Monday, February 13, 2012

*Life is in the journey!* ~ Origins

Life's Inspirational Valiant Endeavors
~ Origins ~

Hi and Howdy! 
 *Tell us all where your writing dreams began. 
It all started somewhere and we want you to tell us your own, unique, beginnings.*

Life is in the journey!
To LIVE with eyes wide open, 
inspiring ourselves and others, 
finding the courage to do so, 
as we strive toward a greater purpose...
This is my journey!

The first time I heard the question, “So I hear you’re writing a novel,” I wanted to crawl into a hole where I would, first, be free to contemplate the imminent tongue-lashing (followed by much kissing, of course) of he who must be named – my cheer-leading husband – for ever having mentioned IT to anyone *not on the list*... and second, a place of solitude where I could count the multitude of foolish, foolish dreams which had led me, oh so willingly, into this predicament.

For the record, those few brave souls *on the list* were to be read the following disclaimer upon their induction into this writer's (yes, that just happened) circle of trust: “I, (that's me) being of questionable mind and weakened spirit, do hereby admit to writing something, resembling but not limited to anything, of which will be referred to from here out simply as, a book, and of which, I do not expect (lie) to actually be considered (lie, lie) by any reputable agent (liar, liar pants on fire), because I know in my heart that, even though I am a wonderfully nice person (three weeks out of every lunar cycle), everyone knows (I want names) that publishing is likened to winning the lottery (I want names and I want my happy place back)!”

My love for writing began the moment I broke in the binding of my first paperback romance, at the tender age of thirteen. A whole new world opened up to me, teeming with Love, Loss and Lust. I remember the look on my mother’s face as she passed by my bedroom where I sat, huddled, with my head buried between the pages. It was that same look I gave my daughter when she first discovered Stephanie Meyer’s, “Twilight”. I was instantly hooked on the language of storytelling. Words were my new love, and to quote Edward Cullen, “… like my own personal brand of heroin.”

Raging hormones aside, publication or even the light of day eluded my characters once real life happened.  Stacks of writing journals, ripe with cliche characters and weak plot outlines, sat idle and stuffed into bottom drawers throughout my roaring twenties (which were rather dull actually, unless wandering from state to state in search of myself is considered roar-worthy). My characters, my make-believe, turned out young women, lost like me, but who had found the courage to fight for their truth and their voice. Women stronger than me. Women defined more by the fight within than their insecurities. 

By the time I hit my thirties, I had fallen willingly into the life of a devoted, though painfully lost, mother to three little monsters and, as such, had neither the time nor the energy to pursue what was still my dream ~ to write stories. 

My writing journey, my origins, are what’s given me my education. For that, I am grateful. And though I dreamt (yep, still do) of being whisked away to the land of publishing by a fairy godmother (a reputable agent) ~ because I'm just that good ~ it is simply telling a good story that drives me to spending hours, days... nay, a LIFETIME of pulling at my hair and holding my breath, as I hover over my keyboard in light and in darkness. Stepping outside of myself to captivate an audience, attempting to master the English language (Ha!) in the details... There is the true magic. And if it just so happens to irrevocably change the course of another human being's existence, then win-win.

As much as I have struggled over the years with the fear that I am not good enough to call myself ~ A Writer ~ I think I have finally accepted the truth of my calling. It matters little, really, that I keep up with the big boys and girls. Winning the trophy is oh, so nice, I won't lie, but the path, in which I continue to discover more about myself in search of that road less traveled, is truly the reward in itself. It's in the journey that we discover who we are and who we want to be. Not the destination.

Happiness, contentment, and fulfillment 
are found in the enthusiasm we carry for Life.
Here and Now. 

To write, is to dream.
To dream, is to let in hope...
opening up your world and the world of others 
to infinite possibility.
It is in our lifelong search to achieve,
Life’s Inspirational Valiant Endeavors, 
that we are most alive.

And there is nothing greater in this world 
than finding You Are Not Alone, 
within the pages of a good story.

*Life is in the journey!* is a weekly series here on Scarlett’s Tattoo.
Please DO join in the conversation!
Every voice matters.

