Sunday, February 9, 2014

Writing vs. The Olympics

I don’t know about you, but I’m stoked by watching the Olympics and especially seeing the joy on all the Olympian’s faces. Did you see the huge smiles at the opening ceremony.

Since my book, TWO DEGREES FROM ZERO: A SNOWBOARDING ADVENTURE is about snowboarding and surviving a blizzard in Keystone, Colorado, I must watch every report of our wonderful gold-medal winners in the slopeside snowboarding events. And I can’t believe the height and speed the athletes attain as they lay down those tricks. Amazing, just amazing.

I attended a writer’s workshop sponsored by the Pikes Peak Writers in Colorado Springs, CO yesterday, and when I returned home and sat down to relax in front of the TV, the Olympics broadcast had begun.

As I watched these amazing athletes make their chosen sport look so easy, I thought about the speaker’s messages about writing a few hours before.

Writing is much like the Olympics. Think about it for a moment.  How do we get from a blank page to a published book we can proudly hold in our hands. Just like winning a medal in the Olympics, publishing is a culmination of the hard work we’ve poured into our writing project for so long. Along our journey of becoming a published author, we’ve taken many spills, got up, brushed ourselves off, and worked harder to get to the next level. We’ve poured our heart and soul into our chosen genre, spending many, many hours at the keyboard when we’d rather be spending time with family or friends, reading books in our chosen genre when we’d rather be reading a best seller by an author we’ve always wanted to read, spending too many hours alone when we’d rather be out on the town, having our words ripped apart by a critique group when we thought this piece of writing was the best we’ve ever done, and then the disappointment of receiving rejection after rejection.

So why do we write? Just think if the new worlds and experiences we’ve opened up to readers. I write about Colorado’s beautiful mountains and being active. How many times has a kid living in Florida or an island in the Caribbean seen snow, much less six feet of snow?  And then imagine attaching a board to their feet and gliding down a steep hill, while feeling the sun on their back and the wind whishing across their body. The pleasure is totally amazing, so that’s why I write. 

I will never be an Olympian, but I can bring thrilling and eye-opening experiences to so many new audiences. Maybe someday, a reader may be inspired enough to seek their gold medal. So just write!

ABOUT M.J. Stewart

M.J. is originally from Memphis, Tennessee, but when a job opportunity for her late husband came about, the family moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Martha’s long-time marriage ended abruptly with the death of her husband. When the children left home, the empty nest gave Martha the opportunity to indulge her deep longings for adventure.

From early childhood M.J. had an innate desire to create and travel. Traveling through the rain forests of New Zealand, sunbathing in the Bahamas, viewing the Mona Lisa in Paris, tasting a real Belgium waffle dripping with chocolate, soaking in the bright colors of tulip fields of Holland, doing a bike tour through Germany’s lush vineyards and quaint villages, and suffering from the heat and deprivation of Ukraine have fed her thirst for adventure. 

But Colorado bought a new life full of new adventures. Constantly nourished by Colorado’s scenic beauty, M.J.’s love for the outdoors includes downhill skiing, biking, camping, hiking, and nature photography. 

As a graphic designer, Martha designed company newsletters, logos, and printed pieces for many organizations. She spent several years working for Pikes Peak Writers and Pikes Peak Writers Conference in Colorado Springs.
(Martha Lancaster writing as M.J. Stewart)


Two Degrees From Zero is an entertaining adventure story featuring two young teens who are easy to like and easy to relate to. Derek is struggling with very serious issues and his best friend Janae is right there with him the whole way. Even with terrible blizzards, abandonment, dangerous tough guys after Derek, and an almost-step-dad or Fake Dad as Derek calls him, that he doesn't like or trust, Derek, along with Janae, takes on the tough job of doing what needs to be done. 

Amazon customer review:  A young teen believes he is going for a snowboard weekend with mother, mother's boyfriend and best friend. The snow weekend goes awry when two thugs take a keen interest in Derek's snowboard. Abandoning Derek, best friend, mom and now suspect boyfriend in a backwoods cabin, the young teen must make tough decisions to ensure the survival of the gang. Derek treks into a Colorado blizzard with best friend Janae to find help. Very action packed with an ending I did not expect. A good read for a younger audience seeking adventure, mystery and a journey into Derek's heart as he deals with secrets of his own.




Catherine Lee said...

A snowboarding adventure sounds like an interesting--and nontraditional--topic for a novel.
I envy all your travel opportunities!
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Mike Daymon said...

TWO DEGREES FROM ZERO: A SNOWBOARDING ADVENTURE is a fun read featuring a troubled kid, some miserably cold weather, and a true pal. I truly appreciate the effort authors make to provide me with daily reading pleasure. (Full disclosure: Martha has been a good friend for a long time.)

Mike Daymon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jodi said...

You are such an inspiration to me, Martha! Thank you.