Tag: Dreams

Wait!!

9B5E527D-5FFA-47D3-8DA3-9BCC16D3AD9B“Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.” That’s an old saying my grandparent’s generation used when we needed to focus on the here and now and stop trying to see what’s in the future, because we can’t actually see the future. We can’t know everything, and we cannot control everything, only God can.

That can be hard on some of us humans. We can see what we want, but not how to get it. We can see what we need, but not always what needs to be done to achieve it. That’s where faith comes in. God always knows what’s in store for us, and what needs to happen to get to where we need to be. All we need to do is trust in Him.

I have all these dreams and goals in mind, and I know I want to do things in my lifetime that will last well after I leave this earth. I have five sons who are my legacy, and I am proud of them, and want the best for them. However, there are other things I would like to do, be, and achieve. When I was young, I wanted to be a teacher and an author. As an adult, I worked in the public school system for twelve years—first as a program coordinator, then as a behavior specialist. I loved working with kids, and I was good at it, but my career ended abruptly when I was injured and forced to walk with a cane for about three years.

Fun Fact: Public schools—at least in Northern California—will not allow adults who must use a cane to be employed with them because they consider it a liability, yet they do cater to disabled students. I have worked with many disabled students and they are some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met in my life. I just don’t think it’s the nicest thing that school districts discriminate against disabled adults.

Let’s talk about my dream of being an author for a moment… I love to write. I wrote a book, (I write hard-boiled detective/crime fiction) and published it on January 22, 2020. I want to be a successful author. I would love to see my books sell in the millions and be able to reach readers the world over. I want to buy a house. For the first time in my life, I would love to own a home. I’d like to leave it to my kids and leave them an inheritance that will sustain them for years to come.

I would like to help people in need. I’ve always been one of those people who give the few dollars I have left in my wallet, to someone on a street corner. Or donate to a good cause for a sick pet, friend, or family member. I’ve given away several of my typewriters to those who express an interest in writing, or have some terrible, difficult story they want to tell even if only to themselves. My heart goes out to people who are in bad situations. If I have something to give of myself, I do it. I enjoy it.

The problem is—I can’t always see the future. I don’t always know what will happen next, or when it will happen, and that makes me very impatient sometimes. I try not to be. I try to remember to be faithful, and put my trust in The Lord, but sometimes I do have a hard time with that. What do I do in those times? I pray. I just have a simple conversation with God and ask Him what he needs from me. I ask Him to show me what He wants me to do and then I try my best to listen.

It’s funny, but when I sat down to write this post, I was feeling a little down because I had just looked at my book sales for this week and was disappointed with the fact that only four copies sold all week. I was frustrated and wanted to think about anything but that, so I sat down with the intention of working on the second book in the series in order to focus my frustrations in a productive direction.

Before I work on my books, I always do little finger exercises and just type random thoughts as they come to me in order to loosen up my fingers and get the blood flowing through my brain. That way, the words can flow easier. Then this happened. What began as a simple writing exercise born of frustration, ended up being a way for The Lord to remind me to be patient and let Him work. Sometimes the reason we can’t see the forest for the trees, is because the path hasn’t yet been cleared, and we need to wait. Just wait. It’ll happen. Have faith.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” —Proverbs 3:5–6

 

By the way—Just in case you’d like to read my book, the links to all the sources can be found Here    🙂

What Is a Writer?

Someone recently joked with me about my writer status. I don’t recall the exact wording, but the conversation was something like,

Him: “You say you’re a writer, but what have you published?”

Me: “A few newspaper articles, and I have a regular blog, plus I’ll be submitting my manuscript after I do the rewrite, then most likely work on finishing the other three manuscripts I have  in progress. How about you?”  (as politely as possible)

Him: “Well nothing, but…”

I didn’t take it personally, but it made me think about the definition of what a writer really is. I think most people think of a writer as someone who has published at least a few books and probably made a decent living doing it. However, that may not always be the case.

Merriam Webster defines a Writer as follows;

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When I think of a writer, I think of a person who writes something… anything…. because he or she loves to write, and is passionate about their chosen topics, genres, or styles – Period. Whether or not that person is a published author, is something different, and not necessarily the goal for everyone who writes. A writer may or may not ever want the world to see his or her work, and that’s okay. It doesn’t make them less of a writer.

