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Lorna Landvik

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Quote of the Day: Be yourself. Above all. Let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish. – John Jakes

I had the great good fortune to hear Lorna Landvik speak at our local library last Saturday. Not only is she a good writer, but also a great entertainer/speaker, and an inspiration. She told one great story after the other, and I laughed so hard that I snorted. I went with my writer pal Jill, who was brave enough to ask the first question. Lorna threw her a chocolate kiss and answered the much pondered question about agents and publishing. When no one knows you, it’s hard to get an agent. Once you’ve made a name for yourself, they take you out to lunch in NYC, even if you squirt lotion up the arm of your blazer and are wearing an old shirt underneath.

Lorna’s best advice to us longing to be like her, “Never accept ‘No’ as your final answer.”

After pouring her blood, sweat, tears, and great good humor into her first novel, Patty Jane’s House of Curl,” Lorna spent the next four years trying to get an agent or an editor to look at it. She received 30 rejections, and pointed out that that’s nothing. Many famous authors have received more than that.

While I was buying Lorna’s books and watching her sign them, I spewed out to her my own rejections and frustrations as a hopeful (sometimes hopeless) novelist. I told her about a NY editor who didn’t even like my idea for a novel. She said, “That’s ONE editor’s opinion.” And, “Don’t give up.”

And, as Polonius said to his son Laertes, “To thine own self be true.”

You must answer the call of your gifts. Whatever it is that stirs up the longing in your heart, go and do that. Whoever gives you inspiration and makes you think, “I want to be like her,” find a way to achieve that.

Dear Lorna Landvik, Thank you for coming to our little library in Brainerd and sharing your stories. You inspired me to live my dreams and never to accept “NO” as my final answer. May the blessings of your generous and humorous spirit ripple back to you this holiday season.

Your fan, Mary

Journaling/comment prompt: Who inspires you?

  1. Mary, you write beautiful, succinct posts, and how far are you into this now? Very nice! I wish I could have been there with you. Just what I could have used right now — a good old injection of inspiration and positive thinking. We both know how vital that is to the writing life. Thanks for yet another reminder of how we empower one another through sharing. I feel inspired by Lorna too, through you, but your tenacity also inspires me. Anyone who has ever set out to write a book and stick with it til the end goes down in my book as an inspiring person. Now, to continue to lean on one another through the rest of this journey. So glad you’re out there to be one of those special people in my life. And so glad you’re finally on the blogging bandwagon!

  2. I’m inspired by a friend of mine who is the most generous person I know.

  3. Thank you, Friends. I can see the inspiration light shining!

  4. I agree 100% with Roxanne – thank you, Mary. I really needed this post today. I think I’m going through a blue phase of my journey, and I don’t like it.

    I am inspired by Patricia Polacco, who is severely dyslexic; Wilson Rawls, who can’t spell or punctuate well; and the many, many of us who continue to persevere despite disappointment. 🙂

  5. Thank YOU, Shannon. Your words make me feel good about putting my words out there and sharing the journey.

  6. How wonderful to be inspired and motivated by a fellow writer. There’s nothing like hearing encouragement from someone traveling the same journey. I’ve gone to see authors speak, and there is always something, some wisdom or advice, to take away and apply to my own writing.

  7. Thanks, Joanne. That good feeling you get helps you know this is your “thing.”

  8. I’m inspired by some of the best selling authors in my genre, but also my fellow bloggers who, one by one, are getting published. Yay!

    Lynnette Labelle
    http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

  9. Yes! That gives us all hope.
    Thanks for connecting with me.

  10. Mary, I just realized you have twins, too. We also have MN in common. I’m up north.

    Lynnette Labelle
    http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

  11. I’m in the Brainerd area. Where are you? If you prefer, answer on my email. It’s on my profile.

  12. I wrote a short children’s book a few years ago and sent it to several publishing companies and got rejections from them all. This has given me inspiration not to give up. Maybe I will rewrite it with some of their suggestions & try again. Any suggestions? Thanks for your story

  13. Yes! Do rewrite. Do resubmit. You never know if the next query could be the winner!

  14. I LOVED Patty Jane’s House of Curl! How lovely that Lorna was so open and friendly to you too! Not always the case, very refreshing!

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