Friday, July 20, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-July 20, 2018




It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

Posting late again, mostly because it's been a crazy couple of days and I forgot. Oops! 

The weather around here was a bit unstable yesterday, to say the least. There were 27 reports of tornadoes all over Iowa, and at one point, the tornado siren where I live went off. Right in the middle of Zoe's nap time, so she was a bit grumpy about that.  Still, I'm grateful we didn't have any storm damage here. Some towns weren't so lucky and sustained serious damage.

Today is the start of our annual town celebration, so there are going to be fun activities for the kids at the park tonight. They're looking forward to the facing painting and petting zoo.  Tomorrow we'll attend the parade, and there are going to be bouncy houses for the kids to play in. They always love that part. I have the feeling I'm going to be worn out afterwards.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-July 13, 2018



It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

I know I'm posting late, but it's been a busy day and I kept forgetting to sit down and do this.  I hope you're all successfully avoiding people in hockey masks this Friday the 13th.


We ended up visiting the zoo last Saturday, and the kids had the best time.  Zoe absolutely loved the giraffes.  Afterwards we also spent some time with friends we hadn't seen in awhile, and that was nice.  Then on Sunday, my son Jude got to try out his inflatable boat that he got for his birthday this year.  He loved it!  So all in all, last weekend was a good one.

I have a bottle of wine waiting for me for later, so I'm definitely celebrating that right now.  Oh, and tacos for dinner tonight.  Tacos are also amazing.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, July 6, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-July 6, 2018



It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

I'd like to start by wishing my husband a happy birthday! Though today is his special day, he still has to go to work, but at least it's Friday, right?

We all had a great 4th of July weekend. We got to set off and see lots of neat fireworks, and all of us remained safe.  The kids had an amazing time, and they were disappointed that the fireworks are now done until next year.  

I'd also like to celebrate the release of the Normal Deviation anthology.  It's always a thrill to see something I wrote published in a book.  I think that's a feeling a lot of writers can relate to. I try to remind myself of that feeling every time I get discouraged about my work.

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: July 2018



It's time for another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Our host Alex J. Cavanaugh has recruited another bunch of fantastic co-hosts for this month: Nicki Elson, Juneta Key, Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

Before I get to the optional question for this month, I'd like to announce that the Normal Deviation anthology is now available for purchase.  My short story "Becoming Death's Personal Assistant" is part of this wonderfully weird collection.


Here are some purchase links for anyone who may be interested in getting a copy.

Ebook:

Paperback:


You can also add it on Goodreads.

Now on to this month's question.

What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I was six years old.  I used to look at the bookshelves in my childhood home and marvel at all the exciting stories contained within those pages.  I diligently began to scrawl my own imaginings on a stack of wide ruled notebook paper.  The results were largely incomprehensible.  My vocabulary was limited, the spelling wasn't always the best, and I had no idea how to construct a paragraph or use most punctuation marks.  Nevertheless, that was the beginning of a lifetime love for writing, and it started because I too wanted my books to sit on bookshelves someday.  I wanted to be able to see my work for sale in bookstores.

That goal has remained firmly in place, and I've been working toward it ever since.  Now I can happily say that I have a number of short stories published, as well as a few novellas, all of which sit on my bookshelf at home.  I will continue writing, and hopefully one day I'll walk past a novel I wrote in a physical bookstore.  I think that's a goal a lot of writers share.

What are your ultimate writing goals, and have they changed over time?



Friday, June 29, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-June 29, 2018


It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

We had a safe and fun trip to Illinois last weekend.  We left on Friday morning, and we made it back late Sunday night.  We visited family and ate lots of good food.  All in all, fun was had by all.  Yes, the drive was long and tedious, but the kids were all surprisingly well behaved the entire time.  I was impressed.

My boys went camping with their cousins and my in-laws on this week.  That left the house a little on the quiet side, and Zoe didn't seem to know what to make of that.  Still, the quiet gave me a good chance to get some writing done, and the boys seem to have had a fantastic time.

