Monday, June 13, 2011

BLOG / My Fingers Don’t Go There

“Come on, you know you wanna.” Oh, the temptations, the peer pressure. I know it’s what everyone else is doing, but, somehow, it just doesn’t feel natural to me. I try to tell myself that it’ll all be OK…once it’s over.

Maybe Lady Gaga’s right…and I was just born this way. She should know. From what I hear, her fingers have been everywhere. Every time I’ve thought about it, you know, putting them “there,” I just get all nervous and sweaty. Will they be the right moves? Will it be fast enough? Will I be able to finish? And…what if my Internet connection goes out while I’m right in the middle of it?

Sometimes they’ve rested there, my fingers, for minutes at a time. Shaking. Trembling. Spell-checking. Yes, my keyboard’s seen it all…and I just know it’s laughing inside at me. “What an idiot!” it’s saying. “Just type the damn words. Press ‘Enter.’ And forget about it. Smoke a cigarette afterwards.” That could be the whole problem come to think of it – I DON’T smoke. I’m man enough to try inhaling a little…as long as I don’t swallow.

I’ve always been a good learner. I’ll just look back at what everyone else has posted; they’ve never had a problem with it, why should I? Scrolling. Yes, that’s the answer. OK, here’s some from Facebook:

• “I’m tird.”
• “I hate my hair.”
• “Hang over!!”
• “Life’s a bitch.”
• “Test tomorow.”
• “The suns shinning.”

Good stuff, right?!? Wow! I bet they never gave it a second thought. I admire their courage; posting things like that to their Wall. I sure wish I could be more like them. My problem is that I want to tell a story, be more personal and somehow make my post, my story, meaningful. Maybe others will be able to identify with what I’m saying and they’ll realize they’re not alone. I LOVE telling stories that mean something.

At my age, I don’t think I’ll ever change. My fingers just don’t work that way. They have a mind of their own and type what they want. The way I see it, life’s short. There’s stories to be told, histories to be shared and lessons to be learned. This is why I created STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR, a teen/young adult storytelling program; inside, these young people, have much more to purge than status updates and comments.

If you have a moment, please take a look at this video: Stories About Facing Fear, teen/young adult storytelling. Soon, it’ll be retitled: ‘Stories About Facing Fear: Danny’s Story’ and will shortly be joined by a second, new video: ‘Stories About Facing Fear: Amy’s Story.’ It’s what I’m all about with regard to my mission to help teens and young adults.

If your fingers are feeling frisky, please feel free to let them press ‘Like’ or leave a comment. Your support, and interest, is most appreciated.

Until we meet in the real world, I wish you all the best, virtually.


This is syndicated from STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR blog.

To learn more about Clint's most recent occult crime novel for adults, THE SEVENTH RITUAL, his upcoming non-fiction book, STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR: THE INTERVIEWS and his series of teen novels, please visit his website: Stories About Facing Fear by Clint Adams.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BLOG / Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

Jimmy Buffett makes me think of margaritas. Do any of you remember his album (and title track), CHANGES IN LATITUDES, CHANGES IF ATTITUDES? Any of you remember Jimmy Buffett? Rather than dragging you all down that tired, now congested path called Memory Lane, I’ll get to my point pronto.

How many of you come back from a vacation feeling different? Changed? Inspired? More positive? I hope each and every one of you can relate to these questions, regardless of where your own personal longitude or latitude’s located. For the past year and a half, I’ve been hanging out @ 51° 30' 0",-0° 4' 0" (London, England), and that’s exactly 15 months longer than I’d expected. Somehow, it’s become home. How’d that happen??? Possible answer: Mini-vacations = changes in attitudes. Can you relate?

I don’t know why, but on my last holiday (travel/s: British-English; Christmas: American-English), I just knew something was going to be different upon my return “home.” Looking back to the start of the New Year, I was right. My attitude’s changed, and as a result, so have my goals. I’m more positive, more fresh. I appreciate and respect where I now am, and I want to make the most of my time here. Cheers, Londoners. I don’t take you for granted.

Cheers to y’all. I’ll always appreciate those of you who follow this blog, whether you choose to read it or not. Its keywords (writing, spirituality, humor) will go unchanged, but the blog title will now become, STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR: BOOKS. It will continue to be my adult (grown-ups, not pornographic) blog. Now that more of my time’s devoted to my teen storytelling program, I’ll soon be launching a second blog, STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR: TEENS ( Also, the URL,, will now forward to that (blog) site. My primary website (for adults AND teens; related to my books) will remain

I’m happy that I’ll get the chance to write in “teen-speak” again. OMG, I can’t wait. It’ll be sooooo chillaxin’.