“The best way out is always through.”
~ Robert Frost


  1. Love the fairy godmother (reputable agent) line. Those are the best. :D

  2. Yay for dreams!

    I hope your fairy godmother finds you. And when she does and she's granted your wish, send her my way. :)

  3. LOL glad I wasn't the only one affected by TWILIGHT!
    Great story! Thanks for sharing ;)

  4. I, too, caught the bug by reading romances!

  5. Stina ~ You're not kidding! *grin*

    Connie ~ I have a feeling, when the time comes, I'll have to hunt that little fairy down, feed her lots of giggles and hope for the best! Will most definitely call you up! You can bring the rope.

    Juliana ~ I hear ya! So glad you stopped in!

    Meika ~ Aren't they addictive?! My tastes have changed a bit over the years, but I still love a good romance. I fell into Diana Gabaldon's 'Outlander' series, expecting it to be found in Historical Lit, not Romance. It's the best of both worlds!

  6. Yes, they ARE addictive! I've heard a lot about the Outlander series, but I haven't checked them out yet. I will, though! I loved romances so much that I write them now! What do you write?

  7. I'm working on a YA paranormal romance, though I did not go out looking to write about the paranormal. It just happened!

    I saw the *signs* and I followed them. *Grin*

  8. I enjoy paranormal romances and have just gotten into YA. Sounds interesting!

  9. This was a lot of fun to read. I laughed pretty hard over the first few paragraphs because they were oh so familiar. =)

  10. Great story and it's the journey that makes us stronger....and gives us the strength to keep going on. Don't give up!

  11. Oh, I think I took that same pledge, lol. And romances just have that stuff you know? That hot sexy love stuff that makes you wanna write your own. Ya, I agree.

  12. Great entry! Never stop dreaming. My little monster takes up the majority of my time, but I snatch moments here and there to follow my dreams. New follower. :)

  13. M.J. ~ Glad to see someone can relate! Pain, in the form of a good, hearty laugh, is good, right? It just stands to reason that something has got to give! *grin*

    Jennee ~ Thanks so much for stopping in! You're sweet.

    Cassie Mae ~ The Pledge was most definitely designed in the spirit of a Living Disclaimer! LOL... and the *stuff* of romance, well, yeah. It seems to me there's hardly a story written that doesn't include a relationship of some sort. Add a little hotness in there, and you have a bestseller. Or at the very least, something to keep you warm at night. (Is it getting hot in here?)

    Christine ~ So glad you came by for a look-see! And thank you! The Journey is all about the Dreaming, right?

  14. Oh, I love this. How inspiring! And this whole part: "it is simply telling a good story that drives me to spending hours, days... nay, a LIFETIME of pulling at my hair and holding my breath, as I hover over my keyboard in light and in darkness. Stepping outside of myself to captivate an audience, attempting to master the English language (Ha!) in the details... There is the true magic."

    YES. THIS.

  15. I believe in fairy godmothers and in magic wands!

    Good luck with your continuous journey!!!

    Mary Montague Sikes

  16. So Cool, Laura!

    I do LOVE the magic ~ Even if, insanity is the sweet result! *GRIN*

  17. Thank you, Monti! And YOU, yours!! So glad you stopped in today!

  18. These journeys make us better storytellers. I had a meandering path, too. Great meeting you.

  19. M ~ meandering is my life! *grin*

    Glad you stopped in to share!

  20. That's my favorite line from Twilight! "Personal brand of heroine." It doesn't get any better than that! Thanks for sharing your story:)

  21. Marta~ I know, right? Completely sucked me in to the romance of Twilight. Sometimes, it's the simplest story that hooks you by the heart!

  22. Enjoyed the post--somehow I've seen your blog before and thought I was already a follower. Well, I am now! Here's looking at writing mommies everywhere!

  23. Though being published is no doubt the icing on the cake, the journey is so much more important, I agree. Thanks for sharing!

    Allison (Geek Banter)

  24. Nice to meet you, Scarlet! Oh, you have such a wonderful outlook on the whole writing thing - I'm loving you and your blog already. I think that's the attitude that will carry a writer through to his or her goal - the perspective that writing is all, and whatever comes is just an extra bonus. Wonderful story, thanks for sharing!

