Monday, February 8, 2016

The Lovely Scent of Pride

Pride is an essential ingredient in a writer’s downfall.
Peter Leavell

Last year, the humidity in our home was so low, my body was a crispy flake of static cling. Winter. Sigh.

I lotioned my hands. Shea butter smells good.

That’s when I heard my wife call from the bedroom, ‘Can you help me with this?’ Yup, no problem. I take great pride in helping my wife with tasks around the house.

Our bedroom door was closed.

When I grasped the knob and turned, my palm spun pointlessly around the copper plating.



I tried with both hands, tightening my grip as hard as I could. Maddening!

The dog looked up at me, and I glared down at him. I’m glad he can’t talk, because he won’t be able to describe me trying to turn the round knob with my elbows.
My dog, Winston Churchill,
watching his master.

What were my options? Call out to my wife and ask her to open the door? Ask my kids to come and open it for me? No. I had my pride.

I lay on my back. At least my feet took some of the lotion off the doorknob.

I sat up and reviewed more options.
My t-shirt I’d gotten a few years ago from the Royal Gorge in Colorado would help me grip the knob, but it was my favorite, and I didn’t want to get lotion on the cloth. Especially since there weren’t that many holes in it yet.

Could my armpit open the door? My mouth? The dog? Knock the door down?

I decided to pray for guidance, so I shifted to my knees.

The door swung open and my wife looked down at me. ‘Are you okay?’
‘Yeah, just um…praying.’

She gave a soft smile. ‘Aw, awesome. Sorry.’ She lifted a bottle of lotion. ‘Hey, can you open this?’

Publishing a novel is a tough door to open, and frankly, we all need help. We’re not going to get through the door with pride. The best advice when I was learning to craft understandable sentences was listening to my editor.

If I didn’t take her advice, I wouldn’t have books published.

And if someone opened that door and offers you a publishing contract before you’re educated enough to rock your manuscript, then heaven help you.

My daughter opened the bottle of lotion.
Peter Leavell is an award winning historical fiction author. He and his family research together, creating magnificent adventures. Catch up with him on his website at, or friend him on Facebook: Peter R. Leavell. 
Philip Anderson keeps his past close to the vest. Haunted by the murder of his parents as they traveled West in their covered wagon, his many unanswered questions about that night still torment him. 
West for the Black Hills
His only desire is to live quietly on his homestead and raise horses. He meets Anna, a beautiful young woman with secrets of her own. Falling in love was not part of his plan. Can Philip tell her how he feels before it’s too late?
With Anna a pawn in the corrupt schemes brewing in the nearby Dakota town, Philip is forced to become a reluctant gunslinger. Will Philip’s uncannily trained horses and unsurpassed sharpshooting skills help him free Anna and find out what really happened to his family in the wilderness?