Friday, February 24, 2012

Born Mediocre--is that so bad?

Like Malcom in the Middle, I am Celia in the middle of three sisters. While that might not be such a bad thing if all else were equal, but unfortunately, all else was NOT equal. Both older and younger sisters had nice curly hair. Our daddy had blond curly hair, but I was the one born with straight-as-a-stick mousy brown hair. I had a Buster Brown haircut, and while my sister had the same haircut, hers curled up so cute. See? Both my sisters are a little tall, but me? No, the shorter one with the big hips. Oh, and eyes? While mine are a nice dark brown, they are blind as a bat. I had glasses at a young age. My sisters? Nope, their eyesight was just fine.

Mediocre all the way.

During high school--the most important years of a person's life--I was fortunate enough to be part of a six girl group. Oh, they loved me as I loved them, and we had such fun during high school. However, the others were voted Most Popular, Most Beautiful, Valentine Sweetheart, Football Sweetheart, Band Sweetheart. Me? Nada. Zip. Nothing. I was mediocre at best, but still they loved me, and I was proud of them and that I was part of that group. What did they see in me, anyway?

Mediocrity on parade.

I felt a little driven to be better, not particularly the best, for I knew that wouldn't happen.  But to make the Dean's List in college, to be chosen University Women's Girl of the Year as a student, and to make lots of A's made me feel somewhat better about myself.

In some heaven-sent missive, I was allowed to marry the man I loved with my straight hair and glasses. Then, I was blessed with beautiful smart children, both smarter than I was, but at that point I wanted my kids to succeed more than I wanted to.

Later, in my life as I know it now, I somehow have managed to write a lot of books and short stories and get them all published. But we're never satisfied, are we--those of us who are mediocre? Now, during the promoting phase of this writing business, I have learned that I must work to get those stories on some kind of best-selling list.

Are any of you like that? Never satisfied? Always wanting our books--like our children--to do better and better, not only to make them look good, but to make yourself happy?

At this moment, I'm watching one story I have that has somehow risen higher than any other book I have.
Addie and the Gunslinger--a short 99 cent Dime Novel with the Western Trail Blazers imprint of Victory Tales Press, a unique publisher owned and operated by a brilliant woman named Rebecca Vickery. I thank her so much for her work.

On Amazon tonight, NovelRank shows these statistics for Addie and the Gunslinger:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,863 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
o    #28 in Books > Romance > Western
o    #52 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Action & Adventure
o    #69 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Action & Adventure

 Isn't that wonderful? But what do you suppose I'm hoping for next? Yes, you're right. For Addie and the Gunslinger to hit #1 on one of these lists. It most likely won't happen, leaving me once again sort of in the mediocre range of the best sellers. you think I really, really mind so much? No, I don't.
This is a ride, a thrill, a experience, and all I want or need is for some success to make me happy.

If I don't have this, or experience even more? It doesn't matter, really, because I have learned during my life that this is not all there is. It's just one chapter, but oh, man, do I love it!

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas


  1. Sometimes when the external appears mediocre, it's because all the richness and beauty and vibrancy are on the inside.

    Curly blond hair on top of all that internal goodness would have been too much, so God gave it to your sisters instead. :-)

  2. Celia, great blog, as always! LOL Well, you have certainly hit the nail on the head. In our family of 3 sisters, there were two of us who were mediocre-- me, the youngest, and our middle sister. Our oldest sister, Annette, was the one who did everything--and I do mean everything--better than anyone ALIVE. Why, to hear Mom tell it, she was a regular Einstein who'd studied at Julliard to become the greatest operatic performer who ever lived...she could have done ANYTHING she wanted to do, and was encouraged by getting the attention, the time, the money and the opportunities given to her that neither me nor my other sister, Karen ever had. For me, it wasn't nearly so hard to bear as a child since Annette was 12 years older than I was, but for Karen who was only 2 years younger than Annette, it left a lot of scars, as you cn imagine. I was content to be mediocre in most areas back then because I was quite rebellious, being a child of the 60's--once, Mom told me that I would never measure up to Annette no matter what I did. Yes, it hurt, but I've gotten over it in the bigger scheme of the things that happened later on in our lives. While I might be mediocre, I would NEVER NEVER trade my life for hers--not at any point. I'm not competitive, so that's probably another facet of settling into my mediocrity with a smile on my face. Like you, I hope for one of my stories/books to rise to #1 or at least close to it on some of those charts. Heck, to my mediocre way of thinking, I'd even settle for somewhere NEAR #1...LOL Great post!

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  4. I come from a talented family--practically every member is accomplished at music, art, or both. Moi? I can't sing a note or draw a stick man.

    But none of them ever got published. Some consider it an accomplishment and some don't. Bottom line is it took me decades to figure out that I'm not in competition with anyone, even all the while I claimed to be non-competitive. If that were so, why did I feel less-than? Glad we cleared that up!

  5. Celia, you most definitely are NOT mediocre! But I know what you mean. While I am happy to sit in my pink cave and write, I would like for my book sales to reach epic proportions. There are so many more books I want to write, and I want peopl to read and enjoy them. The income is a side benefit, of course, but writing makes me happy. And being married to the most perfect man for me is the best part of my life. Two great kids are bonuses, but they don't live at home with me as he does, so I am a lucky woman. He even cooks. Yes, I know you're talking about professional goals, but he takes care of meals and errands so I have more time to write.

  6. I'm also the middle girl and my sisters were both awfully cute and both shorter, which I always equated as cuter considering most of the females in our family were short and cute. Me? Average. Average height. Average build. Hair was wavy but not curly, just enough to annoy me and to frizz (and to poof up like a badly done afro if I dared perm it).