Adults, my BFFs, you still with me? Or you think I’m bein’ a wanksta? Whatever.

Seriously, I want you to know that I’m with you for life, my friends. My mission hasn’t changed; I’ll continue to write about spiritual stuff in the funniest way possible, exactly the way God intended.

So, until next time, stay positive and KEEP traveling…your head’ll be glad you did.


This is syndicated from STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR: BOOKS blog.

To learn more about Clint's most recent occult crime novel for adults, THE SEVENTH RITUAL, his upcoming non-fiction book, STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR: THE (TEEN) INTERVIEWS and his series of teen novels, please visit his website: Stories About Facing Fear by Clint Adams.

Friday, September 24, 2010

♪♪ “K-E-DoubLe-oh...Double-good...Kellogg’s-best-to-you!” ♪♪

Boy, howdy! I may not be no “double-naught” spy, nor do I have the movie-star looks of any Dash Riprock, but sure as shootin’, I got me one fine mess of a story to tell.

As an adult, the letter ‘K’ only represents one word, “karma.” When I was a kid, it stood for my absolute favorite breakfast cereal, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes (of Battle Creek, naturally), the official sponsor of THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, my most favorite TV show on the planet. Now, it’s hard for me to look at any part of my adult life without connecting it to my childhood family (the Clampetts). It’s all about our life’s lessons, where we come from and making sense of the two combined. I’ve never been no good at math, but I’ll do my best to add them two together. Just like Jethro, let me do myself some cypherin’...

1+1=2. 2+2=4. 4+4=...4+4=, 4+4 is...well, don’t you pay me no nevermind. Math never amounted to no hill o’ beans anyways. It all adds up to where you are now and how many friends you’ve got…online, I reckon…Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and then some…not to mention how many you can fit in your cement pond.

Seriously, I write this blog now for one reason (my first post as a former-writer): it’s all about storytelling, whether it be in the present or via retrospect. I sincerely believe that if we didn’t have a means to story-tell, to “get it ALL out,” we’d all be goners by now. Y’all agree? Well, that’s how I see it. That’s why I started STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR, a student-led, after-school teen-storytelling program (here in the U.K.). Young-ins here, just like anywhere’s else, got somethin’ to say. Otherwise, if they didn’t, would all end up stone squirrely, just like the rest of us.

Their brains, sometimes, is like one big kettle o’ catfish set on high heat just waitin’ to boil over and explode. Instead of expecting to clean up the mess, I say, “Let’s talk.” If only Granny Clampett could have set herself down and chatted with Mrs. Drysdale, rather than takin’ the hickr’y switch to her, they could have been downright neighborly to one other. Don’t ‘cha think?

Just like Granny and Margaret Drysdale, under any and all circumstances, communication’s the key. Even if it’s rather one-sided, I aim the get teens to tell their stories, to give them their turn…so they don’t end up taking the switch to nobody, especially themselves.

My STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR test project begins (at two London secondary schools) in a matter of weeks now. I have high hopes. I aim to pass the possum at the fancy eatin’ table in peace.

I’ll make sure to write again, lettin’ you know how it turned out. Please login once more…

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

This is syndicated from CLINT ADAMS BOOKS blog.

To learn more about Clint's recently-released occult crime novel for adults, THE SEVENTH RITUAL, his upcoming non-fiction book, STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR: THE (TEEN) INTERVIEWS and his series of teen novels, please visit his website: Stories About Facing Fear.

Friday, July 23, 2010

BLOG / As a writer, no 2 words have more meaning than…THE END.

It was a starry foreboding night long ago now. Rather than the end being in sight, it was an unanticipated beginning, a miracle chance to start life anew. And I was scared shitless.

After having solved the mystery of my lifetime on December 31, 1991, I’d spent nearly the entirety of 1992 wondering ‘What do I do with this new information I just learned?’ No not a movie, it’s real; a murder (and its "extenuating" circumstances) that had been covered up by a major metropolitan (San Francisco Bay Area) police department. Although the facts should have been the most unnerving, it was the secret itself that left me sleepless. Night after night I realized in some way, shape or form that the truth NEEDED to come out. But how?