  25. (Sorry! I spelled your name wrong! SCARLETT.. haha)

  26. That ORIGIN tells me your definitely good enough! So very well written, and entertaining. Keep at it!!

    Thank you for sharing with us today! :)

  27. Heather ~ *Here's looking at writing mommies everywhere!* I'll toast to THAT! Just love your poetry and your sincerity. Looking forward to reading so much more!

    Allison ~ The icing on the cake IS pretty darn tasty, but it is the cake underneath that I love! I'm beginning to see, I may be a living testimony to this metaphor! Ouch. (Note to self: Cake is good. Fear of Icing ON the Cake is by no means an acceptable path.) Thanks for that AHA moment. *grin*

    Julie ~ When I saw your name up there, I couldn't help but think of you and your basket scaring the pants off defenseless squirrels. (They make underpants for squirrels! Did you know this?!)

    I do try to keep my perspective on my journey. I'm at a point in my life, where I am now setting writing goals for myself and achieving them. As long as I am enjoying the process, It IS Good!

  28. Thank you, Don! *Big Smile*

    I LOVED joining in on 'Write Club' this go-round! And, I just want to say again, how AWESOME this Origins Fest has been! I've gained more perspective on *my origins*, through the stories in this community in the last 24 hours, than ever. Thank you!

  29. Scarlett, loved your disclaimer. :-)

    Aaaah, books have always been my drug of choice. I didn't discover romance until my late teens. My reading was all over the place, but I've always loved stories that were as good a Calgon, in taking me away from where ever I was to some place new and exciting.

    One thing I've learned on this journey is insecurity and doubts are pretty much normal. Even those who have multiple books traditionally published wonder if they are good enough. That someone will pull the curtain back and see the little person hiding behind the persona of WRITER. I have several friends that are quaking mass of nerves every time the release date is imminent. Then comes all the nerves as the reviews roll in.

    Never be afraid to dream. Dreams are the doorway to reality.(that's my own quote, btw)


  30. Hi, Sia! (I would love to know how you pronounce your name!)

    I see today how many writers there are out there Just Like Me. It's comforting to know that I am, in fact, NOT lacking so miserably in self-confidence... or at least any more or less than any other of my writing peers!

    I'm so glad you came by! Loved your space!

  31. awesome story! Thanks for sharing. And I love your sense of humor.

  32. Thanks, Prerna!

    And, what a cutie-patootie you're holding in your profile pic!

  33. Maybe you'll be (or already are) you very own fairy godmother. Who could do it better than you? I absolutely loved reading your "origins" tale. This blogfest has been excellent! Your tale is awesome and inspiring (what more could one ask?). You have a new follower (me!). :)

  34. Ok, so I'm pretty sure just about every book on your Blogger profile list is also on mine (I'm a stalker. But only of those destiny drops into my lap). If it's not, it should be! I mean, c'mon... Outlander? GWTW? Clan of the Cave Bear? Twilight? (Yeah, you must be my long lost twin)

    Thank you for the rave review! I also LOVED yours! (Not a poser)

    Stop in anytime! This Fest *has* been an eye-opening experience.

  35. Aloha Scarlett,

    Seriously woman, you made me blush... It's been a long time since someone called me a hero (and at the time, I was dressed as a rather large Italian sandwich) so thank you for the kind comments and the follow :)

    I am also following you 'cos you are a darn FINE WRITER with some *awesome skills... I had goose bumps by the end of this post.

    You are hereby awarded RockStar status (there's no button :) and I look forward to reading more awesomeness :)

  36. That's such a nice origin story. I know that one day, your hard work and belief in yourself will pay off. :-)

  37. Haha - love the disclaimer!

  38. I loved your admission. "I being of questionable mind and weakened spirit..." Very funny.

    Great Origin story. :)

  39. What a great story. (LOVE the disclaimer!) And I say, if you want to write, and you write, then you are a writer. Remember to have fun.

  40. My Dear Mark, I gleefully accept my new Rock Star status. Will you please repeat that for my kids to hear? Me thinkith they think-ith that's so not true!

