Thursday, August 30, 2012

The First Couple of Years

The first couple of years you make stuff, it's just not that good. It's trying to be good, it has potential, but it's not.  A lot of people never get past this phase; they quit. If you are just starting out or are still in this phase, you gotta know that it's normal and the most important thing you can do is a lot of work...It's only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions ~ Ira Glass

I ran across this quote this week and it spoke volumes to me.  It's exactly what I needed to hear right now.  I am in the midst of completely re-writing my first novel and preparing it for a possible publisher. 

I knew that the beginning of the novel needed some work, I was just stuck on how to adjust the beginning of the story to make it all work out in the end.  I also finally figured that out over the weekend and now am well on my way to getting the manuscript massaged and in shape for future publication.

If you think about, any job or task you undertake takes a couple of years to get really good at it.  I remember the first couple of years of being a corporate trainer.  After a couple of years, things just got easier and I did better. 

So, whenever you feel like you want to quit your dream journey, listen to the voice that tells you to keep on going.  Eventually you'll start producing the real work that you believe can.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Live Like a Fruit Fly

It's been a while since I've posted a book review.  But after reading Live Like a Fruit Fly by Gabe Berman, I wanted to post a review.

If you have ever been asked to read a book by your manager, your direct sales sponsor, or anyone else, but hate to read, then this is the book for you.

Using the analogy of a fruit fly's life, Gabe basically lays out the principle that a fruit fly doesn't live that long, but immediately sets about to live it's short life.  It doesn't wait for all the things that we humans sometimes let get in the way. 

The book is written in direct, informal language.  I could actually "hear" Gabe's New York accent as I read his words.  That's one of the reasons I recommend this for anyone who doesn't like to read.  Another reason is the short chapters.  If you're trying to create a daily reading habit and the thought of reading a whole book is daunting, Gabe's chapters are short but powerful.  If you read one chapter per day of this book, it would definitely be baby steps towards creating a daily reading habit.

Live Like a Fruit Fly is definitely on my list of recommended reads for anyone searching for their destiny in life.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Have You Gone Back to School Yet?

I had the honor of giving the Children's Sermon in church today and wanted to share it with you.  Enjoy!

So I had planned for some children to be here and I thought I would open with something like, has school started yet? And since it’s been a while since I’ve spoken like this in front of any group, I feel the need to start the same way for fear of losing myself in my notes, sooo has school started yet?

No, I didn’t think so, but I had to ask or my notes would be out of order!   I’ve been long overdue to get into graduate school so hopefully in a year or two I might be able to answer yes to that question.

But regardless of whether or not anyone present today is going back to school, I just wanted to share with everyone how much love the month of August.  For me August feels a bit like the New Year.  After the weather starts cooling off, I just feel a bit more productive than during the warm summer months.  For me, this is probably because my father was a high school teacher so for many years, our town hosted the annual county fair, and my mother's birthday is in August, so it's no wonder that August was like the New Year for my family.    I started my first full time job August 1, 1990 and then exact four years later on August 1, 1994 I was transferred to Colorado with that job and since then it like many of my major career and life changes have happened during this time of year.

It didn't take me long to figure out most adults look at our lives during January, during the New Year, when most of us make goals or resolutions for what we'd like to accomplish for the year.   For me, God's gift of the changing season means that we still have four months left of this year to accomplish your New Year resolutions.  And that’s why they’ are called New Year resolutions, because we have the whole year to accomplish them.  So think of the end of summer like it’s like the beginning of first semester and you have until Christmas break to get your goals accomplished!  That’s my challenge for everyone this week.

Now if  you think that these notes seem to be speaking mainly to adults rather than to elementary schoold-aged children, that's because we rarely have children in church.  So we call the Children's Sermon the time for all God's Children at Central Presbyterian.

Have a great week, everybody!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Color Blue

Here's to all the shades of the color blue ~ Jill Badonsky

I love today's quote because blue is my favorite color.  It's always been my favorite color, even when it wasn't as fashionable as it is today.  But that's OK, because I stuck with it through the 1990s and now it's back. 

My sticking with the color blue is like sticking with a dream goal.  You have to stick with it through the good and the bad to see it through.  Now that I have some professional feedback, I am working through the editing and re-writing process on A Place to Call Their Own.  I am placing all other projects on hold, except reading for research for The Higher Law and reading a newly published book for a friend and writing a review.

Write now, pun intended, nothing is as important as getting A Place to Call Their Own published.  Just like in the past even though there were other colors more fashionable, blue was always my favorite color.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hoping to be Struck by Lightning

A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning ~ James Dickey

I think most dreamers are hoping to be struck by lightning, in both a good and bad way.  And by dreamers,  I mean those who are actively pursuing a stretch dream goal.  Of course we all want to be energized and meet our goals.