Having never had any interest in reading or writing while growing up, I knew telling my story myself was the only option, a last resort of sorts. The discovery of the truth represented its central plot. A book. Fiction? Or non-? Didn’t matter. This story NEEDED to be told. The truth needed to come out. I felt wholeheartedly as if my life depended on it. On that symbolic day, July 04, 2009, THE SEVENTH RITUAL was released as a novel for adults, my fifth book.

### ### ### THE END ### ### ###

I don’t write anymore. I’ve told my story; it’s not locked up inside me now. As a writer I was able to turn my own horror into fiction. But it was those other four books that changed my life, those teen novels. It was through that process that I discovered my purpose in life, my destiny.

After having finally told the story of my lifetime on July 04, 2009, I’d spent nearly the next year wondering ‘Now what do I do?’


I’d now like to share with you me new true passion (that also happens to exist as a portion of my Business Plan’s Executive Summary):


As a socially-driven (on-site) after-school service to students, Stories About Facing Fear gets the ball rolling so that teens can solve their own problems, by themselves, together. Collectively, these students listen and speak to one another, via personal storytelling.

Across the United Kingdom two debilitating maladies dominate school life: bullying and Social Anxiety Disorder, two mutations of the same virus, fear. Also prevalent amongst U.K. teens: self-harm, self injury and suicide. The statistics for teen depression within the U.K. are staggering. According to the charity Depression Alliance, at least 19,000 U.K. children attempt suicide annually (one every half hour) whilst more than 2 million children attend medical surgeries with some kind of psychological or emotional problem; suicide is now the number one cause of death for 18-24-year-old males.

Stories About Facing Fear was primarily created to give teens an outlet, a means for the expulsion of their own stress, anxiety, anger and fear within a familiar, safe and peer-supportive environment. Rather than internalizing these destructive forces, students are encouraged not only to share but to “get it all out.” Storytelling possesses the power to heal. At any age it’s cathartic, clearing the path for all things positive.

As well as being a venue, a method, a means for storytelling that liberates, Stories About Facing Fear aims to remind teens of the fearlessness they were born with, the ability to live life fearlessly; while at the same time instilling an objective of remaining fearless forever. Within our blueprint (for success) is one core principal: the majority of all fears are learned; only a small percentage being natural.

Thankfully, many resources are available to U.K. teens. Most come in the form on on-line assistance and seem to address the standard issues affecting teen life: sex, drugs, drinking, bullying, depression, not fitting in, not being accepted, unsupportive parents, peer pressure, etc. Stories About Facing Fear has found that teens, many times, aren’t immediately comfortable addressing such weighty issues in the midst of strangers; they prefer to start out slowly, with less (judgmental) consequences attached. S.A.F.F. welcomes this approach.

Several (U.K.) teen-issue websites are for parents only. Several after-school venues are off-site and focus on childcare, not necessarily on interaction or problem solving. Stories About Facing Fear is the only after-school organization offering storytelling as its foremost goal. This unique ingredient features prominently in S.A.F.F.’s marketing strategy while seeking the attention of partner schools.

As a non-profit social enterprise, Stories About Facing Fear, is not a franchise business. It is a service offered to schools, with the bulk of the service provided prior to, and during, the first on-site S.A.F.F. group meeting. Beyond this point, students and school staff are responsible for keeping the group independent, student-led and successful.

Stories About Facing Fear is owned and managed by Clint Adams. Clint is a published author of four teen novels that share one common theme: 'life begins again when you have no fear.' Clint possesses a master’s degree in marketing, owns and operates his own publishing imprint, Credo Italia, and successfully promoted his novels and facilitated their accompanying No Time For Fear (teen) workshops internationally. All S.A.F.F. services/training will be provided by Clint.

Overall, Stories About Facing Fear is a simply-run organization with a potent message. If communication is the key to success for basically all relationships, why should storytelling be exempt from this process? Storytelling has existed since the beginning of life, at a time when it wasn’t called entertainment. It solved everyone’s problems then; now should be no different. In the present, statistics prove that teens are starved for a way to purge…in the least violent most therapeutic way possible. S.A.F.F. = a safe haven, a place for young people to be free.


To say, “thanks” properly to those that have supported me in my writing is a blog in itself. Next time, I promise. For now, I hope you’ll accept and appreciate my newest venture; the reason I’m here. Until next time, as the late-, great Red Skelton (and my eternal childhood hero) said, “Good night and may God bless.”

This is syndicated from CLINT ADAMS BOOKS blog.

