Thursday, March 19, 2009

Days of Dreams: The Mystery of Success, Part Two

It's been a while since I've posted on this blog--I've been very busy, working on my manuscripts whenever I can steal time from my family and volunteer responsibilities. Like so many of you, I'm sure, I've been working persistently. To my way of thinking, persistence is the key to unlocking and stepping through that door to a place where dreams come true. We have to keep at it, work doggedly if we must, work everlastingly until we find our dreams.

So today, it's with great pleasure that I report results from my persistent work, my practice of never giving up--the first sale of a work of fiction authored by me. My romantic short story, Chateau, appears in the current issue (March/April) of New Love Stories magazine, available right now by subscription and in some local Borders bookstores.

Now I'm "officially" published -- a dream come true.

Here's something I never expected: being published feels quite comfortable. If you happened to read my blog way back in June 2008 (Days of Dreams: The Mystery of Success), you might remember how it struck me then that after striving and striving, success seems to come in a single instant.

Here's another example--learning of my publication in an instant at my mailbox.

A few days ago, I'd returned home with my daughter after a trip to the local day spa for a manicure and pedicure together, a ritual she and I seem to have established for whenever she comes home from college. She'd just returned for spring break from George Washington University on the East Coast. As I pulled into the driveway, I passed our mailbox and commented that I hadn't yet picked up the day's mail. After I retrieved the mail from the box, I fanned through the bills and junk mail. Right away I saw an envelope from Phoenix Publishing in New York. "Oh," I said. "I think this might be my story in the magazine."

When we got to the kitchen, I ripped open the envelope, and sure enough, in my hands was a copy of the contract I'd signed, a check for payment, and two copies of the magazine. The timing seemed especially right, since my daughter has long been a supporter of my writing (as has been my husband.)

Needless to say, the three of us each read the story right away. I'm happy to tell you that both my daughter and my husband liked it. (Believe me; if they didn't, they'd tell me. We're that kind of family.)

I've been waiting since June for the story to come out. In retrospect, that's not such a long wait, but until the other day at my mail box, at times the wait seemed long. Then, in an instant, my wait was over.

I share my news and these feelings not only to ask you to get the magazine and read my story, but just as importantly, to encourage you on your path to fulfilling your dreams.

We work. We wait. And then there comes that day -- that instant -- when our wait is over and a dream has come true.

I wish you luck and many blessings as you work persistently to make your dreams come true. Use persistence as a key. Never, ever give up.

Oh, and if you can't find the magazine in bookstores or the newstand, and you'd like to subscribe,



just click here!

If you subscribe right away, maybe you'll receive the current issue.

xo, ciao,


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Friday, January 04, 2008

Days of Dreams: A Writer's New Year

I love this time of year. Now that the holiday trappings have been put away, I get a chance to reflect on the past year, and to look forward to the new one. Goals are very much on my mind.

Last year was a good writing year for me. I finished the second draft of my second book (which I'm still tweaking). I attended the RWA national conference in Dallas, and met one of the top agents in the business. I was a contest finalist. I spent a weekend at the home of Susan Wiggs, along with some writing colleagues I've gotten close to. In 2007, this web site went up, built by my college-age daughter. Now I have two blogs, this one and another that is concerned with exercise and nutrition, called "Off the Couch and At the Table."

Speaking of exercise and nutrition, this year my efforts really paid off. Besides sticking with my exercise program, I improved my diet. The result? I lost TWENTY-FIVE pounds. (The picture on the home page was taken before the weight loss.)

All in all, a very good year. In 2008, I hope to be submitting both my books to agents with the goal of representation.

What are your goals? I'd love to hear them.

To help in goal-setting, this year I've asked myself and some writing colleagues three questions. Here they are, along with my answers.

Question 1: Sit back and close your eyes for a moment and imagine this is December 31, 2008. What dreams (or concrete goals) would you like to be able to say you've made come true by then?

My answer: On December 31st, I'd love to tell you I've obtained an excellent literary agent to represent my works of fiction. I'd like to say I've tweaked my two novels to make them the best they can be, so I can proudly submit them to my agent. Since that will require many hours sitting at the computer, I'd like to say I've been steadfast with my exercise routines, that I've maintained my current nutrition standards of minimal saturated fat and lots of vegetables and fruits. I also have goals for my "personal" life -- to be a good wife and mother, a good friend, a good sister and aunt, and to keep a good house.

Question 2: On December 31, 2008, if you've met these goals or made those dreams come true, what will your life be like? What changes will you see?

My answer: I'll be full of excitement and energy. Having a great literary agent will tell me I'm on my way to being a published author. And, with the vibrant health and energy that come with good nutrition and exercise, I'll feel especially ready. Succeeding with my weight loss goal will make me feel really good about myself, and I'll love being able to wear more stylish clothes. For me, success with diet and exercise and success as a writer are linked in my mind.

Question 3: What specific challenges do you face right now?

My answer: I feel like I never have enough time to get everything done. Another problem is that once I get writing, I don't want to get up to do anything else, and that includes exercise! When I'm working fast and furious on a novel, or on anything involving writing, I don't even want to take the time to eat right.

Those are my thoughts. What about yours?

Perhaps you can ask yourself these three questions as you formulate your goals for the new year. If you'd like to post your answers here, you are welcome to do so.

I wish you the best in 2008. May it be a great year for us all!

xo, ciao,


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