Writing continues, and I think I'm really close to finishing this first draft.  I just have to keep reminding myself that I can do this.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, June 22, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-June 22, 1018



It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

We're going on a trip today!  We're heading to central Illinois to attend my sister in law's baby shower.  Her baby girl is due later this summer, and everyone's pretty excited about that.  The drive out there should take several hours, and with three kids in the car, it should be an interesting trip.  I'll need plenty of coffee to sustain me.

My writing progress, while it will undoubtedly suffer slightly with the busy weekend we have in store, is still worth celebrating.  Are the words spilling easily onto the page?  No.  The work may be somewhat slow, but it is continuing.  The ending of this book is starting to take shape, and I know I'll get there in the end.  I just can't let myself give up.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WEP: Unraveled Yarn



It's time for more Write . . . Edit . . . Publish!  Thanks to Yolanda Renee, Denise Covey, Olga Godim, and Nilanjana Bose for making this possible.

The theme for this month is Unraveled Yarn.  There were a lot of possibilities with this one, and I expect there will be a lot of fascinating entries as always.  Here's mine, and I hope you enjoy it!

A Life Unraveled

My life has unraveled around me, and it’s your fault.  I can see the threads that once wove together the tapestry of me, but they don’t make sense anymore.  A favorite book that is collecting dust on a shelf.  The faded pink canvas shoes that I wore for at least a year too long.  The afghan I once started knitting to remind me of my grandmother, only a quarter done and tucked away under the bed to rot.  I can’t for the life of me pick up those loose threads and recreate my former self.
Why?  Why did you reach into my heart and dig your hooks into it when you didn’t want me to lay a similar claim on you?  Why did you erupt with jealousy, the flames practically dancing in your eyes, when anyone else paid me the least little bit of attention?  Why did I allow myself to believe that meant you loved me, and why did I not question how upset you got when I expressed concern that you were still spending time with other girls?
I feel dumb now.  Everyone I know, friends and family alike, tried to warn me. 
“He’ll change who you are,” my sister Leah said.
“You walk on eggshells around him.  Fear doesn’t equal love,” my mom told me.
“I’m tempted to kill him myself,” Dad mumbled when he thought no one was listening.
I should have listened to them.  You knew that, didn’t you?  You knew exactly what you were doing to me.  You convinced me that I didn’t need to go back to school, and you persuaded me to say no to my friends every time they wanted to have a night out.  Your reasons made a warped kind of sense at the time.  “We can’t afford for you to spend the money right now.”  “You’re supposed to want to spend time with me.”  “Your friends just want to stare at guys, and I don’t feel comfortable with you being a part of that.”  “You can’t trust other men, okay?  Who knows what they might do to you if you put yourself out there?”
I lost track of my old life.  Bit by bit, pieces of that existence fell away.  Days turned to years, and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen or spoken to either of my parents.  My friends stopped trying to reach out to me.  And I found some relief in that at times.  It was hard coming up with excuses for the bruises my clothes wouldn’t cover.
Were there times I considered leaving you?  Sure there were.  Little snippets of the kinds of fantasies I had as a little girl would infest my brain from time to time.  Perhaps the details were different.  Instead of dreaming of being a princess living in a castle, I envisioned living in a nice home without having to worry about setting off someone else’s vile temper.  I reminded myself that I once wanted to travel the world and take photos.  I longed to try food from every country.  I toyed with the idea of writing a book or taking up painting or trying my hand at rock climbing.  My life could have been anything, but instead I let myself wither here with you.
I wish I could pick myself back up and try again.  I’d make different choices.  I’d try to put myself first.  I’d reweave myself to create something new and bold.  Beautiful.  If only I could.
But for the life of me I can’t do any of it, because I have no life.  In the most literal sense, my life is over.  It ended the night you took a baseball bat to my head during a heated argument.  You should be in prison, but my bones are buried in a shallow grave that has yet to be discovered.  So here you are, still living in the house we shared together, and no one has noticed anything changed.  Why should they when I never set foot outside the house?  When I never called anyone anymore?
It’s cruel, really.  I haunt this place, and it haunts me in return.  In life I could not escape it, and in death it is much the same.  I get to see how little you miss me.  My absence means nothing to you, and I wish I tear your flesh away from your bones.  I wish I could unwind you and leave you in ruin the way you did to me.  But I can’t.  All I can do is linger and recall all that came apart within these walls.
It’s all your fault, and you don’t care.

