Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I know there are times when you want to scream, have a hissy fit, or throw something against the wall. (Just don't kick the cat.) We've all been there, but truly, did the tantrum help? The answer is "no," unless you want to count the fact you feel a little better after venting. That's okay. Really.
But did it solve your problem or turn a negative into a positive? No, probably not.

Years ago, when I played a lot of golf, I was a member of the WGA (Women's Golf Association) at the local Country Club. First, this was truly a kind of "country" club. Not one member was an elitist in any shape or form. Every member was just like me--a working person who could afford the low dues and who had time to play.

Since I was a member and had earned a fair handicap, I could play in the championship tournaments. Now, that didn't mean I played in the Championship Flight, but I could enter in the First Flight (There was a Second and a Third Flight, and I always worked very hard to stay above those.

So, the season's championship tournament began. The format was a two-person one-on-one...and there were six two-person groups. First round, half were eliminated. The second round, another half were eliminated. This continued over a period of days until only two players remained in each flight.

During the last round, I had survived and the First Flight trophy would go to one of us. The other player was a much larger woman than I. I am not tall or big, and I am not strong. I hit "short," but almost always in the middle of the fairway, and I worked on my short game all the time--chipping and putting--which is the key to winning or losing.

She and I played 18 holes and at the end, we were tied. She was not happy. I was ecstatic.
So we had to start over on #1 and this time, play Sudden Death.

First hole, we tied. She cursed a little.
Second hole, we tied. She cursed and threw a club.
Third hole--short Par 3, uphill.

My shot flew straight and true and landed just short of the green. She hit and landed in the water on the left. She dropped another ball, hit her Penalty shot, and landed on the green.

I lay ONE, she lay THREE. She became very, very angry, stomped around, threw things, cursed at the sky, and I stood to the side, thinking...I have beaten her. I chipped close and one-putted for a three, she two-putted for a five.

I win!

Why? She lost her temper. Yes, her anger and temper defeated her. She was a better player and hitter, but I took the trophy. She remained angry at me for, oh, about eight more years.

Righteous or moral anger against a humanitarian crime or sin is okay. We should be angry when the weak and defenseless are crushed.

But allowing our anger to overcome us for personal desires, something we work for and don't obtain, won't get us anywhere.

The best plan--stay cool and calm. Think through the problem. Can you fix it? Or is the problem out of your hands?

During the last few months, I have been frustrated that sometimes a release just doesn't sell.

Any attempt to find a reason fails, and the frustration builds. I know there's something more I could do, but for the life of me, I can't find a way.  

After a few weeks, I decided the problem is not worth agonizing over, and just let it go.

We do the best we can, and if it doesn't work...don't get mad. It won't help one bit.
My advice is to study the problem, devise a new plan, and go in a different direction.
Or forget it and move on.

But whatever you do...don't get mad. You'll lose every time.
Celia Yeary
Romance...and a little bit of Texas


  1. Ok, so somehow, you read my mind. This is exactly what I needed to read today. Thanks for the words of wisdom.

  2. Yep, we need reminding. Promotion & Marketing does this to me, when what I *should* be doing is pouring my energy into the wip.

    And I'm glad you won that trophy!

  3. TJ-Glad it helped a little. Thanks for visiting!

  4. Linda--"wasting energy"--yes, that's what we do when we're angry. I can't but express anger once in a while--it's sort of a safety valve--but lately, I've just fume and fussed over something I can't change by doing that. So, I'm trying to find an answer.
    Thanks for coming by!

  5. Hi Celia,

    I totally agree that in sports, controlling your emotions and behaviors better your odds of performing at your peak. The same is true in most non-sports arenas. Keeping a cool head will help you navigate those minefields in life.

    With that said, I have had several notable hissy fits, and I wouldn't take any of them back. One such fit was directed against two close friends and a family member who consistently visited another relative of mine with pulmonary problems and SMOKED in his home. He always felt lousy afterward, but he didn't want to discourage their visits. This was nearly 20 years ago, and people smoked everywhere. I made a big deal of it, embarrass myself to pieces, but they stopped and he breathed better and we were able to mend fences.

    Another instance had to do with the health of my mom. The hospital wouldn't admit her because they didn't admit people with skin issues. She'd been going to skin doctors for 3 years and they couldn't help her. My entire family was frustrated and helpless. My mom just wanted to die she was so weak and miserable, in fact she got all her affairs in order before the ambulance ride to the hospital. I had a major hissy fit, embarrassing my mom and my sisters, but you know what? We got my mom admitted and fixed.

    I have seen the value of a few well-placed hissy fits.

