Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Journey of Fate

I recently went on a trip to Oklahoma, the state where I went to High School, college, where I met my hubby and got married, where my youngest daughter was born, and where my youngest son has been going to a particular Army school. During this trip, our family went sightseeing during my son's free time, through the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, a place teaming with wildlife, boasting Geronimo's gravesite, and the Holy City, where an audience can witness the full range of Jesus's life, birth to sacrifice, every Easter. The Wildlife Refuge also boasts one mountain, Mt. Scott. Of course, I wasn't pleased to drive up to the top of it as there are barely any guardrails, and the ones in existence are mountain rocks vertically buried into the side of the mountain. Hardly enough to stop an out-of-control car from plunging over the edge. But I digress...

So it was with reflection on the past and my eyes fully on the present, that I made this journey to see my son, and, through it, learned how far I've come as a writer. Yes! Yes! You knew it was coming. This post will relate to writing. You know how I am. ;)

Observe the early writer in all her glory, eager to face the hazards of the written word, ready to embrace the road to publication with nary a concern.

Resplendent with thick luxurious fur to keep her warm on long winter nights of endless writing, she's armed with horns to stave off the critics and those who laugh off her first drafts.

Oh, magnificent speciman! How valiant you appear!

It isn't long, however, before the harsh realities of writing, critiques, contest results and issues of self-worth reduce our valiant novice from magnificent Buffalo to reluctant Prairie Dog with an urge to dive into the nearest hole. The muse has unleashed a torrent of abuse. "You'll never get published." "You're characters are unsympathetic." "You will never be able to show your face in public again!"

Such is the life of a writer! Enter the coon stage...

Our lonely, troubled writer becomes nocturnal in her efforts to create the best written work since J.K. Rowling. She hides her precious gem from the world, building bridges all the while that will help her make it out of the dark. She attends conferences, takes online classes, doing everything she can to hastily but lovingly build the dam that will hold back the forces of fate and hate.

After a time of solitude, she emerges once more, only now she's developed a thickened skin. No more the frightened Prairie Dog or nocturnal Raccoon, she is now the Armadillo, able to roam during the day and contend with nightly visits by the muse. Here, our writer excels, often dreaming of the day when her tomes will resonate with editors and agents. Now, she can clearly see herself receiving The Call.

Yes! At last, our lovely writer has aged well. No longer hiding her talents, she ventures forth out of the tunnels to channel her strengths and pass them on via mentoring to the young and hopeful walking in her very shoes.

Oh! But the road to fame is littered with bull. And, even though our glorious writer has endured the worst of times, and the stenchest of fumes, she must now find a way to keep the barbs of ongoing criticism and angst from decimating her flesh.

From courageous Buffalo to Prairie Dog, Raccoon, Armadillo and back, our writer takes up her yoke, doing it all again, in order to win the day. Like one of the creatures on the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, life goes on. Our writer takes up her pen, taps on her computer, plots and brainstorms, living in and out of darkness for love of the written word. Stories are like nature. They come and go, some swiftly upon a storm, others gently like a soft rain or nurturing as the warmth of the sun. Though the process repeats itself over and over again, there is nothing finer than the knowledge that life, and the story, lives on.

There are plenty of dangers in the wild, rattle snakes, buzzards, copperheads, coyotes, and wolves. But there are dangers everywhere. Don't let your heart get caught in the vise of a snake.

I'm proud of my sons and my future son-in-law, who have commited their lives to serving our country. And I'm grateful for the time I recently got to spend with #3.

Are you a Buffalo, Prairie Dog, Raccoon, Armadillo or is the dung so pungent you can't tell the difference? Tell us what stage of life's journey you're in.


  1. Kathy, I love this post!! So funny and so true. I am currently at the armadillo stage--and plan to keep going on despite the occasional whiff of buffalo dung.


  2. Kathy-That sure is a lot of outside time. I personally see myself as more of an indoor animal. :-)

    Nice post!

  3. I'm kind of scared of those animals.

  4. Thanks, Christine! It's nice to know you appreciated my sense of humor. ;)

    I'm at the armadillo stage now too. I like this stage. :D

    Stephanie, these pictures were actually taken at the Wildlife Refuge museum. We did see buffalo (got up close and personal too), longhorn cattle grazing, and the Prairie Dogs are my favorite. Prairie Dog village has always been a great attraction on the refuge. Not long after we moved away from Oklahoma, however, the village was flooded by intense rains and the little critters drown. They've been trying to introduce the Prairie Dog back onto the refuge ever since.

    Prairie Dogs are the cutest bunch. They run, butts jiggling back and forth, and crouch down in their burrows when they see anything move. They'll also stand on their back legs and crane their necks to see far off. I love watching them and giggle every time I get to visit. It's like watching Alvin & the Chipmunks, except they're real!

    Now the buffalo dung is REAL! When we stopped off at the museum, there were piles of it everywhere as the buffalo aren't fenced in. They roam wherever they want to, spectators be warned. In fact, we were at the Holy City and there was a small herd grazing just out of reach. We didn't dare walk down the parking lot in fear that they'd charge us. Any little noise can set them off.

    Stephanie, even indoor animals hybernate. LOL!

    Jean, you are scared because these are stuffed animals! ;) I couldn't get really good close-up pictures of the ones I wanted. I tried but these were just too good to be true. And they are! LOL! Or at least they were before the taxidermist got ahold of them.

  5. We had a great time driving around the old haunts. The dance club where my husband and I met is still there, though under a different name. Fort Still, the sentinel of the west, has grown. Lawton, the city adjoining it, has expanded. We were lucky enought to be able to attend church services in the church we were married in. What a joy to attend there with our grown son by our side! Memories...

    #3 makes us so proud. He's just graduated from Air Defense Training and has gone to learn how to jump out of airplanes. My future son-in-law has been in Afghanistan for over a week now. And #1 will be headed overseas for a lengthy stay.

    I cannot put into words how blessed we are to have such great men in our lives, heroes, men with purpose, men who do not fight because they hate their enemies, but because they love what they've left behind.

    The purpose of my post was this: By cherishing the little things, and taking to heart the things that remind us of our purpose, we are feeding the well, that innermost house where happiness roots. For me, happiness is family and through that love I'm given the power to write romance.

  6. Great post Kathy! I for one am not at any of those stages because you left me out - I am the skunk right now. Everything I try turns out very stinky lately! LOL I will, however, endeavor to persevere. We're all proud of you boys too!!!!

    Sorry I didn't post this yesterday - tornadoes and torrential downpours kept knocking out the Internet. I did enjoy reading it this morning!!!

  7. Didn't see any skunks on the Refuge, Cheryl. I'm sorry that's not a choice. But I can always refer you back to the Buffalo dung. LOL!

    Continue to endeavor and persevere. That's all you can do when these moments come and then soon, you'll emerge into the light again.