Word Count: 775
FCA

And that's it!  Be sure to visit the other participants and leave them some wonderful comments.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-June, 15, 2018



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

Today marks 13 years since my husband first asked me out.  It's kind of crazy that it's already been this long.

Awhile back I kind of got hung up on finishing the first draft of my WIP.  The ending has been giving me some trouble.  After several attempts at getting things going again, I finally made some good progress on it this week, and if all goes well, I think I should be able to finish this draft soon.  Fingers crossed.

A week from today, we're leaving for a brief trip to Illinois to visit family.  It'll probably be a fun trip, though spending several hours in a car with three kids should be an interesting experience.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, June 8, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-June 8, 2018



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

Our dryer broke, which is frustrating since we only bought it a few months ago.  The bright side is that we're heading into summer, so I've been hanging clothes outside to dry.  The kids have been doing their best to help with this, so that's been nice.  The clothesline will hold us over until we get the dryer situation remedied.

We're looking into buying a house sometime in the near future.  It's a long and daunting process, but I'm also kind of excited.  The kids are excited too.  Well, the boys are anyway.  Zoe doesn't seem to care either way.

There's another T-ball game tonight, and that means I'll be chasing Zoe around again.  I can't deny it's been a good source of exercise.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: June 2018



It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has gathered another group of fantastic co-hosts: Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, Tonja Drecker, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

The optional question for this month is: What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

This is an easy one for me to answer, because I'm struggling to come up with a title for my novel as we speak.  I have plenty of methods for coming up with character names.  There are random name generators for smaller characters that don't feature heavily in the story.  There are baby name websites that I like to peruse when coming up with names for my main characters.

Choosing a title is a different matter altogether.  People expect a lot from a title.  It's supposed to speak to the nature of the story you're telling.  The title needs to catch the eye of potential readers and pique curiosity.  I want the title of this novel to have a good ring to it while accomplishing all these things.

So I'm stuck.  The book is mostly done (I got a bit hung up on some of the logistics of the ending, but I'm hoping the revision stage will help me tidy these things up), but I'm no nearer to having a title for it than when I began.  Is that unusual?  Am I being too hard on myself?  Should I allow the title to come to me organically, or are there methods I could use to generate one that will work?  This definitely represents an insecurity for me, so any advice would be greatly appreciated?

Do you struggle with titles, or is it character names that trip you up?


Friday, June 1, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-June 1, 2018



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

The boys had their last day of school yesterday.  They're both excited for the summer.  Hopefully we get to go places and do some new and interesting things as a family over the next couple of months.

My boys also have their first T-ball game tonight.  I'll probably spend most of the game chasing Zoe around rather than sitting down and watching it, but hey, I should get some good exercise out of it.

My husband and I have our anniversary tomorrow.  We've now been married for 11 years.  We don't have any special plans to celebrate as of yet, but I'm sure we'll be able to find something fun to do.

I'm also celebrating the fact that I'm coming out of a writing rut I found myself in.  I managed to get a lot of work done yesterday, and I'm hoping I can keep up the momentum.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, May 25, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-May 25, 2018



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

I'm posting super late today.  I'll be honest and say I just plain forgot to.  I wish I had a better excuse for that, but I don't.

It's been a weird and stressful week, so rather than rehash all that (don't worry, we're all okay, it's just been a bit crazy), I thought I'd take the time to help promote someone else's work.  A good book is always worth celebrating, right?



SOME VERY MESSY MEDIEVAL MAGIC 
By C. Lee McKenzie

Pete’s stuck in medieval England!

Pete and his friend Weasel thought they’d closed the Time Lock. But a young page from medieval times, Peter of Bramwell, goes missing. His absence during a critical moment will forever alter history unless he’s found.

