Thursday, February 28, 2013

You Already Miss It

There should be a name for the syndrome that occurs when you're in Paris and you already miss it ~ Rosecrans Baldwin

I remember the day after receiving my bachelor's degree.  It felt like the day after a birthday or Christmas.  All the hype led up to one day and then in a blink it was over.  This is what I think it feels like to miss Paris when you haven't even left.

I immediately started working on a new goal and that got me going again. And that's what can happen when one pursues dream goals.  For me, each goal I achieve makes me want to achieve more.  Two goals I was able to wrap my head around last year about this time were that that daily fiction writing schedule and consistent blogging routines.

Once I finished the first draft of A Place to Call Their Own, I immediately started working on a second manuscript, Disappear With Me.  Now that A Place to Call Their Own has been accepted by a publisher, I can't wait to get Disappear With Me polished and edited and ready for submission.  Each goal I achieve makes me want to achieve more.

What small goal did you achieve that helped you continue to achieve more?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tranquility Within Ourselves

When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere ~ La Rochefoucauld

As crazy as it sounds, the more progress I make, the more calm I get.  The more progress I make, the less stressful this whole business of publication becomes. 

Maybe it's because along the way I've learned more about my dream journey and what it takes to be successful.  Maybe, I've gained more confidence in myself and abilities along the way. 

I think the cool thing about reaching stretch goals are the residual benefits along the way.  Following strict routines in my writing has led to more success at work.  Last year's goals was to finish one novel and I was able to finish two.  The confidence I'm showing to others garnered me nomination and election to our church's Session (board).  All that from pursuing a dream goal of writing and publishing a novel.

What residual benefits have your realized in your dream journey?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

An Inhabited Garden

The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers, & cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden ~ Johann van Goethe

Have you figured out what wakes you up each day or what excites you so much you're unable to sleep at night?  Did you know that there's probably others out there, on the same dream journey as yourself?  Even at the some point along the way?

Belonging to a community of other people actively engaging in their dream journeys has been very helpful for me.  Social media makes that even easier in today's world.  There are Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags, and Google+ communities you can search to find others actively engaged in your similar dream journey.

For writers, one of my new favorite communities is the Writer's Dojo on Google+.  What's your favorite online spot to find community?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Blossom Into More

What I know for sure is this:  you are built not to shrink down to less, but to blossom into more.  To be more splendid.  To be more extraordinary.  To use every moment to fill yourself up ~ Oprah Winfrey

Do you wake up every morning just ecstatic about what your day holds for you?  Do you feel sad when the business day ends or a holiday comes and you need to take a break?  Do you lay awake at night, busy planning your next day with excitement?

If you answered 'no' to any of those questions, my next question is why not?  Who aren't you to deserve day to day happiness that I have described above?  I nearly live that excitement right now.  I just signed with a publisher for my first novel, A Place to Call Their Own.  I get to got to a job Monday through Friday that works for my writing schedule and is a great place to work. 

Everyone deserves that happiness.  Like Oprah says, you're built to blossom into more.  You just have to figure out what that 'more' is for you.  It's not too late to make 2013 your year.

What excitement keeps you up at night or wakes you up each day?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Ecstatic Experience

The soul should always stand ajar.  Ready to welcome the ecstatic experience ~ Emily Dickinson

On Tuesday I wrote about living in the present moment and today's quote also helps to embody that.  The universe must be telling me something!

Again, sometimes I get so caught up in goals and plans and dreams that I forget about the beauty of everyday moments.  When you're working on a dream journey and things start to happen, it's so easy for me to get caught up in everything.

I remember a time last summer when I was getting bored with my routines.  Mondays came and I went to my full-time job exhausted.  I mustered through my daily word count goal as best as I could.  But one morning I took a break from writing and went down to my patio to read.  It was during that reading time that I noticed that my plants were starting to bloom.  It was in that moment that the joy of what I was trying to accomplish came to me and gave the energy to complete the day's word count and soldier on.

I'm glad I did that.  I finished my second manuscript just two months later and now nine months later I am publishing my first novel with Musa Publishing, A Place to Call Their Own.  I took that break against my normal routine, normally the edict is sit and write until those words are on the page.   If I had not taken that break, those early blossoms might not have inspired me to continue and relaxed me enough to figure out why things seemed so bleak at the moment.

