Tag Archives: Danica Patrick

“It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish!”

This is what I try to tell myself everyday as I work on my manuscript. Don’t worry Karen about that piece of crap you’re writing. What really matters is how it comes across at the finish.

It isn’t really a piece of crap. Well, maybe it is. Perhaps it may not be. No, it’s a piece of crap. Oh, I’m sure it isn’t. But then again, what if it is?

Since I feel so overwhelmed by this whole process, I thought I’d try to draw some inspiration from NASCAR driver Danica Patrick and the Daytona 500.


Oh, what do I get myself into?

I wrote a story a couple of years ago and sent it to an editor for an opinion. Ha! That was the brainless idea of the century. Okay, maybe a decade. But, what was I thinking? I crashed and burned. I got creamed. My little heart was smashed into pieces. Thankfully he did it with humor. But in the end, I was bleeding. It was a painful experience, really. I was a horrible mess. I thought I’d never see daylight again as I licked my wounds under the duvet with a box of Kleenex.

I had made every mistake in the book a new writer makes. Only I didn’t know it. The editor never told me. I felt like an idiot and for months I was devastated. I lost my confidence. And it took away something else from me—the willingness to just let it rip, to let creativity flow and allow myself to make mistakes. I then became my own worst enemy.

Yet, as time went on, I regained a measure of confidence. I started writing again. But this time, I was more prepared. I equipped myself by reading a number of craft books. Then off I went with vivacious verbosity, laying the foundation for another story.

I was halfway through when I took a craft class from Bob Mayer. During the class I had an Aha moment. In one of his lessons, Bob asked the question, “Do you finish what you start?”

It caught me off guard. I was not prepared to answer his question. Why?

Because when it came time to asking myself that important question, had I really finished what I had started? No, I had not.

After my defeat, I put my focus on another project. I had run away from the challenge–the challenge to finish what I had started. After all, my failure was only a first draft. Yes, I had sent a first draft to an editor.

Now I ask you, who does that sort of thing?

Me. 🙂

So, after finishing Bob Mayer’s class, I jumped right into Wana and Kristen Lamb’s Blogging for Brand class. I was now going to create my own platform. Yet, I didn’t even have a book to launch. But I was determined to make this work and gain experience.

During this time, I met a friend of Kristen Lamb who lives in England, Donna Newton. In fact, she was the first guest on my blog. After getting to know one another, she asked me to send over the bullet points from my first manuscript. After she read them, we had our first Skype session. And she was excited.

“There’s a story here Karen. But…”

What? You thought there wouldn’t be a but?

But she liked the story!

Yes, but…“you’re not showing it and I’m not going to let you get away with it! In order to do this, it needs a lot of revision.”

Then she asked me, “Will you be up to the task? Or do you want to throw the manuscript into the drawer?”

The drawer? What is the drawer really? Is this a code word for crap?

Well, I had to ask myself, what would Danica Patrick do?

It was only last year that Danica was forced to start in the back of the field after crashing during her qualifying race and was caught up again in a crash on lap three of the Daytona 500.


But did she give up?

No. She forged ahead. And since she made her debut in the same race last year, Danica Patrick will now lead the field to the green flag for this year’s 500 after qualifying at Daytona International Speedway. Danica posted the fastest speed at last Saturday’s two qualifying practices and she’s the first woman to win a pole position in Sprint Cup Series history.

People may say what they want, but this woman driver has earned her way to first position.

Now I’m not saying that this is my quest. It has never been my dream to be the fastest car in front of the pack. But if I can duplicate Danica’s persistent drive and attitude, I may just have a chance to write a pretty good story.

So I have to keep reminding myself, the race isn’t over yet. I’m in it for the long run and “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish!”

So what do you think? Do I have what it takes to make it over the finish line? Or should I shoot myself now and get it over with? To what extent have you had to revise an MS, past or present? What sage advice was given to help pull you through the process?

Thank you so much for dropping by and for all your wonderful comments!


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Runnin’ Down a Dream!

Today I thought that I would let you in on a secret fetish of mine. Well, one of them anyway. And for those of you who do not know me, this is way beyond my comfort zone. I do not make a practice of talking about myself. But there is a certain event coming up that stirs my soul with restless excitement.

