Tag Archives: Drawing Out the Dragons

Live Deliberately

Several times now I have had the profound experience of listening to famed author and illustrator, James A. Owen give his incredible lecture titled, “Drawing Out the Dragons.”

There were many great lessons shared and some terrific insights into life. One particular seemed to penetrate me deeply; each time I’ve heard Drawing out the Dragons, I have felt challenged, recommitted to Live Deliberately.

Much of my early life, I lived like a stick floating down a stream, subjected to the whims and will of the water flow, victim to whatever happened to me, resenting most everything, because I wanted something else, but felt powerless. In recent years I’ve discovered that I have a voice, and it is my choice whether or not I use it. Rather than letting life and the elements act on me, I have chosen to act. I have chosen to live deliberately.

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

This is what I think it means to live deliberately.

Seize the day. “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” – Henry David Thoreau

Have no fear. “If you really want to do something, no one can stop you. But if you really don’t want to do something, no one can help you.” – James A. Owen

Let go of pride. “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.” – C.S. Lewis

Find your tribe. “The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Learn, always. “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Know thyself. “He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” – Lao Tzu

To thine own self be true. “Every once in a while, the Universe opens itself up to you and you alone, and shows you something that no one else is going to understand. And you have to decide in that moment how much you believe in what you have seeneven if everyone else in the world tells you you’re wrong.” – James A. Owen


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”  Robert Frost

Have a Dream? Win a Book!

Want to win one of the LAST of the limited-edition hardcover copies of “Drawing out the Dragons,” personally signed by James A. Owen? Post on twitter (#JAOfreebook), fb, in our comments section, or anyplace on the internet about someone/something that inspires you, mention James and this fictorians post, and let us know about it in our comments section. For each mention, we’ll enter your name in the drawing. The winner will have their signed book shipped free of charge. We’ll run the contest until midnight, Thursday Oct. 18th, and announce the winner Friday morning, Oct. 19th. Play today, and tell a friend. James Owen’s book is for writers, artists, and anyone with a dream to achieve.  It even saves lives.

One of my greatest inspirations was my older brother. It may sound cliche, but the situation won’t. At the spurring of his wife, my brother earned a degree in accounting. He hated it, didn’t earn his CPA, and after a year teaching in a small high school in Northern Arizona, he divorced, started working construction to pay the bills, and remarried. As their kids grew older, his wife suggested it was time to pursue a job he liked. She worked extra hours so he could enter a training program, and he now works as a helicopter mechanic. In his forties, he made a complete career shift and he loves his job. It was his dream.

Sometimes, we think achieving our dreams means a big paycheck, a prestigious academic piece of paper, or celebrity status, but I don’t think that’s the point. Achieving our dreams is working our butts off so we can do what we love.  I like the part in Disney’s motion picture, “Tangled”,  where they sing about having a dream, especially the really big guy who wants to collect miniature unicorns. That seems simple and pointless to some, but the point is, there’s no dream too big or too small, every dream is individual, and we’re never too old to engage in its pursuit.Your dream is not mine, but we gather here at fictorians because we have similar dreams–we want to write. Our goals may be different in what we want to achieve with that writing, but the story drives us. I once expressed the great sense of belonging I feel at writing conventions. James Owen smiled at me and said with absolute understanding, “You’ve found your tribe.”

Yes, among you, my friends, I have found my tribe. Thank you. Now, go forth and fulfill your dreams for good, whatever they may be.