A man walking through a valley hears a thundering roar. He stops in his tracks. A giant boulder tumbles to the ground before him, blocking his path between the narrow mountain pass. He must get to the village beyond; it’s his destination. He cannot turn back; days of travel lay behind him and he has limited supplies.
Does the man yell? Shout? Roar in callous anger at the fallen rock? Would it do any good to yell at the rock? No. He must find a way over the boulder. He takes one step forward, and another, digging his fingers into the crusty earth, plotting footholds up, up, and over that wall. As he jumps down the final steps beyond the boulder, he looks back. His arms tremble with power, he slaps his gritty palms together vigorously. The wind coursing through his lungs inundates his hearty chest. He overcame the rock, and he continues on his way toward home.
Are you battling fallen rocks? Are you stuck? Are you struggling with hard things happening and you don’t know what to do about them? Ownership, owning your decisions and experiences in the light of adversity, offers the foothold over the boulder. You cannot control outcomes, others, or the falling rocks. You just have to deal with those falling rocks. Those monsters. Those dragons. Those feelings of inadequacy or unimportance. You can control your decisions and how you act. You can choose to search for footholds rather than yell at the rock. Instead of complaining about the rock, instead of shouting angry words at the shadows, you can instead move forward with gratitude, thankful for the rock and all it teaches you.
See, those monsters, those shadows, those obstacles, they teach you who your soul craves to be. They show you just where you need to go. Did the man need to get home? Yes. But did he need an opportunity to see how strong he could be? Yes, even more, in fact. More than the final destination is the journey along the way. This life you’ve got, it’s pretty brilliant. It’s filled with moments where you can choose to be the hero. When you embrace the challenge, when you act with purpose, when you stay the course, that’s when you fully realize life itself. “Everything you have ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear” (George Addair). In facing your fears, you shine the light on the shadows of what you truly need to do on this planet.
I found this myself after receiving a horrible review on one of my books. If you have ever made anything, you understand the risks involved of letting all your inside hopes and dreams be smashed to bits by an unhappy audience. Well. I’ve always been competitive and a high achiever. I go big. I do my best. It’s all on the line. Also, if you’ve ever created anything, you know that your first attempt at something isn’t what you will eventually be able to do. I wrote a trilogy of young adult novels and I love them with all I have. I did my best. Apparently, not everyone agrees. That’s okay. That’s life, folks. That’s art. Well. As I read this horrible review, and allthefeelings overcame me, my husband straight up said, “If you can’t take the bad reviews, then you might as well give up now.” I took a long walk that night under the starry sky. First of all, even though my heart sank, my feet didn’t. My heart didn’t stop beating. In fact, the next morning, waking up to the cleared out cobwebs of loss and horror, and realizing everything I believed about myself had changed….I found a blissful freedom. As if the shades had lifted. As if the sun shone, no matter what. See, the Son does shine no matter what. I’ve been put on this planet for a reason. I’m not always sure what it is, but he gave me these stories to share to encourage people. He gave me stories so I can learn to tell better stories. If that means taking some hard hits, then bring them on. I took an objective look at my writing, at my weaknesses where I could improve, at my strengths, and where I needed to dig in and sharpen the tools and my ability to use them. Meeting failure head-on made me reach higher. Every hero faces that in his plotline. Do you want to be the hero? Then get ready for some falling rocks. Brace for impact. And aren’t we excited for it?
The good news? You’re stronger than you know, and you discover it when the rocks fall before you. You’re braver than you know, and you unsheathe it when the dragons rear back their heads. You’re much more capable than you know, and you sharpen it when the hammer drops.
Every challenge, where you find yourself complaining or blaming, offers you the opportunity to become the best version of you. Greet those dragons with a brief nod, then rage onward—with kindness, courage, grit, and hope. Yes, you can.
The conqueror acts. He plans. He plans backup plans.
And he beats the war drums.
Just like those voices demanded, I dug into the sand and the mud,
and readied for battle.
My lead, my call, my terms. My war cadence. My dragons.
HERE BE DRAGONS
Alliance Military Guard sent the order. Sergeant Tucker Thompson acquiesced. Hopping a plane to his long-lost Australian birthplace, he's been charged with his toughest mission yet. Thompson must rally his company of soldiers to prevent a new generation of weaponry from breaching the world's borders.
Pound the war drums. Rattle the cages. Here be Dragons.
Fierce yet sparkly, I help seekers find brave new worlds. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I'm not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.
The INSURRECTION trilogy, HERE BE DRAGONS, and non-fiction inspirational IGNITE roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure, and follow along at KadeeCarder.com.
FUN FACT NUMBER ONE:
Here Be Dragons is a standalone novel, but it does follow my Insurrection trilogy. We see a few characters we met on those luxurious Caribbean beaches. Tucker was the romantic interest from the trilogy. After writing the trilogy, I felt like readers needed to know Tucker more, and he had to complete this assignment. Might as well follow along! No need to have read the trilogy; this book records its own wild adventure!
FUN FACT NUMBER TWO:
PRE-ORDER GIFT WITH PURCHASE! 10 FREE WORKOUTS!
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Submit your pre-order receipt to KadeeCarder.com/HereBeDragons and receive your own Alliance Military Guard Training Guide containing TWO WEEKS worth of exercises, guaranteed to get you in battle-ready shape to train as a Guardsman.
This gift with purchase will ONLY be available on pre-orders! Offer expires January 1st, 2018 at 11:59 PM Central time. Remember to submit your purchase receipt to the link above, otherwise I will not know you have purchased. And you NEED THIS GUIDE! Hoo-rah!
Purchase here be dragons on kindle unlimited for only $4.99:
(here be dragons releases January 2, 2018)
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I’m giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to my email list at kadeecarder.com. Titled IGNITE, the 60-page book offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace to help you get kickin’ on those challenging tasks you’ve got to do!