What ecstatic experience have you had on your dream journey?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Path of Joy

Learning to live in the preset moment is part of the path of joy ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

I've talked a lot about creating a vision and goals for the future.  I've talked a lot about using visualization to get you through the tough times.  Look at all my dream boards on Pinterest!

I hope I've also made clear the importance of working in the present moment.  No matter how much you visualize and plan, I'm convinced your dreams won't come true without hard work.  That's where your routines and boundaries come in. No matter what your dream journey, you have to have routine, focused activities to achieve those stretch goals.

I'll also be the first to admit that sometimes those routines can get to be more of a chores.  That happened to me last summer.  But I worked through those feelings and just two months later, my second novel was written.  Now nine months later, I'm getting ready to publish my first novel with Musa Publishing.

Have you been working in the present moment?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Goals We Seek

The goals we seek, and the good we hope for, comes not as some final reward but as the hidden companion to our quest ~ Madeleine Albright

Have you reached a milestone on your goal journey and then sat there and asked yourself, "Now what?"  If you're in sales, you know the answer is to go out and make it happen again.  If you're a writer or any other creative field, you also know the answer is get started on the next project.

Although most dream journeys start out as lofty goals, most turn into journeys of the soul.  Believe me, I will never forget the afternoon that I read the email from Musa Publishing telling me they wanted to publish my book.  But I have become such a better person along the way.

I've become more disciplined in my daily life to balance writing/editing/creating with a full time job and finding time to relax from both of those activities.

This balance and discipline is spilling over into my work life as well, and that's a good thing.

I'm living a healthier lifestyle because my schedule and discipline demand that I work out six days a week.

And, thankfully, my writing seems to be be getting better as well.

What residual growth have you achieved while working on your dream goals? 

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I am so excited to announce that last Monday, I signed a contract with Musa Publishing to publish my first manuscript, A Place to Call Their Own.

Here's a little bit about Musa Publishing:

Musa began as a dream shared by four publishing industry professionals. Now that the reality is here, Musa has become the home to debut YA novelists and NYT/USA Today bestselling authors, award-winning books and literary chapbooks, the latest in speculative fiction to the lost treasures of an American science fiction pioneer—and all at reasonable, affordable prices. So whether you're an author, looking for a home for your latest book, or a reader, looking for the best digital fiction without paying an arm and a leg for it, Musa has something for you.

Here's a link to the website where you can check out other great authors from Musa Publishing:

A Place to Call Their Own will find it's home within Musa's Erato-GLBT imprint. Here is a link to Erato-GLBT's blog:

If you're an aspiring writer like me, they are accepting submissions, give them a shot.

Anyway, through hard word, determination, and perseverance, I will be able to say I am a published author this year. If you're also a writer, I wish you the best of luck and my only advice is to just keep trying. If you follow my blog because you're on another dream journey, I wish you the same!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Your Mind Will Answer Most of the Questions

You mind will answer most of the questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer ~ William S. Burroughs

Have you ever been so stressed out you didn't know where to turn?  Have ever nearly reached the pinnacle in your dream journey only to be disillusioned by what you had accomplished thus far?

I have to be honest with you, I was there back in November.  After working for four years on my baby manuscript, my hopes and dreams were being dashed by agents who "couldn't get behind my characters" and publishers who thought that the work "wouldn't sell."

I did hear from two small publishers, both who enthusiastically wanted to talk to me about the work.  I never heard from either again.

Then a Twitter friend suggested a book about the self-publishing industry.  I decided to pay an editor to look at my manuscript and go the self-pub route and do everything myself.  I knew I didn't have the budget to get all that done in November and December, so I decided to take time off from Thanksgiving and New Year's. 

And during that time I decided to focus on my second manuscript in the New Year. I knew it was a better story and had a better chance of being published.  I had been fighting that internal struggle over the order in which the manuscripts should be published.  During my "time off" it became clear and I was able to relax about the two manuscripts. 

Do you ever find that break helps you figure things out?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Your Are Not Alone

Many people need desperately to receive this message: "I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people don't care about them.  You are not alone." ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Do you ever feel like you're alone on your dream journey?  When I do, I just take a look at my Twitter or Facebook feeds and understand quickly that I am not alone.  It helps me. 

