My Christmas Writer’s Miracle

It just struck me that my life changed one year ago today.
One year ago, I checked my email before bed, and discovered that my life had officially changed. I read the email, I screamed, and I read the email again. I had began one of the best stages of my life. One year ago today, I received the best surprise Christmas gift of my life. I learned a year ago, that I had received a book deal and become a published writer.
That one email made me feel that I could take on the world. Someone thought that I was talented enough to say they wanted to publish my work, and I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity.
In this past year I have met new people that have expanded by views on writing and on life. I have been inspired to tell my story to others and hopefully give them the will to try to put their words on paper. I have done a book signing with over 30 people, taken pictures, signed books to leave smiles on others faces, and received praise in striving to live my dream. Being an author for the past year has been nothing but amazing.
At times it has been humbling. The times I have sat at signings without a single visitor, the times that people have avoided eye contact me with in fears that I would ask for something or beg for them to buy my book. It is not an easy life, it is filled with humbling experiences and people who do not want to believe in your talents. But that won’t stop me. Nothing will stop me, because the positives of receiving that email and having such blessed experiences out way the bad. I love being an author, and I will continue to write as long as I can breathe.
For those thinking of writing: Do it. There are no excuses, pick up that pen, place your fingertips on the keyboard, and tell your story. As I say in engagements for those looking for advice, “Everyone has a story to tell, but most are not strong enough to actually tell the world.” Be that strong, be that bold, and be that example for those to follow. I believe in you, and you need to believe in yourself.
So, as I think about the books that have been signed, the people who have said that they are proud of me, and those who share my dream, I can’t help but to be happy this holiday season.
Merry Christmas, friends, and may you receive surprises that change your life in the future.

Tis’ The Season for Ice Storm ’13-A Semi Squatters Story

Christmas Eve is tomorrow and I do not have power in my house.

I know, such a bad time for such an event, but we all know that Mother Nature has her own schedule and cares not about the holiday season.She comes and goes as she pleases, and she had decided that her effects to end the year would be epic enough for those to have memories of her great powers. There is ice everywhere is Genesee County, and over 61,000 of us are without power. According to the recording from our friends at Consumers Energy, some of the people in our area will not receive power until Saturday, which is December 28th.

This breaks the hearts of many, and the thoughts of children opening up their gifts in frigid temperature households and barely seeing their treasures in the small amount of daylight barely gleaming through the shutters of the windows in quite disheartening. No one would want to deal with the questions of impatient children, and I would hate to be the one to explain how Santa got inside to deliver those gifts.

So, here I am, living in my parents home until things are fixed. They have gone to enjoy the warmth of the weather in the South (well, warmer than here in Michigan), and I have taken over their home with my room mate. We are lucky, we have heat, we have our food in their freezer and are not losing money in paying for a hotel, and we have beds to lay down in. I will say it once again, we are so lucky and so blessed to have a place to take refuge.

So many in our area are not as lucky, and I think of them during this time. I just hope that others can help to make them as comfortable as possible until they receive power back into their households. I do know a couple things that I want to share with the reading public:

1. For those who have houses with power, don’t criticize those who are complaining about it. They don’t want to hear your stories and how they should be happy to have a house to live in. They don’t want to hear you tell them they are selfish, because there are people worst off than they are. Although this might be true, the holidays are as stressful time for all, and you poking the hornets nest of emotions will not help, especially when their are children involved. Instead of tell him to “be grateful for what they have”, invite them to your homes for a meal or to warm up. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

2. Thank the Consumers workers when they come to your house. Five different states workers have come to Michigan to help us. It’s not their fault that this happened, but they have come to your rescue. I know you want heat, and to have a great Christmas (trust me, I do too. I had planned so many things to do before Christmas and can’t), but find the spirit to just say “thanks for what you do” to those workers. Their plans of being with family have been ruined too.

3. I will still remember the reason for the season, and hope that others do too. I will continue to wish for joy and peace in the world that is so dangerous for all of us. I will continue to pray for those in need, and I will embrace the good things that I have been grated with over the hard times I have suffered. Things are not perfect, but I will strive to make the best of what I have, today and always.

Merry Christmas, friends. I hope that everyone stays warm, stays happy, and stays blessed during the icy storm season.

The Waiting Game

Another book signing, means another round of “The Waiting Game”. I have learned that being in the world of writing is filled with times of waiting for people to give some kind of reaction to you. Waiting for a response, waiting for people to notice you at a table, just sitting and waiting. I feel like Dr. Seuss, when he wrote one of my favorite books, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”. 

He spends quite a bit of time discussing “The Waiting Place”. Where people wait for busses to go, for hair to grow, and for a second break. As he stated, “Everyone is just waiting..”

I have found that even if you have a go-go attitude, and want to get your information and writings out there, sometimes you have to wait because other choose to wait. It’s a hard thing to do for people like me. I like to keep busy, to share my story, to make appearances flooded with people, but in the real world of being an author, that often doesn’t happen.

Just now I have three people walk by me and try their best not to look at me. I fear that they think that I am a telemarketer, waiting to demand money from them. Of course, I should take it personally. But you find yourself watching the clock at times, watching the seconds tick away and your mind begins to wander to others things you could be doing.
So, of course, the ultimate questions comes to mind. “Why keep doing it if you spend so much time just sitting there?”
Because when you find your passion, you are willing to wait for others to realize your talents for the world. Because, one day, people might think back at the time they walked passed you in the cafe, in the crepery, in the book store, and they will think back on your face. They will say, “I remember seeing that author before! I should have stopped! I had the moment to share a conversation with that person and to learn their views!”
See, the loss is not of the authors. The loss if for those who didn’t stop. So, for those authors who do book signings and feel the loneliness resting on your shoulders as other avoid you while you struggle to get your words into their hands, I understand. I am going through it once again right now, with the cold air of Michigan swiping across my face each time someone opens a door, walks in, and rushes quickly past me.
But, as Jimmy V said in his memorable speech, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”