Thursday, April 10, 2014

A to Z Challenge: I is for Impossible (and Greg Iles and Iron Ties by Ann Parker)

My scheduled guest is Marilyn Meredith, author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series and the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series. Her post will publish at 6:00 AM.

On with the letter I:

Featured author:  Greg Iles

I don't know Greg and haven't had any opportunities to meet or contact him, and he's not from Colorado either. Even so, he's my choice for featured author because I'm a big fan of his novels, especially the thrillers. It would take so long to list all his titles (which cross genres), that I'm just going to send you to the book page on his website so you can see the cover art and read the synopses.

Featured Book:  Iron Ties by Ann Parker

Iron Ties is the second book in Ann's Silver Rush mysteries. The well-researched historical series is set in Leadville, Colorado, featuring Inez Stannert, part-owner of the Silver Queen Saloon. There's plenty of intrigue and a love interest who makes me think of Rhett Butler.

Iron Ties won the Colorado Book Award and received honorable mention for the Arizona Book Award in Mystery/Suspense.

If you're interested, start with the first book in the series, Silver Lies.

Word of the Day:  Impossible

I've heard it said that nothing is impossible, but that's silly. For instance, it would be impossible for me to hike up a 14er (for those who live in the flat lands, that's a mountain that's at least 14,000 feet high).

But we often get ourselves into a mindset of believing something is impossible when the goal would be quite attainable if we made the choices required to achieve the desired end. I am reminded of this every time I think of Chuck Sambuchino's keynote speech at the Northern Colorado Writers Conference when he gave us one piece of writing advice:  Put down the remote.

Would it be impossible for me to write a book a year for the next five years? Yes, it would be impossible if I continued to procrastinate and waste time the way I often do now.

But if I put my mind to it, that's an reachable goal. Do I want to do it enough to make the necessary sacrifices? We'll see.

Do you have a goal you would have once considered impossible?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I thought three books was impossible, and now I'm working on a fourth. Thought two thousand followers was impossible as well.

klahanie said...

Hi human, Patricia,

I do appreciate how you feature a writer and an author each day. You do realise that in Britain, "Colorado" is spelt, "Colourado"? :)

Of course, a lot of things that might seem impossible may well be possible if we break them down into manageable segments leading to the ultimate goal.

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

Rachna Chhabria said...

I believe that nothing in life is impossible: its "I make Possible"

Crystal Collier said...

I completely feel this way--that anything is possible with enough determination and work. It's so easy to limit ourselves with a negative inner dialog. The question is, at what cost? And this is the one I've been weighing for ages. Every effort we exert comes at the cost of another, but there are some things that are TRULY worth doing.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I write 2 books a year--you just do it.

Anonymous said...

I agree that nothing is impossible if we make the right choices and do what's necessary to achieve that goal. But sometimes life gets in the way, or our fear, or whatever. Sometimes things are out of our control. But mostly, its by our own hand/brain that keeps us from attaining something. :)
Thanks for sharing.
Stopping by from A to Z!

Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
My A to Z
Caring for My Veteran

Kari12 said...

That was the same little nugget I held onto from the keynote speaker as well. Put Down The Remote. I had already been taking steps towards creating more time to write, and knew that eliminating TV was coming soon. Of course it has to. Do I want to write and create and publish, or do I want to watch the next bad episode of CSI? Most the time it seems like a no brainer... while other times, yes, yes I would like to watch that crappy show because I've got no energy left at the end of the day. That's why I write in the morning!

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - One of the keys to deciding what's really impossible is deciding how important something is. If it's really important - if you really want it badly enough - it's not impossible. Difficult perhaps, but not impossible. Hard to remember on some days, and it requires flexibility about reaching goals, but I think it's true.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Alex, you are a shining example for the rest of us. I don't know how you do it (but I suspect you don't sleep).

Penny, you always make me smile when you stop by my blog. Your observation about breaking big tasks into manageable small tasks is something I need to focus on. Maybe if I make another list....

Hi Rachna -- I think folks who take your approach to life do accomplish great things.

Good morning, Crystal! Negative inner dialogue is sometimes hard to ignore. I'm doing better as I get older.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Marilyn -- Imagine seeing you here. You're another great example for us procrastinators to follow. We need to just do it!

Jamie, there are indeed road blocks and hurdles and sometimes brick walls. We can get around, over, or through them if we really want to.

Kari, my TV addictions are Elementary, American Idol, Grey's Anatomy, Nashville, Survivor, etc. etc. Mostly I record them and watch them later in the evening when my brain can't focus on other tasks.

You're right about needing flexibility, Margot. I'm learning to "go with the flow" and avoid stressing over things I can't control.

Donna Volkenannt said...

I've had essays, articles, and short stories published, but the thought of writing a novel intimidated me. I began one during NaNoWriMo and am determined to finish it!

Love the advice to put down the remote!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Good for you for jumping into NaNoWriMo, Donna. I have one first draft from the 2012 NaNo and did another 35,000 words in 2013...I quit that one because I thought my novel idea actually had promise and I had so many names and plot twists I got lost. Had to go back and start working on a real outline. :D

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I think a lot of people - me included, sometimes - are quick to say something is impossible instead of taking a few minutes and really considering all the possibilities. Maybe it really is impossible, but maybe there's a way to come close to it or maybe we need to just change up the goal a bit.

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

Patricia Stoltey said...

Madeline, I tend to change up the goal a lot. Or change down, to be more precise. :D

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I like Greg Iles too. I haven't read all his books but I've read most of them. Good point about the impossible. Being focused on a goal helps. I'll be doing some hiking when I visit my son in Colorado Springs this summer but not up any 14ers.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Susan -- Hiking and Colorado just seem to go together, don't they?

Elizabeth Cardamone said...

Good book leads, thanks.

Mostly, I think anything we set our minds to can be achieved. There are times when we submit an entry to a competition and it doesn't win, but that's both within our control and out of our control. If we go back to our entry and really assess it objectively, we may see how it's not the strongest piece of writing. On the other hand, we have no control over the quality of writing from the other entrants or the judges styles/preferences. I sort went off on a tangent here, but I think the things we really set our minds to, are possible.

Best regards,

PS: Visiting from the A to Z sign up page

Dean K Miller said...

I am not always a big fan commercial endorsements/advertisements. But if you know this story, than you know it isn't told any better than this:

"Adidas: Impossible is Nothing"

Dean K Miller said...

Pat: Think of the 14er this way:

Starting at 6000 ft elevation, it's 8100 ft up and down. That's 16,200 feet. Consider each step of yours today is 1.5 feet in distance. Count your steps (about 10,800 of them). Then add a couple thousand more for the altitude change. Let's say 13,000 steps total.

Start tomorrow and count. Think 3000 steps/day (just a guess.) In 4 and 1/2 days, you have walk/climbed the equivalent of a 14er.

That's how "Impossible is Nothing!"

Rhonda Blackhurst said...

Motivating post Pat. I'm enjoying reading about the Colorado authors as well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for popping by. Caught up on your posts. Looks like you're doing three AtoZ's in one! Well done.
A novel a year for five years. Easy! All edited and finished, now that's a different story! I've drafted five since November 2010 but none yet finished. Good luck!