Miracle Dangers

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 49 Comments

Lynda's book on Amazon
I got Lynda's book for Christmas and have been reading it day by day as the year unfolds. It's a great book. Wonderful reminders for living and perfect little sparks for posts. 
And we all need sparks for posts, right?
January 16th's devotional was on the dangers of relying on miracles. As Lynda says, "The miracles can become distractions from the original reason for our search."
I highlighted this one immediately for my next IWSG post. 
As writers, we are often looking for that moment-- you know the moment when you suddenly make it. The truth is, very few writers have the bragging rights to instant success. Most over-nighters have years and years of practice and rejection under their belts before they have their break-out moment. 

But once they are getting contracts and offers, suddenly they look like they have it easy. 
We might mistake their hard work for luck. 
Which can lead to resentment....frustration...insecurity. 

That's when it's important to remember that faith doesn't operate on miracles. If it takes a constant diet of wonder to keep the faith, you will starve. Faith is the committed belief that what you're doing is right. It's the acceptance that even if it takes hard work and dedication, you will stick with it...even when there is zero physical evidence that you are not just wasting your time.

Eventually, you may look back on all of this and realize the true miracle was that you made the journey at all. 

*For the record, I would like to say that I am 100% pro miracle. If there are any any celestial beings who would like to sprinkle a little luck, AKA blessings, my way, I will take them. 


February 1 Question: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?
Good stories make me feel inadequate. 
Bad stories make me feel like I don't know the right people. 

The awesome co-hosts for the February 1 posting of the IWSG will be Misha Gericke, LK Hill,Juneta Key, Christy and Joylene Buter!
Join Alex Cavanaugh and the IWSG for the monthly support group where writers can connect, vent fears, and/or whine when so moved. 


To celebrate the upcoming Hero Lost Anthology, I have asked book contributors to think like the Ninja Master and tell me...

First up is Renee Cheung, who somehow manages to get everything done with a baby on her lap!
1. What is the best movie you've ever seen?
I’ll cheat a little on this one. As part of my Masters degree, I took a film course where we were asked to analyse a film and we could pick any one. I picked Serenity, the movie sequel to Firefly. First, I adored Firefly. It is one of my favourite TV shows and one I watched over and over and over again. I even have this huge poster in the living room.

So naturally, I loved the movie. How could I tell? For the course, I watched the movie over and over again in the course of a week, 8 times to be exact. And I painstakingly analysed every scene, from camera angle to lighting to positioning of the characters. (If anyone is interested, the full analysis is still up here.) However, to this day, I will still watch the movie in a heartbeat.

In many ways, Malcom Reynolds, the main protagonist, is every bit a lost hero who had fought on the wrong side of a war. His spaceship crew is a collection of other lost souls, all looking for a home, and themselves in some way. And that really shows through the movie even while we follow a fairly action-driven plot, accompanied by witty dialogue. Serenity balances the character development of each crew member fairly well, taking what easily could be one-dimensional characters into fairly fleshed out individuals. And for a fan of the show, the movie gives some semblance of closure to a series cut too short.

Yups, like many other fellow-geeks, I’m a Browncoat at heart.
(Photo credit: http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Firefly-10th-Anniversary-You-Can-t-Take-the-Sky-from-Me-Posters_i9108683_.htm)
2. What is the worst movie you've ever seen?
On the opposite side of the same coin, the worst movie has got to be Napolean Dynamite. I barely got past it. It took me a few tries. I believe my mistake was that I watched it alone and sober.

I think it’s trying to be humourous but I have to profess that I simply did not understand the humour. To me, all the characters were painfully awkward and it was like watching a train wreck. Now I understand some train wrecks are so bad, they are good - it’s why people watch reality shows. Perhaps part of the problem is that it is meant to make the audience uncomfortable and it’s not something I enjoy when it is the movie’s sole purpose.

