Friday, May 27, 2016

Look in the Mirror by Betsy Ashton

Some days we need to look in the mirror and see what we want to see, not what is really there. We are all writers here, so we understand the ups and downs of the writing and publishing world.

We type until our finger tips are raw, pouring the perfect sentences into our computers, only the find the next morning we've written crap. What happened to our pearls of wisdom? Did they turn into turds overnight? Did an alchemist sneak into our hard drives and wave magic garbage dust over everything?

What do we do then? I don't know about you, but I curse, then rise from my writing ball, and assume the Wonder Woman pose. I really do. I learned about that at Roanoke Regional Writers Conference a couple of years ago when the wonderfully dynamic Sarah Beth Jones had all the women in the audience stand up, put our hands on our hips, and be sassy. Then she had the men rise and take the Rocky pose. You know the one. Top of the stairs, arms raised in triumph. I originally thought it was a bunch of hooey, but I know it works.

When I have just written a pile of useless words, I do strike The Pose. It's become my "F*** the World" statement seen only by my husband in the safety of my home office. I then remember that the Delete key is my best friend.

On second thought, maybe I should write more frequently in public and strike The Pose. Wonder what people would think. Probably that I'm delusional and just a hair's-breadth away from being institutionalized.

When the words flow, the sentences take shape, and the characters become three-dimensional, I know Sarah Beth was right. I can be anything I want as long as I'm willing to maintain a positive attitude and stay on course practicing my craft every day.

Look at that little kitten who sees a lion staring back at him. I want to see the lion. Strong. Brave. Confident. I don't want to see wrinkles, warts, stretch marks. Okay, I don't mind the silver hair, because it's my signature brand, but the rest of the growing old junk can just go away. Shoo. Scat. Get the gone. Out, out, damn spot.

I don't buy the nonsense that we have to face reality all day every day. I became a writer so I wouldn't have to face reality all day every day. If I want to see a lion, I will. If I want to be Wonder Woman, I will.

Do you have a super hero? Who is it? Why did you select that one?


Betsy Ashton is the author of Mad Max, Unintended Consequences, and Uncharted Territory, A Mad Max Mystery, now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

I'm really excited that the trade paper edition of Uncharted Territory was released this week. Please follow me on my website, on TwitterFacebook and Goodreads.


Jannine Gallant said...

No superhero, but I want to be a lion. Hear me roar! Congrats on the paperback.

remullins said...

I have that exact picture (of cat/lion) in my study where I see it everyday. Now, I guess, I'll have to start impersonating a superhero.

Vonnie Davis, Author said...

I like Bond...James Bond. He always looks sexy. I love his can-do spirit. And the quips...oh, yes, those "roll your eyes" one-liners. Why would I chose a man for my super hero? I suppose for the same reason I adore writing in a male point of view. It just clicks for me. A combination of raising two boys who were always dragging in other boy scouts, football players, wrestlers, and musicians and working in a male environment for 26 years. I identify with their quirks because I've been around them so much. Great post, Betsy.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Love your description of the perils of writing...oh those lows...we need all the cheerleaders we can find, including the mythical ones. I also try to conjure my bravest self...when my husband and I battled to stay afloat in raging seas (one harrowing experience) and when I opened a brand new high school as its founding principal. I pull energy from those events and how I dug deep for courage. Keep at it have the humor and the attitude to do it!

Betsy Ashton said...

I hadn't thought about Bond, James Bond, Vonnie. Yes, he fits the description of a super hero because of his flaws and utter sexiness.

Rolynn, I'll take my cheerleaders wherever I find them. Keep smiling, all.

Margo Hoornstra said...

It's all in the perception! Love that F*** the World stance. Thanks for the much needed boost and congrats on the paperback!

Diane Burton said...

You are my superhero, Betsy. Love the attitude. I've been writing (or not writing) a lot of dreck lately. I'm going to look in the mirror and see Superwoman (aka Betsy Ashton)--then write the good stuff. Congratulations on the new story.

Alicia Dean said...

Ha, love this! What a great little exercise to find empowerment. I'm going to try that, but probably not in front of a mirror, I'd scare myself. :) I don't really have a super hero, but I like the idea of pretending to be one!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Ah yes! Love it and will try it.

Leah St. James said...

Sorry to be always! Sometimes I think confidence (or lack of) is what can begin to define success (or lack of) in whatever you do! An old family friend once told me that if you sound like you know what you're talking about, everyone around you will believe you. :-) That might be a BIT simplistic, but I think the main point is true. Love your Wonder Woman pose. I'll have to find one for myself!