Posted by Jo Robertson Nov 30 2007, 5:15 pm in Jo Robertson, overcoming discouragement
by Jo Robertson
I was looking at some pictures of my granddaughter Annie the other day. Her family took a trip to Apple Hill, a beautiful place in the fall, where there’s a small fishing pond and a picnic area for children to play. Ducks swim on the water and waddle around the shore.
Initially the ducks fascinate Annie. She has no frame of reference to fear them. They look harmless enough. Pretty, too, with their white feathers and long “lellow” noses. Mommy whispers those noses are called beaks.
Annie reaches for one. It quacks or makes whatever frightening sound ducks make, startling her. She backs away, crying.
But, an hour later, with a little coaxing, and having become accustomed to them, their peculiar sound and smell, she inches forward.
By the end of the day Annie decides ducks are pretty cool.
Myself, I’m not the adventurous sort. I never cut class in high school. Really. I never sneaked out of the house at night. I never drove my dad’s car without permission. I never tried drugs in college even though it was the height of the hippie era. I avoided the deep end of the pool.
Like the words of that Kelly Clarkson song – I didn’t stray too far from the sidewalk.
There’s something wise and smart and cautious about not taking risks. Risk-takers often end up getting hurt. Or hurting other people.
When I was younger, I wanted to be a professional singer. After I was graduated from high school, I worked for the U.S. Government for eighteen months before college, lived at home, had a little extra money, and wanted so, so badly to take voice lessons from a professional instructor. But I was too chicken. I wouldn’t take the chance. I was afraid to risk embarrassment. Afraid I wasn’t good enough.
As a result I didn’t sing my first solo until I was thirty-two in a small church in Jerusalem. The song was something about lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness and every muscle in my body quaked like an aftershock — but not my voice. My voice was clear and smooth and unfettered.
But you see, I could have done that at age seventeen or eighteen instead of thirty-two.
I know a lot of writers who never submit their work. Ironic, huh? That’s like a singer who won’t sing in the shower or a dancer who doesn’t tap his foot to the beat of the drum. But it’s true. Their convoluted logic is that if they don’t submit their work, they won’t face rejection.
There’s a concept that the more we do something, the easier it becomes. The task doesn’t get easier; our ability to accomplish the task becomes greater.
So my question for you is — What have you learned to do that got easier with the doing of it? Come on, share those stories, folks. It doesn’t have to be about writing. We writers get our inspiration and our perseverance from your successes!
Jo’s Pumpkin Bread HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 c. sugar
1 c. oil
2/3 c. water
2 cans canned pumpkin
Mix wet ingredients well. Add nuts and dry ingredients. Bake at 350 degress in greased pans about 35 to 40 minutes. Do not overbake. This recipe works best in small loaf pans. Makes 6 small loaves or three large loaves.
