Friday, March 30, 2012

On the Horizon

Copyright 2004, Victor Bregeda

I've written the past couple of weeks about becoming the hero of your own story. In that courageous vein, I begin this post with thoughts of the future. Vintage Betrothal has been my primary writing location for the past two years. My heart is full of joy as I recall all that we've learned and all that we've shared. My mind quickly conjures the joys and sorrows of the queens of old, beautiful jewelry, and inspiring quotes. What a pleasant journey we have made together. 

If this is beginning to sound like a farewell note, that's because, in a way, it is one. Loathe to let this cozy place go, the future beckons with greater and greater pull, holding out the promises of bigger and better things on the horizon. Over the past few months, my pen has flown across the pages of my journal with business ideas, book ideas, writing projects, and inspirations for writing and for writers. I have worked tirelessly to find an organic way to blend all my different projects into one place, to lighten my load by working smarter rather than harder, and to bring you along for the journey.

Though I've wracked my brain to come up with a way to take Vintage Betrothal into the future with me, I just don't see how it's going to work. Some of the transitions I've pulled you through this past year have been abrupt, and others have been so subtle you may have missed them altogether. For this final transition, I wish it to be a smooth journey for both of us. Neither of us will miss this one, but we should be able to enjoy it along the way.

This first part of the transition is simple: By next week, Vintage Betrothal will have a brand new name: A Word in Season.

Eventually, A Word in Season will move from its familiar haven at Blogspot to a brand new space on my very own website. Though yesterday's web building session holds great promise for the future, it proves that creating a website is a slow and tedious process filled with joy and discouragement. Since it will be another few weeks before our new location is ready, I will continue to meet you here for our weekly visit.

On that grand day when we make the final transition to our new home, I will place a link here for you to follow. I believe you will truly enjoy the new site and all that it will offer you as a reader. Until then, I do hope you will join me here next week for the next leg of our transitional journey together.

Peace & Joy,

Friday, March 16, 2012

Becoming the Hero of My Own Story

Which Book Do I Read First?
Photo Credit: Darling

Have you ever wondered how to fit it all in? Do you have an answer to that question? Do you like the answer you came up with?

I asked myself that question last night, and I realized doesn't all fit, and I don't like the answer. However, I do like it when I intentionally answer it rather than letting things fall through the cracks. A hero doesn't let things fall through the cracks.

I fell off my hero horse and let my favorite readers down by letting Vintage Betrothal slip through the cracks. I'm sorry. I'm back on the horse again. I still have to prioritize my time the next two weeks, which means I won't have time to write a new post until the first part of April.

However, I do have time to take a few minutes today and let you know about it. In the meantime, if you don't know what to do with yourself, check out a few oldies but goodies (three top-performing posts of all time):

Bonus points go to the reader who can figure out why these three blog posts have outperformed all the others I've written in the past two years. Share your thoughts in a comment!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What Makes a Hero?

"Most writers have experienced moments of sublime connection with their stories when both the prose and images poured forth perfectly." ~Dara Marks

Reading Ms. Marks' book about screenwriting is often like sipping a smooth cup of hot cocoa - soothing, sweet, and gentle; perfect for a cozy winter day on the couch.

Until she says something like this:

"There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the concept of likeability. In fact, I'm sure that most of us prefer our friends and loved ones to have that quality. However, when it comes to drama, likeability is about as important as hair color....If the only thing [your hero] needs by the end of his terrifying and death-defying ordeal is a clean change of clothes and a shave, why would anyone truly care?" ~Dara Marks

Photo Credit: Doc Dreyfus

After recovering from the shock of cold water in the face, I realize something important. Relevance comes primarily when our main character reflects our own flawed humanity, but overcomes anyway. Think about it for a minute. No one we know has actually benefited from a spider bite, and last I checked no one I know hails from the planet Kryptonite. You better believe I love a good Superman or Spiderman movie, but I don't walk out of the theater thinking I'm ready to take on Lex Luther. He's not real, and neither are Superman's powers.

True heroes spawn from the raw materials common to all. They are the ordinary neighbors who, incomplete with all their quirks and insecurities, face down mounting odds despite the fact that yesterday they would have not imagined it possible.

When an ordinary man becomes extraordinary on screen, we walk out of the theater empowered and energized, ready to face down whatever obstacles we went to the movies to escape. We rise to the occasion and rally in an effort to become the hero of our own story.

Become the Hero of Your Own Story
Photo Credit: Woondu

Finally ready to rally to my own occasion, I choose to stop running from my fears, turning on them with all that I have to bring. I somehow manage to stand, shaking in my boots, as they come straight for me, teeth bared. Drawing ever closer, they intimidate me. I wonder if I can really stand against them. After one more moment, I realize that by simply standing firm I draw from a strength deep within myself; a strength that gives me courage to stand one second longer, then another minute.

Pretty soon I find myself roaring at the thing bearing down on me, shouting at it with all my might:


And suddenly the thing turns tail and runs away. I continue to stand, still shaking, this time in awe and wonder. I did it! I found the courage within myself to face it down. I found the strength I never knew I had. I learned everything I needed to learn to stand my ground, and that beastly monster will finally leave me alone for good. Suddenly, I am the hero of my own story.