Part of it too was that the movie felt very slow and the storyline felt flat. If there was a climax, it was lost in all the cheesiness and awkwardness. (Don’t get me wrong, I usually enjoy good cheese. I even enjoyed the 2012 Hansel and Gretel.) So all in all, Napolean Dynamite, the 86 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

Renee Cheung's story, Memoirs of a Forgotten Knight, will be included in the upcoming IWSG anthology, Hero Lost. You can check out all the stories and their authors on the Hero Lost website. 
    Connect with Renee!
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49 comments:

  1. It isn't until one has their books published do you appreciate what goes into writing albeit novels or in my case poetry.
    Great post Elizabeth.
    Happy February.
    Yvonne.

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  2. Well said! Relying on miracles isn't faith.
    Renee, you rock - what an awesome movie to pick. And I didn't like Napoleon Dynamite either.

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    1. I watched Napoleon Dynamite with my niece and she found it so funny, the humor was infectious. I think Renee is right, some movies are best watched either in groups or with drinks.

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  3. Hi,
    I love your intro with Lynda's book. I have it too and I read it every evening. I read that one also and it just resonated in my spirit. Her devotional book is really a blessing to me.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

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    1. It's a great book. Lynda is a wise woman.

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  4. Definitely needed this today. If you read my IWSG post, you'll see why. :)

    "Faith is the committed belief that what you're doing is right. It's the acceptance that even if it takes hard work and dedication, you will stick with it...even when there is zero physical evidence that you are not just wasting your time."

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    1. I will be over to read. I think it's a feeling we all suffer from more often than not. It's good to know we're not alone.

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  5. Yep, have to keep on keeping on. Nothing happens overnight. No such thing as luck, work is what got them there. That or unless someone has Oprah in their back pocket lol

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    1. I know she's lost a lot of weight, but I don't think Oprah would fit in anyone's back pocket. Hehe.

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  6. Elizabeth, thank you for that. It only looks easy AFTER all the hard work is done. But I'm with you--I'll take a miracle or two. =)

    Renee! Serenity... *sigh* I'm totally with you. Definitely one of the best films I've ever seen. (Brown coats for life!) However, I totally have to disagree about Napoleon Dynamite. Heck, go watch a few classic films slated as the worst movie of all time and you'll see what I mean. Napoleon is just about being a geek and outcast. I have literally wanted to burn movie archives over some movies out there. (Okay, not literally...but almost.)

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    1. I'm always ready for a miracle, but I trust the path when it's boring and rocky too.

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  7. Wonder is so important in making the journey through life. Love your short answer to this month's question! I often wonder what people I have to get to know to get a story published because there are so many bad ones with big publishers.

    I love Renee's answers! Serenity is one of my favorite movies of all time. Joss Whedon is one of my idols. His writing is phenomenal. I have never watched the whole film of Napoleon Dynamite. I just can't. But you can be sure if Groundhog Day is on TV today or tomorrow, I'll be watching it over and over!

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    1. I love Groundhog Day. There is a Christmas version of the movie I watched on Hallmark. It's was cute too.

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  8. Lynda's book sounds like a good one. I like the takeaway on faith.
    Congrats to those in the anthology. Haven't seen either of those movies.

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    1. Thanks! I've seen them both and enjoyed them both, but they are very different movies.

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  9. Thank you for such an uplifting post, Elizabeth and i love Lynda's book too. Renee, I am right there with you on Napoleon Dynamite! Hardly anyone I know feels that way and finally! Yay! Thank you for redeeming my attitude.

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  10. I'm like a leaf on the wind... Love Firefly!
    Great advice. Yes, we shouldn't mistake hard work for luck. Just because some success comes early for some does not mean it wasn't hard won.
    Danger, Love, and Mystery

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    1. Exactly! But some luck would appreciated. :)

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  11. If there is luck, I've had a lot of the bad kind (when I was younger, thankfully not lately), so I prefer to believe in you make your own 'luck.' Work hard, be good. Easy enough :)

    And yeah, not a fan of ND either!

    shahwharton.com

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    1. I think you can make your own luck. Or at least slightly minimize the bad luck with some prevention.

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  12. Love, love, love your beginning. It's true. You need that faith and you need that determination. Then, maybe, someday, you can 'breakout'.

