You tell me you are so proud that I did that book reading in San Francisco . You say I am courageous.
I am impervious to praise.
I wish I could feel that flush and thrill, absorbing that I accomplished something;
But it was just the last step in a long path of careful and rigorous preparation;
So it is only the sum total of a painstaking equation that I began years ago;
Like wiping one’s mouth after a Thanksgiving meal
Or taking a shower after a hard workout.
There is no pride in that. It is merely finished.
But what about pride in the secret daily things that are much more difficult?
Invisible struggles that require so much private effort.
Such as riding my bicycle to work every day through the cold, dark winter, carrying breakfast, lunch, manuscripts and a change of clothes on my back.
Such as having incapacitating panic attacks and still doing the laundry.
Such as going to work the day we had to put Katey to sleep.
Such as practicing my book reading aloud while walking at lunch instead of going to a restaurant with friends or playing computer games.
Such as giving up caffeine cold turkey.
Such as shaving my head bald just out of curiosity.
Such as being afraid to fly but doing it anyway.
Such as vomiting in the hotel room sink but then getting dressed and doing my hair and makeup for the event.
Such as eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily when all I want is potato chips and chocolate.
Such as driving across the state by myself to attend a class.
Such as being sick but still writing thank you notes.
Such not being able to sing well but joining a choir because I love to sing.
Such as facing that blank page day after day, year after year, rejection after rejection,
As published mediocrity continues to amaze and embitter me.
Such as the world telling me to give up and go to hell and I refuse
Such as working ten times as hard and it is still not the book I meant to write.
Such as missing you so much it stops my breath but still smiling and going on stage.
Such as watching the miles count down to home and not running full-speed, sobbing, headlong into you when I arrive,
Instead, walking sedately into your arms.
Clara Nipper
Author of Femme Noir
and Kiss of Noir
Both from Bold Strokes Books

10 Responses to “Courage”

  1. 1 Kim July 16, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    Courage comes in all forms, thanks for sharing yours!


  2. 2 S.A. July 16, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing!


  3. 3 Donna July 16, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    great blog on courage…you can over come anything


  4. 4 solargrrl July 16, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    wow. This is a powerful piece of writing. Thank you for sharing it and all that went into it.


  5. 5 onamarae July 16, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    It’s true for me too….many daily things take more courage that other’s might imagine….thanks for sharing another woman’s experience of this.



  6. 6 Morgayne July 16, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Ah yes, courage comes in many forms. You told your tale of courage well. Thank you, Morgayne


  7. 7 Erin Saluta July 16, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Wow! I think that is one of the most intense blogs I have ever read! Such power, courage and pride. It caught me by surprise at how moving a few thoughts some might consider simple really are the one’s to be celebrating. Thank you for sharing!


  8. 8 Svetla (Czech fan of English lesfic) July 17, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Yeah, I remember some of those, but can’t say it so well.


  9. 9 Devlyn July 17, 2013 at 5:52 AM

    Thank you for sharing your courage with us. Kudos


  10. 10 Sharon E. Owens July 18, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    This is wonderful. thank you for sharing it.


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