"Big Blue in action, taking all the right winning chances."
I'm watching the New York Giants play in their first playoff game since 2008 (Don't quote me on that). I haven't gotten the chance to watch much pro football the past few years because usually I spend much of the Fall in Italy. But this year I spent most of the summer in Europe which freed up the football season. Still, work got in the way and I didn't see many games, and then when my team, The New York Football Giants began to lose consecutive games, I figured they'd never make the playoffs anyway. So why worry about watching? Hell, I don't even have a TV.
But then something strange happened. Well, not strange, but important all the same.
The Giants started to peak late in the season.
They regrouped, took a good look at their mistakes, made attempts to correct them, healed their injuries, placed the past in the past and started looking towards the future. And in doing so, they started to win.
Life is like that.
Sometimes when things look like they will never be repaired or healed, you suddenly find yourself back in the winner's circle. I played football for eight years so I guess I feel comfortable with the football metaphor, and after getting my head banged up for all those seasons, I feel like I've earned the right to use it.
But to get back to my point...
Five or more years ago when I was writing the first drafts of my suspense/thriller, SCREAM CATCHER, I had just separated from my wife. I didn't have a new publisher and was barely making a living as a freelance journalist. It was during this time I took a step back and tried to reassess my life. Where had I gone wrong after having scored a major deal with a Random House imprint for two novels (THE INNOCENT and GODCHILD) and at the same time, married the love of my life, only to lose them both?
Curiously, I couldn't point at any one thing I'd done wrong, only that they had gone wrong. So how would I repair my life and get back to my winning ways and perhaps even win my love back? I didn't have the answers. But I did know this: If I made a renewed commitment to hard work and to writing the best books I could in the shortest amount of time, my publishing losses would take care of themselves and begin turning into wins. In other words, instead of brooding and reaching for a quick fix, I started behaving like a winner. This past Spring, when I sold over 100,000 e-Books of The Innocent in 60 days and it resulted in a 7 book "very nice" deal with Thomas & Mercer, I knew that I had indeed taken the necessary steps in order to get back to my winning ways.
All professional success aside, I still had my personal life to think about. My love life. I'd enjoyed some very nice and fulfilling relationships with some very good, if not exceptional women. But for some reason, none of these relationships were working out in the long term. What was going wrong? Like I did with my professional life years earlier, only very recently did I take a step back, reviewed some game tapes as it were, and decided to start becoming a new man. A man who could not only be trusted, but who could trust himself to do the right things. No one wants to be a Facebook or Twitter flirt forever, and frankly, by the time you hit your mid forties, if you still gotta rely on FB "pokes" and "winks" for your jollies, you deserve to be alone.
In the wake of my dad's sudden death, I've started spending some time with someone who used to be very close to me. Very close. We've had some very good times amidst some seriously stressful and sad situations. We're both finding one another as single, free adults with open hearts. That we are becoming friends again and more is plainly obvious. That we are taking it slow and careful is also obvious and smart of us. We're older now. More mature. But we're still very much attracted to the same things that attracted us in the first place all those years ago. You can see it and feel it whenever our eyes connect.
I guess we have every reason not to take a chance on this. We have a history together. A history that went bad. But then, love isn't sometimes risky. It's always risky. So is the writing game. The New York Giants have only inches to go in order to nail a first down. Problem is, it's fourth down. They can take a shot and "go for it" or they can play it safe and kick it away.
They're going for it.
The big bull running back barrels his way through a very mammoth and angry Falcons defensive line.
They've gone for it and they got the first down.
They took a shot, that now is resulting in a touchdown and the game lead.
Sometimes all that's necessary to becoming a winning player again in life and love is to not only learn from your mistakes, but to simply start living your life like a winner.
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