Thursday, May 30, 2013
God, or a source of divinity, put together a map for our lives. That map includes opportunities -- not outcomes -- but opportunities. And those opportunities are contracts [or] agreements -- not that our ego or personality made, but our soul did ~ Caroline Myss
For the first time in a long time, I am excited to be busy during the summer. For a long time, after Memorial Day came, I just wanted to start an extended summer vacation, just like it was when we were in school.
But this summer is different. I am so excited to get to work. I am working on edits for one manuscript that will be published in July and finishing self editing a second manuscript I hope to submit. I am also meeting with a critique group weekly, so that weekly goal is keeping me going as well.
The cool this is that I have a choice, I have an opportunity to continue to work hard advance my writing career. And that's another cool thing about dream journeys, they are up to us! Maybe you are where you want to be and can take the summer off? Maybe life demands that you take time off from time to time? The choice is ours.
Will you work hard this summer or will you try to take it easy?
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I want to thank everyone who stopped by the May 17th blog post on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.
Twelve guests commented on the post and were entered into drawing for an electronic copy of my first novel, A Place to Call Their Own, which will be released on July 5th.
I am happy to announce that the winner of the drawing is KIMBERLYFDR! I will be emailing you directly!
Thanks again to everyone for stopping by!
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Our actions -- and inaction -- touch people every day across the globe, people we may never know and never meet ~ Katie Arnold-Ratliff
Even after I was done with traditional school, I still yearn every year to be done with work for the summer. Seriously, after being done with school for twenty years, for whatever reason, I feel like I need to take the summer off.
Maybe it's because my dad was a school teacher? Maybe it was my involvement in direct sales and talking about how flexible direct sales could be over the summer with kids out of school.
But this quote really resonates with me this morning, during the weekend of the first leisure weekend of the season. I have a lot of work I'd like to get done this year on my writing. Editing on Disappear with Me isn't going as quickly as I'd like it to, which is cutting into writing time on The Higher Law.
I even mentioned to my critique group that maybe we should meet every other week over the summer, and someone told me they needed the weekly deadline to keep on track with their own writing. And it struck me that I need this weekly deadline this summer as well. And now I can't wait to use some of the extra time this weekend to move forward with my goals.
Are you planning to forge ahead on your dream journey this summer or will you take it easy?
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity ~ Randy Pausch
For those of us in the US, it is Memorial Day Weekend. Maybe you're going to get-togethers with friends and families? Maybe you're just going to the lake to relax?
No matter where you're going, do you have your elevator pitch prepared? Do you have that two minutes commercial prepared to promote your dream journey?
Last month I was caught completely unprepared, when I was asked in front of a group of strangers what my novel was about. I finally stammered, "It's historical fiction" but that isn't a description at all. I finally settled with "An underdog story about two Civil War vets who go to Kansas to homestead" as a satisfactory one sentence elevator pitch for A Place to Call Their Own.
As you meet new people, whether this weekend or beyond, are you prepared to promote your dream?
I'd love to hear your elevator pitch in the comments below!
Thursday, May 23, 2013
I sure do believe in miracles. For me, a miracle is seeing the world with light in your eyes. It's knowing there's always hope and possibility where none seems to exist. Many people are so closed to miracles that even when one is boldy staring them in the face, they label it coincidence or serendipity. I call it like I see it ~ Oprah Winfrey
Do you believe in miracles? I sure do! At the same time, I also believe that I can make miracles happen.
I've thought about being a writer for as long as I can remember. And then I grew up and other goals became more important and other interest became a priority. When a co-worker mentioned writing a novel as a bucket list goal, it reopened a bloom inside my soul waiting to get out.
It took two years and a supportive partner for me to be able to sit down and start writing my first novel. That was five years ago. Now I am in the editing process so that my publisher can release A Place to Call Their Own on July 5th. It's a miracle!
What miracles have you made happen?
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Lucky people create, notice, and act upon the chance opportunities in their lives. Being in the right place at the right time is actually all about being in the right state of mind ~ Richard Wiseman
Are you in the right state of mind? Even I can admit, there have been times on my dream journey when I have not been in the right state of mind to find opportunity or receive feedback.
Since Saturday, I have been completing retyping my manuscript, Disappear With Me. Yes, I am a writer and typing is what I do, but before this I had always just massaged the manuscript in its original form. But I recently read this advice in a book, but I was resistant to try to this method.
All I could think about was the expense in ink and paper so I'd have the manuscript printed out to work from. All I could think about was how much longer it would take to get the manuscript ready for submission. I used every excuse I could think of to not try this method.