To learn more about Clint's recently-released occult crime novel for adults, THE SEVENTH RITUAL, his upcoming non-fiction book, STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR: THE INTERVIEWS and his series of teen novels, please visit his website: Stories About Facing Fear.

Monday, May 24, 2010

BLOG / Headstones, copyright law, a writer’s workplace...and coincidences.

“Hey, Holger, why don’t you read one of my books sometime,” I suggested innocently. “No, I don’t zink zo…too deprezzing.” “What are you talkin’ about? No, not depressing. Inspirational. And, they’re actually kinda funny.” Holger shook his head from side-to-side and we went back to guzzling, I mean, zipping our Augustiner Bräu in the comfort of the open-aired Biergarten with only heaven above us.

What was Holger so afraid of? Heaven only knows. Oh, well. No problem. Whatever. He’s not alone though. Come to think of it, nearly everyone’s got an issue with that particular one. It’s sorta like the “Lord/God/King” of all fears; the fear of dying. That’s why I wanted to write the teen novel, DON’T BE AFRAID OF HEAVEN (2005). I wrote it as a tribute to my cat, Samantha, for having to put up with me for ten years. She taught me to be unafraid of heaven. I’ll never forget Samantha. I will never forget creating DBAOH and the unique writing process that went with it. “Yippie-yi-yo-k…(well, you know the rest).” Yes, just me, the tumbleweeds, the sagebrush and the Silver Terrace Cemetery in Virginia City, Nevada.

Every day, just as the Pony Express traversed its way through the Carson Pass, so did I. I had work to do, people to talk to…except most of the time they never answered back. Nearly every one of them checked out about a hundred years earlier. That’s OK by me, I didn’t pay ‘em no nevermind. Back, back, back I went…searching for the most tucked away, secluded gravesite I could find. Right there, on the outskirts, I made a new friend. Meghan Fitzsimmons, my new writing partner, but she never knew it. Luckily there was a bench right next to where Meghan was buried. In the spring and summer of 2003, I’d sit there and write my (handwritten) 10 pages a day. I loved every minute of it. Just me and my buddy Meghan.

On my trek to, and back from, the wooden-gated entrance of the cemetery, with a metal sign hanging above that read,

Stop and read as you pass by,
As you are now, once was I,
As I am now, You will be,
Prepare for death and follow me,

I’d stop to look at the various headstones contained within. As a writer, I paid particular attention to these words scripted in the 1800’s; beautiful poems, tributes in verse. Who wrote them? These words? And, would it be OK to borrow a few? It wasn’t my intention to plagiarize; I was looking to add a bit of authenticity to my fiction.

Months passed as I moved onto drafts two, three, four and so forth. More and more I began to realize that I’d included a variety of original epitaphs in my manuscript, listing real people and the dates they were born and died. Oh, crap. I had to figure out once and for all who, exactly, owns the rights to headstone text. Hallmark? :-) I let this dilemma slip outside my head for a moment, and began to do what I always did whenever I needed to solve a problem. I went for a walk along the paths of Lake Tahoe’s east shore, where I was living.

As I was strutting my way through the woods, a couple came up from behind me. No, not stalkers. They asked where the trail ended. I told them. Then, I don’t know what came over me, it just came out of my mouth, “I’m so confused. Do you have any idea who writes what appears on headstones? Who in the world owns the rights to stuff like that?” Answer: “My goodness. I’m a copyright lawyer.” Spooky sh--, right? Explanation: It doesn’t matter who wrote it or where the copyright was registered, if it was at all; it was written too long ago (1850’s-60’s)…public domain now. Whew!

When a writer paraphrases, no concern. But, when a writer uses text verbatim, make sure your bases are covered. In this lawsuit-happy world where copyright infringement violations occur daily, look after your a--. I’m not at all keen on this sometimes fear-inducing phrase, but, “Better safe, than sorry.”

Epilogue: It had been years since I last visited Virginia City and the cemetery there. In 2005, I became a European citizen, but I went back to the U.S. for a visit in 2007. What did I miss most? Lake Tahoe, duh. While staying in nearby Reno during the late-fall to see a Go-Go’s concert, I began driving to Mt. Rose to go to the lake, but an early, hazardous snowfall made me detour to a lower elevation. Instead of heading southwest, I headed southeast. To Virginia City.