What does bother me, is that there are people out there who believe if another person doesn’t fit their idea of what something is, then there’s no way they could possibly ever be that. They’re wrong. A person is who or what they believe they are and feel passionate about, regardless of what another person tries to validate them as.

I have one son, who is a gifted artist. The man has a great deal of natural talent in drawing, and really should do what he can to pursue a career in the art field. He also happens to be a meat cutter for a major grocery chain. That doesn’t make him not an artist.

Yet another two of my sons are quite the talented guitarists and singers. They also happen to work for an influential men’s clothier, and wear custom made suits to work each day. That doesn’t mean they aren’t singers and guitarists.

I could go on, but for now, I’ll let it rest there.

So what’s the point?

What you do for your employment, doesn’t define you. Your natural, God-given talents are a real and viable part of who you are as a person. Your job, is just what you’ve been trained to do for money, so you can sustain your lifestyle and survive.

King David started out as the youngest son of a farmer a sheep breeder. No one would have believed the son of a sheep breeder would ever be the King of Israel and direct ancestor of Jesus of Nazareth, who was a carpenter, and became the Messiah. But they were and they did.

Got that? Your job is what you do. Not who you are.

So who are you? What do you want to be? What can you do to make that happen? Do you want to do it professionally, or is it just for fun? There is no right or wrong answer. Only you, (and God) should be allowed to define who and what you are, and never take someone else’s word or opinion for it, because they aren’t you.

So who are you?

Blessings,

C.A. Bennett – Writer

“Write A Book”, They Said… “It’ll Be Fun”, They Said…

How hard could it be, right? You take your awesome ideas, and put them on paper, you send them off to the publisher, and BLAMMO! You’re an author! For years, I’ve had people listening to my stories and reading things I’ve written, only to tell me, “You should write a book! You’re a natural writer! And for the most part, I agree with them, simply because it’s just what I’ve always done. Since I was old enough to hold my first pencil, I would write my “stories” and read nonsensical scribblings to my mother, my grandparents, and anyone else who’d listen. As I grew older, and learned to read and write, I was doing almost nothing but reading or writing whenever I had free time. It’s just who I am. I’m a writer.

But getting an entire book written isn’t that simple. An essay, is one thing. It’s no big deal. Assign me an essay about something – anything – and I can give you as many pages as you need, and get at least a B on it. No big deal. But a book… that’s another story. Writing a book requires you to take a very personal part of who you are, and show it to the world one letter at a time, one word at a time, one idea at a time. And every single word is, in itself, an idea of it’s own. For example; I can be moving along in the process of writing my prose, and suddenly the wheels come to a screeching halt, because I get hung up on what word I want to use to accurately convey the idea of the scene. You’d think that would be easy, right? It’s not. Every descriptive word has it’s own ability to evoke an emotion, and if you use the wrong word, the sentence, paragraph… heck, the whole darn page won’t make sense! And it’s all because of one little word. Sometimes I overthink it.

But it’s not just that. When you write an essay, you have some sort of topic that needs researching, then you decide on your argument, and build your essay around that. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy! A book that is in the fiction genre is created out of nothing, and made into something. Sometimes that nothing can be something-based, and you will see situations you recognize from real life. Nevertheless, fiction is still the building of something which does not exist, into something which does, and it has to make so much sense that you – the reader – believes it’s real… word-by-word… letter-by-letter. That’s hard.

In my particular case, I am writing a fantasy fiction, so there are very few things from the real world, and many things from the fantasy world, which I am building as I go. Every creature, every person, every situation, and conversation, completely non-existent until I put them on paper. An entire world created from absolutely nothing but an idea. Not only do you have to believe what I’m telling you – or hopefully showing you – but you also have to be able to see it in your minds eye, even though it does not exist in reality, and you have no idea what it is, because you’ve never seen it before. Tough job, right?