    And, so happy my origin made you break out in a bumpy rash. *grin*

    Re: Your HERO status:
    Stay-Home-Dad = Hero to me!
    (I imagine your little monsters love the All-You-Can-Eat Hero buffet!)

  41. Misha ~ Thank you! I am learning so much about the writing/publishing world. It's daunting. It's sometimes terrifying. But I can no longer resist the inner voice that tells me to just pull up my big girl panties and do it anyway!

    Freya ~ THANKS. And thanks for stopping in! *happy smile*

    Mina ~ It DOES feel that way... often! Sometimes it just feels like torture. Good thing writing is like having babies; eventually you learn to dismiss the pain, because they're just so darn cute.

  42. Bish, so glad you stopped in! My aunt, a published writer, has said these very words to me for years. I wrote them down, they held so much meaning to me, and stuck it up on my computer screen!

    I do love to write, create, and put it out there for the world to see. (Well, I can't say I actually love that last part.) Thanks for the reminder: To Have Fun. That is what it's all about, isn't it.

  43. Great to meet you on this blogfest.I love how you got started with a romance novel :) Oh yes, I've read my share of those.

    your newest follower,

  44. Wonderful post! :)

    I always feel like giving people that disclaimer whenever I show them my writing. LOL.

    Thank you for sharing your origins story.

  45. What a cool origin story!! A lot of times we have to endure to become stronger.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Following back :)

  46. “So I hear you’re writing a novel.” Yep, I still cringe at thtat line--but now it's mainly because it's coming from a non-writer who has no idea how long it takes to finish a novel and get it published.

  47. Nutschell ~ It's good to see you here, too! Just popped over to check you out. I'll be right back! I'm desperately trying to get over to that second link column today! Romance certainly hooked me when I was a kid. I'm all about the discovery of self in my characters today. If a little kissin' gets thrown into the mix, well then, bring it on muse!

    Eags ~ I'm so glad you made it by to read! Thanks! That disclaimer was me setting my heart out for a good stomping, I admit. Glad everyone found some of themselves in it, too!

    Jess ~ You are a mature and wise young woman! To grow in life (and writing) one most certainly must prove their endurance! Thanks for stopping in to read!

  48. You have an awesome attitude that I admire. An you are "that great" I hope the fairy godmother whisk you (and me) away soon to the magical land of a published novel.

    I am a new follower from the Origins blogfest.

  49. Lynda ~ MY thoughts exactly! Those who don't write, don't know. Kinda like those who don't have kids, don't have a clue what it really takes to raise them.

    Thanks for stopping in! I really enjoy your helpful posts in my inbox!

  50. Melissa SUGAR,

    I L-O-V-E your name! It makes me feel all warm in side. I do, admittedly, have a wee bit of an addiction to the white stuff in my sweet tea.

    I can't wrap my mind around what to say, I'm so anxious to get over to your posting to comment. I took a peek a second ago and loved it! My camp stories are near and dear to my heart! So, Thanks! Really. If I see that little fairy, I'll send her your way! Coming over now. *grin*

  51. Hi, Scarlett! I loved your story and ESPECIALLY that snarky disclaimer.

    Our dreams will come true! As my prior blog title said "A dream is a wish your heart makes..." (Cinderella)

    Love the theme on your blog. I'm working on mine now. It's far too formal in appearance for my voice.

    Thanks for the follow. You have a new one, too.

  52. Romances have drawn so many people into writing! Love it!! :)

  53. great beginning! i would love to have someone break my binding, you cant do that w/ebooks!

    and thx for the inspiring poem!

  54.'s a calling. Glad you heard it and continued to follow it.

    Bornstoryteller #125 (sorry for coming late: been trying to read the blogs and have a life)

  55. Thanks, Gloria! It's funny just how many people that little disclaimer resonated with! I almost took it out before publishing, 'cause I thought my fellow writers might think it immature and self-indulgent. *g*

    The 'theme' of my blog? Well, I'm glad you think so. When I first designed this place, I wanted to say something about *me*. Our Barefoot Acres ~ Kids, Animals, etc. pretty much sums it up!

    But, now that I'm more serious about publicizing my writing, I'm wondering if it's professional enough... what with the pressed flowers and the 'inspirational' links, and the title and all! (Though, the title I am pretty fond of. It means something to me personally, if not to the rest of the world.)