There’s only one solution - fledgling wizard Pete must take the page’s place. Accompanied by Weasel and Fanon, Pete’s alligator familiar, they travel to 1173 England.

But what if the page remains lost - will Pete know what to do when the critical moment arrives? Toss in a grumpy Fanon, the duke’s curious niece, a talking horse, and the Circle of Stones and Pete realizes he’s in over his young wizard head yet again...

Release date – May 15, 2018
Juvenile Fiction - Fantasy & Magic/Boys & Men
$13.95 Print ISBN 9781939844460
$3.99 EBook ISBN 9781939844477

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot questions about things she still doesn’t understand. 


Links:

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, May 18, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-May 18, 2018


It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

Winter is definitely well behind us now, which means I've been walking every chance I get.  The exercise and healthy eating has helped me increase my endurance, and I've lost about 15 pounds so far.  I have quite a ways left to go before I hit my target, but this is a good start.  It's enough that I need to look into getting some new clothes.

Zoe is learning to talk more and more all the time.  She can now clearly say Lyle's name.  She can't say Jude yet, which has him feeling a little jealous, but she'll get there in time.

Our refrigerator had been acting up for awhile, and it really went on the fritz a couple weeks ago.  We found a used one in good shape for $60, and we got rid of the old one through an appliance recycling program.  That got us a rebate of $50.  So instead of having to pay to dispose of it ourselves, we made back all but $10 of what we spent on the replacement to have someone else do the work for us.  I'm labeling that as a win.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, May 11, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things: May 11, 2018

 

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

My son Lyle's birthday is today.  He's seven now.  It's amazing how fast the years go by.

The boys are playing T-ball again this year.  Practices start next week, and they're looking forward to it.  I'm sure Zoe will have a good time watching, as well.

I'd also like to celebrate salad.  I've always enjoyed a good salad, and since I've been eating healthier lately, salad has become an even more essential part of my diet than it used to be.  It's also a versatile dish that you can make in so many different ways that I can't see myself getting bored with it.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, May 4, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-May 4, 2018



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

The boys have their spring concert on Monday, and they've been working hard practicing their songs.  They're really looking forward to it.  They've always enjoyed performing.

My new exercise routine is still going well.  I've been steadily building up my endurance, and muscle soreness hasn't been nearly the problem that it was in the beginning.  The improved weather has also made it possible to do a lot more walking, and I know the kids enjoy it too.

I also want to celebrate the upcoming weekend.  It looks like we're going to have some great weather, so we'll probably be spending some time outside.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: May 2018


Is it really the first Wednesday of the month again?  Yes, yes it is, and you know what that means.  It's time to convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has rounded up another bunch of fantastic co-hosts: E.M.A. Timar, J.Q. Rose, C. Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website for great resources and support!

Before I go on, I'd like to ask for a favor if I might.  I have a short story called "Becoming Death's Personal Assistant" appearing in the Normal Deviation anthology.  This collection of stories were all inspired by the same strange image.  It's truly amazing how such a wide variety of tales can come from the same photo.  Anyway, the publisher is running a Kickstarter campaign to help cover costs.  If any of you can help out by spreading the word, I'd really appreciate it.  I've included a couple of pre-written tweets to make it easy for you.  Thanks in advance for the help!

Tweet #1:

What happens when you put out a #strange photo and ask #authors to write #shortstories about them? Support the #NormalDeviation #anthology and you can find out! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/335044740/normal-deviation-the-completed-weird-fiction-antho

Tweet #2:

A #weird photo inspires #bizarre #shortstories. Check out and support the #NormalDeviation #anthology on #Kickstarter to find out where inspiration guided this group of #writers.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/335044740/normal-deviation-the-completed-weird-fiction-antho

Now it's time for the question of the month.

It's spring!  Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

I'll say this much.  Inspiration isn't lacking for me right now.  Motivation to actually put words on the page has suffered some, but I might have an easier time powering through that if my kids weren't wanting to spend so much time at the park.  I can hardly blame them.  Now that the weather is actually feeling springlike, I'm enjoying being outside, too.  It makes it a little harder to squeeze in my writing, but I've been doing the best I can.

