Friday, February 1, 2013

Chasing a dream...

You must've been a beautiful baby...
What is your dream?

Mine was to be a writer.  There were a lot of factors in that becoming my dream.  I've always written, finishing my first book--terrible book--at age nine and long daydreaming.  I fanfic'd Robin McKinley's world of Damar through high school and my idea of a fun Friday night when I was a teen?  Me and a friend had this notebook in which we started a story...each writing a chapter and then swapped notebooks and the other one picked up the story (bee-tee-dubs? This is an excellent learning tool.  Nothing will make your brain stretch more as a writer than trying to figure out where to go with a story that just took a dramatic veer away from where you planned...).
My apologies, kid from ET, for stealing your hair.

In later years of high school, I wrote a zine.  All the cool kids (my idea of cool kids were Denah and Ben and Carrie) were doing it...I later got in a heap of trouble for it but, again, stretching my writerly wings.  Poetry, I learned in this experiment, wasn't how I wanted to express myself.
Yeah for Etch-a-Sketch!

Still, I'm nothing if not a blockhead.  Even though books/writing/words were how I spent my fun time, I saw the Challenger explode one day when I was home finger painting.  If the very brave, very documented in my Scholastic readers, teacher was willing to reach for the stars, so would I.

Besides, no one REALLY became a writer.  It was like my artistic abilities...something that would never amount to much.

So, I entered the Air Force for about a minute and a half.  This was after my stint at Space Academy, so I was sure my career lay in the hands of Aerospace Engineering...I was going up.  I was going to touch the stars...

Or I would come home in a heap of failure, get excited to see my fiance and end up pregnant with our first child. You know, one of those was sure to happen.
Permtastic, baby.

My daughter became the center of my world.  I worked sometimes three jobs to keep things going and when my sons came along...I was sure of two things with absolute certainty:

1. These kids were my world.  I would do crazy shit to protect them.  I would give up everything without the slightest hesitation for them.  They meant everything.  No sacrifice would ever be too great to make for them.

High school hotness
2. I would be single for the remainder of my days because who in their right minds would want a relationship with a single mother of THREE kids, all of whom hung out on the spectrum.

It turns out, looking back, that nothing in life should ever be looked at with absolute certainty.

I've since learned these two things:

1. Children grow up.  They don't need you as constantly as they age, although they may never stop needing you.  You have to find your identity or risk falling apart when they leave.

2. I was single because I was terrified of loving someone and not being as focused on my kids.

This kid is gonna grow up and write smut.
Hard lessons.  Two strokes helped me realize that if I didn't chase my dreams, no one was going to do it for me.  There was a distinct chance I would raise my children, die, and leave my legacy as a parent but nothing as an individual.

Scary.  So, well, what the hell.  I was writing, as usual, and people liked the stories I was telling.  They believed in me (surprisingly, they believed in my art, too.  All the jobs I thought impossible were much more possible than the one I thought logical) until I started to wonder if I should, too.

I sent out my first manuscript.  My friend sent it out, too.  I collected a box of lovely rejections.  I got addicted to the thrill of it...Wow.  Something I wrote is sitting on a desk in NYC.  Sure, it might get rejected but how cool to have made it to NYC.  To be something someone far more classy than I read over coffee?
My Princess

Exhilarating even if I got rejected.

And then one day...someone didn't reject me.

My first book got published.  Then my second...

And now I don't get as many rejections.

They're still the center of my world...
The point of this summary of my life is...what do you want?  What do you want so bad, feel so good doing, that it is the last thing you think of when you close your eyes and the thing that makes you pop out of bed in the morning? Is it not what you thought?

If it's not, then why aren't you chasing THAT dream? Is it because it's not logical?

Why are you letting someone else tell you what is logical and what is not?

Go after your dreams.  I did.  And now I'm sitting here, home with my kids, doing what I love and I even get paid for it most of the time.

Happy Writing!!


  1. Very beautifully put. Also very true. I'm glad you finally went after your dream. I'm also happy to be able to read you distinct writing voice.
    (Love the dimples)

  2. I went to space camp too.

    What a lovely and inspiring post. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. It's epic. ;)