    Still, middle and average do not equal mediocre.

    I think there are plenty of advantages middle kids have including their particular struggles that work as great lessons. You do have to push harder for attention (if you want it, and I never really did so it worked well for me), but then that comes in handy when you have books to promote and have to use that skill. As you've shown. ;-)

    Kudos on your rankings!

  7. It's said that 'middle' children become mediators, and not mediocre. Anyway, no way are you mediocre, Celia. You have a talent for writing and have had lots of books accepted for publication. That kind of success brings its own happiness. It doesn't matter that you may not be in the NYT bestseller list. I think the important thing is that you enjoy what you are doing, and that your books bring enjoyment to other people.

  8. I enjoyed your post, but I have to protest--you're anything but mediocre! I'm the oldest sibling in my family, and expectations were high. That's hard to maintain over a lifetime. My mom was five-foot-two, eyes-of blue while I'm five-foot-eight with brown eyes. Always wished I could have been granted mom's femininity, but there was no way I could shrink.

    If we're lucky, we eventually make peace with who we are -- I have, and it seems you have too.

  9. I agree with Keena. Appearance is one thing, but drive is another.

    I was another kid with board-straight hair and glasses, and somewhat in the middle (4th of 5 kids). I didn't run with the popular crowd, but they all knew who I was because of my grades. From early days, I knew I wasn't one to follow the crowd.

    Marching to your own beat is a good thing. It gives you the freedom to be you, to grow and to change, and to not be locked into a particular mindset.

    I don't see why Addie can't continue to climb up the best seller list. Its a great book.

  10. Celia, you are far from mediocre. You have pretty straight hair--for me anything not frizzy is pretty. You're slim and didn't put weight over the years. You're smart, and talented and successful. Enjoy your qualities. I was the older of two girls. From the day my sister was born, five years younger, I was expected to give the good example and be responsible for her. But that needs a whole post on its own. LOL. So I learned to accept chalenge and thrive. And boy, was I in trouble when my sister got hurt, or fell or when I forgot to pick her up from kindergarten after school and walk her home.

  11. Keena--what beautiful words. You do have a talent for saying sweet things.And honestly, I have enjoyed my straight hair once I learned to keep it short.Thanks for your lovely comment.

  12. I don't know that I particularly like the word mediocre. I like the word regular--just a regular person, content to be who you are. although we can't all be beautiful, accomplished or a brainiac--what we can be is kind, humane and loving. And from what I've seen, you are all those things, Celia.

  13. Cheryl-oh, I know! I know! I guess it doesn't matter the birth order, because everyone see their life a different way than others see it. Truth be know, we're all slightly underappreciated, and underestimated. You especially, and oh, Cheryl,...I know...I feel for your because I truly can understand where you're coming from. You just stay Cheryl, to me, that's the highest compliment.

  14. Jacquie--funny, I never felt in competition with anyone, let alone my sisters until many, many years later when I realized we all remembered different things in a different way. So, while I thought maybe I was in competition, I realized, now, I'm just me in my own they are.
    You certainly fit in with your family--each person had a talent. How perfectly grand!

  15. Caroline- I guess I should have used Medium, instead of mediocare, which sounds sort of pathetic--which I don't consider myself.
    Like you, I'm happy in my little cave, although it's not's more like grand central station at times during the day. And like you, my friend, I have the best husband in the world.I would not trade him for all the fame and fortune in the entire world.
    But, really...wouldn't it be wonderful to be famous???

  16. Loraine--you're right.Middle and Average is not mediocre--I used the wrong term I guess. Thanks for your input...I totally understand.

  17. Paula--I do agree with you..that we can enjoy what we do. I know I'll never be a NYT bestseller, but honestly? I don't care. I wouldn't know how to act, anyway.

  18. Oh, thank you, Sandy. Yes, I suppose we're never satisfied. I was the shorter one, but now it doesn't make any differnce. I'm way shorter than my husband, and even more way shorter than my SIL! Still, I'm fine.Thanks.

  19. MAGGIE--I don't think I marched to my own drummer like you did, because I had to have a group in which to move. But now look at us...sort of the same...doing our own thing and having a ball!

  20. Mona--I did learn to appreciate my straight hair.But unlike you, I was never responsible for anyone except myself. So, there's a big difference, but with somewhat the same outcome. We both want to do our own thing now, come h...or high water!

  21. Wonderful post that brought back some memories. I was the tall one with curly hair - are we ever satisfied. Nope! I was the first one to wear a bra - boys loved to snap the back, but that was all the attention I got because I was shy, I didn't have fancy clothes (my Mom made them and until I got married I never had a store bought dress unless it was my cousin's hand-me-down. But you know what, I have grown up to have the most wonderful hubby of 43 years, two great daughters, a the best friend the Lord put on the earth. Writers! The first class reunion I attended with my gorgeous hubby, you should have seen the attention I all of a sudden had. Maybe it is those sorry beginnings that make us who we become. I know I appreciate everything I have, am grateful for the love in my life and YAY I have sold my first story. Can life get better than that???

  22. Paisley--I loved your descriptions of your life--wonderful,great, and best! I now think more slow humble beginnings make us better persons--just guessing here, since I have no first-hand knowledge of growing up beautiful and privileged. To those of us who had to work for everything we have, a little success is icing on the cake.
    Thanks for your wonderful, great, and best comment!

  23. I would never describe you as 'mediocre', Celia... which is why I've given you the Versatile Blogger Award x