What season most inspires you to write?


Friday, April 27, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-April 27, 2018


It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

My son Lyle is going on a field trip to the zoo today, and the weather turned out beautiful for it.  He's super excited to see the giraffes.

On Wednesday, I posted a fun Mad Lib story on the Parallels blog.  If you feel like having a quick bit of fun with words, feel free to check it out!

I've started a regular exercise routine, and I'm three days in.  There has been some soreness, which is to be expected, but it hasn't been too bad.  I just need to stick with it.  The decision to get back into shape won't be easy to implement, but I intend to follow through with it.

The Kickstarter for the Normal Deviation anthology I'm involved with is still ongoing.  If anyone wants to help support the project, please check it out!  And if you can't support it financially (which I completely understand), please help spread the word!  I've composed a tweet below to help make that easier.

Do you like #weirdfiction? The #NormalDeviation #anthology is a collection of #stories from @wonderboxpub based on one #strange picture. Please help support this collection on #Kickstarter and get some cool rewards! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/335044740/normal-deviation-the-completed-weird-fiction-antho

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Savior's Champion Release Day!

Title: The Savior’s Champion
Author: Jenna Moreci
Release date: 4-24-2018
Genre: Romantic Fantasy Action/Adventure
Category: Adult




Synopsis:

Tobias Kaya doesn't care about The Savior. He doesn't care that She's the Ruler of the realm or that She purified the land, and he certainly doesn't care that She's of age to be married. But when competing for Her hand proves to be his last chance to save his family, he’s forced to make The Savior his priority.

Now Tobias is thrown into the Sovereign’s Tournament with nineteen other men, and each of them is fighting—and killing—for the chance to rule at The Savior's side. Instantly his world is plagued with violence, treachery, and manipulation, revealing the hidden ugliness of his proud realm. And when his circumstances seem especially dire, he stumbles into an unexpected romance, one that opens him up to unimaginable dangers and darkness. 

Trigger warnings: this book contains graphic violence, adult language, and sexual situations.

Buy links:
The Book Depository: http://bit.ly/2HiCKHK
Books-A-Million: https://bit.ly/2GVgSDk


Free Excerpt:

Read the first three chapters of The Savior’s Champion: https://www.jennamoreci.com/tsc

Author Bio:




Jenna Moreci is a Silicon Valley native and Youtube sensation, dominating the authortube community with her straightforward and hilarious writing channel. A lifelong storyteller, Jenna specializes in crafting thrilling adventures with heaping doses of bloodshed and romance.
When she’s not writing or ‘tubing, Jenna enjoys angry music, potent wine, and laughing until her face hurts with her goofball fiancĂ©.

Author Links:



Friday, April 20, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-April 20, 2018



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain.  I am her co-host.

I'm happy that my short story "Becoming Death's Personal Assistant" is going to appear in the anthology Normal Deviation.  This anthology is filled with weird stories, and all  of them are inspired by the same strange picture.  It's kind of amazing how one bizarre image can inspire such different tales.  A Kickstarter campaign just launched to help this project come to life.  Feel free to check it out if you're interested, and please help spread the word!

My son Lyle's glasses broke this week, which wasn't so great, but he thoroughly enjoyed picking out a new pair.  They should come in sometime within the next week, and he's excited to wear them to school.

There was a snow storm this week, but it looks like the weather may actually turn spring-like in the coming days.  I hope this is true, because I'm seriously ready for this endless winter to be done.

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

WEP: The Road Less Traveled


It's time for more fun with Write . . . Edit . . . Publish!  Thank you to Yolanda Renee, Denise Covey, Olga Godim, and Nilanjana Bose for making this event possible!

The theme for this month is Road Less Traveled.  Let's get to it.