But the other part of being struck by lighting are the frustrating things that come with pursuing our dreams.  Look at all the artists we see in tears on results night from the reality shows that we watch.  If you're a dreamer pursuing a dream, you know the frustrations come from all directions.

So you just have to push past it all and keep developing your craft, your art, and your skill.  I'm going through that now.  I have heard from another publisher who needs me to polish the manuscript and has given me some direction in doing so.  I also have a direct contact so I don't have to start over with a query again!  That's one step closer to achieving my dream of being a published author. 

How are you hoping to be struck by lightning?  I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Choose Your Mascot

A horse is the protection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful- and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane experience ~ Pam Brown

Have you chosen a mascot for your dream journey?  I like penguins of all types, but my mascot is the emperor penguin.  I admire the tenacity of the birds to endure the antarctic conditions to raise their young and survive year to year.  It's kind of like the tenacity one needs to achieve their dreams.

When I sold Tupperware, each manager team had a team name and once your team reached a certain goal you got your own theme song.  The team name and team song were part of the team spirit my distributors instilled within all our smaller teams.

So what's your mascot for your adventure?  I'd love to hear!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Human Adventure is Just Beginning

It isn't all over; everything has not been invented; the human adventure is just beginning ~ Gene Roddenberry

What are you waiting for?  Are you chasing your dreams yet?

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Coke and Limeade

Here's to a ginger ale and cranberry juice with a twist on the rocks on summers eve ~ Jill Badonsky

I received my first rejection email this week!  Some might tell me it doesn't count because they didn't reject my work per se, they rejected it because of the fact that they aren't accepting LGBT submissions right now (their web site didn't say they specifically didn't accept LGBT).  And I'm all right with it.

You see, I know that on my path to getting published, I have to be told no.  And I know I have to be relentless.  This is just the first baby step in the long journey to getting published and the next phase of making my dream come true.  It's been easier for me to accept this because I've done my research and I have an idea of what it takes to get published in our current social and economic environments.   So I'll have to keep at it. 

What stumbling block in your your dream journey have learned to accept and move on?  I'd love to hear about it!

By the way, today's title in is reference to another of my favorite hot weather drinks is coke with a bit of limeade in it.  Sometimes we just have to take our punches and refresh ourselves and take the next step forward.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What the Angels Eat

When one has tasted it [watermelon], he knows what the angels eat ~ Mark Twain

Do you have your goal in front you?  What about the rewards when you reach your goal? 

If you follow me on Pinterest, you'll see I have a quite a few dream boards going.  I have a dream board for my dream house as well each room and patio areas.  I love to look through these and dream about the day when I'll have the funds to build our dream house and implement some of those ideas.

And that's what attracts me to Pinterest.  I love being able to pin ideas of color schemes and decorating schemes.  Some items I'm able to implement in our current town home.  Other things are saving for the design of the dream home.  I also have boards of images that reflect the thoughts, moods, and feelings of my two novels that are finished.  I already started a pin board with images of the third novel, The Higher Law.

How are you using Pinterest to help achieve your dream?  I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Coming to Peace With Your Pieces

There few things more scared than the moment you come to peace with your pieces ~ Marney Makridakis

So what are the bare minimum, three to five activities you need to every day (or every week) to accomplish your dream goal?  Those are your pieces that you need to come to peace with, figure out when and how to get them done and do it.

For me this has become read, write, and be social every day.  When my hours at work changed, I further developed my WWRR daily routine which stands for Workout, Write, Read, and relax.  I have been more productive in the last four or five months as I have been in four years in my quest to become a published author.

It took a while for me to come to peace with my pieces and figure out how to get everything done.  But by keeping my vision in front of me and not giving up on my goals, I have reached accomplished two very important milestones this year:  I finished writing two novels.

What are your pieces that you need to come to peace with?  And how is that coming along for you?  I'd love to hear!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Aiming Unswervingly

Most of us serve our ideals by fits and starts.  The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly.  That is dedication ~ Cecil B. DeMille

If there's anything I've learned about dream goals, it's to keep at them and steadily and "unswervingly."  Since I completed my degree ten years ago, my goal to become a published writer has been the most steady project on which  I've worked.

And now I feel I have the flexibility to change up my routines and let other "life" things get in the way, and I don't feel guilty about it.  That's a bit step in a dream journey, knowing when you can relax when you need to and when you know you need to keep working.

Are you at a comfort level on your dream journey that you know when to relax versus the times you know you need to work on your goals?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Having Fun

At first, I only laughed at myself.  Then I noticed that life itself is amusing.  I've been in a generally good mood ever since ~ Marilyn vos Savant

Are you having fun on your dream journey?  I hope so! 

I will share with you there have been some times when the routine gets to be a bit too routine and I've have to change things up a bit.  Most of the time morning appointments and changes in work schedule have taken care of that for me.  But it's also during those times that I felt with all my heart that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing to help make my current dream goal come true.

