Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Hero of Your Story

We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour, in other words, we are the hero of your own story ~ Mary McCarthy

Have you laid out a path for yourself?  Do you know what you need to do to reach your goals?  Then stay stay on that path! 

The awesome thing about my dream journey is that I am in control.  The harder I work, the more I can accomplish.  There's no one telling me what to do and reaching my goals is totally dependent upon myself.  It's the path I've laid out for myself.

What have you done lately to stay on your path?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Asking Why

One of the greatest stories of growing older is the willingness to ask why and, getting no good answer, deciding to follow my own inclinations and desires.  Asking why is the way to wisdom ~ Anna Quindlen

Have you asked for advice and then didn't like what was given?  Sometimes that drives me crazy when friend and family ask for advice and do the opposite.  But when it comes to your dream journey, sometimes following your own inclinations and desires is the best route to follow.

On Thursday, I posted about being vulnerable and the benefits to your art.  That I think is what is meant by the way to wisdom: the wisdom to ask why in the first place. 

When was the last time you asked a question but didn't like the response?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Perfect Opportunity

I realized that my circumstances, while causing me despair and heartbreak, also held great possibility.  If only I could see it.  I knew that I was learning one of the most important lessons of my life:  that instead of waiting for the perfect opportunity, I should work towards a realization that every opportunity is perfect.  Each moment is perfect and heaven-sent, in that each moment holds the seeds for growth.  Difficulty creates the opportunity for self-reflection and compassion ~ Susan-Lori Parks

Are you waiting for the perfect time to start your dream journey?  Are you waiting to find the perfect opportunity that is going to be you ticket to a fulfilling career and lifelong happiness?  There is no time like the present to get started.

When I decided to quit smoking in 1997, it was a New Year's resolution.  I knew that work would be crazy in January and February, so I did decide to wait until March when I knew things would calm down.  But then March came and went that year and work never slowed.  It was April before I realized that.  When I realized it was April and work hadn't slowed down, I decided to quit smoking anyway.

There is no time like the present to follow your dreams.  I can always make excuses why today is not a good day to work on my dreams, but if I did that every day, I wouldn't be getting ready to publish my first novel.

I'd love to hear about a time when you started project even though life seemed busy.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

For Art and For Life

I had to be strong enough to allow myself to be vulnerable.  Great lesson.  For art and for life ~ Jane Lynch

I hate the expression "It's not personal, it's business."  I've poured my heart and soul into nearly every project or team that's been successful.  And that's the way it's been with my dream goals.

When you're following a dream journey, many times you need other peoples' help.  If you're in direct sales, you need hosts and team members.  If you're trying to get published, you need at least one editor who understands your work enough to take a chance on you.

When was the last time you had a vulnerability moment?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

One Stone at a Time

The best way to move a mountain is one stone at a time.  Nothing is insurmountable if you take one step before you take the next ~ Ed and Deb Shapiro

I remember doing a group interview for a job and once of the interviewers asked me, "How do you move mountains?"  My answer was, "One stone at a time." 

Whenever you have a daunting task ahead, dream goal or otherwise, it's always easier to break things down into smaller steps and goals.  Even when I quit smoking, I celebrated all my little milestones:  each day until it was a week.  Each week until it was a month.  Then one month became three, three became six, six became nine, and finally I was celebrating my first year smoke free.  I just just celebrated sixteen years smoke free.

I recently went through this exercise with my manuscript, Disappear with Me.  I want it ready for submission in June.  I counted the weeks until then and the number of pages left to edit.  I now have a daily and weekly goal of pages that need editing to have the manuscript ready for submission in June.

Tell me about time you had a big goal and how you broke it down?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book Reviews, Rants, & Raves!: What She Wants

I am launching my book review and promotion site today.  I choose one of may favorite authors to start this blog.  Not only is she a great writer, but also a great mentor and friend.

If you want to be featured on this site, please contact me: deanfrech@aol.com.

Book Reviews, Rants, & Raves!: What She Wants: For my first review, I have chosen What She Wants , by Sheila Roberts. What she wants is the story of Jonathan Templar and his poker b...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

From Our Hearts to Your Kitchen: Easy French Dip Sandwiches

Today, I am launching our new Foodie Blog!