Yet, when I look back on many of the methods I used to be productive, most of them I reluctantly tried at first. So, armed with just my iPad and laptop, I started this retyping my manuscript on Saturday. I figured out an acceptable word count goal to rewrite each day to get this manuscript ready for submission within a month. And with the right state of mind, I am much more excited about my second novel than I have ever been, as Leander's story gets refined little by little each day.
Tell me about a time when you were resistant change and were pleasantly surprised when you tried something new, I'd love to hear.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
I don't know what to make of fate. I certainly don't think you can predetermine things. It feels like if you go out of your way to try to make something happen, it rarely does. But if you allow for good things to happen, they seem to. I think a lot of that is more perception, you know? A lot of people would take getting rear-ended in their car as an example of why their life continues to be one road block after another, and I think a different person can seem the same fender bender and be grateful it wasn't worse. That allows them an opportunity to learn something from it--sort of take some sort of positive elements from that. I think if you try to angle your life in those ways, then fate, destiny, karma opens itself up to you and allows for more growth ~ Neil Patrick Harris
What positive elements are you learning from this weekend so that your destiny opens up and allows for more growth?
Saturday, May 18, 2013
If you never play, you will never lose, but you won't win either. If you never climb a mountain you will never know for sure how good the view is ~ Ed and Deb Shapiro
How good is the view from where you're at right now? I have to say, my view is incredible! I just completed the first round of edits on my first novel, A Place to Call Their Own. It will be released on July 5th by Musa Publishing.
I am also workshopping my second novel, Disappear With Me. What I mean by workshopping is that I've been involved with a critique group who gives me feedback each week. Slowly but surely, my writing is getting better with each week's round of feedback.
What about you? Are you enjoying your view or are you yearning for more? Kudos to you if you have started your dream journey and are on your way. If you haven't started your dream journey, it's not too late to accomplish something this year. You still have six months to achieve some goals in 2013.
What do you see from your view right now?
Friday, May 17, 2013
Today is International Day Against Hopbobia and Transphobia, a topic near and dear to my heart.
I've written before that I never set out to be a political writer. But I do think it is difficult to be an LGBT writer today without an undercurrent of social or political justice, if not only in the subtext.
In all of the stories I've worked on so far, there is an element of normalcy that I like to evoke with my characters, their settings, and their worlds. It's my goal to illustrate that LGBT people hope, dream, and long for the same things that the rest of the world does. It's just harder sometimes for us to achieve our goals because of the attitudes and laws that prevent us from doing so.
My hope is that someone opposed to LGBT right who reads my novel will understand that we really don't want anything different than them. It just that we have to ask for the rights that most people grow up with expecting.
I'm not the only one speaking out about this topic today. Click this link for other LGBT authors blogging about this topic today:
Leave me a comment,including your email address, and I'll enter you into a drawing for a complimentary copy of my first novel, A Place To Call Their Own. (if you're not comfortable leaving your emial address on this public forum, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.) My novel won't be out until July 5th, so I won't be able to send the book until then, but I will announce the winner by May 28.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
I dreamed about these moments, and I think I hoped I would have them, but you don't know. So when the lucky break hits, it's like being Cinderella and hopefully midnight doesn't come ~Katherine Heigl
What a week this has been! I just finished the first round of edits for my novel, A Place to Call Their Own. I've experienced a whirlwind of emotions looking at the manuscript again. At first I was overwhelmed looking at all the notes. After letting it rest overnight, I reviewed the notes and they didn't seem that scary at all.
And it's been a busy week! My critique group met changed it's meeting day, so I had one less day to prepare for that. I've been working a few extra hours at work.
Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed the challenges the last couple of weeks have presented. I do feel like Cinderella and I hope midnight doesn't come. And finally, I submitted my edits today. Round one, two more to go!
Tell me about a busy time on your dream journey and what you learned from it, I'd love to hear.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
I have noticed that doing the sensible thing is only a good idea when the decision is quite small. For the life-changing things, you must risk it ~ Jeanette Winterson
What life-changing decisions have you made this week? I'd love to hear.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Don't simply dismiss a coincidence and let it drift away. Life is totally interconnected. These unusual 'things' are simple connections that surprise you because you aren't used to seeing life except in fragments. Now it is beginning to piece itself together ~ Deepak Chopra
I remember last year when I figured out my blogging schedule, blog topics came to me when I worked on them ahead of time and, soon, it felt like met deadlines each week.
