Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Value of Challenges

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw When my kid went to bed, last night, I finally took a few minutes to reflect on everything that's happened in my life in the last few years. Although I often feel that my existence is a big, boring set of routines, and Spirit could really try a little harder to make blessings roll in a timely manner, last night I finally had to admit that things HAVE happened, and compared to five years ago, my world has changed a great deal. What I think triggered my reflection was a discussion about the state lottery. While we were sitting in the living room after dinner, my daughter asked me what I would do if I won such a staggering amount. My answer surprised her and slighly disappointed her. If I won a jackpot of 500 millions, I would probably set one million aside for each of my three kids, I would put away five to ten millions for retirement, I would take care of family and a few close friends, and then I would have fun with the rest. I don't think I would want to buy houses, yachts or cars, and clothes and shoes have never been at the top of my list of likes. What I would really like to do would be to play anonimous Santa, sharing that wealth anonimously with the unsuspecting needy. I have heard a few sweet stories in the last few years -- one of a woman who walked into a K-Mart close to Christmas and paid off all the toys on layaway in cash, and another of a woman who bought a foreclosed home just to give it back to the original owner who lost it after falling into hard times. How much fun would it be to do something like that?? My daughter didn't seem all that impressed with my choices. "Wow, Mom, you would give all that money away and you would only leave us, your own children, one million each?" I explained to her that life is more fun when you have goals you strive to achieve, and the journey is really what defines you as a person. Individual strengths don't usually come out until one needs to be strong, and one rarely tries hard to learn new strategies until challenges come along. A million would buy each of the kids a home and give them enough money for education and a good start. When everyone went to bed, I thought of how my philosophies apply to my own life, and how much I have learned by having to reinvent myself in the last few years. Writing has truly been the key to not only finding myself, but also to creating a new self. Of course, I wish someone could have come in, touched me with a magic wand and offered a shortcut to success, but if that had happened, I wouldn't have learned half as much. In the last five years, I have learned how to stand on my own two feet, I have learned how to do things I never thought possible, and I have been forced to get out of the safety of my shell and explore the world. Has it been easy? Not at all, but it has been fun and educational. If I look back at the shy person I was just five years ago, and the more confident individual I have become, I know all those efforts were not in vain. Life isn't just about discovering who we are by finding what we enjoy doing, but rather, it is an opportunity to reinvent the wheel if one is needed to travel smoothly. As I thought of all this, I was suddenly happy about the challenges I endured.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Week 23: THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP Author Sandra Carrington-Smith, The Book of Obeah and Killer in Sight (A Tom Lackey Mystery) . “The past few years have been full of high profile reads—50 Shades of Gray, Twilight, and more. Love them or hate them, you have to admit you have at least heard of them. As Independent Authors we all dare to dream we will be next, and well let’s face it, you never know ... right? With some hard work and the right marketing any one of us could be the next most talked about Author. With that thought I jumped on this Hop, what is a blog traffic hop? Well I didn’t know until I asked. Basically, it’s an Independent Authors game of tag. One author posts, and then tags five other authors, who each link back to them. Exponentially it is a marketing gold mine, and you my fair reader have hopefully just increased your to read list. Finding new and exciting authors you may never have found otherwise. Some of us are still writing, others are just being released. Either way, for you Fiction Lovers, a treasure trove awaits and I’d like to thank fellow Author Carol Marvell for tagging me to participate. Please check out Carol's website and books. Website: Buy Slave Trader here: Blog: Click the links to find out about Sandra Carrington-Smith’s books. Paranormal Thriller, The Book of Obeah: Supernatural thriller, Killer in Sight (A Tom Lackey Mystery): Spiritual self-help, Housekeeping for the Soul: Website: “In this particular hop I and my fellow authors each in their perspective blogs have answered 10 questions where you get to learn about our current WIP (Works in Progress) as well as some goodies as to our process, from characters and inspirations to photographic/ cinematic eye candy! I hope you enjoy it! If this or any other items pique your interest, please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions.” HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS 1: What is the title of your book? The Book of Obeah 2: Where did the idea come from for the book? I am not too sure. I woke up one morning, back in 2006, with the name of the protagonist in mind. She told me her story and I just wrote it down. 3:What genre does your book fall under? Paranormal Thriller. 4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Morgan Freeman would be perfect for Elegba, the spirit of the Crossroads. Evan Rachel Wood would be wonderful in the role of Melody Bennet, the main protagonist. 5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? An emotional ride, steeped in the secrets of a southern Louisiana bayou. . 6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?. The Book of Obeah was traditionally published by OBooks and represented by the Krista Goering Literary Agency. Killer in Sight, my new novel that released in May 2012, is represented by Natalie Kimber at Sunrae Agency. 7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? A month, approximately. 8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? The Celestine Prophecy, The Skeleton Key. 9: Who or What inspired you to write this book? It was sudden and unexpected inspiration. I never turned back. 10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The Book of Obeah offers a different take on voodoo, quite unparalleled by the traditional Hollywood version. The novel has been optioned for film, and production is scheduled to start in early summer 2012.