novel, can become a blur to me soon after I’ve finished reading it. I recollect perfectly the feeling of reading it, the mood I occupied, but I am less sure about the narrative details. It is almost as if the book were, as Wittgenstein said of his propositions, a ladder to be climbed and then discarded after it has served its purpose.”~ Sven Birkerts

“Novels can tell us so much about life. They have the power to enrich our own lives in so many different ways. They’re not just for entertaining us, although that would be enough.”~ Victoria Connelly

“Every novel is an attempt to capture time, to weave something solid out of air. The author knows it is an impossible task – that is why he keeps on trying.”~ David Beaty

mmem • oir [mem-wahr]

noun

1. a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.

2. a biography or biographical sketch.

3. a story where you leave all the boring parts out, enhance the truth enough to make it interesting, and swear that it all happened exactly that way.

Writer’s Quotes

“Anyone who believes you can’t change history has never tried to write his memoirs.” ~ David Ben-Gurion

“Memoirs are a well-known form of fiction.” ~ Frank Harris

“Some people think memoirs should be held to a perfect journalistic standard. Some people don’t. Obviously I don’t. My goal was never to create or to write a perfect journalistic standard of my life. It was always to be as literature.” ~ James Frey

 

llit • er • al • ly [lit-er-uh-lee]

1. actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy: The city was literally destroyed.

2. one of the quickest way to annoy a writer when used incorrectly: I literally screamed my head off. (Oh, really? Did you?)

3. another swift way to annoy a writer when used unnecessarily: I literally ate dinner. (Wow. Really glad you threw that extra word in there. Otherwise, I literally would not have understood your statement.)

Literally a Short Story About Literally

I do not have any quotes about the word literally. I searched for them, but literally could not find any. (see what I did there, #3) But I did have a creative writing teacher tell me once on an opening scene where my MC ran to the door and tore it open, that I needed to change that.

“She couldn’t literally tear open the door,” he said. “Not unless she’s a werewolf or something.”

She wasn’t.

He went on to tell me, “It would be better if she ripped the door off the hinges.”

“Well, she couldn’t literally rip the door off the hinges,” I said before I could stop myself.

He just stared at me for a minute and then added, “Well, if it was a screen door, she could.”

Needless to say, that opening scene assignment did not get an A.

 

 

kKin • dred [kin-drid]

1. natural relationship; affinity

2. having the same belief, attitude, or feeling: We are kindred spirits on the issue of the need for bookstores.

3.the overwhelming feeling of belonging and connection writers feel toward others writers

4. the sense of knowing the character in a favorite book so well that you find yourself sometimes wondering if that character is also thinking about you

Writer’s Quotes

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” ~ L.M. Montgomery

“You and I are more than friends. We’re like a really small gang.” ~ Author Unknown

“We are kindred spirits, forged in different fires but kindred.” ~ Aaron Polson

 

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