You can find community in many places.  Social media helps many people connect all over the country and world.  Depending on your dream journey, many times you can find local groups for support, education, and inspiration.

Where do you find community on your dream journey?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Accept, Then Act

Accept -- then act.  Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it...This will miraculously transform your whole life ~ Eckhart Tolle

Sometimes ideas come to me and I have to at least get the notes down. Sometimes that is because the idea is so good, I don't want to forget it.  Other times, it's because if I don't take some time to get it into my notes, it just gnaws at me and I can't think about anything else.  These are the moments that I grab and accept.

My second novel, for example.  I had it's premise in my mind and then one day at church, the opening hymn made me think of the story and the characters entered my mind.  That afternoon, I came home and worked on a loose outline and pounded out 2500 words that became the first chapter.  After I got that initial burst of ideas and words out, I was able to put the idea out of my head and focus on finishing my first novel.  Since then I've taken the time work out stories for future novels. 

How do you accept present moments and make them work for you and your dream journey?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Canvas to Our Imagination

The world is but canvas to our imaginations ~ Henry David Thorreau

I hope that you have a productive weekend planned.  For some of us, that include working on our dream journey goals.  I have lots of editing waiting for me.

For others, it means rest and relaxation.  You'll have completed your goals for the week and have planned to just enjoy the weekend with your family and friends.  And that's awesome.

Are you more or less productive on your goals during the weekend?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What You are is Wonderful

Today and every day, take as your personal mantra:  "I am what I am, and what I am is wonderful," ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

Who but you is more deserving of accomplishing your dream goal?  I hope you feel the same.  If you're on a dream journey, most people are not.  If you are still chasing New Year's Resolutions, most people are not.  You're already a step ahead of most.

What do you do to stay strong when the going gets tough on your dream journey?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It Continues to Entertain

I was born inside the movie of my life.  The visuals were before me, the audio surrounded me, the plot unfolded inevitably but not necessarily.  I don't remember how I got into the movie, but it continues to entertain me ~ Roger Ebert

Sometime, when caught up in the throes for accomplishing my goals, I've forgotten to slow down and enjoy life.  There was a point last summer when Monday used to come and I'd already be exhausted from all the work accomplished on my writing over the weekend.  Then the week seemed to drag on until finally Friday came once again.

Now don't get me wrong.  There will be times when deadlines will loom, there will be goals to accomplish on someone else's timeline to meet.  Hopefully, most of the time that will be temporary.  When it gets to be boring, mundane, or the norm, that for me is the time re-examine my routines to make a change.  Remember - accomplishing a dream goal should be fun.

I kept up my routines last summer and within four months I had written my second novel.  I think I was really suffering from change in job and excitement from accomplishing so much last year with my writing.  I kept on and now I'm working on editing and submitting the second manuscript to publishers and agents.

What do you do to keep your dream journey fun and interesting?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Leaving Things Undone

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone ~ Lin Yutang

Do you ever rush around trying to get everything done, being super-mom or super-dad at home, super-employee at work, overachiever with your peers on your dream journey?

Do you ever wish you could just leave one or two things undone and leave it for the next day?  Why don't you?

Although I've been coached all my life to just get things done today, by parents, managers, etc, there is a certain beauty in my writing of leaving just a little bit for the next day.  Whenever I am actively writing, I stop at my writing goal for the day.  Even if the words are flowing out of my fingertips, I stop when I reach my goal.  Why? 

Because then the ideas continue to marinate in my mind and my writing gets better the next day.  Even when I was in sales, I stopped at the number of phone calls/sales activities I made for the day.  Again, even if my last three calls were bookings, recruit interviews, or sales, I stopped.  Why?

Because the next time I made my calls, I was even hungrier to get on the phone and make my calls.  Leaving things undone has definitely made me more excited to get back to the task and more creative when I return the task.

Are you able to leave things undone for the sake of excitement and creativity?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

All That I Have Met

I am a part of all that I have met ~ Alfred Tennyson

Are you sharing your success with other peers on the same dream journey?  I sure hope so.  I've learned so much from peers when I was in direct sales, training, and now banking.  And, as you know, I love to share with you the routines and methods that have helped me achieve my goal of becoming a published author.

What have you shared lately?