Wouldn’t that be nice? To walk through that cemetery once more. So I did it. No one else was there. A little eerie. I tried to find that one spot I always went to. In the far distance I could see the bench. As I approached, I read the headstone I had seen so many times before. Meghan Fitzsimmons, a young mother who had died in her early-thirties on October 06, details I hadn’t really noticed before. Oh, my God. I had to look at my BlackBerry to double-check. Yes, today’s date: October 06.

Without flinching, I knew to thank Meghan right then and there, for letting me sit on her bench all those times. Meghan’s site was in disarray at this point, appearing as if no one had visited her in years. I tidied it up the best I could. I will never ever forget Meghan Fitzsimmons. It was always soothing and tranquil when I sat next to her. Meghan reaffirmed to me that the process of writing is the gift itself; what happens thereafter is gravy.

This is syndicated from CLINT ADAMS BOOKS blog.

To learn more about Clint's recently-released occult crime novel for adults, THE SEVENTH RITUAL, his upcoming non-fiction book, STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR: THE INTERVIEWS and his series of teen novels, please visit his website: Stories About Facing Fear.

Monday, April 5, 2010

INTERVIEW / At 17, college-bound Cady’s got life covered.

Let’s rewind the clock a bit, shall we? When I was 17, AT SEVENTEEN by Janis Ian was the #1 hit song on U.S. radio. The coolest people then had it “goin’ on” and disco was just about to be born. Tons of vivid memories flood my mind when I look back to my senior year at (San Francisco) East Bay’s Dublin High: losing 70 pounds, gaining a newly-acquired sense of self-confidence and, more than all else, an eagerness to be free, on my own and away from home. At 17, I was fearless.

Great while it lasted. At 17, star-gazing gregariousness and a desire to fit in took over while reality was pushed to the back burner. As a hotel/restaurant-majoring freshman at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, my studies and classroom visits soon became few and far between. Chatting up Shirley MacLaine at the Riviera gift shop, telling Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley) at the MGM Grand lobby that she “looks a lot like Linda Ronstadt,” and sharing quiet time on a Caesars Palace balcony with an un-made up Raquel Welch, took precedence. (At 18), being kicked out of UNLV and a day in jail shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone.

At 17, I wish I’d been more like Cady. She’s got it all figured out. Cady Nutt, a high school senior from New Port Richey, Florida is my first in a series of interviews having to do with STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR. I’m thrilled and grateful to have met her. Cady’d commented on a guest blog I’d done on a teen reader website and she impressed me on the spot. Going off to college/university is HUGE for a teen, for anyone at any age, but I’m certain Cady’ll do it all effortlessly. I wish her the best.

Everyone experiences fear from time to time, some people all the time. I think Cady’s answers speak for themselves. During the process of our correspondence regarding this interview, Cady’s shown me nothing but respect and dignity and it’s MUCH appreciated. She’s a winner. If you happen to be a teen, have a child who’s a teenager or know a teen, please share this interview with them. I hope so much that Cady’s words will inspire you/them as much as they did me.


First off, why don’t you tell everyone why/how you were selected for this interview.

I won through Jen Wardip’s Teens Read Too online blog with interviews from authors! There was a prize (this and a one-of-a-kind signed book from Mr. Adams) offered at random and I just happened to be so lucky to win.

I know only a few things about you; you’re a teen in high school, you like to read, you’re now preparing to go to university and your grandmother’s Irish. What else would you like folks to know about you?

I’ve coined myself as the “walking paradox.” I’m not a wishy-washy kind of person and I definitely take a dedicated stand on every opinion I have, but there are a lot of contradictions in my views/actions. I tend to see each situation/belief as completely separate from anything else which is how I’m able to believe, for example, that the world is way too overpopulated and needs to have less people in general and yet be a firm advocate for human rights in every sense. It’s a bit confusing to explain how my mind works to other people, but as long as I keep my own head straight, I’m in good shape. I also use my face too much – I tease that I’ll have the wrinkled face of a 60 year old by the time I’m 30. I like to put my emotions right on my face and it always reflects whatever I’m feeling which means it’s always twisted into a grimace, stretched for a smile or scrunched in confusion.

It’s rare to meet anyone who’s COMPLETELY fearless. Do you feel you are? Why?/Why not?

I’d say I’m in the opposite of someone who completely fearless - my life is filled with fears. I think it’s a positive kind of fear though, and it keeps me analytical and pragmatic so I don’t impulsively jump into things. My fear doesn’t debilitate me from important decisions; it gives that perfect amount of hesitation that I think a lot of people lack today. It’s looked down on in today’s society to be nervous or wary when doing anything, but I think acting impulsively is even worse than acting in a more skeptical manner.