  56. Jemi ~ I noticed that theme throughout the Origins. Love is in the air! *grin ~ with a heart*

    A.J. ~ Thanks for coming by!

    Tara ~ I'm not much of a writer of poetry, but thanks. *happy face* I wished for the first time ever this morning that I had an ereader! I was hooked on Travis McKenzie (Magickless, in the Origins Fest) and his published book, 'The Dragon and the Crow', but it seems to only be available on Kindle. Bummed. I much prefer the breaking of the binding!

    Stuart ~ Thanks. I'm curious after taking a peek over at your place. Will have to come by and read the entries. Month-long blogfest? I like the sound of that! I could use the extra time myself!

  57. Lovely, lovely post. I will never get tired of reading these origin stories, because I feel like we all have this amazing thing in common!

  58. Jennifer, you are so right! It really has given me a much clearer perspective on *my* writing struggles.

    So glad you popped in! I'm still working hard to get around to all. It'll take me days at this rate!

    Coming over now!

  59. Wait! I forgot. *weirdness* I already made it to your place! Wonderfully frightening real life. No wonder you still write about it!

  60. Anybody who quotes Twilight is down with me :D Although I'm a diehard Team Jacob.

    I too love that your journey started with romance novels - I think we all read a few illicit ones in my youth! lol

  61. That is a fantastic disclaimer. I keep dreading the "So, when is it getting published?" question. I could do with writing a little pamphlet to hand out, explaining the vagaries of publishing and its likeness to winning the lottery.

  62. Sophia ~ If my mother only knew what I was really reading! Then again, maybe she did. *g*

    I don't know that I ever publicly chose a team. But since you brought it up... I'm kinda into a manly sparkle. Though, I admit the muscles and the wolfie angst are a turn on! Can't a girl have both?!

  63. Botanist ~ The question I dread is the one I've already heard on a few occasions... "You're still writing on that same book?"

    Please. Kill. Me. Now.

    ... and my favorite... "I know a girl who wrote TWO books, while holding down a full-time job, raising a mess of kids, donates all her free time to charity, and did it all left-handed...just for fun!" (Well, maybe I made that part up.)

    I have to remind myself daily that there is no shame in how fast or slow I write, or even if it's any good. The point is, that I am following my dream. Whether it is a luxury or a curse is for me to reconcile with myself... when I win the lottery!

  64. Scarlett, what a cool blog! You seem like a girl with tons of personality. I think I might have to try the paradise burgers recipe on Sunday.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm glad you noticed that I have a main character named after you. Her book should be coming out next year, so I'll have to keep you posted. I think you might like it!

  65. Julie, your novel 'None So Blind' sounds intriguing. Cool concept, I think, from what I read in the snippet you put up on your website! I look forward to reading it!

    Hope the burgers are a hit!

  66. Love this part, "To LIVE with eyes wide open," Nicely said. Write on, my friend!!!!!!!!

  67. Thanks, Lynn! True happiness is all about facing life without our blinders on, isn't it.

  68. Sounds like it's been a great journey so far!

  69. Kathy, I think I'm right behind you. Your comment is still warm! *g*

    The journey has been interesting, I'll say that. Joy. Pain. Joy. Pain. The usual. I think one of the most important bits of wisdom that ever sunk in to my bones, is that *Where there is darkness, there is light. One does not exist without the other. One does not learn without living through both.*

    Thanks for stopping in!

  70. Great post. I love the comparison of getting an agent to being lucky enough to have a fairy godmother and the idea of getting published as winning the lottery - that's exactly how some people perceive it - like it's a fantasy.

  71. Hey there! Nice to meet you. Yep you've got it... there's no one to compete with but ourselves. Good stories come from what's in our heart. Reading romances after I had my kids is what inspired me to start writing again. I was like, "I can do this!"
    And I did. ;)

  72. Tonja ~ As scary as the analogy (the lottery) sounds, I think most writers continue on the path of their dreams because *we* want to believe it's not true. Perhaps it really is the fear of our own success, which entertains these writing myths.