Posted by Anna Campbell Nov 30 2007, 4:27 am in Anna Campbell, Bandit Booty, untouched
Firstly, a big fat smoochy thank you to everyone who came to my launch party on Tuesday. I had such a lot of fun and you guys made it a real celebration for me! Mwah! And now for the important bit… The winners of the consolation prizes of coverflats, the calendar and bits of stationery are: Robyn E with her wonderful idea of having a hero party with no heroines permitted! Bonnie for her fantastic Scottish extravaganza! The winner of the signed copy of UNTOUCHED is: Jennifer Y!!! OK, girls, email your snail mail details to anna AT annacampbell DOT
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Nov 29 2007, 5:01 am in Feeding the Writer, Holidays, recipes
by Suzanne Welsh This year the Bandits are celebrating our first holiday season as a blog group. We talked in private how we could celebrate with you, our guests and readers. We decided to share some of our favorite traditions or foods with you. So starting today and ending with Boxing Day, December 26th, we’ll have some of those favorite recipes for you to try, some great memories and stories to share with you, as well as some fabulous guests. Every year after Thanksgiving I begin baking for the Christmas season. It’s a tradition with my family that Mom is
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Nov 28 2007, 5:01 am in boxer dogs, caves, redecorating, Suzanne Welsh, writing
by Suzanne Welsh This has been a productive week at my house. Yesterday I had three workmen stripping 1970’s era wallpaper and old chair rails from the dining room walls. They patched the plaster and filled holes from picture nails. Then they painted the eggshell white walls a lovely pale yellow green. They also painted the foyer a lovely shade of pale yellow gold. Now you may be wondering what in the world this little bit of remodeling has to do with writing. Well, when we bought this house, we had a bedroom for each of the kids and one
Posted by Anna Campbell Nov 27 2007, 6:32 am in Anna Campbell, Celebration, Launch, untouched
Welcome to my launch party! Whoo-hoo! I’m sure anyone who regularly visits the Banditas knows my second book UNTOUCHED comes out today! Yes, the Green Monster is poised like Godzilla to eat up shelf space in a bookshop near you. RRRRRAAAARRRRHHH! And maybe munch that pesky Golden Rooster that has abandoned me for colder climes in recent weeks. I’ll show that mangy cockerel what it’s like as a frozen chicken! Ha! Anyway, back to the important stuff. As your hostess, I welcome you into the lair which is decorated with green streamers and beautiful pink roses (significant in the story
Posted by Nancy Northcott Nov 27 2007, 5:40 am in Bandita Booty, comments
The guest commenter and winner of Nancy’s $15.00 Borders gift card is . . . (drumroll, please) Pearl! Congratulations, Pearl, and thanks for stopping by! If you’ll email me, nancy AT nancynorthcott DOT com, I’ll send your prize on its way.
Posted by Anna Sugden Nov 27 2007, 4:02 am in Anna Sugden, rejection, survival
by Anna Sugden Yes, I did mean it that way around! Those of us who watch sports have seen it happen all-too-often. That game-winning goal scored as time runs out. That bloop in the 10th inning that results in a run. That horse who comes from nowhere to win it by a nose. When it’s the play-offs, a championship or a title race, and the stakes and tension are high, the agony and ecstasy are extreme Suddenly, supporters and players split into two camps. Those who celebrate the glory of success and those who are plunged into the shock and
Posted by Kate Carlisle Nov 25 2007, 4:46 am in Uncategorized
With all this talk about contests lately (American Title—vote for Trish!) (The Golden Heart – deadline’s coming up!) (And hey, our own Susan Seyfarth won Best of the Best in Indiana’s Golden Opportunity contest!), I think it’s time we brought up a very important topic. Okay, it’s a dry, boring, left-brain topic, but if you’re serious about entering and winning contests, you’re going to need a plan. A Business Plan. I speak from experience. I’d been entering chapter contests for years, intermittently and without any particular reason or goal in mind. I was lucky enough to stumble into finalling in
Posted by Guest Nov 24 2007, 2:03 pm in Uncategorized
Today the spotlight is on Trish Milburn, fellow Bandita, American Title IV finalist, talented multi-genre author, and all-around great gal! This is the final weekend for voting in the second round of the American Title contest, so please click on the side button and visit the Romantic Times site to see if Trish can earn your vote! In the meantime, here’s a little more about Trish: KJ: Congrats on making it to the top eight in the ATIV contest. As the runner-up in the ATIII contest, I have some idea of how much effort goes into encouraging voting. It’s not
Posted by Christina Brooke Nov 24 2007, 1:15 am in contest winner, Denise Rossetti
Helen, Doglady and Laura J! You’ve each won a set of signed over-sized postcards of Denise Rossetti’s sizzling covers. Thank you for commenting! Please click on this link to Denise’s website and email her your postal address through the ‘contact’ link on the sidebar. Thanks as always to everyone who commented! And thanks to Denise for being a GREAT GUEST! We love to have people hang out with us in the lair. Please come back often.