Author Archives: Britney King

Good to Great

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” ― James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t

Last week I wrote about my big little lesson in betrayal and after having some time to reflect upon not only how I allowed these things/people/situations into my life (businesses) but how tolerant I was in ignoring the warning bells going off inside my head at each step of the way, I realized it was paramount to take account of my own shortcomings in order to move forward.

A major one of those being that I’d spread myself too thin. Turns, out it’s fairly easy to be betrayed when your attention is all over the place. I mean, who knew? ;) But, deceit aside, what’s more relevant in the long run was that in an attempt to be good at a variety of things I’d actually failed to be great at the things that truly matter– at least to me.

In short, the greater lesson here was the realization that I don’t want to be a good writer…I want to be a great one. I don’t want to be a good wife (and mother) I want to be great at it. And I don’t want to be a good business owner I NEED to be a great one. And while I guess the definition for what makes one good versus great is rather personal and subjective, I do believe that deep down I knew the difference.

I knew that I was allowing my attention to be diverted away from what was important to me. I was an active participant in that– and it cost me.

I also knew that I had to leap off the hamster wheel, take back my attention, listen, and focus on what really matters.

And by “really matters,” I mean the stuff I want to be great at. Which as it turns out, sadly, pretty much can’t be all the things. ;)

Long story long, if the people you love, the work, and/or the journey of becoming, are at the mercy of anything, which matters less than those things, then trouble will no doubt ensue, as it did for me.

I know because prior to my big little lesson I was, for a while, at best, decent at prioritizing.

Good, maybe…sometimes.

Great, well…I’m working on it. :)

Because, it cost me, sure– but mostly because this is one lesson I REALLY don’t want to have learn over again. ;)

On tough love.

“Tough love and brutal truth from strangers are far more valuable than Band-Aids and half-truths from invested friends, who don’t want to see you suffer any more than you have.” ― Shannon L. Alder

I would venture to say that tough love from those we care about is quite possibly one of the best things ever. Ever, ever. :)

I’ve endured some pretty suck ass (and yes, I chose those those words wisely, in case you were wondering;) betrayals over the past few weeks. And… let me tell you there’s almost nothing worse than betrayal.

But my saving grace has been the truth tellers in my life—the friends and loved ones I can call on who don’t let me wallow in my own crap. Those that are happy for me when I’m happy, sad for me when I’m sad—but best of all when they know I need it, also aren’t afraid to deliver a swift kick in the ass.

I think many of us are afraid to be “that person,” to those we love, the kind who no matter what steps up to the plate and says what it is they so desperately need to hear. Especially, when there’s a strong chance they don’t want to hear it. Which is usually, in most cases because they already know. ;)

It really is a gift to be able to do this gently… and this is part of the lesson for me here—to be better at being a tough love kind of person. Because… you gotta give if you wanna receive, right??? ;)

So, anyway, if you don’t have a truth-teller (or a few) in your life—someone who refuses to let you buy into the crap you’re being served (and oftentimes are serving yourself)—if you don’t have a little tough love in your corner, you really should get ya some. ;)

Because, in the end, a betrayal is just a lesson. What it isn’t—or at least what it shouldn’t be—is an excuse to play small.

Life and other magic.

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ― Gilda Radner

Yesterday my six year old favorite only daughter and I took a long walk where she urgently and impatiently informed me that she had “all of these questions about life.”

When I asked what they were she just shrugged and said she hadn’t figured them all out yet.

I smiled and told her that’s ok—that this is how I know she’s mine.

When we got back home her brothers casually mentioned they had built a trebuchet in the backyard—and a working one (I discovered) at that. Impromptu, “just because”… they had “an idea.”

Later, I laid out in the hammock, and read, and watched them hurl things—all the while arguing over the exact right way to do the hurling.

Because, of course, there would be a “right way.”

I listened, smiled to myself, and pondered what a really interesting thing it is to fall in love with a person, create several mostly carbon copies of yourselves, and watch how life manifests itself in their eyes.

Sometimes, it’s hard—back breaking work, this gig we call life. Sometimes, it feels uphill all the way.

At other times though… on days like these, it’s simply bloody beautiful. Like magic—you haven’t quite figured out yet.

And you realize, maybe… that’s the whole point.

On Submission.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” ― Sun TzuThe Art of War

 

Submission

Write—

or insert verb of choice,

hit the wall.

Lather.

Rinse.

Repeat.

Only the characters in this story have forgotten,

one thing.

Submission…

can also be a form of dominance.

That line, you know—

it’s a thin one.

 

This (below) is what I’m writing novels (Beyond Bedrock) and bad poetry to this week. Reminds me of Lana— it’s dark and lovely. Albeit a little “pop-ish” for my palate. But lyrically, and for pacing… perfection.

 

I’ve got a girl crush…

“I’ve got a girl crush

Hate to admit it but,

I got a hard rush

It’s not slowing down” — Lori McKenna, song writer 

I’ve started writing the third and final book in the Bedrock Series and I have to say that I’ve been a bit hesitant to write/finish/share this one. But, then again, I think I’m always a little hesitant at the beginning.

The truth is, I thought I was done with the Bedrock books after I published Breaking Bedrock. I felt that I’d turned the page, finished the chapter, and closed the book, on these characters, so to speak. The trouble is, most of the correspondence I receive is about William and Addison. Fans of theirs want to know what happened to them, they want more, and they’ve asked for it again and again.