Whenever I post what we're making for dinner on Facebook, Twitter, and other places, I'm always asked about the recipe.  Somethings are real easy to post, others are a bit more complicated.  This is my answer to that.

Another good reason for this blog:  I have recipes all over the place.  This will be a great place to capture our favorite recipes and always be able to find them, whether we're looking for ingredients for a shopping list or the directions to make dinner.


From Our Hearts to Your Kitchen: Easy French Dip Sandwiches As the weather starts getting warmer, I thought I'd share one of our favorite easy to make sandwiches.  In the warmer weather, a san...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Utter Absurdity of Life

Because you are defined not by life's imperfect moments, but by your reaction to the them.  And because there is joy in embracing - rather than running screaming from - the utter absurdity of life ~ Jenny Lawson

Life can be chaotic, even without the prospect of chasing a dream.  Add a dream journey to the mix and life can be really messy - and fun at the same time.

A few new episodes of "Oprah's Masterclass" aired recently on OWN. I love hearing about the different people chosen to talk about their experiences for that show. It's interesting to hear that most of the celebrities chosen to speak about their lives tend to talk more about what learned during adversity than what they experienced during a high point in their lives.  Oprah's two episode Masterclass was a perfect example of that.

I'm feeling a bit of the utter absurdity in my own life right now.  A Place to Call Their Own is going through its first round of edits on its way to publication in July.  I am trying to get Disappear with Me edited and ready for submission in the early summer.  And I'm finishing up my noting and getting ready to start writing my third novel, The Higher Law.  On top of all that I am more active in my church as a ruling elder and attending a weekly critique group.  And allergies are killing me this year.

And I know it's all temporary.  Eventually it will all be easier to juggle along with a full time job. 

Do you enjoy the chaos that your dream journey sometimes brings?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Energizing Moments

You can find energizing moments in each aspect of your life, but to do so you must learn how to catch them, hold on to them...and allow yourself to follow where they lead ~ Marcus Buckingham

When I quit smoking, I experienced an energizing moment one Saturday morning when I woke up and had the energy and desire to clean the house from top to bottom.  I no longer had that smoker's hangover that drained all my energy.

As I completed my bachelor's degree while working full time, I had energizing moments as I completed my coursework and learned new things I could put immediately into practice.

Now as I writer, I find energizing moments everywhere:  on television, in church, overheard conversations in public places.  I keep notes and ideas for other novels stored in my files.  I have plans for novels and non-fiction books that helps provide me a solid publishing schedule for the next 11 years.  It's these ideas that gnaw at me when I'm watching TV, trying to work, or concentrate on other things. 

What energizing moment have you had lately?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tuning In

If you ask people (as I often do) how they make decisions, "lucky" people will talk about tuning in to information and instincts, while "unlucky" people often mention pushing away the uncomfortable feeling they were headed for trouble ~ Martha Beck

If there's anything I've learned about following your dreams, I've definitely had to step out of my comfort zone to achieve many of the goals I've set for myself.  That has been tough.  But once I stepped out of my comfort zone, made goals and routines and stuck to them, most recently, my writing dreams are slowly coming true.

What are you doing this weekend to step out of your comfort zone and start making your dreams come true?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Alive Together

Maybe what we stay to each other is not so important after all, but just that we are alive together, and present for each other as best as we can be ~ Anne Lamont

No matter what your dream journey, it's always helped me to belong to a community of others.  Social media and the Internet makes that easier than ever.

I also have to share that recently joining a critique group has been wonderful as well.  We meet once a week and review each others work.  The camaraderie and interaction has been an experience I have yet to feel though social media connections.

When I was in direct sales, we met at least once a month as a big group to come together, celebrate, and learn about upcoming promotions and how to build our business.  Although we had contact through email and phone calls throughout the month, the in-person contact was invaluable.

When do you have in-person contact with your community?

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Nothing can bring you peace but yourself ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

We're already into the second quarter of 2013.  And it's not too late to start dream goals for the year.

Although life can get a bit harried at time, I do have to admit that when I'm actively working on dream goals, I feel much better about myself and my life in general. 

