The other day I came across a link in the Huffingtonpost, I was so excited. So many of the points in the article about conquering fear, are strategies that I put in one of my stories, Raymund and the Fear Monster. How did I know? I'm not a psychologist, a counsellor or an authority of overcoming fear.
I am is someone who has had first hand experience of fear, and overcoming them.
I had the typical childhood fears. I was absolutely certain that there were monsters under my bed. I didn't tell my parents. For years my mother wondered why I slept right in the middle of the bed. I mean, that was the only spot that the monsters hands could not get me.
I was afraid of the dark and the things in the dark. I was afraid of the monster that lived in the toilet pipes. I could him rattle and bang around in there. I was always waiting for him to grab my butt. (Though, living in Queensland, it would have been a big green frog that would have touched my butt).
I grew up in a household with an alcoholic and abusive father, where everyday I lived in fear. I was kicked out of home at sixteen and lived on the streets. Fear kept me alive and I survived. In the past few years, living with a chronic illness has it's own unique set of fears that I must face daily.
To quote Aristotle, "Courage is the first of human virtues because it makes all others possible."
So what do I do?
Children can do these things also to overcome their fears, one step at a time. Then they too, can live a courageous life, as can you.
Two years ago I wrote a story for the children at Spirit and life Mission House in Cabugao, Philippines. I had meet them on a previous mission trip earlier in the year and had been writing to them ever since. I really wanted to write a special story for them and I came up with,"Raymund and the Fear Monster." Now I thought that, as I'd writing short stories to them for months, that I could write it, illustrate it and print it out in six weeks. That's right. You heard me. Six weeks! Well I did it and I printed out at Officeworks as a photo book, 20 pages in length. It was crazy!
I learnt something in those six weeks. Writing, illustrating and producing a children's picture book is not easy. In fact is really hard work. I've never looked at a children's picture book the same way since. Instead, now I take the time to sit, read and look at each illustration carefully; admire the way the author has strung a story of less than 1000 words, (sometimes less than 500 words) to capture the imagination, grab my attention and sometimes pull at my heartstrings, or make me laugh out loud (always fun in the library when that happens).
I respect, marvel and appreciate the talent, time and hard work that has gone into a book that has beautiful illustrations. Especially now as one of my dear friends is an illustrator. I have seen first hand some of the time consuming work involved, while I've sat with her as she has worked on illustrations for a children's picture book.
You won't believe what I'm doing now. You will shake your head in disbelief. I am going to self-publish "Raymund and the Fear Monster." However, this time I'm going to do it right. I've set a time-frame of twelve months from editing to selling. I will be hiring professionals. My friend, the illustrator, is on my team. I have a professional doing the graphic designing so it all looks lovely. Then there will be the a whole variety of other jobs that I will need to accomplish so that "Raymund and the Fear Monster," will be in your hot little hands. Well your children's, and grandchildren's, niece's and nephew's and the kid's down the street, hot little hands.
Wish me luck, pray for me and my team, follow along on this wonderful, thrilling, exciting rollercoaster of a ride. Woohoo! Here we go!
As a writer, you would like your brain to be working when you sit down to type at the computer, or when you pick up a pen. For me though, there are many days when I feel like I am looking through a fog, trying to catch a glimpse of that elusive word or idea that seems just out of reach. I will sit in front of the computer, with a blank document in front of me, or the point I'm up to in a story... and nothing, except a mindless groping through endless thick mist. If it were in real life, this mist, you would hear nothing except the faint echoes of sound, muffled, never to be found.
Mostly I am brimming over with ideas, good and bad, that I will edit later. However, there are these days that I have just mentioned, that nothing happens. Blankness. Darkness. The (seemingly) never ending fog. These are the days that I end up barely able to string a sentence together. Naming words especially escape me. Try to imagine that you are having a conversation and not saying a noun.
"Can you put the ... hmmm. What's that called? The thing I want to boil water in for a... umm....?" Thankfully, my daughter is very good at filling in the blanks.
In any case, I will forge ahead, one plodding step at a time. At least I am not down to an old woman shuffle this winter. For the first time in ten years, I am able to walk normally. This I celebrate. Now, I'm off to make a... what was I doing? Ah! Ah! Just tricking. Have a nice day and God bless.
Hi everyone. I am at the beginning of my writing journey that began many years ago. Sounds contradictory? It is. It really boils down to this... I have always loved reading and coming up with stories to tell. Problem was I was very shy and I did not have much confidence as a child. I had my children young, and loved reading to them and making up stories to tell them. Now that they are grown up and my circumstances have changed, I now have the time, and gaining confidence, to start taking my writing seriously.
I have written a few stories for young children and have won some local competitions with them. My friends and I have formed our own writer's group to support and encourage each other on our writing journey. I am currently pursuing two avenues of publishing my stories. I am submitting various stories to traditional publishers. I am also looking at self-publishing Raymund and the Fear Monster with a friend of mine who is an amazing illustrator. At this time it is all on a limited budget. I think that this helps me get creative in my approach. I hope to share my writing and publishing journey with you.
On my blog you will find:
You can find more about me, and read my children's stories at Creative Kids Tales
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