What are some of the things you’re feeling right now as you prepare for your brand new life in college?

I think every day about how the decisions in these next couple of years could very well define the rest of my life. People tell me all the time to not think about it in such an intimidating manner, but how could I not? These decisions carry weight in my life and are so vitally important that it’s only reasonable to put significant thought and effort into making them. The scariest thing about the future right now is deciding what I want to study and make my career out of - I have an abundance of options laid out in front of me and I have to sift through them to pick just one. They all look so appealing to learn about, but each time I try to make a definitive decision about an area of study, my stomach drops and I panic. I think to myself, what if I like the subject but it doesn’t offer an interesting career? I mean, I would love to study psychology because the subject is just so fascinating, but I couldn’t listen to people with problems all day long or diagnose anyone (it would be too heartbreaking for me). I’ve decided to just jump head first into college and learn to swim along the way

I’ve met many teens that have experienced huge stress as they take placement exams, strive for high GPA’s and apply to colleges. It seems like a difficult time for them. Some have support systems, some don’t. Do you? If so, how do they make this time better for you? Do they help take your fears away (if you have any)?

Right now, my life is consumed with wrapping up my high school years while setting up my college years to come. It’s extremely difficult at this point to keep everything together and stay on the right time schedule so that everything is accomplished when it’s supposed to be (like this interview!). However, I would not be able to continue so assiduously without the help of my family and friends. They honestly just keep me sane while I deal with stressful situations; while my family gives me unconditional love and constructive criticism, my friends keep me grounded and cheerful. My wonderful friends are a constant reminder that I’m not the only one struggling to keep up and that my problems shouldn’t be overdramatized because there’s always a way to get through it. With all the headache of keeping up my GPA, finishing homework every night, studying for exams, and keeping my parent’s happy, I can get pretty frustrated or depressed with the work load I have. I have people in every area of my life who are more than willing to help me and I love them all so dearly.

I really appreciated it when you told me that you can relate to my “quirky” sense of humor. Why is that? (Do you have one as well? Know someone else who does?)

My entire family (hopefully including myself) has the oddest sense of humor I can think of; I mean that as a complete compliment too. Many people have no idea that we’re making jokes sometimes, even when we laugh at our own silliness. We always joke that you couldn’t find a serious bone in our bodies, but that we wouldn’t be surprised if there we more than a couple “humerus” ones in there. I tease with my friends that I’m going to have multiple wrinkles smothering my face by the time I’m 30 because I poke fun at nearly everything. Humor is one of the most important aspects that people never mention on their “life lists;” most people simply search for love and strong family as a way to fulfill their lives. I, on the other hand, need humor to keep me going; otherwise, the world is just too cynical to be of any benefit to me.

When I was a teen, I felt lots of pressure to fit in. Do you think this still exists today? Do any of your friends in school feel this way? If so, what advice would give them?

It’s still hard to fit in no matter what age you’re age; but people don’t acknowledge the struggle anymore, even when it’s about themselves. People ignore it because we feel that we’re “better” than those kinds of behaviors. What I mean is that, it’s not so much about “fitting in,” it never really has been; it’s always been about people excluding others or making it more difficult to be a part of groups or cliques. When someone is shy, they can still have friends around them because there are always people who will make the effort to include them. Then there are the types of people who will pick out an individual who may not be as socially fluent as they are; it then becomes their hobby to “rally the troops” against that person and before you know it, no one wants to caught dead hanging out with that person. Sometimes, I must admit, the kid who is ostracized in class brings it upon themselves; it’s not hard to understand why people don’t want to hang around someone who is constantly rude, ignorant or exceedingly loud. I’m lucky enough to have never had a problem with making and keeping my friends; I grew up in a family where respect was always something that I applied to every situation, no matter whether I liked the person or not; surprisingly enough, people respond when you treat them kindly and they’ll reflect it in their own actions. My advice to people who think that they don’t fit in or feel that they don’t have any friends is this: find that balance within your life that allows you to prosper and people will come to you; be happy and confident within yourself – people will recognize this and they’ll want to know you; recognize when someone is trying to reach out and be your friend. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen or heard people say that nobody likes them or that they’re just too weird to be around people when it’s perfectly not true! People want to be your friend, but nobody is going to come right out and say it, so be ready when those subtle signs start popping up.

