Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's Blog Chain Time! Life's a Journey not a Destination...

Great...now I'm going to have Aerosmith's Amazing running through my mind ALL Day.

This chain was brought to you by Sandra who asked:

What kind of journeys do your characters make? What effects do they have on the characters and the plot? Also, if you wish, please tell us about one of your personal journeys and how it changed you.

In my young adult paranormal novel, KATANA, the only journey that my MC, seventeen-year-old Rileigh Martin, makes is internal. Before she discovered that she harbored the spirit of a 15th century samurai warrior she mostly floated through life with no real goals other than to get into a college next to a beach. When the spirit tries to take her over, Rileigh must decide what's worth saving - her past or a life she never had a chance to live.

Anywho, the idea to write this story came to me while I was studying tae kwon do - something I started when I was 26-years-old. Why start something so late in life? You see, I'm currently on my own journey of self exploration. My childhood was, shall we say, not good. There was a person in my house who got a real kick out of telling me that I was terrible at everything I tried and that I'd never amount to anything but a truck stop waitress.

I left home at seventeen, worked out a deal with high school so I could leave early to work at the local Cracker Barrel, roomed with a stripper for a year (oh the stories I could tell), graduated high school with honors, dated a minor league hockey player, moved to STL, joined a band (be thankful it broke up), worked full time in retail while achieving my associates (community college holla!), got my degree from the world famous Tom Rose dog training academy, got married, got divorced (it's okay, we're cool), and finally, finally, finally, married the man of my dreams at the same time found my niche (It only took 29 years).

But now I've found myself in this weird position. Instead of living with someone who tells me, "You can't, you can't, you can't!" I'm now told, "You can! You can! You can!" So I'm trying things I'd never dared to try before. Writing was the first, followed by sewing classes, then martial arts, then guitar classes...the list goes on.

There are still sometimes that I find myself jealous over those who had it easy. The kids who were supported, who got to go away to college without having to work (or live with a stripper - excuse me, exotic dancer). But then, I realize, if I hadn't done those things I wouldn't be where I am today. Each and every step I've taken on my journey has led me to today. This moment. These words I'm typing.

So...what was the question again? Kidding. The moral is this: Be thankful for the path you've traveled including the spills and stumbles along the way. That is what brought you to today.

So how about you? How has your life's journey brought you to the place you are in?

Please check out the hillarious Shaun who posted before me and the stunning shampoo-free Rebecca who will post today because I'm a slacker and ran late.


  1. Well, I most heartily agree with the awesome person who tells you "You can, you can, you can." Because you not only do, you do it awesomely :)

    And I totally agree with you. I have only one regret in life, only one thing I'd change - the way I treated a wonderful person who had never been anything but good to me. I was young and dumb, those are my only excuses.

    Other than that, I have no regrets about anything else, any of the bad things that happened to me or any of the dumb mistakes I made. Because all those things taught me valuable lessons and helped make me who I am today. :)

    Awesome post!

  2. It drives me absolutely crazy when I hear people say, "I have no regrets."

    I always think, if that's the case, then you must be doing something wrong.

    You have to have regrets otherwise how can you learn anything? I think the key is to appreciate them for the learning tools they are and move forward. The trouble comes when you dwell on them.

  3. This is a great story! And I think you can too. :)

  4. Nice post. I'll be the one person to say it out loud - tell us the strip..uh..exotic dancer stories.

    Seriously though, it is great that you've made the journey because you've learned some great lessons. There is truth behind the idea that hard roads build tough characters. Had you not toiled through it all, you'd never be the wonderful person you are and you wouldn't have met that awesome person who supports you.

    I can't say I had a "hard" life growing up like you evidently did, but I was much harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. The military thankfully beat that out of me and gave me self-awareness. Then I met my incredible better half, who still supports me in this crazy thing called writing.

  5. Eric, I would have to change the viewer rating for my blog...and since I write YA...well...


  6. I love this post Cole...When I was growing up, I hd a lot of rough experiences to live through...but I survivd them. And they made me who I am. Thoreau once said that he wanted to suck the marrow from life; to live a full life and not discover at the end of his days that he had never really lived. That's my goal as well. Life really is a journey - and we all must learn to enjoy the trip!

  7. I'm a firm believer that the deeper the s**t one goes through, the farther they can reach when trying to achieve their dreams.

    Does that make sense? I hope so.

    Anyway, this is your best post EVER.

    Stay awesome. (And if you're a Cards fan and need someone to cry with, I'm here.)

  8. LOL well, perhaps I should say that there are many things that I regret, but I don't regret what came from them. It's a totally gray area - it's like loving the egg but regreting the chicken :D And since you can't have one without the other.....

    But if I had to give a yes or no answer to the question "Do you have regrets?" I'd say no.

    Don't freak ;-D This is why -

    See, I've thought about this a lot, and I've thought back over all the things in my life that I wish hadn't happened or choices I wish I had made differently. Sure, there are lots of things that I wish had never crossed my path. But when it comes down to it, those choices and circumstances made me who I am.

    So how can I regret what made me who I am if I like who I am?

    So - this is why I say I have no regrets. Not because there is nothing I feel regretful about, but because to me, regretting something means if you could, you'd change what happened. And as horrible as some things were at the time, they've influenced the present.

    I may feel regretful, but I've learned to appreciate, not regret, those things.

    In other words, I can't regret the chicken that gave me the egg I love.

    I am off to my meditation rock now to contemplate the other complexities of life ;-D

  9. By the way, in looking back over your comment, I think we are sort of saying the same thing :D I just equate what you are saying with not having regrets. Because to me, if you learn from it and move on, you don't regret it, no matter how horrible you feel, and may always feel, about it.

    K, I'll be quite now :D

  10. Christine - Great point!

    Kat - Thanks *blushes*. And I really was upset about the cards. I'm doing much better now. Thanks for the shoulder to cry on.

    Michelle - I am freaking out! Just kidding ;) You're right. I think we're saying the same thing with different words. Hee

  11. I love hearing your story, Cole! Thanks for sharing this with us :).

    Also, I love your words of wisdom, Kat! That's very encouraging in a hilarious way ;).

  12. Cole,
    Your post was so great. I think when you have to work hard for something, you appreciate it so much more. You obviously deserve wonderful things in your life--and yes--you can do anything you set to mind to!!

  13. Aw, I am so glad you found that person who says, "you can" - that is a great person to have! I also totally agree that sometimes we need to make mistakes and take those detours to end up at the right place in the end! Great post!

  14. Wow, you are an amazing person!!! That's all I can say. You are an inspiration!

    As for me, I've had a truly wonderful life filled with people who've always told my I can, I can, I can. They've shown me that hard work and determination will pay off. Great post!

  15. Thanks for sharing your personal journey with us!

  16. wow! good for you for perservering even when the voices in your head were arguing with you. i have a lot of "i can'ts" in my past too and i haven't gone so far as to try a lot of new things, but i did start to write and i finished a novel and i'm pretty darned proud of that. (having the love and encouragement of a really good mate helped me too. i think he's my biggest fan.)

  17. I'm sorry for my comment being late. I do have to say that, having heard much of your life story before, I still think you have led one of the more colorful lives of anyone I've known and that you've come out on top.