2016 has hit us hard.
We've seen hate spill blood, constantly, and watched those in power do nothing to stop it. We've seen women and black and LGBTQ people literally beg to not be harmed, only to have it thrown in their faces. We've just watched fearmongering and racism dominate the UK, with who knows what consequences.
And to top it all off, we keep losing the icons we grew up with.
We keep losing our heroes.
But this isn't a post about how bad things are. Anyone will tell you, I'm a practical optimist. I believe good can win, but that we have to fight for it.
When the old heroes die, new ones have to step up.
It's your time. Your time to make a difference. Do something, anything, to bring some good into the world. You don't overcome fear and hate by wishing them away or quietly stewing. You do it by showing the rest of the world that you won't succumb to despair.
The world is begging for people to do great things. To end wars, cure diseases, change unfair laws, spread love. No matter who you are, there is something you can do to make the world a little bit better.
Become a doctor. Volunteer at a shelter or clinic. Give to charity. Join the police. Run for office. Vote, for the love of all, vote. Teach your kids love, compassion, and acceptance. Join the school board. Buy a meal for a homeless person. Sing. Hug a friend who needs comfort. Talk to people who are suffering the most, let them know they can count on you. Paint a picture. Make art. Write a book. Tell stories where the good guys win. Laugh. Start a business. Reach for something bigger than you are. Every one of you has had a dream at some point in your life. Go after it. Be relentless in your goals and let nothing stop you.
And while you do this, always be the best, kindest, person you can be. You might be a great success, you might fail. If you do, you can always get back up and start again. Do not let this hard world beat you to your knees. Because it will, if you let it.
Not everyone can be the biggest hero. But not all heroes are big. Some are small. All are important. And some day, somewhere, you will be the one somebody looks to at times like this, when the world needs heroes the most.
Those people will see you. They will hear you. They will need you.
Be a hero, even if it's just for one person.
Monsters can be beaten. Monsters must be beaten.
Jun 24, 2016
Jun 20, 2016
This is an auspicious time. Today is the longest day of the year (though not the traditional Summer Solstice, which is tomorrow), and coincides with the Strawberry Moon, a full moon in June which signals the start of the strawberry season.
The Summer Solstice and the Strawberry Moon only coincide once every 70 years. This is something most of us will not live to see again.
And tomorrow, the 21st, the traditional solstice date, is my 8th wedding anniversary.
It is also the starting date for my IndieGoGo campaign to fund the publication of Blackened Wings, the third in the Lady Raven series. Watch out tomorrow for my post announcing the kick-off. It's going to run for 30 days, after which the money raised will go towards paying my editor (the awesome Amie McCracken), and fulfilling my backers' reward levels.
So tonight I'll be pouring a drink for the gods, and getting ready to see where this takes me.
Jun 3, 2016
You might have seen some activity on my Facebook and Twitter feeds this past week, where I refer to "storming the castle." I thought it'd be nice to give some background to this.
As I'm sure most people will have guessed, "storming the castle" is a reference to one of the greatest movies ever made, The Princess Bride.
Way back when I was still working away on Locked Within, I reconnected, over Facebook, with an old friend from college, Ash, who is also a writer. It’s safe to say she’s one of my best friends, and we’ve supported each other through all the trials and tribulations that come with balancing writing with day jobs and, eventually, parenthood.
One day, I spotted she was talking about her work-in-progress, getting to the end of the book. She posted she was “Having fun storming the castle.” Being the shameless geek I am, I commented with the follow-up line “Do you think it’ll work?” Not missing a beat, she came right back with “It’ll take a miracle.”
Since then, it’s been a tradition of ours, when coming up to something big, to repeat that exchange. “Storming the castle” is now how I mark the moment when I start writing the climax of a novel, and without fail, Ash will be there to ask “Do you think it’ll work?”
The other day, I stormed the castle and finished the first draft of Blackened Wings.
So here’s to storming the castle, and all the challenges we have yet to face.
Do any of you have any similar traditions to mark the completion of large tasks?