Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


It doesn’t matter how much time passes, or how dated the clothes and hairstyles are. The original Karate Kid, starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita, will always rank right up there with the most inspiring movies I have ever seen. (Don’t even talk to me about that mockery of a remake with Will Smith’s son–ugh!)

There’s a moment in The Karate Kid where Mr. Miyagi talks to Daniel about the dangers of hesitation.

“Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later, get squish just like grape. Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do “yes”, or karate do “no”. You karate do “guess so”, sooner or later, get squish just like grape. Understand?”

My greatest barrier to achieving success in sparring has been the same. I hesitate, I think too much, I throw out a half-hearted kick that is too slow and/or too weak, and I get the squish, just like grape.

I think this lesson can be applied to many areas in life, not just martial arts. How many of you know a person who seems to lead a charmed life? This guy (or girl) takes incredible risks, but somehow, they always seem to end up okay. I have friends who’ve sold everything they’ve owned to move across the country for true love, or to discover a completely new life in Africa. They gave up steady jobs, nice homes, and even their pets in order to follow their dreams, and I’ve never once heard them regret it.

We tend to regret the things we haven’t done much more than anything we’ve tried and failed. It’s human nature to be afraid of failure, afraid of getting hurt, afraid of looking foolish. But the truth is, we learn by making mistakes and the only way to truly know if something is for us is to try it.

But try it wholeheartedly. Seize that new career. Send that novel you’ve been keeping in your closet to a publisher. Get in the ring and throw a few punches.

Just don’t hesitate, or sooner or later, you’ll get the squish…just like grape.

Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Candice

    I really think your point about regretting things we never tried more than those we’ve tried and failed at it is on the money. I never thought about it that way before.

  2. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comment, Candice! Failing is tough, but it’s way better than failing to try.

    I just discovered your blog today, and I love it. I’ll be back. 🙂


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.