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 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: December 22, 2016      Views: 90

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My video teachings are on Youtube under samandlancelot.

"Yangtze River Dolphins" was published in "The Fear Beast & Other Short Stories," by Phyllis Scott Publishing, 2011.

"His Name is Samuel" won an honorable mention in the "76th - more...

She is a top ranked author at the #55 position.

She is also an active reviewer and is holding the #97 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

Portfolio | Become A Fan
This work has reached the exceptional level
Benefits are worth fighting for
"FanStory Testimony" by samandlancelot

When I found FanStory, in 2007, the first story I wrote was prompted by a FanStory contest to write about the picture of a little baby. It was the only time I was included in the voting of a FanStory contest. Although I didn't win, the story earned an honorable mention in the "76th annual Writer's Digest" writing competition.

I won a few member-sponsored contests during my long stay with FanStory, which was very satisfying, but there was also a negative side for me on this site: feeding OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) behavior. If I do more reviews, I'll have more Monopoly money to promote my own writings and feed the rankings chase. My attention was constantly diverted to the rankings and the fake money I could earn, quenching the creativity needed to write the way I wanted to write.

After seven years, I left FanStory in 2014 to work more seriously on my creative writing quest. I wrote for a while and sent writings out for publishing, but eventually I stopped writing altogether. There simply wasn't anything in my mind to write. I've had a story I've wanted to write for years, and I even have some visions of what the opening scene should look like, but I haven't been able to find the words to write what I see. I haven't given up; I am simply waiting and watching for doors to open to those hidden passages where I will find the words.

After a two-year absence, I recently returned to FanStory. I hesitated to come back because I didn't want to be led down the path of my past with obsessions stealing my creativity. But here I am, and I do have a testimony to share about FanStory and the many ways this site can help a writer.

Reviews are helpful, not only to receive, but to give reviews to other authors on FanStory helps keep me connected and challenged by the many different backgrounds, interests and skill levels of our comrades. Although I continued to read voraciously during my time off from FanStory, it was passive reading, which does not help improve my writing skills. When I review a writing on FanStory, I need to pay more attention to what I'm reading, to what the author is trying to say, so I can give valuable feedback. Other writers inspire me and help me to look beyond the topics and genres I would choose to read. I'm learning things about writing I could not learn from classes or reading books and magazines about writing. There are so many nuances you pick up simply by actively reading and reviewing other writings and receiving feedback on your own writings. There are things others see that we cannot see.

With my return to FanStory, I have set limits on how many reviews I do each day. The chase after more fake money and rankings no longer imprisons me. I'm writing every day for the first time in two years, and it isn't simply to say I've written something; I fight to write something that matters to me. I want passion and depth in my writing regardless of where I'm at in my abilities. There is a large gap between what I want my writing to look like and my skill level. I have to fight to write what matters -- what I am called to write -- to the best of my ability. And I have FanStory and all the other authors who grace this site to walk beside me and share in what I've written as I share in what you have written. Some will visit once or twice and others will stop by more often, but each writer leaves a piece of themselves with you that helps on your journey to write. Write for the passion inside you. Write because you cannot live unless you write. Write with all your heart. Then you can live. Thank you, FanStory and writers, for your part in my journey to write.

Hopefully, now that FanStory is fueling my creativity again, the story in my visions will find its way out of hiding.

Non-Fiction Writing Contest contest entry


Author Notes
Thank you, AVMurray, for your "The Olsen Gang" artwork.
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by avmurray at

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