Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Interview: Liv Rancourt

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

Today’s interviewee is writer Liv Rancourt.

LivRancourtWhat have you been wonderstruck by recently?

I have a big window in my kitchen, and the view is dominated by a Chinese cotoneaster, a huge shrub producing tiny white flowers in spring that ripen to scarlet berries by about November. I call it the Bird Buffet, and once the berries are ripe it’s covered with robins and sparrows and other neighborhood birds. As of today, the top third has been stripped of berries. By March it’ll be pretty much bare.

And then in June it’ll have flowers, and in September it’ll be covered with little green berry nubbins. And in November it’ll be scarlet again.

Against the backdrop of that shrub, with its soft serrated leaves and scarlet berries and robins, I’m watching the inauguration of President Obama. This afternoon, I’m going to a wedding where a very old friend will finally marry her long-time female partner. And this morning, I posted a link to my newest release and saw a surprising and amazing and gratifying number of people share it and send me well-wishes.

So what have I been wonderstruck by recently? This moment, right now, by the crosshatch weave of the new against a backdrop of the stuff that doesn’t change. I’m awed by life. And a little bit humbled.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

The part where I wake up again. ;) Seriously, every day is a gift.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

The toughest moments involve my kids, like when the fourteen year old drops down a wormhole the way only an adolescent girl can, or when I have to drag my son off the computer – again – because he’s lost his temper playing video games. They’re truly great kids, and I love the heck out of them, but sometimes it’s like dealing with toddlers with adult (occasionally very adult) vocabularies.

What do you wish you are more conscious of?

I wish I could be more consistent about staying in the moment. I saw one of those Facebook memes, with a quote attributed to the Lao Tzu. “If you’re depressed, you’re living in the past. If you’re anxious, you’re living in the future. If you’re at peace, you’re living in the present.” Since I read that, whenever I start feeling anxious or depressed, I ask myself if I’m living in the past or in the future. Sometimes it’s both, but when it comes down to it, you can’t control either. The only thing you can control is now, and your response to it. That’s the lesson I’ve been trying to learn. Some days are better than others.

How do you stay truly focused on what is important to you?

It’s pretty easy. The important stuff – my husband, my kids, my friends, my work in the NICU, my writing, my church – all seem to climb up into my face and insist that I pay attention to them with freakish consistency. I’ve always been fairly goal-directed, so
moving forward on things isn’t a problem.

The one concrete step I’ve taken is that for the last couple months, I’ve made a promise to take the dog for a walk every day. It takes half an hour or forty minutes, it’s been a great help in stabilizing my back problems, and it gives me time for my mind to wander.

LivRancourt-bookAbout Liv Rancourt:

I write paranormal and romance, often at the same time, and live in Seattle with my family and assorted pets.

My newest release is a sweet paranormal romance, Forever and Ever, Amen. It’s available from Crimson Romance, Amazon, and other fine e-book retailers.

You can track me down on-line at my website & blog (www.livrancourt.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt).

20 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for having me as a guest, Sherri! This series of interviews is so cool...

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  2. A beautiful interview, Liv. Congratulations to your friends on their wedding.

    Life is too short not to live in the moment. I don't think we should forget the past, we always learn from it, but we can't stay there. It's a waste of precious time.

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  3. And I keep discovering new ways I'm holding onto things I should let go of, you know? Thanks for the comment, Deb...

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  4. I LOVE your profile pic LIV! And it is really great to learn a little bit more about you. Oh to not get anxious or depressed - what a wonderful world it would be. Love the quote if only I could observe it.

    These interviews are so much fun, Sherri, and I'm liking your cards on your FB page too: nice reminders about how to face the day.

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  5. Thanks Sara! And that quote is definitely a goal and a work in progress.

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  6. Great interview! It's nice to read more about you and I am loving that quote from Lao Tzu. Something to think about!

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  7. Okay, I'm wonderstruck to learn that Liv is not a caricature!

    Love that quote by Lao Tzu, words to live by. Thanks for sharing the wisdom, Liv, and thanks for the reminder to pick up your book!

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  8. I like the Lao Tzu quote as well as the question you ask yourself whenever you feel anxious or depressed. It's a good one for me to remember since both of those emotions tend to weigh me down.

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  9. Thank YOU for being interviewed! It was great to have you.

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  10. Thank you, Sara! I'm happy you're enjoying the cards. Sometimes I wonder if anyone else will care about the little things I come up with, so I appreciate you saying so.

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  11. Thank you all for dropping by and commenting. I, too, loved the Lao Tzu quote Liv shared in her interview. It sums things up nicely into an easy reminder.

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  12. I know, right? Sometimes I have to repeat it to myself many times a day...
    Thanks Kim!

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  13. Yep, Sherry, I'm a real live girl.
    ;)
    Thanks for checking in.

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  14. It's funny, but after spending all afternoon in various stages of spun up over one kid or the other, I find myself reading and re-reading that Lao Tzu quote as I'm responding to all these comments. And yeah, I needed to see it myself right now. Thanks for the reminder, Tami...

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  15. So I'm thinking this spot-on Lao Tzu guote is now tacked on all refrigerators of those who have read this wonderful post. Now it only my flighty mind will willingly recall it immediately in moments of crazed anxiety and turmoil.

    It's great "seeing" you as well as reading you, Liv. Love these interviews with the best and brightest, Sherri :-D

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  16. You're probably right about everyone posting the Lao Tzu quote. It's probably on refrigerators, desks, and bathroom mirrors.

    Thanks for your compliment about these interviews, Barbara! I love them, too!

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  17. Thanks Barbara! Hmm...refrigerator magnets...there might be some future in that... ;)

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  18. I have to add a +1 for the Lao Tzu quote. I never thought of anxiety and depression as being rooted in the future and past, but it's so true. Thank you for that wonderstruck insight! And for sharing a bit of yourself with us ... including your terrific new head shot. Just beautiful!

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  19. Count me in the fridge magnet order!
    Lovely to hear your wonderstruck moments, Liv. Your Chinese cotoneaster sounds just like the deciduous tree I used to have outside my front door. And my crepe myrtle. I love really noticing plants that change with the cycle of the seasons -- leaves, bark, flowers, seeds.

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  20. I love your headshot, Liv! You totally sparkle! And your love of life comes through wonderfully in your interview.

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