    And if by chance there are actual percentages out there, and I'm sure there are, I choose to live in the dark and hope for the best! I mean, what ELSE am I going to do? Quit writing? Kill. Me. Now.

    Thanks so much for coming by!

  73. Hi, Pk! Thanks for stopping in! I love these Origin stories like yours. Living The Dream!

  74. Great origin story. What is it with those romance novels?

  75. Hi, Jessica! The birds and the bees comes to mind. *G*

    Thanks for stopping in!

  76. My favorite line is "I'm a wonderfully nice person (three weeks out of every lunar cycle...) I also enjoyed your poem. Thanks for following me, and I look forward to getting to know you as we travel " the path" together! Julie

  77. Hi, Scarlett! Nice to meet you!

    I LOVE that quote at the end by Robert Frost. I need that this week!

    I love your "writers disclaimer." I understand that entirely, having self-published my first novel and explained 1000x that it was an alternate path to publication and not because nobody wanted it. After awhile, I wanted to crawl under a table, too.

  78. I relate to you on so many levels. It's easy to get lost behind a husband and three children (I'd know). The most important thing is to write! I'm glad you are.
    I look forward to following your blog!

  79. Great origins story! I, too, love the fairy godmother line. :)

  80. Julie ~ I like how Robert Fulghum explained 'traveling the path together'... "When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together." Feels like good advice to me.*g*

  81. I do love the honesty of your origins. And that it is still your dream. I love the idea of being on the path being a huge reward itself.
    Laura x

  82. Your post is beautifully inspiring, and if your novel-writing is anything like this, I know that fairy godmother just got a flat or some other delay and will get to you soon:) Nice to meet you! Following now...

  83. Dianne! ~ You and me under the table! We can make our own little fort... with blankets and chair legs and mom's nice dishes. *g* (I have no idea where that just came from. Please! Pardon my indulgence in make-believe. It's been a long day!)

    Robert Frost sure knew what he was doing, eh!

    Emily ~ I'm so glad you stopped in! If you find a TROLL button, give me a heads up... I'll display it on Scarlett's Tattoo! *g*

    Mine are 18, one month shy of 16 and 13! GO FISH!

  84. Ahhh, Cherie, the daydreaming Pisces! I swear, I really did have myself a little unexpected jaunt among the trees last night looking for large shadows that whinnied!

    I'd like to add to list of preferred fairy godmother traits: She/He must be well-versed in Horse, and MUST have a strong stomach for horse poo. Too much? *Big Fat Smile*

  85. Okay, You is a Laura!
    Not a fuman.
    Is that L-or-a? Or Lau-ra?

    So glad you popped on over! Just LOVE your love of the art of writing! So cool. And think I'm in love with your profile pic!

    It took me a while (only 30-something years) to figure it out. The magic is all around us, in each step we take along the paths we choose. I only wish I'd gotten the message sooner in life!

    Honesty, by the by, is my one and only policy. I hope I make a better novelist than I do a lieist. (Totally just made that up. Can't you tell.) Maybe I should stick to my day job!

  86. Angela ~ You are very sweet! Lifts my heart, and my confidence right along with it! I reckon if that fairy is worth her pixie dust, she'll bide her time a wee bit longer to give me a much needed extension on my novel writing!

    Do you suppose the Origins Fest might count for *working hard at writing* promises I made myself? I'm hoping so, 'cause I just lost a good week trying to catch up to everybody!

    PS: SO worth it.

  87. Great story and it's makes us inspired that don't give up and have hope...

  88. Thanks for making it by, Jeremy! I know it was a HUGE list! Hope and inspiration *are* pretty essential in achieving success. I like to spread both when I can.

  89. I so remember when my husband told people not on the list that I was writing. AND revealed the plot. Not. Good. Lol. Now I'm used to it :)

    1. Hi, Jolene!

      OMG! If he'd given away the plot, I just might have injured him for real! I'm no longer in the closet, so to speak, with my writing. But am still working on saying it out loud.

      My mom does though. She's one of my biggest fans. *G* "She's a writer!" actually came out of her mouth at my doctor's visit, which I had invited her to come along to, when I failed to add it to my patient info chart.

      "Okay, Mom! I'm...a...writer."