Transcript of Graduation Speech

Robert Frost High School

May 27, 2018

Good afternoon graduates, family, and friends.  When I was invited to be the guest speaker, I didn’t know what to talk about.  I’ve become well-known for being a bit of a rebel.  I got my big break because of a viral YouTube video, which to be honest, showed me in a bit of an unflattering light.  Talking about how to make a name for yourself professionally after being caught performing acrobatic feats in a shopping mall while intoxicated may make for a memorable speech, but it’s hardly appropriate for a high school setting.  It was wicked fun, though.
To help me come up with ideas for an appropriate speech, I looked to your class motto “The Road Less Traveled.”  It makes sense given the name of your soon-to-be alma mater.  I’m betting this theme has been touched upon by numerous classes that came before you and will continue to be used long into the future.  You may even be sick of hearing it after all these years and chose it out of a sense of obligation.  It pays tribute to your school, after all.  It also fits the theme of the day. 
Graduating means choosing a new path to take in life, and this is bound to be the first real decision in that regard most of you have made.  Up until now, you’ve been at the whim of your parents.  That helplessness may have come with a sense of frustration as you yearned to spread your wings and soar, but it also brought with it a sense of security.  You’ve had people to catch you when you fall.  You knew which steps to take next.  You’ve gone from one grade to the next, safe in the knowledge of what you needed to do.  Go to class.  Get good grades.  Choose an extracurricular activity or two.  Find an after-school job.  There were elements of choice sprinkled throughout, of course, but failure didn’t necessarily spell disaster, no matter how much it may have felt that way. 
Gearing up to go into the larger world, though.  That’s when consequences really start to feel real.  When I was your age, I was shaking in my shorts with anxiety, though I played it cool.  The sheer number of options and lack of guarantees seem daunting.  Still, you can look to others and seek advice from the adults in your life.  You’ll hear plenty of people suggesting you attend a certain college and study a certain field that has proven to be lucrative.  Others will suggest studying a trade or following in the footsteps of family members.  Which path should you follow?
People always suggest out-of-the-box thinking, but they usually want you to do it within the confines of a normal, comfortable career.  Maybe you find that path appealing, or maybe it seems too confining for you.  Perhaps you hear the stories of successful entrepreneurs who bucked the system and got mega rich, as I unintentionally did, and feel inspired to go that route.  And why not?  The comfortable, safe careers are still subject to economic downturns and shifts in consumer demographics and moods.  The safe careers can also result in you being kicked to the curb with little warning, which runs counter to the reasons many give for choosing those career paths in the first place.
So yeah, why not get onto the road less traveled and hack your way through the underbrush to create a life for yourself?  I’ll give you one good reason not to do it.  It’s hard.  Really, really hard.
There’s a reason the road less traveled is designated as such.  It’s a desolate place to be.  A dangerous place with even less guarantee of success or safety as the more stable, so-called respectable career paths.  This road less traveled is overgrown with obstacles that can twist your metaphorical ankle and leave you hobbling and at the mercy of vultures who would happily pick the flesh from your bones.
Great imagery, right?
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t go that route if you feel you must.  It still might be the right option for you.  Not all of us fit happily into the molds well-worn paths would have us live in.  Some of us royally suck at being normal.  I know I do.  However, if you’re going to take the road less travelled, you need to be prepared for failure. 
Failure is not an abstract concept in the real world.  It’s a legitimate, and even likely, possibility with painful consequences.  Everything costs money, and when you run out of money, needless to say, it can put a crimp in your life.  You need to embrace the possibility of massive failure and everything that comes with it.  You need to be ready to push through terrible circumstances and learn from them so you can stand on your own two feet again.  That failure can be a badge of honor if you’re strong enough to bounce back from it.  Sure, it feels crappy and makes you want to quit, but that’s part of life.
So yeah, do what you think is best for you, and be prepared for life to chew you up and spit you out from time to time.  Does this count as an inspirational speech?  Probably not, but I never aspired to be an inspiring person.  Shi . . . I mean, heck, I used to be the cautionary tale parents used to keep their kids in line.  Look at me now!  Don’t let past screw-ups keep you down.
Bearing that in mind, what do you think the odds are of me being invited back to speak next year?

Word Count: 960
FCA