Kick, Dance, Shoot
On the dedication page of my newest release, A Seminar on Murder, I wrote 'Kick, Dance, Shoot' as a message for my children and grandchildren. These were the one word cheers of a mother sitting in the bleachers encouraging her child to victory. My daughter was a swimmer and my son was basketball player, so kick and shoot are obvious usages. Dance was taken from a country western song. The longer phrase was “if you get a chance to sit it out or dance, dance.”
Occasionally, I need to add some self to my encouragement. I need to dig deep into my personal reserves in order to write one more chapter, query one more agent or submit my manuscript to one more publisher. When I hesitate, I tell myself to Kick, Dance, Shoot.
When my daughter graduated from law school, she presented our family gathering with a heartfelt speech. She mentioned that when her studies became overwhelming she would think back to her swimming days and remember my shouts to Kick. She would dig a little deeper and find the extra thrust to keep her head above water. I didn’t think she had heard me.
The role of the author is no longer limited to sitting in front of the computer. It requires social media, author talks, blogging, creating bookmarks, editing. All of this can be overwhelming. A writer needs to Kick to keep from drowning.
The second term, Dance, as I mentioned, was from a country song by Lee Ann Womack titled I Hope You Dance. I wanted my children to get out of their comfort zones once in a while and try new things. Enrich their lives with new experiences. Fortunately they made wise choices and I never had to go to the police station.
I took my elderly mother to the local amusement park. She looked up at the bungee jump attraction and with a wisp of regret in her voice, she said, “If I was ten years younger I would do that.” I don’t want to grow old and wish I had done something. I want those experiences to enrich my writing.
As writers, we need to experience the world with all of our senses and when we have a chance to sit it out or dance, we need to dance.
Shoot was for my basketball playing son, who was a better player than he believed. It was magic watching him fend off other players and scoring baskets. The only problem was that when he got the ball, he passed it to one of the other players rather than taking the shot himself. It drove me crazy.
I draw the parallel between his playing and the opportunities that I pass up to promote my books. Recently I was asked who my favorite author was. I should have said without any regard for modesty that I was my own favorite author. I love my characters and the situations in which they find themselves. I still laugh when I read some of the sillier passages.
To experienced writers and those new to the craft, I have three words of advice: Kick, Dance, Shoot.
Lois Lamanna, proud author of
Matrimony and MurderMurder on a Park Bench
A Seminar on Murder
Facets of Murder
Clarity of Murder