I built an idea in my head of the hero I wanted to be, a grab bag of traits from heroes, villains and side characters. I did not have book role models, I had book blueprints.But there remained a huge gap between the person I wanted to be and the person who I was. This was because no matter how many book blueprints I had, as much as I wanted to make myself the hero of my own life, it didn’t matter as long as I kept telling the story wrong.Nowadays, as a storyteller, I know what the problem was. I had all the elements I needed to tell a good story. But I was telling it the wrong way, so I could never get to the ending I wanted.If you tell yourself you’re a winner, you know what kind of story you’re telling and you will march toward that... Likewise, if you tell yourself you’re a loser, you’ve made that your story and you will march toward that instead. The same setbacks could happen in the loser’s story as in the winner’s story, but the self-defined loser would let them be proof that they were never going to be anything.Here’s the story I was telling myself back when I was little edible child waiting to be carried away by hawks and making OCD rituals for herself: once upon a time, there was a girl who was afraid of everything. When I was 16, I realized that I knew what this story looked like and how it ended and it wasn’t the life I wanted for myself. If I wanted my ending to look different, I needed to change the kind of story I was telling about myself. I needed to shape my events into a different genre: once upon a time, there was a woman who was afraid of nothing. At age 16, I legally changed my name from my birthname — Heidi — to one I thought sounded like the hero I wanted to be: Maggie. And I vowed that I would never be afraid of anything ever again.Did it work? No, of course not. Not right away. But it became a mission statement, my hero’s journey.
Maggie Stiefvater
Mary was proud of her husband, not merely because he was a musician, but because he was a blacksmith. For, with the true taste of a right woman, she honored the manhood that could do hard work. The day will come and may I do something to help it hither, when the youth of our country will recognize that, taken in itself, it is a more manly and therefore in the old true sense a more _gentle_ thing, to follow a good handicraft, if it make the hands black as a coal, than to spend the day in keeping books and making up accounts, though therein the hands should remain white--or red, as the case may be. Not but that, from a higher point of view still, all work, set by God and done divinely, is of equal honor; but, where there is a choice, I would gladly see boy of mine choose rather to be a blacksmith, or a watchmaker, or a bookbinder, than a clerk. Production, making, is a higher thing in the scale of reality, than any mere transmission, such as buying and selling. It is, besides, easier to do honest work than to buy and sell honestly. The more honor, of course, to those who are honest under the greater difficulty! But the man who knows how needful the prayer, Lead us not into temptation, knows that he must not be tempted into temptation even by the glory of duty under difficulty. In humility we must choose the easiest, as we must hold our faces unflinchingly to the hardest, even to the seeming impossible, when it is given us to do.
George MacDonald
Life, to me, is like a stain glass window, with streams of light flowing through it. It's beautiful. Life is like two people, one being a mother, frustrated, while her kids jumping around playfully, screaming, giggling, innocent, while the other one is like a man with a hood covering his eyes, drawing suspicion and dark and sad energy, disillusioning true happiness. Those are the two people of life, to me and then, are there the moments where you just stop and stare and don't care for a while what other's may think. You just stand and watch the sky, or that tree over there, that, to you is beautiful, with no label to label it, but you just know it is just beautiful. Then, there are those moments, where your life has seemingly plunged for the worst, but your head, your heart and your aura is still high, still a rainbow. Then there are those moments, where you feel like you are slowly drifting over the side of a lake on a wooden canoe, by hanging trees, by lily pads with opening flowers, the sun reflecting on the ripples of the water. You just slow down and identify the beauty that is. Life is so many things. It can be anything, a man drawing dark energy, a great bright woman drawing great energy, a slow drift across a lake of lily pads, a pause and a great look at the sky. Life is so beautiful and the greatest things, true happiness has no definition, no bounds, no restrictions.
Mekiah Johnson
You’re a pirate? Obviously. Still, hard to believe. He pressed forward, forcing on her a series of blows meant to test her strength and will.She parried and blocked his every move with an aptitude that amazed. Aye. A pirate and captain of the Sea Sprite, she boasted, a wry smile upon her full lips.Indeed, she appeared very much a pirate in her men’s garb—a threadbare, brown suit with overly long sleeves she’d had to roll up. Her ebony hair had been pulled back in a queue and was half hidden beneath a rumpled tricorn. Also, like her men, was her look of desperation and the grim cast to her countenance that bespoke of a hard existence.We offered you quarter, she said as she evaded his thrust with ease. Why didn’t you surrender? You had to know we outnumbered you.He didn’t answer. In all honesty, he’d thought they could defeat the pirates, if not with cannon fire, then with skill. After hearing of all the pirate attacks of late, they’d hired on additional hands, men who could fight. If it hadn’t been for the damn illness…It’s not too late. You can save what’s left of your crew. Surrender now, Captain Glanville and we’ll see that your men are ransomed back. A wicked gleam brightened her eyes as if victory would soon be hers. He should do as she asked. It would be the sensible thing, but pride kept him from saying the words. Not yet. He still had another opponent to defeat and so far she hadn’t been an easy one to overcome. Despite his steady attack, she kept her muscles relaxed, her balance sure. Her attention followed his movements no matter how small, adjusting her stance, looking for weaknesses. How do you know I’m Captain Glanville? When work was at hand, he didn’t dress any differently than his men.I know much about you. Stepping clear of two men battling to their left, she blocked his sword with her own and lunged with her dagger. He jumped from the blade, avoiding injury by the barest inch. This one relied on speed and accuracy rather than power. Smart woman.What do you want from us? he asked, launching an attack of his own, this time with so much force and speed, she had no choice but to retreat until her back came up against the railing. We only just left London four days ago. Our cargo is mainly iron and ale.Her gaze sharpened even as her expression became strained. His assault was wearing her down. I want the Ruby Cross.How the hell did she know he had the cross? And did she believe he’d simply hand it over? Hand over a priceless antiquity of the Knights Templar? Absurd. He swung his sword all the harder. The clang of steel rang through the air. Her reactions slowed and her arms trembled. He made a final cut, putting all his strength behind the blow and knocked her sword from her hand. Triumph surged through his veins. She attempted to slash out with her dagger. He grabbed her arm before her blade could reach him and hauled her close, their faces nose to nose. You’ll never take the cross from me, he vowed as he towered over her, his grip strong.The point of a sword touched his back. Thomas tensed, he swore beneath his breath, self-disgust heavy in his chest. The distraction of this one woman had sealed his fate.Bloody hell.
Tamara Hughes