May 2, 2014

Chasing Dreams and Slaying Dragons

If you've been following my blog, you've probably noticed a few changes this week - including my new logo and tagline: 

There's a story behind it.

Of course there is.  There always is. 

Lysandra James

First, the logo - As you may know, I attended the LDStorymakers 2014 Writers Conference this last weekend.  It was amazing!  I learned so much from so many talented people.  One of the workshops I attended was "Building a Bodacious Brand".  While the presenter - author Ali Cross - was speaking, I swear this logo appeared in my mind, tilted "A" and everything.  Same font, same style.  I sketched it out (including an image I couldn't figure out how to draw digitally) while trying to simultaneously take notes. 

Then, on Tuesday, I spent the ENTIRE morning recreating what I saw.  It turned out fabulously!  Exactly what I wanted.

I'm sure you wanted to know all that.  You know you did.  Admit it.

As for the tagline - that one was more deliberate.  I needed something with a bit of humor but also conveyed what I'm all about. 

I'll break it down for you. 

Image courtesy of sattva /

Chasing dreams...

This should be obvious.  I've had a writer's soul since I was a kid.  One of my earliest short stories I remember writing was about a whistling, moaning cave.  The first line was, and I'm not kidding you -

"Onions?  We're having onions for dinner?" 

I know.  Kinda gross.  And weird.

Being a writer has always been a dream of mine, but I haven't always pursued it.  Shiny things and the allure of instant income distracted me.  After dodging a few roadblocks and putting some blinders on, I've finally gotten myself back on course.

I am a writer.

This is the path I was meant to take. 

Now I'm chasing that dream with everything I've got.  How else is it going to happen?

 Image courtesy of tratong /

...and slaying dragons...

Not real dragons.  Duh. 

Unless they threaten my kids.  Then watch out firebreath - we'll be having dragon-kabobs for dinner tonight!

No.  The dragons I'm talking about are the crazy difficult things that happen in life that throw you to the ground and threaten your happiness and the progress toward your dreams. 

And sanity.  Although, as a fantasy writer, sanity is highly overrated.

I've been dealing with some persistent and ugly-looking dragons lately.  The biggest one has been back problems due to a herniated disc incurred during my third and final pregnancy.  Thankfully, that beast  has been properly tamed. 

I thought once I slayed that dragon, I would be in the clear.

However, a couple of months ago, I began experiencing severe abdominal pain.  Tears-me-apart, please-knock-me-out, prescription-pain-pills-can't-touch-it pain.  Three doctors, two ultrasounds, and a CT scan later, we finally figured out what was wrong.  I'm not going into detail here, because you don't really need to know.  But I will say it's a good thing we're done having kids because next week, I'm going in for my third surgery in three years.  I'm a bit young for a hysterectomy, but if it solves the problem, then so be it.

This is the first time I've ever looked forward to being poked with a stupid needle.


Those are only my dragons.  My children have been facing dragons of their own - surgery, broken bones, problems with friends, etc.  So I don my pearlescent purple armor (gotta get my girly in) and stand by their side against the flames.

Die, dragons, die!  For ye shall not prevail.

Not happening. 

Not here. 

Not now.

Not ever.

Image courtesy of BrianHolm /

...with a laugh and a laptop.

Excuse me for a moment while I sheath my sword and hang up my helm.
You would think with all the "fun" things going on over here, I'd be a complete wreck.  Trust me, there are times I want nothing more than to hide under the covers with my Kindle and a neverending supply of hot chocolate, brownies, and pasta. 

Nope.  That used to be me.  No more.  I refuse to play the victim.

Instead, I will laugh out loud, post it online, then scream a battle cry as I launch my attack.

I don't have time to feel sorry for myself.

Besides, as Marjorie Pay Hinckley once said - "The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.”

How about you?
I would LOVE to hear how you or someone you know is chasing dreams or have slain dragons.  So please share!  Each month, I want to feature someone who deserves to be recognized.

Also, if you've read a book that has inspired or motivated you, I want to know.  I'm always looking for something new to read!


  1. I have a friend Lonni Barker. She lives in ID. Her son was born with downs following 18 weeks or so in the hospital keeping the little guy happy inside. Almost 2 years ago the same little guy was diagnosed with cancer. He is a fighter and has been fighting hard and so far is winning. Most recently her husband broke his leg, Yet another battle. She fights small daily battles that include keeping the little guy happy, while fighting larger fights like keeping a not walking 4 year old happy while he waits for the drugs from the pharmacy at the hospital so he can get his chemo. She juggles everything including keeping their 3 older girls happy. Along the way they have fought battles that include a car accident, Grandpa's cancer as well has sickness within the family. Amazing lady. Need more motivation? Read more about her

  2. ". . . as a fantasy writer, sanity is highly overrated." Love that line so, as a writer I'm stealing it. It's a cutthroat business. Nothing personal.

    Actually, I love your outlook. I will be a follower of yours. When I read one of your facebook posts about bribing your son so you can write 1000 words I was challenged. Why? Please don't ask. I don't know. If it works use it. I've cranked out nearly 4000 words these past 3 days.

    Now that you know you've inspired someone with a random little note I expect you to keep posting. I need the inspiration and challenge. I'm glad I met you at the conference.

    1. Awww...I'm so glad I met you, too, Neils! And I WILL keep posting. I don't think I could stop now, even if I wanted to.

      4000 words in three days? Nice work! Keep it up. Consider me your unofficial cheerleader. Go, Neils, go!

      Thanks for the encouragement and support!


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