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Tessa McFionn

Thoughts and Dreams; Aspirations and Frustrations

Whatever it takes

Like many people around the world lately, I’ve been watching the Olympics. The pageantry, the power, and the dedication is always such an inspiration. One quick comment caught my attention. It was during a commercial, of all things, but don’t ask me what they were advertising. US gymnast Simone Biles said she spends 300 days a year at the gym.

My mind locked after I heard that.

300 DAYS!?!?

That would give her only sixty-five off-days. And I figure those days were probably spent traveling to and from competitions.

Michael Phelps has competed in five Olympics, medaling in four, and is one of the most decorated Olympian with twenty-seven medals, twenty-two of them Golds.

So I began to wonder, just this focus and perseverance would translate into other, non-physical fields. Also, when Michael was seven and playing around in the pool, did he know what the future held for him?

When JK Rowling looked out that train window in the English countryside and first envisioned Hogwarts, did she know that she would soon change the world?

In truth, none of us truly know what outcomes our current actions have in store for us. I’m sure even they had questions and maybe even thoughts about quitting or giving up. I mean, what’s the point, right? All the long hours spent perfecting each move, or each stroke, or even each word, and for what?

For the possibility.

Is that enough?

I believe in magic. So yes. I believe that is enough.

To thine own self…

I’ve been pondering things as I am approaching the big half century mark. (Yeah, I know. A lady never tells, but I’ve never been accused of being ladylike before, so why start now?) I guess I’m trying to figure out who I want to be for the second half of my life. But as I gave this question more serious thought, I came to a realization.

I believe that all of us have essential selves; truths that make us who we are no matter what path our lives take. And when these elements are absent from our lives, that’s when anger, depression and other negative emotions rear their ugly heads.

Now, this isn’t any tried or tested psychological theory, just call it a hunch.

So, as I look at my own life, I have discovered my essential truths and there are four of them.

  1. I have always been a dancer.

If it was goofing off in the living room, tapping at the local dance studio, studying seriously in college, or learning new styles as an adult, dance has been there. Through dance, I can express myself, work out frustrations, or tell silly or sad stories. When dance isn’t some component of my life, there is a deep emptiness that nothing else satisfies.

2. I have always been a teacher.

I remember during the summer of my fifth grade year, I set up a classroom in my neighbor’s garage and taught math to the other kids. I had desks and workbooks. I even signed homework. I did cross-age tutoring in junior high, helped out in math classes in high school, and eventually went on to become a teacher. I believe knowledge is not something to be horded; it’s a gift meant to be shared with all.

3. I have always been a Disney kid.

Growing up in Southern California, I was blessed to spend summers and Christmases at the Happiest Place on Earth. To this day, I love my mental health days at the Mouse House. A proud owner of an Annual Passport, I enjoy at least one day a month with my hubby, my family and anyone else who wants an escape from the real world.

4. I have always been a writer.

Whether it was poems in elementary school, journaling dreams, writing for the school newspaper, or jotting down strange stories about Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids, words have been there. Tales of love and laughter, yarns of grief and gladness. Every moment I scratch out to write helps keep me sane.

Knowing these parts of who I am, believing in the power of my essentials truths fills me with a great sense of purpose.

Can’t wait to see what the next fifty years have in store for me.

Where do you find the time?

I get this question quite often. Well, maybe it does have something to do with the fact I have a full-time teaching job which means extra works most nights, a husband who does like to spend time with me, and the standard normal life things (food, clean clothes…)

You get the picture.

So when I tell fans and co-workers that I just sent in my third installment to my publisher, and am working on a new sci-fi trilogy and a short story for an anthology, most stare at me like I grew a second head and those six little words fall from their lips.

Where, indeed.

After pondering the answer, I came to one, irrefutable conclusion. I don’t find the time. I MAKE it. I carve it out of every opportunity. I squeeze them from each silent moment. I’m a night owl, so sometimes that means I’m deep in my characters’ heads at 1am on a random Tuesday.

