HERE THERE BE DRAGONS….. by Rosemary Lord

Here there be dragons“Here there be dragons…”

In the 1700s, this phrase was used by cartographers when drawing maps. They knew so little of the world in those days – a mere 100 miles or so beyond their own spheres. So, when they did not know what lay in those outer regions, they would mark it with drawings of sea monsters and the warning, “Here there be dragons.”

But it is still used today to warn people away from unchartered or unexplored places and areas. Untried actions. Hmm.

There are a lot of dragons about today, it seems. I don’t know about you, but I keep wandering off into uncharted waters. Unintentionally.

I’ve recently faced all sorts of dragons where the Woman’s Club of Hollywood is concerned. We are finally steering our way out of the choppy waters of bankruptcy. We’re removing the tentacles of uninvited outside parties, desperate to make a quick buck on another land grab of a historical Hollywood property.

ATT00019“It’s just a bunch of middle-aged women who don’t know what they’re doing. They can’t stop us,” one was overheard saying. Oh, that set my blood boiling.

I found strength I didn’t know I had and learned to dance very fast, maneuvering through loan papers, legal documents, escrow. I – who know nothing about real estate! But I’m learning.

I’m a writer, following my own instinct as to what would work best. I asked for the impossible – and got it. Borrow $4 million? Sure. If that’s what it takes to stop evil and greed.

As certain parties saw the promise of all that real estate money being moved out of their reach, desperate last-minute threats (some ugly and personal) came my way. But I was on a mission. Them there dragons can be quite scary.

But then the magic started. The wonderful, angel-people began to step forward to help, guide and encourage me. So many ‘coincidences’ happened. People turned up just when I needed them. Old friends and acquaintances stepped up.

The Woman’s Club in bankruptcy was as if it had leprosy. People shied away. But now, as I faced the dragons and survived, wonderful opportunities have opened up and I have a fabulous, strong team now working on the future of this historic institution. I don’t have to shoulder it alone. And as I can step back a bit, I get to return to what I really need to do: my writing.

This whole saga has taught me so much – and of course I will write about it, too.

Here there be dragons 2It can be scary stepping off into the unknown. It took me a long time to find the courage to sit down to write a mystery novel, for instance. I had no idea where to start or how to go about it. Those were baby dragons and easily overcome.

As well as my Old Hollywood adventures of Lottie Topaz, I now have several other, totally different books swimming around my head, waiting to be written. Those are not in dragon-occupied lands. Just perhaps amongst porpoises – and the occasional mermaid.

It’s the realization that tomorrow is promised to no-one, so you’d better get on with it. Dragons or not. Carpe Diem and all that.

Life has thrown many of us some challenges this past year. But we have dealt with them. So maybe it’s time to make a fresh start – take a few risks. Try writing something totally different. Start painting, sketching, pottery – do something else creative to get those juices flowing again.

One idea I heard is to write your own obituary. No – it’s not as grim as it sounds. Honest. Write out how you would want to be remembered. Was it for having the cleanest home in the world – or was it for writing that brilliant, life-changing book? Did you write an amazing character that brought pleasure to millions of readers?

And what happened before all that acclaim? How did you actually write that book, or paint that picture? Work your way back in your life. Before you hit the Best Seller list – or won the Housekeeper-of-the-year award – what led up to that? Keep going back until you are where you are today, when you made a decision to change your path. To really follow your hidden dreams. To step out of your comfort zone and risk rejection. Start with the day you decided to step off in to that unknown world, despite all the warnings of “Here there be dragons…”

I am amazed at what has happened in the recent months. It’s not been easy. And I often thought that I could just not go on. But I did. And it has been exhilarating, when I look back and see where I came from, the new path I’ve taken – and how brilliant the future looks. Those dragons turned out to be quite magical….

Who knew?

Dragon with book (2)




13 thoughts on “HERE THERE BE DRAGONS….. by Rosemary Lord”

    1. Thanks, Paul. It’s so sad to see our fascinating historic buildings disappear overnight, to be replaced by anonymous, personality-less structures. We can all do our own little bit to stop this erosion. Writers have a great voice for this! Cheers…

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I’m so impressed with all you have done with the Women’s Club, Rosemary. That’s a dragon I can’t imagine fighting! But glad it’ll be a potential basis for a story you’ll write, and that you’re continuing to write and get other ideas.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As my mum would say – you never know what you can do until you try! And I have a plethora of ideas from all of this. Thanks, Linda.


    1. It’s odd, Jill, how when you can see the sunshine at the end of the tunnel, you find yourself looking back at the long journey you’ve taken. All fodder for stories yet to be written.


  2. Another fine blog, Rosie. We do all face those dragons every now and then, but it’s how we handle the beasts that shows us who we are. You did yeoman’s work and the club can be thankful so much has been done on its behalf, but let them know there are still dragons out there and we all need to keep an eye out for them. You just showed them how it’s done. Good show.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Gayle. Yes – it’s curious how many different disguises these dragons take on. And all these things we have all been dealing with make us stronger, more resilient – and ever watchful for the future!


  3. Kudos, Rosie, on several fronts you shared. I try to draw inspiration from where I can, because as you say, “It’s the realization that tomorrow is promised to no-one, so you’d better get on with it.” True, but sometimes hard to do–so when I read stories like yours I am revitalized and renewed. Most loverly post. (I’ve edited several obituaries for relatives before death, and putting one’s life flat out on paper is quite a daunting task for them, and often an eye opener about the individual for readers and listeners)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Madeline – great to hear from you! It’s not an easy road, is it? But working backwards from writing your own obituary really does make you look at what you’re doing with your life. You get to figure out what has to happen before that magical success you’re reaching for. It’s a pathway to follow. Thanks, Mad.


  4. An important post, Rosemary, showing the strength and resilience we have when we need it. I know I would love the Woman’s Club and appreciate all you did to save a bit of LA history and tradition.


    1. Thank you, Maggie. It’s surprising the strength we find when we see an injustice, isn’t it? And let me know when you’re in Hollywood and come by for a visit…


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