    I love firefly and serenity and wish the series had continued. I did enjoy Napoleon Dynamite, however. Though enjoy may not be the exact word for it. It was painful and awkward and exactly like being a teenager. And if someone was raised in that kind of rural situation during that time period it really hits home. I think the reason I liked it is that it was a relief. Life isn't like that anymore, I made it through, and I never have to go back. So laughing at the movie was a bit like laughing at myself and was, in a way, therapeutic.

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    1. I enjoyed Napoleon too. It doesn't rank as a favorite, but it was fun.

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  13. Great movie Q&A, thanks, Elizabeth, Renee. It started me thinking about movies too...

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    1. You'll have to send me your movie picks, Olga!

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  14. I love the way you answered this month's question. Good stories are humbling and the really awful ones? Yeah--how in the heck did they get published?

    I've heard great things about Firefly, but I've never seen it.

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    1. It's sad that Firefly was cancelled. Just shows you how good stories can be overlooked.

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  15. I need to get/read Lynda's book. I need something to inspire me each day.

    I enjoyed the questions and Renee's answers. I refused to watch Napoleon Dynamite because it's not my type of movie.

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    1. I got it for Christmas and I'm really enjoying it.

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  16. I need to start reading Lynda's book. Thank you so much for the reminder. My ladies Bible study hasn't meet once this new year yet. We've all been too busy, but I need some inspiration!

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    1. Hopefully Lynda is working on one for next year. I'm hooked!

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  17. "Good stories make me feel inadequate. " LOL, I know what you mean. Sometimes I need a bad story just to make me feel better about my writing. :)

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    1. I'll read some authors, say Anne Tyler, and I'll just be amazed. That lady could make cooking an egg intriguing.

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  18. Your answer to this month's question is my hand's down favorite. Simple and to the point and 100% true. We definitely do NOT know the right people.

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  19. My fave movie of all time is The Untouchables. The good guys took the fight to Al Capone and his men. Serenity is a nice sci-fi movie. I love Napoleon Dynamite. For me the awkward weirdness is part of it's charm. Faith is essential Liz and while I'm grateful for miracles, I see them as rare and respect that.

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    1. I loved The Untouchables.

      You're right, miracles are rare. And sometimes right under our noses and we don't even notice them.

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  20. Elizabeth - Lynda's book is so wonderful!
    And, I enjoyed your honest answers to the IWSG question - I often feel the same way, and my youngest daughter has often brought home books from the library and then handed them to me and said - "if this terrible author can get a big contract, so can you, mom." (She means she thinks my writing is at least better than terrible - which is mostly sweet.)

    Great answers, Renee! Firefly is a great show and movie. I've only seen about five minutes of Napolean Dynamite and I think that was enough.

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    1. Isn't it amazing the "compliments" our kids give us? They mean well.

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  21. Relying on any one thing as answer to everything usually causes me trouble. That's how I justify my erratic behavior, lol.

    Loved Serenity, and Firefly. Nathan Fillion is such a good actor.

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    1. Don't consider it erratic...it's creative and spontaneous!

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  22. Great post Elizabeth! My work has certainly changed my reading. Working as an editor makes me pick up typos etc and ruins my reading.

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    1. If a book is good, I miss all the typos. I'm not sure I could be an editor.

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  23. Honestly, it's never easy, even after you get contracts and offers. There's always that next book that you send and don't hear anything back for years. You wonder if that means it's all over. Or you get horrible reviews or dismal sales. It's a tough business, for sure!

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    1. I suppose the real goal is to get to the place where you are writing for pleasure and not so worried about what the world or the bank account says. Unfortunately, I'm not there yet.

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  24. Such a timely reminder, this. Miracles can and do happen, but in a way, even the everyday things of one's life is a miracle too.

    Being able to work toward something that could end up being a success is just as much of a miracle as suddenly having that success land in your lap.

    And really, I think there's something extra satisfying in the knowledge that I "earned" my miracles. ;-)

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    1. You're so right. And often, we don't appreciate how far we've come. There was a time when I thought a partial only had to do with teeth. There is a lot to learn in this business. It can take time.

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