Who do you feel is more fearless? Adults or teens? Please explain.

Teens for two reasons: one, I am a teen, how could I not root for my own team? And two (to tear us down now) because teens don’t think about reasons or consequences most of the time and I think that adds to fearlessness (in the more negative connotation). They’re rash and spontaneous as compared to adults who, with more experiences and time to understand the importance of forethought, generally act with more caution (which I honestly equate with fear). Fear is helpful and necessary; if it overpowers you then, obviously, it’s not something to be desired. Moderation is the key to everything in life which is exactly why fear exists: to battle out instant gratification and impetuous actions that can lead to hurtful consequences.

When I used to conduct my NO TIME FOR FEAR workshops in schools, I’d ask students, “Do you think you can do anything?” What’s your answer to this question?

It’s hard to not be cynical when I think about this question. In the “grand scheme of things,” what can I really do that’s going to accomplish much more than personal satisfaction or some minor effect? For example, if I vote in some election, will my one vote really change the outcome? The retort to this is always “well, what if everyone felt this way?” But that’s just the point: not everyone feels this way; there will always be someone to vote, to rebel, to donate, to speak out and to “make a difference.” The lingering fact about this overpopulated humanity is that it truly robs individual characteristics that we strive to believe in; we push the thought of ’uniqueness’ into everyone’s mind when in reality, we can’t really achieve any sense of it. Of course, there are people who have huge influences and honestly change the world that we live in, but these people are rare so what are the chances of me being one of them in all actuality?

Over the years I’ve heard many different antonyms for the word ‘fear.’ What’s yours? Why’d you pick that one?

The opposite of fear is simple apathy. I think that every emotion finds its antonym in apathy because apathy is the lack of any feeling at all. When you have the right amount of fear, you take things cautiously and with more forethought; when you have too much, you become stagnant and immovable; too little and you’ll do anything regardless of logic or reason. However, when you’re not afraid at all, then you must not feel anything at all; fear is so natural to the human psyche that when people fail to recognize it or believe they don’t have it, they become callous and irrational. To be honest, I couldn’t think of a better way to describe the opposite of fear; dictionaries describe the antonym as being either “bravery, courage, or heroism.” but just because you’re afraid doesn’t mean you can’t be a hero or save the day.

It’s my belief that ALL fear is learned; none of it is natural and no one was born fearful of anything. What’s your opinion about this? Do you agree? Disagree?

I agree with that statement completely; fear is just an idea that man has created (without thought nothing exists to begin with). Perhaps overtime, we’ve adapted to the idea and our survival instincts have kicked in which is why we’ve become accustomed to fearing certain things – snakes, spiders, etc. Overall, all intangible concepts are just products of man’s own imagination.

What if it was your absolute dream/ambition in life to become an actress, dancer or writer, but your parents didn’t want you to follow this path. Would you pursue it anyway? Why?/Why not?

This is a hard one to answer for me. I have very strong family ties and I think it would be difficult to disobey my parents in such a great respect; yet, at the same time, I’m a very independent person and I’ve very fond of making my own decisions and pursuing them regardless of other people’s complaints. In the end, I think I would have to follow my own heart in this instance; my parents would eventually understand just how much my decision meant to me and they would grow custom to it over time.

What if you wanted to become an actress, dancer or writer and no one else believed in you, your dreams or your abilities but you. Would that matter? Why/Why not?

It would matter to me because I’m the type of person who needs encouragement to really succeed. No matter how virtuous I may want to make myself sound, I’m still just a slightly insecure, teenage girl who needs people to tell her that she means something. I get so distraught sometimes when I feel like nobody understands me; it must be a hundred times worse to have nobody support you. I’d like to believe that I’d always pursue my dreams even if no one else believed in me – in fact, it would make me work harder not only to accept their challenge, but to prove them wrong. I’ve always been a very stubborn person, so, all in all, I think I would be headstrong and refuse to let anyone change my mind.

In fiction, the words ‘protagonist’ and ‘hero/heroine’ are often times interchangeable. Who’s the hero in your favorite novel? Did they begin their journey (in the book) fearlessly? Did they change as the story progressed? How were they different on the very last page?