So I told you all that to tell you this…

Lately, I’ve had a rough time finishing – yes, you read that right… finishing… my book, which is now 9 days past the deadline. The climax is gearing up, things are happening, people are interacting, and there’s just all this crazy drama, which is all great, but I’ve been having a tough time getting more than a paragraph or two done in a day… sometimes a week… for about the past 6 weeks. It’s all because of that real-life stuff happening and distracting the daylights out of me. It’s been so tough, I’ve even thought about giving up and putting the book away for good. Maybe starting something else, and forgetting about this one. Maybe forgetting all about trying to to it in the first place. I even managed to talk myself into believing that I couldn’t do it, and maybe I wasn’t a writer after all, even though I’d been writing all this time, and had an almost complete manuscript sitting on my desk, just waiting for me to finish it.

And then it it me – Thomas A. Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Well I… am not a failure, and I’ve never given up on anything in my life. I’m darn sure not gonna start quitting now! I am *this close* to the finish line, aka the end of the book, and I will have successfully created a whole big something out of nothing. So I made a decision; I’m not going to let me, talk me out of my victory. I’m not going to be the person who gives up just before her breakthrough. Today, I got my typewriter and sat down, making the decision to write a full page, single spaced, non-formatted, literally line after line of word after word, until I had a least one filled 8.5″x 11″ page written. And ya know what? I did it. And it was pretty good!

So my dear friends… if you are struggling, and things seem like they just aren’t going to work out, and you just want to give up, remember me and my book. One of these days… hopefully sooner rather than later… you’re going to see that book on the shelf of your local book store and library. When you do, I hope if nothing else, it inspires you to keep going, and don’t give up. You may be closer than you think.

Blessings…

C.A. Bennett – Writer

Multiplicities

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You can be anything you want to be!

That’s what I told my kids when they were kids. They’d come to me and say, “Momma! I want to be a Fireman!” or maybe one would say, “Can I be a police man when I grow up?” and of course, being the mom who believed in the endless potential of my littles that I was, I naturally told them they could be ANYTHING they want to be!

And to this day, I truly believe that, with all my heart.

Not to sound overly partial, but I have some really awesome, and multi-talented kids. I’ve seen them change from one thing, to another, with still more to come. There is a seemingly endless ability to reinvent themselves, depending on their current situation in life and how they respond to it, and I am never disappointed with their progress.

But I didn’t come here today, to  rave about my completely amazing adult children.

A few days ago, my husband was talking to me about my status as a college student, future Teacher, or Counselor, (I haven’t decided yet) current employment status as a Behavior Specialist, and Writer, plus the Ordained Minister thing, which I’m not currently practicing in any form other than internet posts – He said something I thought was interesting, and in fact, it stopped me in my tracks. After naming off the aforementioned statuses, he said;

How can you be all those things? You should just pick one and go with it.

Being me, my first response was, “Why?” because I’m a ‘why’ kind of gal. I like to – scratch that – I NEED to know the reason behind things. I can’t do algebra, without knowing why something is calculated the way it is. I once took a Rubik’s Cube apart to find out why the colors line up the way they do, because simply accepting it wasn’t good enough for me.

The ultimate question for me in this particular instance, is; Why should a person settle for being only one thing? What if you want to be more than one? I’m a wife and a mother, not just one or the other, so why can’t I be a teacher, and a writer, and a minister, and a behavior specialist? I am also a weaver, crocheter, knitter, and general crafter of anything that catches my fancy. I like it like that. If you are talented at or only want to be or do only one thing, then by all means – be that one thing and do it to the best of your ability. As long as you’re happy, and you aren’t hurting yourself or anyone else, then by God, DO IT!

But – If like me, you happen to be good at multiple things, and you have a desire to BE all those things, then why shouldn’t you? In the words of the United States Army, “Be all that you can be!”

I’d like to leave with you, a favorite quote, by one of my favorite authors;

If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it? – Stephen King

Truer words were never spoken. Now get up, go find out what you can do, and DO IT!

Many blessings, and Happy Sunday!

C.A.Bennett – Writer – and a whole bunch of other pretty cool things!

One Last Word on Deadlines….

I began keeping a journal of only positive things that have happened each day since January 1st, 2016, and haven’t missed a day. As I picked it up tonight, the cover struck me as very appropriate for the topic of conversation earlier this evening , so I thought I’d share it with my avid readers. Enjoy.

C.A. Bennett – Writer