This has been my dream since I was a child. I used to write my dreams when I would awaken, believing myself to be a famous author. Then I grew up, as most of us do. Yet I never stopped writing, nor did the need to get my thoughts onto the page. In college, I went through journals like water, page after page filled with random ramblings, silly poems. Tears, fears, loves and losses all spilled across the lined and bound paper.

Now, so many years later, I am beginning to see that childhood dream realized. How do I find the time? Well, I guess you can say since I’ve been prepping for so long, I have quite a stockpile of ideas. It’s only a matter of which ones to use first.

And a good supply of coffee comes in handy.

Blog Hop Hunt

Hi I’m Tessa McFionn, author of Spirit Bound, and I’m your host for this stop in the tour.

 

This is your post for the ACOA Scavenger Hunt and I am pleased to be hosting DEVORAH FOX. In her post you will find a number, not in written text, but as a numerical number. Write it down and collect them all as you visit every post along the way. Good Luck!

authorandinkyatJELMAuthorNightJan2016b

Sending Telegrams to the World by Devorah Fox

Mark Twain’s advice to writers is to tell a story. “If you have a message, send a telegram,” he’s quoted as saying.

 

I respond with chagrin because I’m not a storyteller. Instead I write with missionary zeal about an insight or experience that helped me, something I want to share in the hope that it will create change, help others. I don’t spin a yarn. I deliver a message.

It was that motivation that drove me to write The Lost King. Several simultaneous traumatic events occurring on the same day pulled the rug out from under a friend’s feet, completely derailing his life. I endeavored to paint in words a picture of how it could end “happily ever after.” I wrote a riches to rags story in which the beleaguered medieval King Bewilliam battles his way from loss to redemption (and every dragon in between). I figured that once I put that out into the universe, showed how it was possible, it would be more likely to happen.

 

In The Lost King I wrote,

While peering into his past had terrified him into near paralysis, facing a questionable future did not fill him with fear. 

Before him was the featureless ocean and a pale cloudless summer sky, blank as a parchment on which something had yet to be inscribed. If he turned his back to the water and looked back over the land, he saw an entire world stretched before him.

All that was left for him to do now was to find his place in it.

This turned out to be harder than I thought; giving rise to an epic fantasy series. The King’s Ransom picked up where The Lost King left off, followed by The King’s Redress. The Redoubt, Book Four in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, just launched a few weeks ago. Because King Bewilliam still has lessons to learn and share, I have Book 5 in mind.

 

TheLostKing with Seal JPGPerhaps if I simply told stories, I wouldn’t have this intrinsic doubt about writing, which is, “why do it?” Why should anyone care about my perspective? I’m an authority about nothing, not even, most of the time, my own life.

My question was answered with the first piece of fan mail that the King Bewilliam books received:

 

I found the time to absorb this story and this is exactly what it has done: 

Not since “Tuesdays with Morie” has any story captivated me so. Your work will no doubt enhance the way I portray my thoughts in my writings … King BeWilliam and I share a common thread — we both seek a conclusion.

 

and another reader wrote:

 

…I haven’t read anything to speak of since I was 40 except for a few inspirational books or books about politics. The last serious reading I did was the John Jakes series, the Centennial books, the Jean Auel series and Lonesome Dove. So, it’s been a while. I suppose you are responsible for reviving my interest in reading fiction.

 

What higher praise could a writer want? And I had the answer to my question. Why write? How else could I promote transformation? How else could I send a telegram to the world?

 

Find all the books in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam:

in print and for Kindle on amazon.com

in other digital formats on smashwords.com

 

 

Scavenger Hunt Hint:

The number for your clue will not be written in text, but it will be numeral. Tally all the numbers you find during the hunt. This final number will be an entry in the Rafflecopter on the ENTER HERE page on the official website – http://acoascavengerhunt.weebly.com/enter-here.html

If you get stuck along the way because of a broken link visit the

AUTHORS LINK page http://acoascavengerhunt.weebly.com/authors-links.html

 

Did you find the number? If you did, then click this author’s link http://devorahfox.com/ to continue the Scavenger Hunt.