Likewise, when I outline the ending to A Place to Call Their Own, and once again revised my writing schedule, the words just started to flow out of my fingertips. Once I finished A Place to Call Their Own, I started Disappear With Me and it only took four months to write that manuscript.
You see, as I became successful, I attracted more success for myself. It's not a coincidence, I feel it's all been connected. I had to work out some issues on my own, but once I did, success and luck started coming my way.
Tell me about a time in your dream journey when small success soon added up to major success?
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Often I couldn't keep up with myself, and there were times when I nearly drowned under the weight of my own enthusiams. Fortunately, passion is an amazing flotation device ~ Lizz Winstead
Editing is in full swing for A Place to Call Their Own. Although initially overwhelmed by the amount of notes and edits on my manuscript, the changes requested are not that much at all. Thankfully, they are only taking a couple of hours each day.
But in addition to meeting on my first true deadline, I've joined a weekly critique group and I'm working more hours at work. Yes, passion is an amazing flotation device right now. Wish me luck!
Tell me about a time when passion kept you going through a particularly busy time?
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
What I know for sure: Often we don't even realize who we're meant to be because we're so busy trying to live out someone else's ideas. But other people and their opinions hold no power in defining our destiny. What has made me successful is the ability to surrender my plans, dreams, and goals to a power that's greater than other people and greater than myself ~ Oprah Winfrey
Late last year, I was a bit frustrated with the publishing prospects for A Place to Call Their Own. I had heard from a small publisher, who even called me, but never followed through with some editing they said they were going to do. I kept getting rejection letters (emails), some very professional. Others, although I have to assume they meant to be helpful, very mean-spirited and demoralizing.
So I put it aside and decided to hire a professional editor and self publish. The only catch was that I would have to wait until about the this time of year. In the meantime, I decided to start self-editing Disappear With Me. And although I wanted A Place to Call Their Own to be published first, I finally came to terms that it might not be.
Then, out of the blue, I heard from Musa Publishing. It wasn't until I let it go and let the universe take control did it come to be. I just got my first set of edits back, and boy is that a humbling experience. This company was willing to see through the editing for my story and is willing to take a chance on me. for Me, that is truly a humbling experience and allowing the universe to do its work.
When did you experience a humbling, out of the blue, moment on your dream journey?
Sunday, May 5, 2013
It's hard to be old, but there's something liberating about old age, too, because finally you realize that you can claim your history in all its fullness, that you can give voice to your memory and speak its truth, and that it is not a betrayal or indiscretion to do so ~ Millie Werber and Eve Keller
Yesterday, I turned another year older. It was a fantastic day, I do got meet my one of my friends and mentors, author Sheila Roberts, and had a great dinner with family and friends. My parent got me a writing book I've wanted and my partner is getting me a tattoo next weekend. I couldn't ask for a better 42nd birthday!
And the older I get the more determined I reach my goal of having a publishing career. The older I get, the more I am claiming the memories of my past.
What have you noticed about your dream goals as you've gotten older?
Saturday, May 4, 2013
I've deserved my luck ~ Jane Fonda
Most of the time, your dream journey finds you. Sometimes, it can find you when you're very young: if you've always wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer or any other traditional profession. But sometimes your dream journey finds you when you're older. Most of us writers have dreamed of doing so since we were young.
Ask any direct sales professional if they grew up wanting to be a Tupperware Director, or Mary Kay Director and most of them will tell you otherwise. Maybe if their mothers sold Tupperware or Mary Kay, but, again, very rarely.
The hard work required to reach both dream journeys remains the same. And in my humble opinion, it's that hard word that creates the luck that allows one to reach their full potential, no matter what their dream journey.
How are you creating your own luck this weekend?
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave ~ Cheryl Strayed
A co-worker of mine shared with me that she promoted to unit leader in her direct sales business over the weekend. Actually, she promoted to the next level up because she promoted another unit leader with her. What wonderful news! She's changing the story she's been told and is finding success in sales in today's economy.
No matter what your dream journey or dream goal, you'll always have to tell yourself a different story than what everyone tells you. As recent as a couple of years ago, someone told me not to get an MFA in Creative Writing because a career in writing wouldn't pay as much as a getting an MBA and staying in business. Talk about having to tell yourself a different story.
No matter what your dream journey, someone is always going to be there telling you it can't be done right now, in the future, or ever. You just have to tell yourself a different story that it can be done, by you.
What's a "different story" you had to tell yourself and how did you make it come true?