Still, for me there was hesitancy—which I think in part came from feeling like I’d told their story to its extent, that the characters had gotten their happy ending, and perhaps it was best just to let it be what it is. I really wasn’t expecting that there would be more… but in the end, I decided… maybe there’s beauty in that.

So, I started working on the book anyway, just to see, and to my surprise it wasn’t long before I’d found their voices once again and hit my stride. And I thought…hmmm…maybe…

I’m not terribly superstitious, or maybe I am…but somewhere along the way, just after I started, I asked the universe, or the muse, or whoever, to show me a sign. It sounds crazy (and it probably is) but I wanted to know that these characters still had a story left within them that they wanted told. Also, I wanted to know if I had the passion within myself to tell whatever that story was. I wasn’t interested in continuing the series just for the sake of continuing. I needed to be pulled in…

And then someone in the know sent me the song below along with a note that said “If you want your sign, here it is.” And I swear it was perfect. Lyrically perfect. It was just one of those things… that when you know, you know. After listening to it I realized that there is a story here waiting to be told, and I think this song encapsulates a large part of that story very well.

I was sent the original version by LBT but when I was searching for it to share with you guys I came across KC’s cover and well, since I’m more of a bluesy kind of girl I prefer this one.

And… with that, below is the synopsis for the third and final book in the Bedrock Series, Beyond Bedrock.

It’s a bit like the song. Not at all what you think it is going to be about. But it’s also like the song, too. :) Just a little seedier and a whole lot less innocent. ;)

Addison and William Hartman’s once tumultuous affair is mostly a thing of the past. These days it seems they have it all—that the world is literally at their fingertips. They are finally living their hard won happily ever after.

Settled into a marriage that is anything but normal, the two of them are learning the art of the dance it takes to make a long-term commitment between a pair of highly passionate and driven people work. The question is whether or not they can sustain it. 

And it appears they can—that they have the give and take in the bag—until outside forces beyond their control come forth and change the course of their lives, once again—and this time, not for the better. 

The final book in the Bedrock Trilogy, this story explores what happens after the curtain closes and the reality of happily ever after begins.

Just wondering…

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” ― C.S. Lewis

I recently spent some time among a crowd 20-30+ years older than myself. And if I’m being completely honest it scared me. It really, really scared me.

It wasn’t the people, I’m pretty sure– they were fine, but more so the fact that as the minutes wore on the more there was no denying that there seemed to be a sense of magic among them that was missing, as though any curiosity they might have once held about the world and the way it works, had long ago gone stale. I couldn’t put my finger on it…complacency, maybe. Resignation, likely.

I listened as they described events and experiences that had taken place in their lives over the past year and it seemed while not particularly negative, there was almost zero sense of wonderment about the places they’d gone and the things that they had seen.

And, so, I went home and I swore that I would not ever, ever become that way. And then I got to thinking about the places I’d gone and the people and things I’d seen and I found myself awake at 2AM (again) with this poem on the tip of my tongue:

 

Just Wondering.

 

On this bitterly cold winters night,

I lie here thinking of you.

And wondering if—

wherever you are,

you might be thinking of me, too.

 

Only, when I wrote it down on paper and re-read it back to myself I decided that it sounded rather sad. Which was odd because when it appeared there on the tip of my tongue, I wasn’t feeling especially sad. At all.

This is one thing that always surprises me about writing. One never knows what is going to come out. I can be ecstatic and my writing turns out depressing. And vice versa. It almost never makes any sense at the time. Kind of like life. ;)

Anyway, so, down the rabbit hole I went (as is often unavoidable at 2AM) and the best I could come up with was that earlier after the encounter mentioned above I’d been thinking of many of the people who’d crossed my path and considering where they are now and what they might be doing. But it isn’t so much that I was sad or that I missing them, per se —but more so perhaps that I miss the person I was when we crossed paths.

And by missing I don’t necessarily mean in a sad way, but more so in the way that you look at an old photograph of yourself as a kid and think ‘wasn’t I cute.’ They’re just memories. Nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, and sometimes a little of both.

This, I realize is what growth must feel like. Painful at times. Glorious at others. And in between…a little bittersweet. 

If not that, and if nothing else, maybe all the wondering simply means you’re still curious.

And by golly, if you’re still curious, then you can’t possibly have lost ‘it” yet, right?

To be clear, by ‘it,‘ I mean the magic…

Right?!? :)

 

Your Pitch.

Hydrogenated and androgynous milky white love is all I have to offer you. Would you like me to pour it in your coffee, or directly into your soul?” ― Jarod Kintz, The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They’re Over.

I wrote the bad poetry you’ll find below in my head last night around 2AM—somewhere between a dream and actual sleep.

I’m not sure why… it could’ve been the decongestant mixed with the 3 PM coffee (never a good idea) or it could’ve been pure excitement and a full heart over a release day gone well.

In any case, thank you to all of you who made yesterday so special.

I offer you my latest bad poetry.

Raw and unedited, just the way I like it.

Hope you do too. 😉

Your Pitch.

Like a musical note,

the love you offer floats in the air between us—

nothing more,

and nothing less,

than a bittersweet lyric waiting to be spoken.

Only this time instead of reaching for it,

I watch as it drifts by.

For it’s the same old song—

just a different tune.

I’ve heard this one before.

It’s nothing new.

P.S. This has been on repeat around here. To me, it doesn’t get much better. :)

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