Tag Archives: journey

JOURNEY TO LIFE’S SUMMIT

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As I sat quietly pondering life—past, present, and future, I thought about the mountain(s) we face as we journey through life. Yes, life is like climbing a mountain to the summit. Some folks may climb more than one in their lifetime, but all of us have at least one.

Although there are many paths leading to life’s summit, we want to choose the best one. We research the possibilities, seek advice, and try to plan the perfect route in order to minimize the difficulties we may face along the way. The cliffs, slippery slopes, and many unknown dangers that may be encountered along the way make the decision difficult, but when we finally decide on the “ideal” path, it’s time to start climbing.

Most folks start in the valley and work their way up to the summit by taking one-step at a time. Sometimes what we visualized as we were making plans is not the path we actually traverse. We often must make midcourse adjustments and hear our internal GPS voice saying, “Recalculating!” However, we must not let that voice frustrate us because, as cited earlier, there are multiple paths that will lead to the summit.

The journey may be difficult and some days will be better than others, but we must stay the course. It takes discipline, courage, and endurance to make it to life’s summit, but you must keep climbing—it’s your mountain—your challenge in life and no one can do it for you.

The closer you get to the summit, the more difficult the climb becomes, which can be frustrating. You work hard, but the summit doesn’t appear to get any closer. The secret is not to look at how far you are from the summit, but to thank God each day for how far you’ve come from the valley below.

JOURNEY TO LIFE’S SUMMIT

I stood in the valley looking up.

There before me my summit rose high.

Covered with snow, it seemed far away,

But the journey there is mine they say.

 

I started to climb as a young child.

I sensed no danger and had no fear.

All I saw was beauty all around,

And the world I saw was my playground.

 

With the first plateau beneath my feet,

I looked back to see from where I came.

My childhood days passed like a warm breeze,

And teen years of life appeared with ease.

 

Even though my path grew steeper here,

Climbing seemed much easier for me.

I grew stronger with each step I took,

With impatience, my whole body shook.

 

On plateau number two, I stood tall.

Life had changed, for I became a man.

No longer able to be carefree,

For two kids I bounce upon my knee.

 

The sights before me are different now,

For I have reached plateau number three.

My kids now grown with kids of their own,

But warm thoughts of them still linger on.

 

As I stopped on plateau number four,

My path had narrowed and fear moved in.

I stood on ice with no trees to see,

And clouds concealed my valley below.

 

I’ve come a long way through thick and thin.

Each year has been filled with ups and downs!

Though I had more that I wished to say,

The cold damp air was too harsh this day.

 

My family has grown smaller with time,

As God called loved ones to be with Him.

But some have left without a goodbye,

For never did we see eye-to-eye.

 

Things are not the same in this high place,

But Frost did write, “I have miles to go…”

Doubts grow as my summit draws near,

And I wonder if I’ll find peace there.

 

The air I breathe is somewhat thin as

Light shines bright from my summit above.

I thank God for showing me the way,

And pray He will guide me through each day.

 

My journey near done, I wish for you,

That your days on earth be full of joy,

That the paths you choose are always true,

And for God’s light to shine upon you.

 

As you stand tall upon your summit,

Cast your eyes to the valley below,

For you climbed the mountain meant for you,

Which many said you could never do.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

Do you know where this monument is located?

JourneyToLifesSummit1

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

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WITH YOU ALWAYS

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Tom Tatum – Author – 2015

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

 

OUT OF FOCUS

Here I am writing this article, which is probably just for my own use so I can read it later. I know things always sound more authoritative when you preface your pontifications with,

“I read somewhere that…”

Remember, you’re reading this message after it has travelled many miles through cyberspace. Think about how much more wisdom the article gained while travelling all those miles from my computer to yours. Read on and when you talk to your friends afterward, you can confidently use the term, “I read somewhere that…” Your knowledge will surely impress them to the max! What do you have to lose? Don’t answer that—read on!

Well, here are my thoughts on a very important matter—my (your) path on my (your) journey in life…

All of us have probably had one or more times in life when the path of our journey in life seems to be out of focus. We keep plodding along on our own hoping to find our way through the fuzzy maze. Each head-butt of an obstacle causes us to change direction as we try to find the right path again. Nothing seems to go the way we hoped it would—NOTHING!

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Unfortunately, this bouncing-off-the-walls mentality sometimes drives us further from our intended goal. We become lost, lose hope, and want to give up. Things just aren’t working out the way we envisioned at the start of our journey—when things seemed perfectly clear. We finally realize we need help!

Personally, I am at that point—my path in life is now Out Of Focus. Hope your path is much clearer than mine is. I seem to have lost my way and no longer see my path with any clarity. It’s actually a total blur. I find myself in desperate need of help—lots and lots of help. What am I to do now?

Sure, I could give up, but that’s not a viable option for me. I pride myself in not being a quitter. The mantras of positive voices in my head continue bellowing,

“Persevere, Never Give Up, Keep Going, One More Step, You Can Do This, etc.”

Aaarrrgh! The voices are relentless even though I keep telling them I don’t know which way to go. I am directionally challenged at this moment!

Do you have any words of wisdom you care to share with me? I’m listening…

In light of not giving up, I finally made a decision. One that is long overdue! I plan to do what I’ve done many times in the past, and each time, my path forward came into focus—everything became much clearer. Why has it taken me soooo long this time? Call me stubborn!?! Is that a virtue? Hmmm.

