Sometimes, you have to take a few risks in order to advance in something: life, career, love, for example. As a parent, taking risks becomes quite the conundrum. We want to keep our kids as safe as possible, but we must still allow them the freedom to explore and discover who they are—and, gulp, learn from their mistakes.
I’m a pragmatist, myself, so I tend to be somewhat risk-averse. I prefer research, logic, and planning. My husband is a visionary. He sees something he wants and he goes for it. No fear involved. [I mean, there’s fear involved, but it’s usually mine.]
Still, my pragmatic side recognizes the risk/reward equation. So, I temper my husband’s visionary nature with a bit of realism, and he infuses my practical nature with a bit of adventure. Honestly, that’s the core reason our relationship works. And it’s probably why they say opposites attract.
Sometimes, however, we find ourselves aligned in taking that leap of faith. And, unsurprisingly, the impetus for that leap tends to be our daughter.
You see, our daughter is one cute little bundle of potential. If I were rolling her as a Dungeons and Dragons character (and given my profession, why wouldn’t I think of it in those terms?), she’d score off the charts on intelligence and charisma. She’s too young yet to tell where she’ll fall on wisdom, but I’ll do my best to develop that ability. Fortunately, she has decent strength and constitution, because her dexterity will need some work. But at least I can rule out thief as a profession.
I’ve seen what happens when highly intelligent kids aren’t challenged, however. They get bored and they find really creative ways to entertain themselves. This can lead to the kind of risk taking I don’t want my daughter to experiment with. So, this is where that calculated risk comes in.
In a couple of months, we’ll be leaving the small town in which Nola was born. It has been a wonderful place to raise an infant/toddler. It is not ideal for a school-ager (as my daughter calls the kindergarten-and-up crowd). It is time to go to a place with rigorous school programs and an abundance of recreational choices. And for my husband, it’s time for him to move on to the next step, as well. He’ll be returning to school, too, for his doctorate.
Don’t worry, though. I’ll still be at WMG’s helm. And I’m lucky that I can continue my job in the midst of all this other change.
We’ll leap into the unknown with a safety line and a plan. The perfect equation, I think.
Besides, I work with fiction writers. They take risks every time they sit down to bear their creative souls to provide the rest of us with a much-needed distraction from our everyday lives.
How apropos, then, that our latest volume of Fiction River is called Risk Takers.
Here’s the synopsis:
Money, business, sports, love: All involve risk—and skill. The skilled authors in this volume masterfully exhibit both. Buckle in while a locomotive engineer uses magic in a race to avoid extinction, a game developer must outmaneuver an alien for Earth’s fate, and an exterminator risks everything to go after some really big rats. Crossing genre lines through science fiction, fantasy, mystery, historical, and mainstream, these adrenaline-pumping stories about taking risks offer nothing but reward.
Edited by Dean Wesley Smith, a man known for calculating risk in both fiction and sports, this volume rounds out Year Two of Fiction River. Fitting, since launching Fiction River was a risk that has since paid off in spades.
Not only do we have volumes in progress well into Year Four, but our volumes, editors, authors and stories have received very positive reviews—so many, in fact, that a number of our originally published stories have been reprinted in other excellent anthologies. Some of our stories have even been nominated for major awards.
Risk Takers continues the Fiction River line with a cross-genre roller coaster ride of page-turning fun. This volume might involve characters taking risks, but the reading enjoyment contained within these pages is a sure thing.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.