Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Writing Sympathy Letters
Or...The Dragon takes it one bird at a time

We have a bit of a morbid subject today, but it can also be viewed as uplifting. I've written far too many sympathy notes in my day. Too many people have lost loved ones. This morning, I sent a note to a friend I met online a couple years ago. Her husband has passed on, and it broke my heart to hear it. But the little message I shared with her is a story that my lovely artist friend Megan Kissinger shared with me once, and I wanted to post it here so everyone could find comfort in everyone could use it.

(I've edited in some info about last summer that I didn't feel was appropriate to put in Charlee's note this morning, but you visitors might need for context. I'm not trying to be trite in comparing my "life issues" to a person's loss.)

"I'll tell you something that a friend of mine told me when I was just starting my cancer treatments last summer. There were too many other 'life issues' going on at the time...a prolonged divorce, a house foreclosure, a landlord's foreclosure, various lawsuits, a search and move to a new apartment (the list goes on)...and I was pretty stressed out. So my friend told me that she'd read a book in which a boy had procrastinated doing a school report on all the state birds. He had to write a report about 50 birds in one night and he was stressed about it. The boy's father came into his room, assessed the problem, and said he'd help him and they'd just take it 'one bird at a time.' By tackling the report one bird at a time, it didn't look so overwhelming. And throughout the summer and fall, every time things got overwhelming, I'd think of that story...just tackle things one bird at a time."

My point with this story is that we all get hit with the "crap o' life" at times. We can get overwhelmed by it. God knows I had a moment one morning when a court officer came to the apartment with a stack of foreclosure documents for my landlord...but they included my name and required a response from me. (I was able to so easily pull my hair out...bwuahahahaha) Seriously, though, we can let these things crush us...or we can work at them one bird at a time.

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Blogger Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Sandy, that is an excellent piece of advice. Thanks for sharing.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Margaret Poffenberger said...

Sandy -
What an inspring message during a difficult situation. Thank you for posting this. It has given me lots to think about.

Hope all is well with you! ((HUGS))

2:29 PM  
Blogger Sandy Lender said...

Good to see you, my dear!
I knew when Megan told me the story that I was hearing something golden. It's a lovely thing to keep in bird at a time...
Sandy Lender
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

12:34 PM  
Blogger Laura M. Crawford said...

Hi, Sandy!

You should read the book "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott, a writer who has gone through all sorts of life issues as a writer, a single mother and a former addict. It's fabulous, and the advice in it is golden. I have to read it every so often to keep me from swirling away in a small tornado of my own creation. Like this week when I got home and decided I had to do EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW! I'm working (on the writing) today, and I have tomorrow off from the evil factory.

That's great advice to give to someone who just got back from a fabulous vacation in Florida! Thanks for the post.

Laura ;)

11:25 AM  
Blogger Laura M. Crawford said...

And to add to my previous comment, please extend my condolences to you and your friend on the loss of her husband. You will all be in my prayers.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Linda L Rucker said...

Sandy, how have you been? I haven't heard from you in forever! How's the book sales?
What happened with the group? Why did you leave?
I've been in and out for the last year- so much drama in my life, I don't know what's goin on half the time.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Sandy Lender said...

Long time no hear, my friend.
I've been up to my ears in activities. Yeah, had to leave the group a looooong time ago when the drama was more than I had time for. But, you know, everybody gets busy busy busy. Especially we writers. You know the drill!
Book sales are hard to track. Darn that Amazon communication system. (Or lack of...) My publisher tries...
Are you on twitter?
I try to remember to post little updates there. They're usually tweets to alert folks that I've put a real message here or on Nigel's blog. It's the ONLY way to get information to the masses today.
I'll do a BlogDriveBy to you this weekend. :)

Sandy Lender
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

8:32 AM  

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