What have you done lately to liven up your routines along your dream journey?  I'd love to hear!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Imagination of Others

Here's to the imagination of others when it inspires our own ~ Jill Badonsky

I love it when I see or hear something and it inspires an idea for either my writing or marketing my books.  Just the other day at work, a co-worker blew over the top of their pop bottle and made a sound and that reminded me of something I could put in a novel idea I'm working on.  My character should fashion a flute out of reeds and play it. 

When I was in direct sales, I loved going to the monthly meetings and learning what the other reps were doing to book more parties, make more sales, and recruit folks.  Again, the imagination of others inspired me to try their ideas and try some of my own. 

No matter what your dream journey is, I think it's important to seek out others in the same community that are also on your same dream path.  I think we can learn so much from another person, and, in turn, share your ideas as well.

What have you learned from someone lately or shared with others?  I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Trust the Process

I am patient and satisfied with one small step and I trust the process ~ Jill Badonsky

Do you ever get impatient that your dream journey isn't coming along like you want it to?  I felt that way for two years and now everything seems to be falling into place and working out just fine.

After taking four years to write my first novel, I wrote my second one in four months.  Now, I have proven to myself that I can write a novel and I know how long it might take me to write the first draft.  Now that I have those two small steps down and the first novel edited, I can slow down on the third novel.

But before I was able to slow down, I had learn about the creative process and what worked for me.  Once I hit that comfortable stride of 5000 words per week, I had to keep going on the second novel so that I could prove to myself I could write another first draft within a more reasonable amount of time.  Now that I have those small steps "mastered," I can slow down on the next novel and focus on editing the second manuscript and submitting the first one to small publishers and agents.

I know it can be frustrating when your dream journey doesn't got within the time frame we originally set, but if you trust the process and celebrate the small steps, you'll eventually get there.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Desire to Understand

Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand ~ Neil Armstrong

In the process of reaching a stretch goal or dream journey, there's always a level of wonder and understanding that along with the achievement of your goal.  If your goal is something that is cyclical that you repeat (such as writing a novel or a sales goal), then you only get better with each new cycle that you achieve.

I hope you are soaking in all the new wisdom you are finding on your path to your dream goal.  Each day it seems I learn something new about the writing process, the publishing industry, even myself.  And after completing the writing of a second novel recently, I can't describe the feeling of invincibility that I have with that portion of my dream goal.  I've proven to myself that I can craft an entire story in about four months.

I'd love to hear what you've recently learned about your dream goal or about yourself on your dream goal!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Come Into My Garden

Won't you come into my garden?  I would like my roses to see you ~ Richard Brinsley Sheridan

I think no matter what our profession or avocation, we reveal a piece of ourselves through our work. Another method we use today to reveal ourselves is through social media.  I love connecting with so many people through social media and keeping up with them on a daily basis.

When you're stretching yourself trying to achieve a dream goal, I think it's important to have at least one buddy who is also working towards the same goal.  Strength does come in numbers, so it's always a plus to be part of a group of community of people working towards similar goals.

When I quit smoking, I found strength in another friend who was also trying to quit her social smoking.  It was her thoughts and support that helped me get past some hurdles there.  When I was finishing my degree, I was surrounded each new session with new friends who were on the same journey as myself, and many times on a different stages of that same goal.

I'd love to hear about the support system you have in place for reaching your dream goals!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Surpassing Even Your Own Expectations

Here's to when a recipe surpasses your expectations ~ Jill Badonsky

Here's to when anything surpasses your expectations!  I am so excited to be blogging during the Olympics.  I find great inspiration in all the stories about what it takes to get to the Olympics because I know that all those lessons are applicable and transferable to my own dream of becoming a published author.

I am also excited to announce that I finished the rough draft of my second novel, Disappear With Me.  I have some minor additions to make and some revising to remove some inconsistencies, but for the most part, my intention is there and the manuscript is done. 

I exceeded my own expectations and wrote my second novel in just about four months versus four years for the first one.  There were times when I wondered if I would ever get A Place to Call Their Own where I wanted it to be.

I believe there are two factors that made the difference with the second novel.  The first difference, is that I had a confidence in myself that I was able to finish the first novel.  The other difference is that I had an outline and did some other exercises exploring the elements of the novel before I began.  I had a road map the entire direction.

I will start my third novel today, but I have decided to scale back my writing time and focus on editing Disappear With Me and getting A Place to Call Their Own published. 

I just had to share how excited I am.  For me, another milestone is completed, and I'll probably always remember what I accomplished on the day that Michael Phelps won his 19th Olympic medal and became the most decorated Olympic athlete.  What wonderful memories and now I'll be reminded of the accomplishment, at least every four years.