  6. The picture of the woman working on the laptop and pulling her hair, that was me yesterday and for the last three days while formatting and uploading an 11 book box. LOL

    And the wise words you said here, my husband served them to me. LOL

  7. Unless somehow you can channel your anger and not let it control you.

    Morgan Mandel

  8. So glad you won the trophy, Celia! I don't get mad or even frustrated when my books don't sell. I just get depressed. and wonder why I bother with the promotion etc. It's not easy to feel positive at times!

  9. Paula-- I try to look at the sales..or few sales...of any of my books like I learned to do playing golf. I have been known to walk away from a group, carrying my bag back to the clubhouse, get in my car, and drive home. Why? Because I can't stand to see people throw fits over something trivial like a golf game.
    That's the first thing I taught matter how badly I play a hole or entire round, I never got mad. And I didn't get depressed either.
    This is why: I thought, if I am healthy enough, and have excess money, and have free time, then I should be happy all the time about being on the golf course.
    I routinely played with women who felt as I did, and we often made fun of each other's shots. (I began a novel with four women playing a round.)

    Writing and publishing is a little different, but still, think of all the people in the world who would love to be in your shoes.

    I'm in the process of learning that my contemporaries have never sold as well as my Western Romances. I may still write a contemporary down the line, but I have made a decision to stick to Western.
    Can you switch genres somehow? Just as a trial? Who knows?

    Thanks for your comment--I always want to read your comment.

  10. Thanks for your response, Celia - but I could no more write Westerns than I could write vampires or werewolves (or erotica!) Also I'm too much in awe of the real historical fiction writers (like Sharon Penman) to attempt to write any historical novel because I know anything I wrote would fall sadly short of the standard she and others set.

  11. Maggie- your "notable hissy fits" fall into that category I mentioned called "moral and righteous" anger. Good for you. If you hadn't thrown that hissy fit, the situation would have remained the same for your relative and your mother." My younger sister did this more than once when Mother got much worse in the nursing home. The workers just didn't pay attention to her particular pains and problems. Nancy lived in the town--my older sister and I lived elsewhere, and it was up to her to see her at least three days a week. (she was there ten years--much longer than the normal patient.) And since she was born throwing hissy fits, she was the perfect person. I would have tried to sweet talk them into doing the right thing--or use my school teacher voice and shame them into doing it.
    Thanks for sharing the personal tales of throwing a hissy fit!

  12. MONA--aren't husband good about that! Mine will, too, remind me I'm not helping the situations by stomping my foot.
    Well, I wouldn't know how to begin to box 11 books for the Kindle.
    I appreciate your visit.

  13. Morgan--yes, I think you're right. Anger can pump a lot of adrenalin into your system--while it's there, take advantage of it. Good advice!Thanks.

  14. Very sage advice, Celia. Anger at another person has a negative flowback...avoid it at all spiritual cost.
    As for writing and what sells, well it's a mystery to most of us. I never know if I should promote it more, promote it less if I'm getting over exposed, or if I should just leave it alone. Preserverence is a golden thing. It's the reason most of us became published in the first place. We just kept trying and working toward self-improvement until we got there. When I written the very best story I can produce and it doesn't sell, I just have to keep myself from thinking it's about me and let it get me down. It's so easy for a writer to begin doubting themselves because we work mostly in isolation. I often think about why in the world Fifty Shades of Gray became such a best seller. There certainly a great deal of erotic books out there; why not one of them? Sometimes it's just simple luck, the right time and place or whatever. We just move on to the next work and give it our all.
    I love your stories, Celia. There is no reason for them not to sell. We're in a resession (and it doesn't look like we're ever going to move out of it) and readers are cautious with their dollars. I know I can't buy half the books I really want to. But in the end, you're right, Celia; getting angry is counter productive.
    Great article as always.

  15. Sarah--You're right that we work in isolation. Our only reward is if someone notices our product and buys it, and even better if that person says something nice about the story. (You're so good about that, remembering to tell the author if you like the book.) I try, but much of the time, I read something, forget it, and move on to something else.
    The novel I'm venting about is The Stars at Night, and it was in ebook for two years with Desert Breeze. I pulled it because of their policy about prints. When Rebecca got it out for me, I really thought that it would continue to sell, for it had...very well, in face. But the new cover or something has made it stall..period.
    Plus, it got the very best reviews any of my books have received--and some from review sites. So, I know it's a good book--I just don't know why it's snakebitten now.
    So, I really have decided to put it aside and move on.
    I don't deal well with frustration, unless I think there's a solution. If not, I have to walk away.
    Thanks for you sage advice. You always do have the best way of expressing your thoughts.