Sunday, August 12, 2012

WARNING! Do We Always Pay Attention?

During the spring months in Texas, sudden thunderstorms that produce flash floods happen on a regular basis. Since Central Texas has countless numbers of "Low Water Crossings," the areas instead become "High Water Crossings," which means--Do Not Attempt to Drive Through the Water. Because of so many deaths of people who tempt fate and try to drive through anyway, Texas uses the National Weather Service's slogan:
Turn Around! Don't Drown!
Law enforcement agencies and road crews are required by law to place temporary barricades.

Still, human nature being what it is, people drive around the barriers anyway. An inch of water over the highway can float a car into the creek. A foot of water can sweep away a vehicle of almost any size, right down into the torrent, flip it over and over, and disappear down the creek or river. Bodies are located miles from the Low Water Crossing.

Teenagers. The elderly. Young mothers with tired children. A man who'd had too much beer on the way home. A middle-aged woman who had ice cream in her grocery sack and wanted to get home before it melted. Tragic stories, on and on.  

Me? I'm afraid of water anyway, so if there's a sliver of water over the road, I won't drive through it.
But does that mean I heed every warning I hear? No.

My mother was a master at issuing warnings:
"Don't stick your fingers between the rollers of the electric wringer or you'll get your arm torn off."
"Don't play close to the cesspool. You could fall in and drown." (as if I would play close to a cesspool)
"Take those Bobby Pins out of your hair so lightning won't strike you."
"If you try to learn to swim, you'll drown."
And remember Ralphie's mom?

I think early on I had a sense of what was physically dangerous or not. Maybe it's an inborn, innate self-protection we all have. It's just that sometimes we don't listen and forge ahead anyway. But most of us are not foolish enough to put our lives in danger.

This makes me wonder about other kinds of warnings we do not heed--those that won't harm us physically, but might cause some kind of mental anquish.

Some of you know by now I began writing later in life than most authors. Oh, yes, I heard warnings--some clanging around in my own head, but others were expressed by authors and publishers and articles.

"I'm not young enough to begin a new career?"

"Western Historical romances are dead? But that's my chosen genre! I already have three novel-length manuscripts in my files!"

"Only one author in 10,000 gets published? Really? No....."

I'm glad I ignored these warnings. Well, I didn't exactly ignore them, but I did think a great deal about the direction I might go.

Since I loved reading Western Historical Romances best, I stayed with that anyway. Why? Probably a little stubborn streak, maybe a little Pollyanna persona, and perhaps an urge to do something different and bold.

Just because.

Coming Soon: re-releases, new covers, now in print and e-book--
Western Historical Romance novels.


  1. Celia, you always have an original take on everything and I always enjoy reading it.

  2. While not everything I write - I also have a weak spot for the HWR. The era, the fashion...everything about it draws me in.

    And also with the warnings...I, too heard so many. And really a lot of them have been in my own head. Sticking with it as long as I have got me this first contract...and I think that perseverance made the end result so much sweeter. Hearing the doubts of my own head and from the heads of others makes me value it so much more.

    Hopefully soon I'll have a string of 'I told you so' titles to my name...75% of which are likely to be HWR ;)

  3. I've always wondered why folks drive into a flash flood of water - obviously folks aren't thinking that do that.

    I'm also glad that you didn't listen and think it was too late to write Western Romances. I very much enjoy your work.

    Love the new covers, BTW.

  4. Miriam--thanks so much! I appreciate your reading it...

  5. Sarah--since I wasn't certain you weren't the other Sarah I know, I peeked at your blog, therefore I peeked into your life. I cannot imagine how you cope, but your girls are darling and I wish you well.Your son sounds like a great kid.
    Stick with the WHR, and maybe you can contact me when you have the first one published...if it's not erotic, you might like a guest spot on our group blog Sweethearts of the West.We have two slots a month, and right now we're booked through October--I think.But you can remember we're out there.
    I agree that most of the warning we hear come from ourselves, our self-doubt and fear of wanting something too much.
    Stick with it, yes, because this genre really is selling great. The naysayers were all wrong--even though the genre was in a slump--I think Regencies ruled at the time--I was glad to see it return with such huge success.
    Good luck and blessings-

  6. Hi, Maggie--how is grandbabyland? I'm sure you're having the time of your life!
    Thanks for stopping in--even though you're not in your usual niche. Take care....

  7. Warnings are put out for a reason. I agree with you on how dumb it is to travel through water if you want to be able to control your vehicle. Up here in the mountains it is speed, reckless speed in the snow especially on the mountain roads we live on. I feared for my life coming home in a whiteout one day. Didn't they know they couldn't stop driving on the slick roads??

    I am a worrier by nature so really try to follow warnings -- okay, my husband still laughs at me because I won't cut labels off pillows. You know those that have WARNING do not remove in bold letters. :)

  8. Paisley--oh, you made me laugh. I always have the urge to cut those labels off pillows and mattresses, and my husbannd get scissors out, and I say, "Stop! No! Don't cut those off!" See, I cannot do it. So weird.
    I'm a worrier, too, to some extent. I now laugh about my mother warning us girls about things we'd never think to do! Yes, she was compelled to warn us.It's a mother's job, I guess.
    Yes, just the word alone is enough to convince me.

  9. I agree that we have some innate self-protection at work, and one individual's inner warnings about 'danger' can be wildly different from someone else's. That's why some people do things I could never do - like rock-climbing or tightrope-roping over Niagara Falls for instance!
    As far as writing's concerned, I find I listen to myself far more than to other people. That isn't necessarily a good thing, as I can be filled with self-doubt as a result.
    Interesting and thought-provoking topic, as usual, Celia!

  10. Take those Bobby Pins out of your hair so lighting won't strike you! What a hoot! And I won't remove those do not remove under penalty of law tags either!