Life Might Not Be Fair, But It’s Beautiful

20994_969605946384560_4690850952568560146_nThe Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies (for many reasons, Cary Elwes among them) and this quote that reminds me in a clever way that life is to be lived, in all of its tragic, beautiful, messy, wonderful glory.

That said, there are multiple ways I can “take” this quote, depending on my mood.

Anyone else have a reaction to it that is similar or different from mine here? ­čÖé

It’s National Siblings Day in the US

Ma and seven daughtersseven girls 1As the sixth out of seven daughters, with two bonus”sisters” thanks to the Fresh Air Fund program (children from NYC who spend summers up “in the country”…we were blessed to have the same two sisters each summer for most of my childhood and have remained in touch with them both for 40+ years), much of my memory from growing up revolves around my family.Carol and Judi

I wouldn’t trade having these sisters for anything in the world. Being in this big tumble of a family helped to form who I am and how I view the world, and I often recall those times with great fondness and love.

I wonder how the dynamics might have changed if there had been a brother or two in there? ­čśë

Cultivating a Healthy P.O.V.

its_time_to_be_inspired_640_high_04This resonates with me on a personal level. What I bring to the table supersedes the rest, for good or for ill.

It’s also useful in my life as a writer. It’s why there are so many opinions and reactions to various books, writing styles, themes, subjects etc. What is moving, meaningful, and amazing┬áto one may seem trite, pedantic, or corny to another.

As a writer, it’s far easier to remember and be affected by criticism – by those who didn’t like one’s work – than by those who offered positive feedback, review, or praise. This quote helps me to keep it all in perspective.

ALL reactions to creative work are valid…but because of the intimate and subjective nature of any creative work, those reactions, positive or negative, often speak more about the person reading/viewing/hearing the work than the work itself.

When a review seems firmly based on the book – characters, plot, setting, background etc – it’s still true. Have you ever seen the reviews on amazon and the like where a reviewer who gave a blistering, one-star review is questioned by others who liked the work with something along the lines of, “Are we even talking about the same book – and did you even read this one?” It’s all in each individual reader’s perspective.

When the reviews are clearly personal – whether sweetly gushing or sarcastically slashing – having little to do about the work itself but seeming┬áto be more emotional, the quote above is doubly true.

In the 13+ years since my first book was released, I’ve had reviews of all kinds, and it takes a while to develop the thicker skin required of anyone who hopes to have a long-term writing career…especially when it can┬áseem as if those with┬ánegative reactions are the most vocal. But it’s a necessary skill to cultivate if you intend to put your work out there for public consumption.

Not everyone will like your baby. Some will even call it “ugly”. But others will adore it and treasure it. It’s all part of a writing career, and it’s a good idea to try to cultivate a healthy perspective about it. ­čÖé

 

Simple Gratitude

image“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.”
~Henry David Thoreau