I took off Thanksgiving until New Year's last year.  It's something I've wanted to do for a long time.  Bear in mind, I still had my full time job to do, but besides reading, I really didn't go any editing or writing on any current projects.  The rest time was wonderful after putting in an action packed year of writing two manuscripts and editing one.  But I do have to share that my overall general happiness feels different and better now that I am actively engaged in editing and writing again.

What do you do to bring yourself peace?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Right Place, Right Time

I'd be unbelievably wrong to say there isn't such a thing as the right place, right time -- luck ~ Charlize Theron

Are you always prepared to proclaim your dream journey to the world?  I am now after messing up on Saturday afternoon.  I attended another writing seminar on Saturday afternoon and the instructor asked me what my novel was about.  I panicked because I'm really working on three novels right now, so of course all I was able to croak out was "historical."

Earlier in the seminar, the instructor said we should all consider ourselves writers.  She explained that those of us who wanted to make a living from writing should be telling me people that is our occupation.  So I had two things I was not prepared for, until now.

After Saturday's debacle, I vowed to never be in that position again.  I am prepared to tell anyone who asks that I am a writer and that my current project is about social change in Edwardian England. 

Are you prepared for your dream to take off in the right place and right time?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

It Just Is

We never needed best friend gear because I guess with real friends you don't just have to make it official. It just is ~ Mindy Kaling

I've made five new writing friends recently.  I joined a critique group.  And I love them to death!  I've finally found the feedback for which I've been looking about my writing.

Although I've only been involved with this group for two weeks, I've really appreciated all the insight that I've gained from them. The feedback has been invaluable for me:  they are other writers also pursuing publishing careers and they are providing objective feedback. 

I've talked about the importance of community before and the importance of the support that I get from my writer community online.  My critique group is a different type of community.  It is a community designed to help us all get better.

What are you getting from your dream-journey community?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Life Should be Touched, Not Strangled

Life should be touched, not strangled.  You've got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others, move forward with it ~ Ray Bradbury

I have to admit, I'm a bit out of practice making sure I get all my writing and editing goals completed each week.  I now have a critique group to go to on Wednesdays and this week we had a hair cut appointment.  So, I am short about 1800 words in my third novel and 16 pages of editing Disappear With Me

But like the quote says, sometimes I have to relax and let that happen.  Next, I will refine my daily goals so that I take into account time constraints on Wednesdays and any other day I have commitments in the morning that will take away from writing and editing.  And even though I had Friday morning to catch up, I really just needed Friday to relax knowing that the weekend is coming.

Although sometimes I have to push myself to move forward, there are times I have to allow myself a break just to regroup and move forward.  This has been one of those weeks.

When was the last time you gave yourself a break from your dream journey?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Luck is Not Magic

Luck is not a magical ability or a gift from the gods.  Instead, it is a way of thinking and behaving ~ Richard Wiseman, PhD

As long as I've been in direct marketing/party planning, I've always been coached to "act as if."  Plan team meetings as if you were the level you want to be.  If you want to be at that top level, recruit the number of new consultants each month, as if you were already there.  Work as if you were already at the top level you're shooting for.

That same advice can be applied to any dream journey: conduct your daily business, as if you have already achieved your goal. I can't believe the difference it has made in some of my achievements in the past thirteen years or so.  Even today, whenever I have a day off during the week and nothing planned, I try to spend the day as if I'm a full time novelist, writing and reading the day away. 

What can you start doing today as if you had already reached your dream journey or even the next goal in your dream journey?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How Good Can You Become

How well you perform when you start trying something difficult is not a good indicator of how good you can become ~ Mark Kelly

One year ago today I started one of the best jobs I've had in my life.  Not only do I work with great people, but I have the chance every day to work on my writing. 

When I started my new schedule last year, I jumped into my writing routine right away.  I had just started my second novel, Disappear With Me.  I had finished A Place to Call Their Own and was on a "writing high" writing 5000 words per week.  To understand the perspective, I don't think I wrote 5000 words in all of 2011.

I'm glad I stuck it out.  Along the way I learned more about conflict and tension in fiction and the value of an outline.  With those two tools, I conquered my second manuscript in only four months. 

What is a task in your dream journey that you have gotten better at?