My favorite book is George Orwell’s 1984, which means the “hero” is Winston. Winston is not necessarily my favorite character and he certainly doesn’t start out fearless – in fact if you’ve read the book, then you know that this entire book is a satire about fear. I guess you could say that Winston is brave as he does defy the Party by writing his dangerous thoughts in the diary, but his life is still racked with fear at every step. By the end of the novel, which has a one of the most depressing endings I’ve read, Winston has become (not really by choice) the anti-hero as he is conformed to what the Party and Big Brother want him to be; he no longer loves his Julia anymore, he no longer thinks the way he used to. The very last lines are as follows: “He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.” These lines have always stuck with me mostly because I think they resemble the conflict within everyone; the need for someone else to pick the winning side sometimes becomes a palpable desire and forces us into a state of completely unguarded thought patterns.

Tell us about your favorite teacher in school. Did/do they believe in you? Encourage you to do your best and aim high? How did their behavior toward you influence the way you view life?

My favorite teacher is definitely my AP Psychology teacher from last year, Mr. Burnes. I’m his Teacher’s Assistant this year through my Exploratory Teaching class so I have the opportunity to spend more time in his classroom. Mr. Burnes is honestly one of the most intelligent and personable teacher I’ve ever met, even though he thinks he’s unsociable. He always encourages me to try my hardest and he frequently asks about my classes, test, future plans, and stress load. He went to the same college that I’ll be attending next year so he gives me inside tips on how to stay focused, where the best places to study are, etc. He treats all his students as respectable people and he has a very comfortable personality. I think what has inspired me the most about learning from Mr. Burnes is his amazing versatility and flexibility I would show up after school or during lunch to go over a test and he’d have no problem taking it out and going over it with me to help me understand where I messed up and where I could improve. I sincerely hope that I’ll be able to encompass some of his wonderful attributes into my life.

What do you feel is your best quality? The one you are most confident about? (Feel free to share the quality you are least confident about, if you’d like to share that one as well).

My best quality is my adaptability; it’s very easy for me to take each new situation and quickly analyze it to see what needs to be done. I work independently and often get things done without any delay because of my ability to understand what an assignment is asking me to do and what it’s not. I suppose my worst quality is my overemotional nature whether it’s getting too angry, too passionate or too excited. I overdramatize my own emotions frequently because I express myself so openly – my friends always say that they know whatever I’m feeling the moment I feel it because it’s right on my face. Even mid-conversation, you can follow my fluctuating emotions because my face will shift with every shift in topic.

What are your dreams, Cady?

I want to live a meaningful life; I haven’t quite figured out whether that involves making a name for myself somehow or just living out my life the way I want to. I want to be loved and live life boldly, whether that’s through a challenging and high pace career or through an exciting lifestyle in my free-time. The only way I can think of myself in the future is as ambiguously as possible; I don’t want to plan out specifics and micro-manage my life. I think that I’ll take one decision at a time and just plan out the things that need to be taken care of – like finances. I’m not very relaxed in the sense that I don’t enjoy organization or structure; I just don’t like making definite decisions until they’re ready to be carried out.

How long do you think it will take to achieve them?

Because my previous answer is so vague, I guess this one will have to be too. I don’t know how long it’ll take to make my dreams a reality because I don’t really know what I’m looking for. Whether I can equate my indecision with lack of experience or youthful naivety is debatable, but I’ll know it when I’m there I suppose.

What if you encounter a few obstacles along the way? Will you continue?

Absolutely. There’s nothing I loathe more than giving up and I’ll work as hard as I can to make sure that I keep living my life however I feel like living it. Now, my life’s direction may change a million times along the way, but that doesn’t mean I’m “giving up” that one part of my life; no, all that symbolizes is me progressing and moving forward to a new and exciting chapter.

After having answered these questions, what advice would you give to a friend or peer who only knows fear and is virtually paralyzed by it?

Fear is just something you have to learn to live with. Everyone is scared or nervous when they approach something new or attempt something they’re uncomfortable with, but if we let fear hold us back, then where would we be? We can’t progress unless we learn to push aside our fears sometimes and just try. Whether we succeed or fail isn’t really important; the important part is that we keep trying and creating. So take a ‘leap of faith’ and go for it!


Yes, Cady's got it goin' on. Don't you think? She's on the path to great things, I can just tell.

Please come back when someone else takes their turn. There's a million stories out there about facing fear and there's something to be learned from each and every one. Until next time...

This is syndicated from CLINT ADAMS BOOKS blog.

To learn more about Clint's recently-released occult crime novel for adults, THE SEVENTH RITUAL, his upcoming non-fiction book, STORIES ABOUT FACING FEAR: THE INTERVIEWS and his series of teen novels, please visit his website: Stories About Facing Fear.

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