I am now praying for guidance. I am placing everything about my situation in God’s hands and asking Him to show me the path He wants me to follow. I will patiently wait for His answer to my prayers and will refrain from head-butting obstacles I cannot see. My head is hurting too much to continue that way!

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Yes, I must now have patience—maybe lots of it. I must remember that! If you know me, you know how I struggle with that simple concept. Waiting for three full cycles at a traffic light drives me up a tree!

What was that word again? Oh, I remember now—P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E!

If you are experiencing similar situations in your life, I suggest you do as I am now doing—pray and have patience. God will answer your prayers in His time, and His plan for your path will come into focus when He is ready. Have faith and trust in Him—always!

By the way, did I tell you I read somewhere that…

May God shine His light upon you and bring clarity to your path in life.

Tom Tatum – Author of Faith-based Novels

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Writers – Authors – Readers

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As an engineer in my past life, I did what engineers do—made a “symbolic” graph to convey what an author faces when writing a novel. Albeit crude in appearance, the graphic presents the “hill” of a novel’s journey.

There are five general categories involved: 1) story idea, 2) writing the manuscript, 3) publishing the book, 4) marketing the book, and 5) engaging readers. Each category is a topic unto itself and deserves a more detailed discussion than can be provided here.

Writers and readers obviously view a novel’s journey from two different perspectives. Per the graphic, writers look up the steep hill they must climb and readers peer down, anxiously awaiting for the next boulder to arrive. Writers want readers to read and readers want writers to write. When the two get together, there is a meeting of the minds. The writer exposes his/her soul to the world and the reader has an unfiltered view of it all. In a perfect world, a sense of satisfaction would ensue and both would be happy campers as the sheer joy of the moment engulfed them. Well, maybe not exactly that much euphoria, but at least there would be two people wearing smiles for different reasons.

When the idea “light bulb” for a story begins to glow, a writer wants to develop the thought in hopes of turning it into a brilliant manuscript and an engaging novel. That’s wonderful! Wish nothing but the very best for every author who takes the plunge, or better yet, the journey up the hill. However, before you begin pecking away on the keyboard, you should know a few things about what’s ahead of you. The journey from idea-to-novel is not as easy as you may think.

If you are a veteran author, you have been there before. You have the scars of a battle-tested writer and know what to expect. Carry on, but consider helping the soon-to-be author when they ask questions. Your experiences could help a fellow warrior-of-words with the boulder they are about to push up the hill.

A soon-to-be author would be wise to do lots of research in advance to help prepare for what is to come before turning that glowing idea into his/her first manuscript. A good way to do this is to join some author/reader groups and ask “seasoned” authors/readers questions about their experiences. Then listen carefully to what they tell you. Many veteran authors are more than willing to offer advice that could help you tremendously. Those who aren’t, well, to put it nicely, they have probably simply forgotten they were once a soon-to-be author seeking advice. Taking time to ask questions will definitely be well worth your effort, even if some of the “veteran-minds” snub you. Just have thick skin and a short memory when asking the questions. Those veterans who do help will allow you to survey the landscape/terrain along the path ahead of you. As the graph indicates, it’s not a smooth, flat road to travel. In fact, it becomes steeper and more difficult the closer you get to putting your book in the hands of readers.

The path gets steeper at each category, which makes your boulder harder to push as you continue the journey. Each milestone becomes increasingly more difficult, but not impossible because you should already know what to expect. You listened to the insights of some friendly veterans who armed you with valuable knowledge about the process. Take things one-step at a time, stay focused on your objective, and don’t let surprises overwhelm you—there will be many. You’re not the first person to experience the frustrations of the journey, nor will you be the last. Just think; you will soon be an author who can help other soon-to-be authors push their boulders up the hill. At that point, you can smile because you know the hurdles they will be experiencing.

Okay readers, now it’s your turn. You like to read. You like to read good stories in different genres. You spend several hours with a novel and you’re done. It’s finished. You either enjoyed the read or didn’t, but regardless, you’re ready to move on to the next novel. Before you do, think about the arduous journey experienced by the author to get the novel into your hands.

The author labored for hundreds-plus hours creating the content/format that you read in just a few hours. As you can see, the author’s journey from idea to placing the novel in your hands isn’t easy. As a reader, you hold an author’s fate in your hands—literally and figuratively. You want to read more, but the author must want to write more to enable you to do that. It’s a two-way relationship.

You, as a reader, can help authors by writing an “honest” customer review for each book you read. It’s not hard and doesn’t take long to accomplish. Let authors and other readers know your thoughts about the plot, characters, structure, and the story. If you didn’t like it, say why in a constructive manner. Authors can learn things from your reviews and become better writers. If you liked it, say that as well. It will encourage authors to write more, which gives readers more and better novels to read. That should bring smiles to all. Right?

Hope this information helps authors and readers understand the journey of a novel a bit better. Authors keep writing and improving your skills. Readers keep reading and giving those important reader reviews. Working together will help make all novels even better.

If you’re reading this sentence, I thank you for your valuable time. Enjoy the rest of your day. Go write or read another book.

Tom Tatum – Author

Please join me at the following locations:

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Website: http://www.IfTigersWereAngels.com