Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sunday Musings: April 20 2014

Hi, Chris and the Muse Family here, back and wishing you well on this Sunday that many hold very dear.

It is the season of faith, spring, and rebirth. For me...and perhaps's a time of re-awakening from the long cold night of winter.

We're going to get a little personal, a touch serious as we muse upon the concept of faith. Faith in oneself...why/where/how. We've all heard before that we must toot our own horn, but what about before we can toot a horn.

No matter what anyone around us believes, if we don't believe in ourselves how else will we succeed.

I wish I could write something different; however, life decided to hammer my family this past Thursday. For all you animal lovers and furry-owned you know the heartbreak of losing a pet. Thursday I had to find the strength and faith in myself to help my daughter say goodbye to our Cody-cat. He was only two years, seven months. No warnings. Just one day of being 'off' his norm and x-rays later with blood work showed his kidneys were in failure.

No one is ready for this moment in their child's life and yet somehow we manage to (hopefully I am) rise to the need. Whatever our life has taught us. Whatever we have experienced. Whatever our families have shared by their example. We find the strength...the faith? do what is needed for those who need us.

For every writer I have met we all build each other's belief in ourselves. We shore up that individual core of faith deep inside us all.

Today my Muse Family...some who have just now heard of my family's loss...share their faith, their belief, and in turn I believe the well of their strength.

To all of you, our Muse Family Readers, keep your inner well filled. We believe in you.

LEA SCHIZAS, Publisher MuseItUp Publishing

Keeping one's faith is about the only thing a person can do if they want to move forward.

Whether it's faith in a higher being, or faith in themselves and/or family to overcome hurdles they are facing isn't as much the issue with me other than the need to motivate and always be positive. Actions to move in that direction are far more important to me where faith is concerned because I need to have the faith in me that I can do it. Otherwise the sensation of doom overcomes and that is a feeling no one should ever experience.

I am a Catholic, and my faith is important to me.  I believe my talent comes from God, particularly since it surfaced so early (preschool), and that He definitely helps me to write, that this is the method He has chosen for me to share in His creative work.  I believe that I do have purpose and know from communications from various readers that my books have helped some of them over difficult stretches in their lives.  My characters also believe.  They don't preach, but faith is part of their lives as evinced by occasional mentions in dialogue and text.

I wrote poetry for years before I began to take myself seriously as a writer. It was pretty much serendipity that led me into writing. I'd written a poem I wanted to keep, and yes, because of computer paranoia, wanted to find somewhere to stash it. Then because my poetry was accessible, I entered a contest and was a runner-up. Wow! Somehow this made me realize I had a voice and something to say. This was in 2005. I had enough good, reinforcing experiences to bolster my faith in myself as a writer. I only started writing fiction because I joined a writing forum that required us to write both poetry and fiction. I didn't know beans about fiction writing at that point, but I learned -- ICL course, classes, writers groups. I had not only faith in my writing ability, but faith in my ability to learn and grow.


Like Margaret, I found my muse in poetry for a long time.  My blog is the poet's fire, after that love.  Yet, it took me a long time to have faith in myself as a writer.  Even now, there's a nagging voice questioning my own abilities.  I think my friends, and especially my fiancée, help me believe in myself and in my own abilities as a writer.  Love has a way of inspiring even the most doubtful of minds. 

Keeping Faith is difficult. No matter how secure you are in your beliefs and confident in your person, others can say something or behave in such a way that your belief and/or confidence is shaken or destroyed.

I've read and enjoyed historical romance since I became able to sneak the books out of the library van on Fridays by not saying they weren't for my mum. I love period detail. I love the male/female sparkle a talented writer can achieve in well-crafted dialogue. I love the theatricality of long frocks and men in pink embroidered waistcoats. I love those pictures on covers of ships under full sail.

I also studied (and passed) university level history. I've worked in serious jobs. I've joined in group discussions to help run committees and dissect 'literary' fiction. It is, therefore, difficult to make my friends believe I want to write historical romance because that's what I like to read. It is difficult to stall those conversations that would go down the, "But wouldn't you be better..." road.

No! I've written serious stuff and as an English major, I've certainly read plenty. My present aim is to entertain - while not messing with the history - and I have faith.

I think it's important for all of us to allow ourselves to have faith in something. In God, in those we love, in ourselves. We need to feel as though we can depend on certain things in our lives. It keeps us balanced. It gives us a sense of security. 

DAWN KNOX, author

I am too sensitive for my own good, so writing, with all the inevitable rejections and knock backs, isn't an ideal pursuit for me. However, the drive to write is so great that I've had to put everything in perspective. If I receive a rejection, I tell myself it doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong with my story, it may just mean the person who rejected it doesn't share my taste. After all, there are lots of stories written by popular authors that I don't like. There's nothing wrong with the stories - they just don't appeal to me. I find looking at my rejections like that isn't quite so hurtful. I just tell myself that if I enjoyed writing it and I think I'd enjoy reading it, had it been written by another writer, then there's a good chance someone else will like it too! I can't truthfully say I don't ever feel down and lose faith in my writing but then I remind myself the only way to stop the rejections is to stop writing stories and sending them off to be published.

Dear reader, thank you again for joining us and we’d love to hear from you. Keep smiling and have a fun week. Never stop believing. See you next Sunday…nothing better than being cozy in bed with some Musings.

If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at


Anonymous said...

Very sorry to hear of your loss, Chris...our four-legged pals are a part of what helps us stay least to me they are;)

My having faith in my personal belief, in my family and friends, and in my writing career keeps me balanced...when something turns the tide, I must plumb myself up with meditation or a nice long walk in nature to work it out...and I always have faith that I will; )

Excellent post everyone:)

Suzanne de Montigny said...

Great posts, everyone. I love it when people stand up for what the believe.

Marsha said...

Wonderful posts,y'all. Chris sorry for the loss of your daughter's kitty. People without animals in their lives can't understand how these creatures can become our family, but they do. I'm sure you were just what your daughter need. I have a vivid memory of when I was 4 and my mother sitting me on the couch to tell me our little dog got run over. I remember her beginning with, "I have something very hard to tell you." with tears in her eyes. God bless.
I'll be sharing y'all. You did "good."

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you to the authors for sharing their thoughts on faith--faith in God, faith in themselves, faith in their skills. So sorry to hear about your cat. But I DO have faith there has to be cats in Heaven!