The Right Place At The Right Time

It’s human nature to look at the hand of fate when bad things happen to us. News reports say that the couple killed in a drive-by shooting meant for a rival gang, were in the wrong place at the wrong time.It’s easy to think that we wouldn’t have had that fender bender if we had just left five minutes earlier for work, and the list goes on. We all do it. The what-ifs, if-onlys, and why-mes of life can really bog you down. But I ask you this, how often do you examine the hand of fate when GOOD things happen to you? The last time you won fifty dollars on a scratch off ticket, I bet you didn’t say to yourself Oh what if I hadn’t stopped at the gas station today after work? It’s easy to get caught up in the negatives of life without really giving much thought to the positives. We have become a negative and cynical society as a whole, but we don’t have to give in to that. Let me give you a couple of examples.

Years ago, just after my divorce, I was forced to endure the humiliation of a bankruptcy. I worked at 6 AM but I had to leave at 9 to go finalize the paperwork. The woman who opened the lawyers office was running late that day, so I wound up waiting outside of the office for a good 15 minutes. I remember standing under an apple tree, feeling sorry for myself and the turns that my life had taken. Those who know me personally, know that I’m not one given to self-pity, but I can tell you I was feeling as low as I ever had in my life on that day. When the secretary finally arrived and began unlocking the door, I moved from my pity-party beneath that apple tree to stand by her side. Just then, a drunk driver (yes, the prick was drunk at 9 AM) lost control of his car and bounced off a sign, flew across the lawn, sheared off said apple tree and deposited it on my car before speeding away. We were stunned at the speed with which it happened. After the cops had come and gone (they never did catch the guy despite the fact that he left a trail of broken car parts and leaking fluids in his wake AND I had gotten most of the plate number) and I had waited for the professionals to remove the tree from my car (heavily damaged but drive-able) I went to work and told them all what had happened. I couldn’t help but grin the whole time. A co-worker looked at me incredulously and said “You are the most unlucky person I know”. This made me laugh and they thought I’d lost my mind. I explained to them that I was truly the luckiest person alive. You see, only seconds before, I had been standing beneath that tree. I had been seconds away from orphaning my young children. I had stood there, feeling sorry for myself, completely unaware that death was driving around the corner. That was the first time that I really felt appreciation for fate and its power over our lives. I know that God was with me that day, and I no longer feel sorry for myself.

Just a year ago, at this time, I submitted a short story to the first horror contest I found. It happened to be a Monster contest run by Stan Swanson from Dark Moon Books (also Dark Moon Digest, though the magazine was still months away from becoming something he would pursue.) I had written poetry and longer prose for most of my life, but this was my first short story. Submitting for publication opened up some dormant area of my brain, and soon I was writing stories by the dozens and submitting them everywhere I could. When I learned that Stan would be publishing my story in Dark Moon Digests premiere issue, I was stunned! I continued to write and submit and other stories got picked up as well. I could’ve gone on this way for a very long time, publishing stories randomly, but once again Stan contacted me with an idea. I had submitted a nasty little tale for an extreme anthology that he was planning to publish, and he liked my story so much that he wondered if I could come up with more. Most mainstream horror magazines will only let you go so far with your stories, only so graphic before they become uncomfortable with the material. About half of my work turns out too extreme for the typical market, so I told Stan that I thought I was up to the challenge, and so far I have been. Thus Ad Naseum, my first book, set to be published this Fall, began to be formed. Though there’s no exact formula for these things, from what I’ve learned from other writers, I am years ahead of the game. Just one year into the business, I am already scheduled to attend and advertise my book at the next World Horror Convention. Once again, this is because of Stan Swanson. And again the hand of fate is obvious in my life. You might think I’m lucky, and I am. But more importantly, I’m grateful. If it wasn’t for me finding Stan, I wouldn’t be half as far as I am now. Sure, I would have probably still gotten here, but it would have taken much longer.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, though I’m not taking away from my accomplishments (or yours), I worked very hard to get here and really put myself on a limb, you have to recognize the positive effects of fate on your life. Instead of just shaking your fists at fate when things go wrong, remember to give her a nod of thanks when good things happen too. She’s out there and she’s watching, and a little gratitude goes a long way. Thank you Fate for that apple tree on my car, and thank you for Stan Swanson!

Though my book won’t be out until Fall, why not stop by Dark Moon Books and check out some of their other new releases by awesome authors like Araminta Matthews and the wonderful Stan Swanson!

10 Responses to “The Right Place At The Right Time”

  • Draven Ames:

    Great work with all of your stories. You seem to have gone on very much the same path that I have. Stan is a wonderful editor. He looked at a novella of mine and gave some wonderful pointers. I look forward to working with him again. Dark Moon has some great writers, so congratulations. You are definitely ahead of the curve.

    • C.W.LaSart:

      Thank you for the comments! I think Stan has been a Godsend to many of us! I hope we will all be able to work together and continue to put out quality horror magazines and books! Cheers!

  • Draven Ames:

    Oh, and the story about the drunk driver missing you was absolutely nutty. I am glad that you turned out okay, but I am amazed that they never caught the person who did it. Crazy.

  • If I were you, I’d never stand under a tree again, LOL.

    Congrats on your forthcoming book! I hope Fate will continue to bring blessings into your life.

    • C.W.LaSart:

      HaHa! What are the odds of THAT happening again! But I do tend to avoid trees! Thank you for the comments and may FATE grant your wishes as well.

  • Kim:

    Great post! I really do believe in the hand of destiny and I believe everything good or bad happens for a reason…we may not know that reason immediately but eventually we do understand it. Sometimes too escaping bad things happening leads us to the right path. Your apple tree seems to be the catalyst for turning you onto your correct path as writer and author. Looking forward to your book coming out soon. Will check out Dark Moon Books.

    • C.W. LaSart:

      Thank you so much for the kind comments! That apple tree was definitely a turning point in my life, but I credit my relationship with my beloved Lou for putting me on the right track! For years I wanted to write but I thought I just didn’t have the time, it turns out that a couple of bad relationships were killing my creativity! Now that I have a wonderful man, I MAKE time to write and he supports me in everything and helps me to grow as a person and a writer! Definitely check out DMB-they are wonderful to work with!

  • kacy:

    I always hated “wrong place at the wrong time”, I always rhought, wouldn’t it be they were in the right place at the right time, or at least the wrong place at the right time-love you, good blog

    • C.W. LaSart:

      Kacy, as usual you crack me up! For all of you who don’t already know, Kacy is my personal editor! She has been working for me in exchange for fuzzy socks and cool t-shirts I come across! Love ya Lady!

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