Life in the Slow Lane

Contemplating life, faith, words, and memories

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back — October 27, 2017

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

A Little Background

We’ve all heard this phrase or used it when frustrated by circumstances which push us away from progress. Are you familiar with the origin of the phrase?

Two steps forward one step back…is a catchphrase reflecting on an anecdote about a frog trying to climb out of a water well; for every two steps the frog climbs, it falls back by one step, making its progress arduous.

The phrase is sometimes cynically rearranged to ‘One step forward, two steps back…’ to reflect a situation where, seemingly for every attempt to make progress in a task, an actual retrograde performance is achieved. The phrase One Step Forward, Two Steps Back was used as a title of a 1904 revolutionary pamphlet by Vladimir Lenin.

Instead of quoting this phrase (‘Two steps forward one step back…’) sometimes it is summed up with the briefer exclamation of “Frog in a well”.[1] This tale should not be confused with another tale with a different meaning, but also sometimes titled Frog in a well, which refers to having seemingly small aspirations in comparison with compatriots.[2][3][4]

— Source: The Free Dictionary by Farlex

(For the full listing in The Free Dictionary, please use this link.)

Did I Bore You With That Story?

All of the above is shared to set the stage for sharing something that may shock some, surprise many, and make others among you smile.

As I’ve mentioned before, I contacted 1106 Designs about the possibility of working with their staff on preparing my memoir for publishing. Before that could happen, however, I felt a need to restructure my manuscript. It did not feel right. The perspective in which my mom is shown isn’t a fair one, in my opinion, and I wanted to correct that.

The more I thought about picking up those pages and cutting them up to tape them into new homes, perhaps even in another chapter, I could not bring myself to touch that project.

It didn’t help that when we returned from a weekend getaway the first weekend in October I felt under the weather for approximately two weeks, a time providing me with the opportunity to make a clear decision.

I consulted with others who have written memoir, talked with my best friend and husband, and then prayed. It was a big step I would be taking. I needed to know I had gathered the best of the best around me to consider this decision.

The News

I have decided to temporarily shelve my memoir and think on what I want to do with it later. In the meantime, I have decided to try my hand at fiction.

For some time, I have been toying with an idea. And a different view is indeed needed from my writing seat. This idea involves working on a historical novel set at the turn of the 19th century.

At this time, the orphanage system in our country was large and desperately needed. No welfare system existed to care for children without homes and often without parents. My father was one of those children. His widowed mother made the decision to admit her three children (two sons and a daughter) to the Masonic Orphanage in Louisville, KY.

I would like to share my father’s story but do not have enough accurate historical information throughout his childhood and adolescence to do a biography so I’m turning to the historical novel. 

Excitement is in the air as I begin to research the orphanage system and continue my attempts to learn more about my father’s family history. You’ll learn more as I know more.

In essence, this means that The Writing Studio is no longer focused only on memoir and creative nonfiction. I’ll be writing more about fiction as I make my way through the writing of my novel while hopefully maintaining a balance between the various genre.

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