Now before I let you in on this, you have to know that I’ve always been thought of as somewhat of a prissy girl. I love all things primping—the hair, the face, picking out the right clothes and the accessories; the jewelry, the shoes, the handbag, well just about everything that has to do with being a girl. And I did marry the right guy because he has always loved taking me shopping and buying me new clothes. Well, that is when the budget can afford it of course.

Yet, it shocks people after they get to know me, especially since at first glance your impression of me might be a bit proper, or prissy. People are always taken back after I tell them this little tidbit of information. Let’s just say that I love to drink Champagne with the girls, but enjoy having a beer with the guys.

How to explain? I guess the best way to describe it could be taken from a line from a Tom Cruise movie…

I feel the need—the need for speed!”


Yes, the NHRA Winter Nationals are coming!!!!
I know, I know, this sounds completely oxymoronic! Way out of character for the person that you’ve come to know. Well, all I can say is, there are times in our lives when we must bust the mold, and this is one of them. And in my dreams I see myself running down the quarter mile track in a Top Fuel Dragster.

Okay girls, I don’t want to lose you here. Hang in there—I promise it will get better!
I think I have some leftover Champagne from my interview with Diane Capri if you need some liquid fortification to get through this, although I think I’ve just peeked the attention of all the guys. LOL!!

But why the drags? Why not Six Flags, or Disney World/Disneyland, or some other form of coaster rides for whimsical speed and entertainment?

Well, why not? What else is there that compares to the speed and acceleration of an Extreme Motor Sport like Top Fuel?

Now I’m not talking about Comp, Pro Stock or Alcohol Dragsters or Funny Cars here—I’m talking Top Fuel. And here’s why…

They don’t compare in speed.

Let’s take the Dragster for instance. (My personal fav.)They are 25 feet long and weight in race ready at a little over a ton or just around 2250 pounds and can cover a quarter mile in 4.4 seconds at more than 330 mph. These computer-designed wonders have sleek profiles and wind-tunnel-tested rear wire foils that exert 5,000 pounds of down-force on the rear tires with minimal aerodynamic drag.

Now that’s what I’m taking about.

They’re powered by a 7,000 horsepower supercharged fuel-injected 500-cubic-inch adaptation of the famed Chrysler Hemi engine. (Remember the Cuda?) They can burn up to 15 gallons of nitromethane fuel during a single race and are constructed out of chromoly steel tubing and carbon-fiber composite.

Just one Top Fuel Dragster has more horsepower than the first 4 rows at the Daytona 500!

Uh oh, did I lose you girls? Hold on, we’ll be done here in roughly 4.4 seconds!

I love it when they race at night. The competition soars as two Top Fuel dragsters meet in front of the starting line burning their rubber to promote traction sending a cloud of thick gray smoke to loom over the crowds. Amongst the dark of night their engines roar sputters out through the exhaust raw burning nitrous gas that with each push of the throttle fires off white hot flames into the air like pyromania.

It’s time to cover our ears to protect them from the extreme whiny sound that can pierce our eardrums and there is a pounding sensation thuddering against our chest with each hit of the throttle.


The dragsters crackle as they inch forward to the edge of the starting line. They rock with every vibration due to the power and force from their engines. We stand in anticipation of the green light on the Christmas tree—smoke and flames fill the sky at take-off, our necks turn to follow the rails as they fly down the track. Their Parachutes launch and in roughly four seconds the race is over.

Watch this.


See, pretty cool huh? Gotcha going didn’t I? Girls, are you still with us?

Hey this sport isn’t just for guys. There have been many women over the years that have made their presence known. Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney is considered the “First Lady of Drag Racing” and became the first and only woman to win a major racing championship and there have been others: Louise Smith, Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James and Danica Patrick.

So as a writer let your dreams run down the tracks of your imagination, let them soar like the undeniable force of the ever powerful Top Fuel Dragster. It may burn up a lot of fuel to come up with these inspiring stories that fill your minds with great suspense and thrilling excitement. But as you do be assured that I will be thinking about my next story as I sit on the sidelines in a crowded stand along the racetrack watching Top Fuel Dragsters run down the quarter mile of my own novel fantasies.

Yeah, runnin’ down a dream,

That never would come to me,

Workin’ on a mystery,

Goin’ wherever it leads,

Runnin’ Down a Dream.

So what do you think? What type of mystery are you working on? What things do you find thrilling and exciting? What kinds of ideas throttle your imagination? What lengths would you take to run down a dream?

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Thank you for your many thoughts and fine comments everyone!


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