Holidays

Fools Risk Magic

Happy April Fools’ or, if you prefer the older name, Happy All Fools’ Day!  This is one of my favorite holidays of the year. Not because of the silly tricks and deceptions people pull on each other, but because it reminds me to take risks. I’m not talking of risking money or life and limb but about risking your heart and soul. The kind of risk that might mean pain and rejection. You might end up feeling foolish or stupid. But if you don’t take the risk you will miss the opportunity to make magic happen in your writing and in your life.

TAKE THE RISK

Years ago, after an acrimonious divorce, I was a single parent struggling to balance a job, parenting, and a life.  I decided that meant I had to protect myself from risks. But centering everything around my middle-grade son meant I was holding him too close and denying myself adult-level conversations. So I took my first risk and joined a brick and mortar dating service.

I chose a service where I could keep the risk low. All members of this service underwent background checks and no one got my last name or phone number unless I first approved it. First dates were arrange via snail-mail notes sent through the service. And I had a lot of dates. No commitments, just dinner and a movie. That was the way I wanted it. Low risk.

Then, I received a note illustrated by an artist. His invitation to meet also included a suggestion that we could tell stories together. I was intrigued.

I met him at a local Tex-Mex restaurant. His name was Bob. The awkward ‘tell-me-a-little-about-yourself’ exchange segued into a discussion of the creative process. I was amazed that he ‘got it.’  We talked until we were the last remaining customers and the restaurant was locking the doors.

I knew our next conversation would be equally fascinating. But days passed into a week and he didn’t call. I bemoaned this fact to my girlfriend who suggested that I ask him for a date. Oh, no. I couldn’t risk it. I wasn’t that progressive, nor that confident. But when she suggested I write him a thank you note for the lovely dinner, that was a risk I could take. And I did.

He called the day he got the note. He’d also enjoyed the conversation and had thought we’d had a lovely time, until the evening ended. We had left the table and gone to the front desk, where he had paused to pay the bill. When he turned around, I was gone.  Vanished.

When he told me that I realized I could not remember saying goodnight. Yup. My risk-aversion had raised its fearful head and ‘we’ skedaddled out of there!

Fortunately, Bob risked a second chance. More dates followed. We risked showing each other our true hearts, our fears, and our dreams. And by taking that risk, the magic began to happen.

RISK YOUR HEART & SOUL

Having been foolish enough to think that I could live a life without risk, it seemed only natural to marry on April Fools’ day. And, of course, it was only natural to share our story with our friends.

Lynette M. Burrows science fiction author; Lynette M. Burrows action-suspense science fiction author.

Written by Lynette M. and Robert W. Burrows. Illustrated by R. W. Burrows. We partied after the honeymoon.

That was the beginning of our story. We’re still writing and illustrating. And it’s still magic. But we couldn’t live this story until we each took a few risks.

Writing is a lot like that. Your scribbles (or pixelated words) can fill volumes, but until you risk your heart and soul your story won’t come alive.

EMBRACE THE RISK

Be willing to be a fool.  Don’t let your fear of showing too much censor your words.  Unfetter your emotions, your memories, your pain, and your joy. Let it spill onto the page. Put your heart and soul on the line. Embrace the risk. It will change your life. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll make . . . magic.

 ~oOo~

Share the magic!

What risks have you taken in your life?  In your writing?

P.S. Because this post was date related, the next “Going to Mars: Word by Word” post featuring Greg Bear’s _Forge of God_ will be presented Monday, April 8th.

Oh, and  I won’t respond to your comments until April 2nd.  I’ve got an anniversary to celebrate!

I Can Not Tell a Lie: It’s Not Presidents Day

Really. While the U.S. holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February is often called Presidents Day it is officially, legally, a day to celebrate George Washington’s birthday. Learn more about how the misnomer came to be at snopes.com. 

Happy George Washington Day!

Lynette M Burrows, action-suspense science fiction author,

February 22, 1732 to December 14, 1799

George Washington was more than a hero of the Revolutionary War and the first President of the United States of America. He was first an orphan then a farmer, followed by Surveyor General for Virginia, land owner, a major in the Virginia militia, and a hero of the French and Indian War. He was a man who followed his principles and refused to be king.

Learn more about the man who became the first U.S.President at biography.com

Common Sense and Common Honesty

In reading about Washington, I found a timeless comment he made to the citizens of Baltimore in 1789.

“It appears to me that little more than common sense and common honesty in the transactions of the community at large would be necessary to make us a great and happy nation.”

His comment made me think. Whether Republican, Democrat or other political flavor it seems that many of the world’s leaders have forgotten their common sense and honesty. Perhaps whole nations have.

But in this, the information age, can we believe the information put before us? Reality tv shows are staged. Advertising has little relationship to the truth. Misinformation ripples across the internet.  

In the frenzy to get attention, to be special, are we getting a distorted view?

What do you think? Does the world need more common sense and honesty? Do you think that media attention on those who have demonstrated a lack of common sense and dishonesty has caused a distorted perception of the morals of politicians?

 

 

Valentine’s Day: Procrastinator’s Delight

valentine_hearts_clip_art
Did you know that 141 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year, not including the boxes of cards school age children exchange?  And more than 50% of those cards are bought in the six days immediately preceding Valentine’s Day?  Whew, and I thought it was just me!

Are you a Valentine’s Day procrastinator desperately needing a gift idea for your sweetie? Have no fear, there are links below to suit anyone’s budget.

Want to know dazzle your sweetheart with more facts about Valentine’s Day?  Go to History.com.

Try making your own card with one of the sweet love quote Huffington Post found.

Looking for something different?  Here are some ‘non-cheesy’ date ideas on Your Tango. A burlesque show?  If any of you try that one, let me know how it works out.

Cosmopolitan has some great gift ideas for guys. It even tells you how much you should spend on a gift based on how long you’ve been dating.  (What?  Married folk don’t count?!)

Spare no expense, you say?  Well then, CNN has a slide show of wildly expensive gifts.  Honey, if you’re reading this, I could really go for the 24-karate gold purse.  (Just kidding!)

Someone out there, will most likely get romanced with a diamond.  I already have gotten my diamond ring from my darling husband, but I do love sparkly rings.  Maybe this Valentine’s Day I could have a . . . .

Lynette M Burrows science fiction author, Lynette M Burrows, action-suspense science fiction author Lynette M Burrows

Power Ring!

Tell me, do you and your sweetie exchange Valentine’s Day gifts? 

Are you a planner (purchase your gifts or cards more than 6 days beforehand) or are you a procrastinator (purchase gifts and cards 6, or fewer, days ahead)?

What’s the best gift or card you’ve ever given or gotten?