 

When I fall in love…

We all know the rest of the line, right? Nat King Cole set the words to music and Hallmark put a price tag on it. Authors, like myself, expound on it while florists and chocolatiers profit from it. Romance abounds on the 14th of February and we all send prayers of thanks, wishes for arrival or curses for failures to the blessed Saint Valentine.

Do I sound like a cynic, someone who doesn’t believe in the power of love? Wow, I sure hope not. That definitely would not be the smartest thing I’ve done all day. Without love, our world would be a bland and colorless existence, droning on from day to day with neither purpose, goal or meaning.

I believe in love and magic and the truth that each of us was placed on this rotating blue marble to discover the one who gives our lives richness, depth and joy. Or ones. I don’t judge.

But setting aside only one day out of the 365 available to tell that certain someone how much better your life is because of them? That’s where I have some concern.

Life is too precious to follow set schedules of appreciation. Tell the ones you love how much they mean to you everyday. Buy flowers on a random Tuesday in August. Plan a candlelight dinner with rose petals and chocolate dipped strawberries in the middle of winter.

Romance is about the heart, not the calendar or the pocket book. Love cannot be measured in gifts.

So tomorrow, listen to your heart. If it tells you to buy teddy bears and jewelry, go for it. Personally, I’m hoping for pizza and tickets to see Deadpool.

What can I say? I’m just a hopeless romantic.

Love is in the Air

What else would you expect in the most romantic month of the year? Come join me along with many authors at Night Owl Reviews as we ring in the Valentine’s Day holiday.

loveisintheair2016_220

And don’t forget about the chance to chat with some of the participating authors while hearing the names of the contest winners on Monday, February 29 at 6pm PST.

Share the love and hope to see you there!

TRR Mega Anniversary and Valentine’s Party

What is any romance author’s favorite holiday? Why, Valentine’s Day, of course!

Come join me as I celebrate the season with the great folks at The Romance Reviews for a month of games, prizes and romance.

mavp2016The event starts on February 1 and runs until February 29.

 

Share the magic of love!

 

P.S. I will be giving away swag, so be sure to play along!

New Year’s Resolutions Blog Hop

NEWYEARSBLOG HOP

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Welcome Back!!!

Time for a fresh new year. Let’s hope for prosperity, good fortune, winning the lottery, losing weight…and the list goes on.

My resolution is become more social! I know, hard to believe. So I am participating in a blog hop!
A blog hop allows readers to jump from blog to blog checking out new sites. Each blog will have giveaways to enter to win!

I will be giving away an ecopy of Spirit Bound as well as a swag pack.

To enter our giveaway:
1. Follow me on this blog, or any other social medias that tickle your fancy.
2. And, of course, tell me one of your New Year’s resolution!

When you are done here, click on the link below and head to the next blog!
http://www.roanepublishing.blogspot.com/p/blog-hops.html

This giveaway will run from January 4th through January 8th. Winner will be announced January 9th!

Should old acquaintance be forgot…

As another year quickly circles the drain, it’s time for those life changes that we never fulfill. Yeah, it’s resolution time. Time to declare to all who listen, after enough egg nog or champagne, that this year, we’re gonna get to the gym. We’ll quit smoking and stop swearing. We’ll be kinder to others and love our neighbors.

And these last for about two weeks until we’re back on the couch, beer in hand and swearing at whichever quarterback forgot which jersey color was his.

This year, I’m not going to look too far forward. This year, it’s time to look back. 2015 was peppered with curve balls from life that I was unable to dodge. Each new hit pushed me further and further away from the person I was only two years ago.

Truth is: I really liked that person. They were strong and had a good head on their shoulder. They smiled more, laughed harder and lived to the fullest.

So, my resolution is to go backward. I resolve to find the me from 2013. Granted, I can’t take back the horrible events that pulled me from that version of me, but I can move past them. They will continue to shape who I am, but I will no longer let them dictate who I am.

As my brain child Eamon said, “Life gets messy. It’s just the way of it sometimes.”

Time to take my own advice and welcome back myself in 2016.

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